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"Passion is not friendly. It is arrogant, superbly contemptuous of all that is not itself, and, as the very definition of passion implies the impulse to freedom, it has a might intimidating power. It contains a challenge. It contains an unspeakable hope."

James Baldwin

About Dr. Calvin Mackie

Dr. Calvin Mackie is an award winning mentor, an internationally renowned motivational speaker, and a successful entrepreneur. Emerging from New Orleans public schools to get four STEM degrees and become the first Black professor at the Tulane’s University former School of Engineering, his message as a mentor, speaker, and entrepreneur continues to transcend race, gender, ethnicity, religion, and time.

Mackie was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and graduated from McDonogh 35 High School, New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1985. McDonogh 35 was the first high school for African Americans in New Orleans, Louisiana. After starting college in remedial reading because of weak SAT scores, Calvin Mackie earned a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech and a B.S. in Mathematics from Morehouse College in 1990, a M.S. in 1992 and a Ph.D. in 1996 in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech. He served on the Tulane University faculty from 1996-2007, where he received tenure and was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2002.

Mackie's eleven year academic career ended in June 2007, when Tulane University disbanded the engineering school in response to financial hardship induced by Hurricane Katrina. Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco appointed Mackie to the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA), the guiding agency to lead the state's rebuilding efforts following the catastrophic 2005 Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. As an ambassador of the LRA and a guest of the U.S. Embassy, he traveled to the country of Kuwait and appeared on Good Morning Kuwait and in international Arab newspapers. As a resident of pre- and post-Katrina New Orleans, Mackie has also been featured on HBO as a commentator on Spike Lee's documentary on the Katrina disaster When The Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Parts. He has also appeared on national and local news shows talking about Katrina, including the PBS News Hour with Jim Lehrer, and the Tom Joyner Morning Show.