Alice Faulkner Burch was born in Oxnard, CA to Cleo & Elwanda Faulkner. She was baptized into the church in July 1984. While serving as the first African American on a full-time proselyting mission in the Chile Santiago South Mission, she and her companion were assigned as First and Second Counselors in a Branch Presidency. She was the first African American to be called as an Ordinance Worker in the Salt Lake Temple. She has served a one year mission in the Salt Lake Inner-City Mission and 5 years at the Utah State Men’s Prison in the Family History Center. She has worked full-time for the L.D.S. Church for 27 years. Four years ago she married the Great Love of Her Life, Robert Samuel Burch, Jr. She is currently serving as the Relief Society President of the L.D.S. Genesis Group. In her personal time she enjoys writing articles drawn from her life experiences and her personal scripture lessons, and indexing the Freedmen’s Bureau Records.
Robert A. Rees has taught literature and humanities at UCLA, UC Santa Cruz, and, as a Fulbright Professor of American Studies, in the Baltics. More recently he has taught Mormon Studies at Graduate Theological Union and UC Berkeley. A past editor of Dialogue, Rees is the editor and author of numerous publications in education, literature, and religious studies. He is co-founder and current Vice-President of the Liahona Children’s Foundation, a non-profit organization that addresses malnutrition among LDS children in the developing world.
Julie J. Nichols is Associate Professor of creative writing at Utah Valley University, fiction and personal voices editor of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, author of Pigs When They Straddle the Air (Zarahemla 2016), wife to Nick the horseman, and grandmother to 14 brilliant adorables.
W. Paul Reeve’s book, Religion of a Different Color: Race and the Mormon Struggle for Whiteness, was published by Oxford University Press. He is the author of Making Space on the Western Frontier: Mormons, Miners, and Southern Paiutes, and co-editor with Ardis E. Parshall of Mormonism: A Historical Encyclopedia. With Michael Van Wagenen he co-edited Between Pulpit and Pew: The Supernatural World in Mormon History and Folklore. He is the former Associate Chair of the History Department at the University of Utah and current Director of Graduate Studies where he teaches courses on Utah history, Mormon history, and the history of the U.S. West. He is the recipient of the University of Utah’s Early Career Teaching Award and of the College of Humanities Ramona W. Cannon Award for Teaching Excellence in the Humanities.
Mary Lythgoe Bradford (born 1930) is an editor and poet significant to Mormon literature. She was the editor of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought from 1978 to 1983, edited Mormon Women Speak (1982), and was included on the “75 Significant Mormon Poets” list complied by Gideon Burton and Sarah Jenkins. She was the first Mormon critic to engage scholarly with the work of Virginia Sorensen and has written about other authors such as Hugh Nibley and Lowell L. Bennion. Her work has appeared in many religious and regional magazines, journals and anthologies.
Darius Gray was a counselor in the presidency of the LDS Church’s Genesis Group when it was formed in 1971. He was president of the group from 1997 to 2003. Gray was also the co-director (with Marie Taylor) of the Freedmens Bank Records project for the church’s Family History Department. He is a speaker on African-American genealogy, blacks in the Bible and blacks in the LDS Church. He had also written a trilogy of historical novels (“Standing on the Promises”) with Margaret Blair Young, and co-produced/directed a documentary with Young as well: “Nobody Knows: The Untold Story of Black Mormons.” Utah’s NAACP honored him with its Martin Luther King Jr. award in 2008, and the Iota Iota chapter of Omega Psi Phi fraternity honored him as “Citizen of the Year” in 2011.
Marlin K. Jensen, emeritus general authority, has devotedly worked to broaden information about the history of Mormonism. Serving as the Church historian for seven years, Jensen accomplished a substantial amount to further the work, including the first three volumes of the Joseph Smith Papers. He has been commended for expanding the history of the Church more than any other historian in this era. Jensen’s quick wit and slow drawl has magically put people at ease for years. He is equally comfortable in well-worn overalls and starched suits. His talent for remembering faces and facts served him well for years as a general authority, including his celebrated tenure as church historian. His passion to make the world a better place, be it by farming a small plot of land or advocating for change on a grand scale, has made him beloved by Mormons and non-Mormons alike.