Jackie Robinson Foundation logoBlack Fives Foundation founder and executive director Claude Johnson will be a panelist at this weekend’s annual Jackie Robinson Foundation Legacy Conference in New York City.

The official name of the session is the 2013 Annual Scholars’ Mentoring and Leadership Conference.

Johnson will participate in the plenary session entitled, “Spreading Roots: Family as the First Network,” taking place Saturday, March 2, from 2:30pm to 4:00pm at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, on 42nd Street adjacent to Grand Central Station in Midtown Manhattan.

Jackie Robinson was even better at basketball than at baseball, however he chose the path of integrating baseball, the country’s national pastime, in part because it made a much bigger cultural impact.

Panelists will discuss the importance of exploring your heritage and family history with databases, resources and family trees as a tool for business and self-discovery.

“That’s a perfect topic for us, considering how much we’ve used online resources not only for historical research but also for making contact with the many descendants of Black Fives Era pioneers,” says Johnson. “It’s such an honor, being selected to participate in this, the Jackie Robinson Foundation’s 40th year, and I can’t wait to meet the distinguished panel!”

The panelists in addition to Johnson will be:

Roland A. Pattillo, M.D., Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of Morehouse School of Medicine, who through his work in cancer research has helped promote the history of Henrietta Lacks, the subject of the recently released book, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”;

Paula Williams Madison, a partner in the Chicago-based Williams Group Holdings LLC, whose holdings include co-ownership in The Africa Channel and the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks; and,

A’Lelia Bundles, the great-great-granddaughter of Madam C.J. Walker and the president of the Madam C. J. Walker/A’Lelia Walker Family Archives, as well as the author of the New York Times bestselling biography “On Her Own Ground” The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker.”