Aaron Marcellus was born and bred in Atlanta, GA and has been entertaining crowds across the world for 16 plus years. A singer, writer, musician, tap dancer, and an actor, Marcellus is a consummate entertainer with a signature sound. He’s shared the stage with Gospel and CCM greats like: Israel Haughton, Salvador, Mary Mary, Donnie McClurkin, Kim Burrell, TobyMac, Michael W. Smith, Steven Curtis Chapman, Anointed, Ted & Sheri, Rachel Lampa, and Karen Clark-Sheard. In 2004 Marcellus ventured into Pop/Soul, taking a bold step to break into this new genre by auditioning for the world-renowned talent competition, American Idol. During Season 11 he rose to semi-finalist status (top 24) on American Idol, garnering a standing ovation during his televised performance in Hollywood. In the summer of 2012 Marcellus was a featured artist on the “Idols World Tour” sponsored by the US Armed Forces for American troops and was also one of the select Idol contestants featured on a tour through England, Italy, Holland, Germany, France, Korea, and Japan. Marcellus has been featured in a new pilot show for NBC, in a Chapstick commercial and at a tribute performance for R&B recording artist, Chrisette Michele. Marcellus can be found hosting a weekly musical act at NYC’s Duane Park and singing all over New York City– directing showcases, tap dancing, acting, serving as a vocal coach and directing The Marcellus Music Ensemble, a new and powerful collection of voices that help to comprise the Marcellus Orchestra!
Adrian Grenier has cemented his place as a change agent who leverages his influence and talent as a communicator to spread consciousness on essential issues. As an investor, Adrian has backed companies and entrepreneurs that he believes can change the world for the better. Through his impact firm, DuContra Ventures, he not only invests but empowers founders and investors by creating systems and tools to amplify the positive benefits of their work together.
As an activist, Adrian has founded the Lonely Whale Foundation, dedicated to bringing people closer to the world’s oceans through education and awareness, inspiring empathy and action for ocean health and the wellbeing of marine wildlife. He is also a UN Ambassador where he helped the UN Environment Programme launch Clean Seas, a campaign to end marine plastic pollution. He is also the host for Nat Geo’s documentary series The Last Drop, a documentary on how we can conserve water and ensure sustainable water supplies in the future. Photo by Ben Fink Shapiro.
Adriana Alejandre is a Trauma Psychotherapist and Speaker from Los Angeles, California. She specializes in adults who struggle with PTSD and severe traumas at her own private practice. She has done disaster relief work for Hurricane Harvey and the Las Vegas shooting survivors. Adriana’s expertise has been featured in LA Times, Telemundo, USA Today, the New York Times and Buzzfeed, among many others.
Adriana is the founder of Latinx Therapy, a national directory of Latinx Therapists and global, bilingual podcast that provides education to combat the stigma of mental health on the ground, and in the digital spaces. In 2019, she won Hispanizice’s TECLA award for Best Social Good Content award, and in 2020 she was one of 5 Latinx influencers chosen for the #YoSoy Instagram and Hispanic Heritage Foundation award. Adriana’s mission is to create spaces to spark dialogue about mental health struggles and strengths in the Latinx community.
Alejandro Rodriguez is the founding Artistic Director of ASTEP’s Artist as Citizen Conference, an immersive educational program that develops the whole artist by combining traditional arts classes and career skills workshops with speakers and panels on the subjects of citizenship, service, and social justice through the arts. In 12 years as a performer, he created numerous roles Off-Broadway, including the part of Charlie Rosa in Ghetto Babylon (National Latino Playwrights Award), and the character of Gabriel in Bird in the Hand (New York Times Critics’ Pick). He played the title role in The Acting Company’s national tour of Romeo and Juliet, and the part of Edgar opposite Billy Porter in King Lear. Regionally, he performed at The Kennedy Center, the Guthrie Theatre, Denver Center Theater Company, Baltimore CenterStage, and the Los Angeles Theater Center, among others. His film and TV credits include Nurse Jackie (Showtime), Dates from Hell (Discovery ID), and the feature film Emoticon. His first full-length play, Sorry ,enjoyed a sold-out run at the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center (LPAC) in New York, and his earlier work, Now is the Time, was produced three times in NYC and later on tour throughout Canada. He has been the recipient of residencies through SPACE at Ryder Farm, Makehouse, and the Center for Innovation in the Arts at Juilliard, as well as grants from the Queens Council of the Arts, CUNY Dance Initiative and LPAC.
Hailed as “Australia’s Wunderkind Organist” by ABC TV, ALESSANDRO PITTORINO is an Australian musician who is increasingly becoming one of the most exciting, invigorating, and innovative young organists in the world today. Starting organ at the age of 5, Pittorino has gone on to be one of the few Australian graduates (and the first Australian Organist) of The Juilliard School, where he studied with GRAMMY Award-winning organist Paul Jacobs. As a performer, Pittorino has performed from New York to California; from Perth to Sydney, and has been lauded by The Australian as “a self-confessed showman who loves to engage with his audience”. As an innovator, Pittorino has been employed by different organizations to enhance and enliven their performing arts scenes. NYC’s Blessed Sacrament Church, most notably the parish church of Lady Gaga, engaged Pittorino to rebirth the music scene and establish a thriving performing arts scene at Blessed Sacrament. In less than eight months, with the help of fellow colleagues from The Juilliard School, a new young Arts hub was established and features NYC’s finest young performers. Pittorino’s recent performance highlights include Lincoln Center’s annual Fashion Gala at Alice Tully Hall and collaborating NYC soprano Ariadne Greif at The Resonant Bodies Festival at Carriageworks in Sydney, Australia. Upcoming highlights for 2019 include Pittorino’s debut at the Melbourne Town Hall and first season as organist for the West Australian Symphony Orchestra (WASO). Pittorino currently resides in Perth, Western Australia.
Tijoux was born in France to a French mother and a Chilean father in political exile during Pinochet’s dictatorship. After the return to democracy, the family moved to Chile. She found a home in the emerging hip-hop scene of Santiago and first started rhyming in French, then later in Spanish.
“Tijoux is an artist with the promise to cross borders and genres.”
Anatasia S. Kim, Ph.D., is a Professor at The Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA. She received her B.A. in Psychology from UC Berkeley and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a minor in Developmental Psychology from UCLA. She is a National Ronald McNair Scholar and the recipient of a number of awards including American Psychological Association Minority Fellowship, Okura Mental Health Fellowship, and APAGS Guardian of Psychology Award. In addition to graduate teaching, she has a private practice specializing in treating patients with anxiety disorders, depression, and neuro-cognitive disorders using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Attachment Theory, Family Systems, and Buddhist Psychology. She also provides Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) consultation and training to organizations. In recent years, she served as President of the Alameda County Psychological Association, Chair of California Psychological Association (CPA) Immigration Task Force, CPA’s state Diversity Delegate, and APA Division 31 Diversity Leadership Development Program. She is also the author of “It’s Time to Talk (and Listen): How to Have Constructive Conversations About Race, Class, Sexuality, Ability, and Gender in a Polarized World” (2019).
Anna Buretta is a youth climate activist from Brooklyn, NY. She believes every child has the right to a future, which is why she joined the climate movement. Since joining, she has lobbied for climate legislation, and organized and now co-runs a national youth based lobby network for Climate Crisis Policy. On a more local level, she successfully spearheaded an initiative to introduce a more comprehensive recycling program at her school, and helped raise awareness about the climate crisis. Anna is currently director of Strike Logistics at Fridays for Future New York City, and is organizing the upcoming September 24th Global Climate strike. This strike is meant to amplify the voices of those most affect by the climate crisis, and to demand climate action.
Anjali Enjeti is a former attorney, journalist, teacher, and author based near Atlanta. Her books Southbound: Essays on Identity, Inheritance, and Social Change, and the novel, The Parted Earth were published earlier this year. Her other writing has appeared in The Oxford American, Harper’s Bazaar, USA Today, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Washington Post, and elsewhere. She is the co-founder of the Georgia chapter of They See Blue, an organization for South Asian Democrats and in the fall of 2020, served on the Georgia Asian American and Pacific Islander Leadership Council for the Biden Harris campaign. A former board member of the National Book Critics Circle, she has received awards from the South Asian Journalists Association and the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and was recently nominated to Good Morning America’s 2021 Asian American and Pacific Islander Inspiration List.
She is a graduate of Duke University, Washington University School of Law, and the MFA program at Queens University in Charlotte, and teaches creative writing in the MFA program at Reinhardt University.
Four-time Grammy Award winner Angélique Kidjo is one of the greatest artists in international music today, a creative force with thirteen albums to her name. Time Magazine has called her “Africa’s premier diva”. The BBC has included her in its list of the continent’s 50 most iconic figures, and in 2011 The Guardian listed her as one of their Top 100 Most Inspiring Women in the World. Forbes Magazine has ranked Angelique as the first woman in their list of the Most Powerful Celebrities in Africa. She is the recent recipient of the prestigious 2015 Crystal Award given by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the 2016 Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award, and the 2018 German Sustainability Award.
As a performer, her striking voice, stage presence and fluency in multiple cultures and languages have won respect from her peers and expanded her following across national borders. Kidjo has cross-pollinated the West African traditions of her childhood in Benin with elements of American R&B, funk and jazz, as well as influences from Europe and Latin America
Anne Friedman is an Interfaith Minister ordained by the Berkeley Chaplaincy Institute. Her spiritual work is rooted in helping people recognize their gifts and heal from their wounds. She uses her work as a writer, Reverend, and investor in pursuit of a more just and compassionate world. She graduated from Stanford University with honors, has a MBA focused on entrepreneurship and innovation, and co-founded an impact-driven hedge fund devoted to building systems of liberation. Prior to becoming ordained, Anne worked as a speechwriter and communications consultant for individuals and non-profits.
Hailed for his “trademark brilliance, penetrating sound and rich character” (New York Times), clarinetist Anthony McGill enjoys a dynamic international solo and chamber music career and is the principal clarinet of the New York Philharmonic—the first African-American principal player in the organization’s history. He is the recipient of the 2020 Avery Fisher Prize, one of classical music’s most significant awards. McGill appears as a soloist with top orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Metropolitan Opera, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and Kansas City Symphony. As a chamber musician, McGill is a collaborator of the Brentano, Daedalus, Guarneri, JACK, Miró, Pacifica, Shanghai, Takács, and Tokyo Quartets, as well as Emanuel Ax, Inon Barnatan, Gloria Chien, Yefim Bronfman, Gil Shaham, Midori, Mitsuko Uchida, and Lang Lang. He performed alongside Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, and Gabriela Montero at the inauguration of President Barack Obama, premiering a piece by John Williams. He serves on the faculty of The Juilliard School and Curtis Institute of Music. He is the Artistic Director for the Music Advancement Program at The Juilliard School.
ARKAI channels the diversity of the world through genre-bending music, forging new possibilities for what a violin and cello can be. Winners of the 2021 Astral Artists National Auditions, their past engagements have included performances at The MET Breuer, The Juilliard School, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and the 92nd Street Y. Their electronic debut composition, “Letters from COVID”, was featured at TED@PMI for a global audience of over 30,000 people from 182 countries.
ARKAI was recently commissioned by the Museum of Chinese in America to write a piece for their new exhibition Responses: Asian Americans Resisting the Tides of Racism. Other commissions have included a piece for Silver Lining Ltd’s Impact 5X initiative — a global economic justice project supporting hundreds of small business owners from underserved communities around the world.
Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson is an Affrilachian (Black Appalachian) woman from the working class, born and raised in Southeast Tennessee. She is the first Black woman to serve as Co-Executive Director of the Highlander Research & Education Center in New Market, TN. As a member of multiple leadership teams in the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL), Ash-Lee has thrown down on the Vision for Black Lives and the BREATHE Act. Ash-Lee has served on the governance council of the Southern Movement Assembly, the advisory committee of the National Bailout Collective, and is an active leader of The Frontline. She is a long-time activist who has done work in movements fighting for workers, for reproductive justice, for LGBTQUIA+ folks, for environmental justice, and more.
Audrey Malek, from Gilmanton, New Hampshire, is a dancer with The Washington Ballet. She went to Dance Theatre of Harlem, Ellison Ballet, and ABT’s NYC intensives, and competed at the YAGP Boston semifinal in 2016, where she placed in the Top 12 Senior Classical division and at the Connecticut Classic that same year, where she made the Top 10. She joined TWSB’s PTP on a full scholarship for the 2016.17 season, and was then accepted into the Trainee program the following year. Malek’s repertoire with the company includes Julie Kent’s staging of Giselle and The Sleeping Beauty, Fokine’s Les Sylphides, Balanchine’s Serenade, Allegro Brillante, and Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, Paul Taylor’s Company B, John Heginbotham’s RACECAR, and Septime Webre’s The Nutcracker.
Dr. Aymee Coget, CEO and Founder of Happiness For HumanKind, began her journey towards sustainable happiness in 1996. With 20 years in the field, her passion for helping people live happier lives has produced a holistic approach to a well-being system based in positive psychology. Her mathematical formulas for well-being have proved helpful even for those who have given up on happiness. Dr. Aymee consults with top corporations, media, hospitals, legal entities, individuals and families, and offers keynote speeches and writing services related to well-being and positive psychology. She strives to enhance individual and global well-being through the latest advances in technology and is ecstatic for the future of happiness, for all HumanKind.
Brandon Santiago is a Puerto Rican Poet, Writer, Producer, and critical educator who has 15 years of experience and expertise in diverse fields. He led the top Critical Literacy Arts origination, Youth Speaks, as the Interim Executive Director, directed the world’s largest Spoken Word Festival, Brave New Voices, and served as a VP at one of the fastest-growing educational Non-Profits in the country the Future Project. He has taught at Universities Like Stanford and Cal Berkely and has traveled the world as an educator and performer.
As an Innovative cultural strategist and creative social impact leader who holds additional expertise in narrative strategy and cultural equity, he has impacted companies and communities across the globe. He also co-hosted the first-ever all Latino Sports Radio show in the Bay Area on 95.7 the game.
Camara Phyllis Jones, MD, MPH, PhD is a family physician, epidemiologist, and Past President of the American Public Health Association whose work focuses on naming, measuring, and addressing the impacts of racism on the health and well-being of our nation and the world.
Dr. Jones is currently the 2021-2022 UCSF Presidential Chair at the University of California, San Francisco. She recently completed her role as a 2021 Presidential Visiting Fellow at the Yale School of Medicine and as the 2019-2020 Evelyn Green Davis Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.
She taught six years as an Assistant Professor at the Harvard School of Public Health (1994 to 2000), served fourteen years as a Medical Officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2000 to 2014), and continues as an Adjunct Professor at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University and as a Senior Fellow and Adjunct Associate Professor at the Morehouse School of Medicine.
Dr. Jones’ allegories on “race” and racism illuminate topics that are otherwise difficult for many Americans to understand or discuss. Recognizing that racism saps the strength of the whole society through the waste of human resources, she aims to mobilize and engage all Americans in a sustained National Campaign Against Racism.
Academy Award, Emmy and Grammy-winning artist, actor, author, and activist, Common continues to break down barriers with a multitude of critically acclaimed, diverse roles, and continued success in all aspects of his career.
His latest album, A BEAUTIFUL REVOLUTION Part 2 will be released on September 10th through Loma Vista Recordings. The album is a timely and inspiring follow up to Common’s previous album, A BEAUTIFUL REVOLUTION Pt. 1, which was released in October 2020 through Loma Vista Recordings. Pt. 1 of the album was written in 2020 during the height of the pandemic when racial and social justice protests, a contested election and economic collapse was polarizing the country. The first half of the album was written as a call to action to uplift, heal and inspire listeners dealing with these injustices. A BEAUTIFUL REVOLUTION Pt. 2 is a continuation of this call to action, but one that sees the world in a new light. The album signifies a rebirth of sorts as listeners learn to cope with and elevate from this tragedy and turmoil. They are given a chance to create a better tomorrow and a responsibility to never forget the past obstacles they have faced.
British violinist Daniel Hope has enjoyed a thriving international solo career for more than 30 years. Celebrated for his musical versatility and dedication to humanitarian causes, he has been recognized with a string of honors including the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and the 2015 European Culture Prize for Music. Besides undertaking solo recitals, chamber concerts and concerto collaborations with the world’s leading orchestras and conductors, Hope directs many ensembles from the violin, succeeding Roger Norrington as Music Director of the Zurich Chamber Orchestra in 2016 and becoming Music Director of San Francisco’s New Century Chamber Orchestra two years later. An exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist since 2007 with an award-winning discography, he is also a popular radio and television host who may currently be seen in Hope@Home on Tour. In 2019 he completed his 16th and final season as Associate Artistic Director of Georgia’s Savannah Music Festival as well as becoming Artistic Director of Dresden’s Frauenkirche Cathedral.
As a solo artist and as a collaborator with jazz giants from Dizzy Gillespie to Wayne Shorter, for over three decades Grammy® Award Winning Panamanian Pianist-Composer Danilo Pérez has been lauded as one of the most creative forces in contemporary music. With Jazz as the anchoring foundation, Pérez’s Global Jazz music is a blend of Panamanian roots, Latin American folk music, West African rhythms, European impressionism – promoting music as a borderless and multidimensional bridge between all people.
Born in Panama in 1965, Pérez started his musical studies when he was three years old with his father, a bandleader and singer. By age 10, he was studying the European classical piano repertoire at the National Conservatory in Panama. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in electronics in Panama, he studied jazz composition at the prestigious Berklee College of Music. While still a student, he performed with Jon Hendricks, Terence Blanchard, Slide Hampton, Claudio Roditi and Paquito D’Rivera. Quickly established as a young master, he soon toured and/or recorded with artists such as Dizzy Gillespie United Nations Orchestra from 1989-1992, Jack DeJohnette, Steve Lacy, Lee Konitz, Charlie Haden, Michael Brecker, Joe Lovano, Tito Puente, Wynton Marsalis, Tom Harrell, Gary Burton, and Roy Haynes.
Heralded as a “singer of immense power and fervor” and “[one] of the most powerful voices of our time” by The Los Angeles Times, the “immensely gifted American bass-baritone Davóne Tines has won acclaim, and advanced the field of classical music” (The New York Times) through his work that blends opera, art song, contemporary classical, spirituals, gospel, and songs of protest, as a means to tell a deeply personal story of perseverance that connects to all of humanity. Called a “next generation leader” by Time Magazine, Mr. Tines is a path-breaking artist at the intersection of many histories, cultures, and aesthetics.
Known as “The Peace Traveler”, Deborah first traveled to document after 9/11, traveling up and down the West Coast, facilitating student dialogue and filming their views of their new world. In 2016, Deborah traveled the country by car for months prior to US Presidential Election asking people about their “State of Peace”. In total, she traveled over 10000 miles, covering over 40 states, forging conversations, and resulting in an intimate display of human emotion, made up of over 800 separate interviews, weaving a tapestry of human emotions and documenting how American’s feel as individuals, as a nation, and as a growing global whole. Deborah is once again on the road, virtually and literally, interviewing across the States and looking back on our emotional state, then and now, from pre-election 2016 to our current state.
With over 25 years in the field working in the field of community building she is a writer, educator, UN Delegate, and international speaker, working with mission driven company and NGO’s in strategic development and branding. In the Fall of 2018, Deborah worked with The Peace Studio Sponsor, The Retreat : SF, where she produced and co-hosted a month’s worth of peace workshops and co-hosted a series of day retreats tied to Women’s History Month during the pandemic in 2021.
She is recognized as a leader in peace technology and is currently working towards a Masters in Global Diversity Governance at Coventry University’s Center for Trust, Peace & Social Relations to research the efficacy of the filmmaking and technology in peacebuilding, as well as managing policy and emerging theory of diversity. Her dissertation is a global studying on the effect racial identity and theory has on personal peace.
Since April, in an effort to shift the conversation around mask wearing, Deborah has also launched an initiative, #MyMaskisForYou, creating dialogues with high school students and their community, working to create a safe space to promote the action of care for each other, from mask wearing to other community actions, and expression of their concerns at this time.
Devin Allen is an American photographer, photojournalist, and activist based in Baltimore, Maryland. He gained national attention after the Freddie Gray protests in 2015, when his documentary photograph entitled “Baltimore Uprising” was published as Time magazine’s May 2015 cover photo. His documentary photo of the George Floyd protests was published as Time’s June 2020 cover. Allen’s photographs are held in the Smithsonian collection of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. His book, No Justice, No Peace, will be published by Hachette Books in 2022.
Rev. Dr. Diane Johnson, Ph.D., has been working with social sector organizations, national initiatives, municipalities, foundations and faith-based groups focused on progressive social transformation for decades. Rev. Dr. Johnson is committed to helping the widest array of community stakeholders engage in organizational and institutional change see results in dynamic, effective and innovative solutions to intractable problems.
Since 1992, Rev. Dr. Diane has trained, consulted and coached over 8,550 individuals and groups as founder and president of Mmapeu Management Consulting; she is also a Senior Consultant for FreedomRoad. Her work encompasses organizational development and organizational cultural assessment, cross-sector collaboration, educational reform, community development, faith-based partnerships, and diversity/equity/inclusion. Rev. Dr. Diane has worked with such clients as Pacific School of Religion, the Washington D.C. office of the UCC, Ecumenical Advocacy Days, the U.S. Forest Service, Habitat for Humanity International and NeighborWorks America.
She is a published author of several books and has presented at conferences and meetings internationally and nationally. Rev. Dr. Diane received her Ph.D. from Tufts University in Interdisciplinary Studies, a Masters in Divinity from Pacific School of Religion/The Graduate Theological Union, an M.A. in Nonprofit Management from The New School, and a B.A. in Communications from The Annenberg School at the University of Pennsylvania. In her work as a Public Community Minister within the UCC, she serves as a spiritual director, executive coach, and organizational culture and change management consultant for various congregations and interfaith initiatives across the country.
Described by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. as “the leading nonviolence theorist in the world,” James Lawson first studied the Gandhian movement as a young missionary in India. After coming to Vanderbilt Divinity School as a transfer student in 1958, he helped organize sit-ins to desegregate lunch counters in downtown Nashville. Lawson’s participation in the sit-ins led to his expulsion from Vanderbilt in 1960 following a vote by the executive committee of the university’s Board of Trust—a move that generated national headlines and prompted some faculty members to resign in protest. A compromise was worked out to allow him to complete his degree, but he chose instead to transfer to Boston University. Eventually, Vanderbilt and Lawson reconciled, and in 1996 he received the Vanderbilt Divinity School’s first Distinguished Alumni/ae Award. The Vanderbilt University Alumni Association also recognized him as a Distinguished Alumnus in 2005. Lawson returned to campus as a Distinguished University Professor, teaching from 2006 to 2009, and in 2007 the James M. Lawson Jr. Chair at Vanderbilt was established in his honor. He also donated a significant portion of his papers to the Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries’ Special Collections in 2013. A scholarship for undergraduate students at Vanderbilt was named in his honor in 2018.
The 24-year old Elham Fanous is the leading Afghan pianist of his generation. His life’s work is to embody a positive face of Afghanistan’s future and to provide hope to musicians and artists living under threats to their creative expression all around the world. Elham has performed as a soloist on US State Department-sponsored appearances at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC and Carnegie Hall in New York City in 2013. He has performed at the Library of Congress for the 2017 Anne Frank Awards Ceremony, members of the diplomatic corps of Australia, China, Germany, Italy, and Korea, and at the Afghan Embassy in Washington DC through the Embassy Series: Uniting People Through Music Diplomacy. Elham has been profiled on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition by host Renee Montagne, in BBC, on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, Military Times, New York Post, and other international media outlets. He is a recipient of the Young Musical Scholars Foundation and Anna Sosenko Assist Trust Fund. He is the subject of a German television documentary (ZDFtivi), and one of the featured artists in WQXR’s “20 for 20,” Artists to Watch. He is a graduate of Manhattan School of Music, Hunter College, and Afghanistan National Institute of Music.
Elissa is a lifelong learner, leader and educator. Her background in journalism and education has led her on a rich career journey through corporate and nonprofit America. She an experienced writer and editor, serving in top roles in and outside of academia. A seasoned nonprofit founder, she founded A Picture’s Worth to marry her passions for creative disruption of outdated systems, equity, community engagement and story-building. At its core, APW fosters responsible story-gathering practices that apply in journalism, nonprofit, education systems and beyond.
Journalist, author, and producer Emily Yellin founded and is currently leading a non-profit, multi-media, journalism project called Striking Voices, focused on the lives and families of the Memphis sanitation workers who went on strike in 1968 for better working conditions. She co- produced a 10-part, video series in 2018 with The Root, called 1,300 Men: Memphis Strike ’68. In addition, Emily has written two books, published by Simon & Schuster: Our Mothers’ War — American Women at Home and at the Front During World War II, and Your Call Is Not That Important to Us — Customer Service and What It Reveals About Our World and Our Lives.
During more than 20 years reporting on the South as a contributor to The New York Times, Emily has written features, op-eds, and news stories about race, history, music, social justice, gender, violence, poverty, and the environment. She also has written features, book reviews and editorials for Time, The Washington Post, The International Herald Tribune, Newsweek, Smithsonian Magazine, and other publications.
Born in White Plains, New York, Emily grew up in Memphis. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, with a degree in English literature, and received a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Emily has lived in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and London, but now lives in Memphis.
Fredrika Newton is a former member of the Black Panther Party, and the widow of its co-founder, Dr. Huey P. Newton. In 1995, she co-founded the Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation to preserve and promulgate the history, ideals and legacy of the Black Panther Party. Through that mission and under Fredrika’s stewardship, the Foundation developed multiple programs and events, as well as maintained and exhibited historical archives. Most recently, the Foundation has instituted its new public history vision. In February 2021, Fredrika had a street renamed for Huey, Dr. Huey P Newton Way, in West Oakland and on the 55th Anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party, October 24, 2021, a bronze bust of Huey will go up on that street near where he took his last breath. Fredrika is also working with the National Park Service to create a monument for the Party that will include a museum, a larger memorial art piece and visitor center.
Helga Paris-Morales started dancing in her native Puerto Rico when she was three years old. She came from a musical family and loved to dance to and makeup shows. When she was eight years old, her family moved to Cincinnati and she began training at The Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. From 2008-2016 she studied tap, musical theatre, and ballet. Helga participated in Summer Intensive programs at American Ballet Theatre, The Joffrey Ballet, and Cincinnati Ballet. At age 16 she began auditioning for major ballet companies and received a scholarship to train with Kansas City Ballet. She was also offered the opportunity to join the Professional Training Program at The Washington Ballet and came to DC. Helga was promoted to Studio Company in 2019. She has choreographed a multitude of pieces for The Washington Ballet including the recent TWB’s Center Stage-inspired gala, and Create in Place.
Hoda Hawa is the Social Impact Sr. Manager and Impact Producer at Participant Media, the leading media company dedicated to entertainment that inspires audiences to engage in positive social change. At Participant, she focuses on building partnerships with key non-profit and NGO organizations to build campaigns around bringing global awareness and action to today’s most vital social, economic and environmental issues. Currently, she is co-producing the Judas and the Black Messiah impact campaign working with Chairman Fred Hampton Jr. and other national and local leaders to change the narrative around the Black Panther Party and what it means to be an activist and revolutionary. Prior to that, Hoda was the Director of the Washington, DC Office for the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), a national policy advocacy organization working to promote and strengthen American pluralism by increasing understanding and improving policies that impact American Muslims. She regularly advised and engaged senior government and civil society leaders on domestic and foreign policy issues that impacted American Muslim communities. She has a M.A. in Ethics, Peace and Global Affairs from American University and a B.A. in Political Science from George Washington University.
Hope Azeda is the founder, artistic director of Mashirika Performing Arts and media company, a leading theatre company in Rwanda. She is also the curator of Ubumuntu Arts Festival. Major productions Africa’s Hope, which was performed in Kigali at the 10th anniversary commemoration of the genocide, and also at the G8 World Summit in Edinburgh in 2005. The play has toured globally. Hope also directed Shadows of Memory for the 20th genocide commemoration 2014 and Generation 25 in 2019. She has also been an artist in residence at the Institute for the Arts and Civic Dialogue in Cambridge Massachusetts, an alumni of Brown University International Advanced Research Institute in 2013, and a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab. Hope is also a fellow of the Africa Leadership Initiative.
In addition to her theatre work, she served as a casting director for the films Sometimes in April, Shake Hands with the Devil, Beyond the Gates, White Light, Africa United, and Our Lady of the Nile. Hope is also currently the curator of Ubumuntu Arts Festival, and the recipient of the Laureate of the John P. McNulty Prize 2018, a lifetime award by MAAFA, and the winner of the CEO Global Continental award in the category of arts and culture.
Hunter Genia, is Anishinabek from the Saginaw, Swan Creek, and Black River Bands of Chippewa and also Grand River Bands of Ottawa. With a strong upbring in culture and activism, much work has gone toward healing, social justice, and empowerment in tribal communities.
He has been working exclusively across Turtle Island (North America) as a trainer, facilitator, speaker, and activist for the past 31 years to bring healing and understanding through collective native wellness community work. Although proud to have received his Master’s of Social Work degree, Hunter is most proud to be a dad of three beautiful sons.
Iman Zawahry is one of the first hijabi American-Muslim filmmakers in the nation. She has worked on numerous films that have played at over 100 venues worldwide. She has worked as a producer on the feature film Paperback with Moonlight producer Adele Romanski and Sundance alum Adam Bowers. Her short film “Tough Crowd” won an Emmy Award and qualified her as a finalist in the NBC Comedy Short Cuts to pitch a sitcom with NBC executives. She is the recipient of the coveted Princess Grace Award for her film “Undercover” and was selected as a Lincoln Center New York Film Festival Artist Academy Fellow in 2015. Iman also collaborated with the non-profit Islamic Scholarship Fund to create the first ever American Muslim film grant where she currently serves as director. Iman works to amplify the underrepresented female voice. She wrote and directed her debut feature film Americanish with a majority female crew which has won three audience awards. She currently is a professor of film production at the University of Florida.
Originally from Cameroon in West Africa, Irene Ashu grew up in a bright, vibrant, and rhythmic culture that ushered her into the world of choreography, movement direction, and creative direction. Ashu studied her craft across the world in Tokyo, Paris, Germany, Brazil, Cameroon, and Los Angeles. Ashu’s artistry is influenced by African culture, contemporary art, neo-classical styles of movement, technology, and sculptures. Beyond her artistic practice, Ashu obtained an B.S. in Economics And International Relations, and an MBA in marketing and branding.
Ashu has worked with notable artists and brands such as Victoria’s Secret, R.Shemiste, Yeezy, SKIMS, Moncler, Under Armour, Serena By Serena Williams, Hollister, Apple, Sony, Google, Android, Toyota, & Huawei Technology. Additionally, Ashu has worked with an array of music artist such as Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown, Big Sean, SZA, Lady Donli, Superfruit, Jennifer Hudson, David Guetta, Afrojack, DJ Carnage, Wiz khalifa, TY-$, School Boy Q, Teyana Taylor, WIZKID, Fanny Neguesha, Aluna George, Jeremih, SHIN, Carrie Underwood, Little Mix, Beba Rexha, MAJOR LAZER, Arashi, and more.
Jamie Sarai Margolin is a 19-year-old Jewish Colombian-American organizer, activist, author, public speaker, and filmmaker. She is co-founder of the international youth climate justice movement called Zero Hour that led the official “Youth Climate Marches” in Washington, DC and 25+ cities around the world during the summer of 2018. Zero Hour has over 200+ chapters worldwide and has been a leading organization in the climate movement.
Jamie is the author of a book called “Youth To Power: Your Voice and How To Use It,” (www.youthtopowerbook.com) which has been translated in many languages and sold all over the world. The book serves as a guide to organizing and activism, and is a recipient of the 2020 Gold Medal Nautilus Book Award for YA nonfiction.
Jamie is also a plaintiff on the Our Children’s Trust Youth v. Gov Washington state lawsuit, Aji P. vs. State of Washington, suing the state of Washington for denying her generation their constitutional rights to a livable environment by worsening the climate crisis.
Jamie served as a surrogate for the Bernie Sanders 2020 Presidential Campaign, speaking at several campaign rallies (including the 2020 Tacoma Dome rally to an audience of over 17 thousand people), filming campaign endorsement videos, and doing outreach to get out the vote for Bernie Sanders. She also was one of the youngest Delegates at the 2020 Democratic Convention.
Jamie is also the director, screenwriter, and lead actress in a new web series called ART MAJORS (www.artmajorsshow.gay), which is a show about a friend group of LGBTQ+ art students struggling with queer love and breaking into the entertainment industry.
Dr. Jacqueline Lazú is an Associate Professor in the Department of Modern Languages, Critical Ethnic Studies, and co-founder of the Criminology Program at DePaul University. Dr. Lazú specializes in the study of literature and culture as tools for social transformation, the history of Latinx and Latin American social movements, aesthetics and political philosophy. For nearly 20 years, Dr. Lazú has worked collaboratively with the Young Lords Organization to build the premier archive of the movement in collaboration with DePaul’s Richardson Library and DePaul’s Center for Latino Research, and has written widely on the evolution of the movement in the city of Chicago, including her current book project titled Stone Revolutionaries: The Chicago Young Lords and Rise of a Puerto Rican Diaspora Movement.
Jazmin is a writer and youth voting rights activist. She is Executive Director of 18by Vote, a youth-led non-profit organization that aims to help teen voters understand how to vote, when to vote and why to vote that has reached over 1.3 million young people. Her writing and personal essays have been published in The Wall Street Journal, HuffPost, MTV, Seventeen Magazine, VICE, i-D, Rookie Magazine, The Nation, Fast Company, Mic, The Center for American Progress, and The U.S. Department of State Official Blog and The White House Blog under President Barack Obama. She has been featured on the TODAY Show, BBC World News, Good Morning America and in The Wall Street Journal, CNN, CBS News, Shondaland, Teen Vogue, and more, frequently commenting as a youth voting expert. Jazmin recently graduated summa cum laude from The George Washington University with a B.A. in Political Science with Special Honors where is was president of the largest, most-active College Democrats in the nation and served as National Press Secretary for College Democrats of America. She is a two-time New York Women in Communications Scholar and was named the 2018 Hearst Magazines Scholar.
Jennifer Carolyn King, President of the Rugged Elegance Foundation and co-creator of The Retreat : SF (theretreat-sf.com), is a proud sponsor of The Peace Studio Summit. The 2021 Summit opens with “Time to Breathe” meditation sessions @ The Retreat : SF on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021 @ 10am, EST. You will want to watch these opening meditations, beautifully delivered by Dr. Aymee Coget, co-host & meditation guide @ The Retreat : SF, and Deborah Greene, The Peace Traveler, over and over again!
Jennifer has been an entrepreneur since she was nine years old. In 1995, two months before giving birth to her first of two miracle babies, she launched BioSpace.com, one of the first 50,000 websites in the world. Over thirty years later, BioSpace continues to serve the life sciences industry as the #1 Internet portal. Meanwhile, her “Biotech Bay” map is on permanent display in the Smithsonian Institution at the American History Museum. Jennifer is also the co-founder of Kudos Trading Co. (kudos.tc), a mobile web app dedicated to offering great goods, gratitude, and giving back. Kudos.tc serves 1,500 corporate customers primarily located in the city of San Francisco. Today, Jennifer is the president of Rugged Elegance, LLC, the soulful network, and the Rugged Elegance Foundation. The mission of Rugged Elegance is to inspire healthy, adventuresome, soulful living, and philanthropic giving.
Jennifer’s next dream is to create Rugged Elegance … the soulful network of social entrepreneurs and philanthropists. Today, she, her husband, Timothy Fredel have been building their soulful network, one-to-four leaders at a time @ The Retreat : SF (Casa al Mare in Sea Cliff, San Francisco) and The Retreat : ME (Asante Sana, their Africa-inspired soul sanctuary in Kennebunkport, Maine).
Jimin Han was born in Seoul, South Korea and grew up in Providence, Rhode Island; Dayton, Ohio; and Jamestown, New York. Currently, she lives outside New York City with her husband and children. She attended Cornell University and Sarah Lawrence College, from which she holds an MFA.
A new novel is forthcoming from Little, Brown & Co. in 2023. A Small Revolution, her first novel, was among Entropy’s Best Fiction of 2017, Pleiades Editors’ Choice 2017, Redbook Magazine’s 20 Books By Women You Must Read This Spring, Buzzfeed’s 6 Binge-Worthy Literary Books of May, CNN’s Summer Beach Reads, and Electric Literature’s list of Ten Galvanizing Books About Political Protest.
Other writing can be found at NPR’s “Weekend America,” Catapult Magazine, Poets & Writers Magazine, Electric Literature, Hyphen Magazine, and elsewhere. She teaches at The Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College and Pace University.
Dr. Joan Donovan is Director and Lead Researcher of the Technology and Social Change Research Project at the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School.
Dr. Donovan’s research and teaching interests are focused on media manipulation, effects of disinformation campaigns, and adversarial media movements with a focus on how social movements, political parties, governments, corporations, and other networked groups engage in active efforts to shape media narratives and disrupt social institutions.
Dr. Donovan’s research can be found in academic peer-reviewed journals such as Social Media + Society, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography (JCE), Information, Communication, & Society, Social Studies of Science, and Online Information Review. Her research and contributions can also be found in the books, Data Science Landscape: Towards Research Standards and Protocols and Unlike Us Reader: Social Media Monopolies and Their Alternatives. Dr. Donovan’s research and expertise has been showcased in a wide array of media outlets including NPR, Washington Post, The New York Times, Rolling Stone, ABC News, NBC News, Columbia Journalism Review, The Atlantic, and more.
Countertenor John Holiday has established himself as “one of the finest countertenors of his generation” (Los Angeles Times). His voice has been praised as “a thing of astonishing beauty” (New Yorker), “arrestingly powerful, secure and dramatically high” (Wall Street Journal), “exceptional [and] strong…even in its highest range” (The New York Times) and “timeless” (Washington Post). Holiday’s unique voice and powerful story have been the subject of profiles in The New Yorker, CNN’s Great Big Story, Los Angeles Times, and more.
In 2021, Holiday will make his anticipated Metropolitan Opera debut in Matthew Aucoin’s Eurydice as Orpheus’s Double, and is slated to make his role debut as Cherubino in Le Nozze Di Figaro at Dallas Opera. An acclaimed concert singer, Holiday has performed at world-renowned venues such as Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, London’s Barbican Center, and the Philharmonie de Paris. His career highlights have included a tour with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic; the Sorceress in Barrie Kosky’s production of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, and the world premiere of Matthew Aucoin’s Eurydice as Orpheus’s Double at the Los Angeles Opera;the world premiere of Daniel Roumain’s We Shall Not Be Moved with Opera Philadelphia and the Dutch National Opera; title role in Xerxes at the Glimmerglass Festival; and Caesar in Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto at Wolf Trap Opera.
John Wood Jr. is a national leader for Braver Angels, a former nominee for congress, former Vice-Chairman of the Republican Party of Los Angeles County, musical artist and a noted writer and speaker on subjects including racial and political reconciliation.
José F. Rodriguez is currently a Feature Film Programmer at the Tribeca Festival. He was formerly a senior staffer at Tribeca Film Institute, where he oversaw the growth, funding & overall strategic vision for all their documentary programs as well as their filmmaker/industry market, TFI NETWORK. During his 10 years at TFI, he also led documentary workshops in the United States and throughout Latin America.
In the past four years he has made two short films: the documentary short ADOLESCENCIA (ADOLESCENCE) and the experimental short Mama,mama.
Sensual Qigong is created by Joyce Virani, drawing on her long-time practice of Qigong, her love of music, her passion for coaching women and her life experience.
What she shares in groups and individually is a mind and body moving meditation combining the ancient Chinese wisdom of Qigong with carefully curated music, guided meditation, vocalization, and visualization inspiring clients to not only mindfully be in the moment, but also feel and experience the moment with all their senses, energy and awakened heart.
Her unique practice invites you to move, feel, unlock, and release unfelt or unexpressed emotions, stuck energy, and tension in your body, to create space for the energy of healing, relaxation, joy, creativity, and love to rush in and flow through.
Joyce is a long-standing member of the National Qigong Association and works closely together with Master Per van Spall. She has earned a coaching degree at IIN and has a master’s degree in art history and management. She was born and raised in The Netherlands, traveled the world as a Fashion Model, and finally settled down with her family in America.
Joyce and Master Per offer a curated program for women to awaken their energy, senses, heart, and soul.
Judy Rodgers was working in media when she turned her attention to a study of consciousness and meditation twenty-five years ago. She held executive positions in media companies such as CBS/Fox Video and New World Entertainment for fifteen years, translating the ideas of authors and thought leaders to video. In 1999 she helped found Images & Voices of Hope, a global media initiative dedicated to media as a force for good. She oversaw the merger of ivoh with The Peace Studio in 2020.
Her interest in raja yoga meditation as taught by the Brahma Kumaris led to an extended study of consciousness and applied spirituality on how the quality of our awareness affects our thoughts, vision and experience in the world. Over the past twenty-five years she has returned to India roughly forty times to continue her study and practice of raj yoga and has supported many Brahma Kumaris initiatives. In 2009 she co-authored a book on altruism called Something Beyond Greatness.
Jung Yun was born in Seoul, South Korea and grew up in Fargo, North Dakota. She is the author of O BEAUTIFUL, which will be published by St. Martin’s on November 9, 2021, and SHELTER, which was long-listed for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize and a finalist for the Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Award. Her work has appeared in Tin House, The Massachusetts Review, The Indiana Review, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Review of Books, among others. Currently, she lives in Baltimore and serves as an Assistant Professor of English at the George Washington University.
Jyoti Sarda (executive producer) brings twenty years as a senior global marketing executive with major studios to developing impact-creating content through her company Nimble Media LLC. She produced an award-winning limited series, AND SHE COULD BE NEXT, that aired on POV(PBS) in 2020 and told the story of a women of color led movement to transform politics from the ground up. She is also Co-Executive Producer of EQUAL MEANS EQUAL, an unﬂinching examination of the discrimination against women in the US legal system. Currently, Jyoti is Executive Producer on an independent motion picture, LILLY, in production about the remarkable life of fair pay icon Lilly Ledbetter. Formerly, Jyoti was Vice President of Marketing at Paramount Home Media leading acquisitions and all facets of global marketing operations for partner brands. Jyoti serves on the board of GlobalGirl Media, an organization training young women to become civically engaged through citizen journalism and LAANE, a leading LA-based social justice nonprofit.
K Scarry loves nothing more than to gather people for a meal and to create communities of care and of deep accompaniment. She currently serves as the Community Director of The People’s Supper, where she sits alongside communities across the country in the question: what needs healing here? Since 2017, The People’s Supper has brought more than 10,000 people together for suppers in more than 100 cities and towns across the country, in partnership with dozens of local government & civic groups, faith-based organizations and communities, colleges & universities, and workplaces. K was named one of 25 Young Leaders to know by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, where she sits on the Emmanuel McCall Racial Justice Advisory Committee.
KAREN BRAILSFORD has worked on staff at Newsweek, Elle, People, In Touch and E! Entertainment covering arts and culture, Hollywood, fashion, beauty and human interest. Her writing has also appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Black Enterprise, Interview and other publications. She is a consulting literary agent with Aevitas Creative Management. The mother of actress Amandla Stenberg, Karen served as her de facto manager for several years, employing the expertise she gleaned from interviewing celebrities, covering Fashion Week in New York and Los Angeles, and negotiating with Hollywood publicists, all the while deflecting the momager stigma.
A licensed spiritual practitioner at the Agape International Spiritual Center founded by Michael Bernard Beckwith since 2009, Karen serves as the coordinator of its pastoral care ministry, One From the Heart, and writes for Inner Visions: A Guide for Daily Inspiration. For five years, she hosted a monthly gathering for congregants in her home and is featured in Agape’s 31 Ways in 31 Days Transformational Challenge. Bucket list check item: Karen sang with Agape’s choir backing up John Legend, will.i.am, Mary J. Blige, Seal and Faith Hill at various events, including Oprah Winfrey’s broadcast from the Kennedy Center, leading up to President Obama’s first inauguration.
The native New Yorker is a graduate of The Brearley School and Yale where she majored in English literature. Her paintings have been exhibited at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica, CA, and other galleries. She lives in the City of Angels and cites the City of Light as her go-to landscape.
Kathryn Schotthoefer is an American film and television executive. She founded Original Media Ventures, a studio focused on developing film and TV projects from underrepresented creative voices in 2017 and launched REPRESENT, a community to offer support, education, and opportunities for storytellers, in 2018. She previously worked for entertainment companies including Twentieth Century Fox, New Line Cinema, Warner Bros., and was the former president of M&C Saatchi company, Heavenspot. She is a vocal advocate for human rights and civil rights, particularly in regards to refugee humanitarian efforts. In 2016, she was awarded the Global Gift Foundation Philanthropreneur Award, an honor previously awarded to Victoria Beckham and Jorge Perez. She is a native of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and resides in Los Angeles, California.
Kairyn Potts (he/him) is a proud Two-Spirit winkte man from the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation. Originally from amiskwaciwâskahikan (Edmonton) he now makes his home in Dish With One Spoon Treaty territory in Tkaronto (Toronto) where he works as an Indigenous youth advocate, motivational speaker, resource developer, content creator, fashion model, actor, and comedian. His creative projects allow him to utilize platforms like Tiktok, Instagram, and Twitch to share his culture, his passions, and some laughs with others. His youth advocacy work centers around queer Indigenous youth, youth in care, mental health awareness, Two-Spirit/gender identity, and life promotion.
Kate Stanforth is a dance teacher, model, disability activist and charity founder from England, UK. After becoming disabled at 14, she’s strived to make the world more accessible with a particular focus on the dance industry. Now best known for her inclusive dance academy and high profile dance campaigns, she’s a woman on a mission to give everyone who wants the chance to dance.
Pianist Lara Downes has been called “an explorer whose imagination is fired by bringing notice to the underrepresented and forgotten” (The Log Journal). An iconoclast and trailblazer, her dynamic work as a sought-after performer, a Billboard Chart-topping recording artist, a producer, curator, activist, and arts advocate positions her as a cultural visionary on the national arts scene.
Ms. Downes’ musical roadmap seeks inspiration from the legacies of history, family, and collective memory, excavating the broad landscape of American music to create a series of acclaimed performance and recording projects that serve as gathering spaces for her listeners to find common ground and shared experience.
Leslie Rangel is the founder of The News Yogi | Yoga for Journalists. She teaches mental wellness healing tools in BIPOC safe spaces through yoga and community. With nearly a decade in news, Leslie has dealt with chronic stress, traumatic news coverage and the challenge of understanding how her life experiences directly impact such a high-stress career. After years of self-study and yoga training, Leslie is now on a mission to teach journalists how to understand trauma, stress, depression and anxiety and how to take yoga practices on the mat into their lives off the mat.
Leslie is also a morning anchor in Austin, Texas. She created, produces, shoots and edits her own franchise, Good Day Together where she focuses on sharing stories from the BIPOC community to help them see themselves in a way that’s different from perceptions.
Leslie has been a featured presenter for journalism conferences including RTDNA, IRE, and ONA. Her yoga for journalists work has been featured in Yoga Journal and the Journalism Institute National Press Club. Leslie has more than 800 hours of yoga training in trauma-informed yoga and meditation. She’s just completed 300 hours in Advanced Yoga Psychology with a licensed psychotherapist and yoga/meditation teacher.
Half Asian and half Latinx. Two sisters, a cousin, and their close friend. The Linda Lindas channel the spirit of original punk, power pop, and new wave through today’s ears, eyes, and minds. Mila (10), Eloise (13), Lucia (14), and Bela (16) first played together as part of Kristin Kontrol’s pickup band of inexperienced kids for Girlschool LA in January 2018, where they were joined by Bobb and Bethany from Best Coast and Karen O. That summer, Bela asked Lucia, Eloise, and Mila to back her up on a few songs at a Hi-Hat gig, and the garage punk band was born.
They weren’t called The Linda Lindas until they started playing Save Music in Chinatown benefit matinees in the fall, where they’ve shared the stage with punk lifers and legends including The Dils, The Gears, Alley Cats, and Phranc. They’ve also played with Alice Bag, joined Best Coast and Money Mark at a DIY political fund raiser, opened a sold-out record release show for Bleached, and were hand-picked by Riot Grrrl legends Bikini Kill to open up for them at one of their reunion shows at the Hollywood Palladium. They rounded out 2019 with performances at the Viva Pomona Festival and the Dia De Los Muertos Festival at Self-Help Graphics LA.
In 2020, The Linda Lindas wrote and performed an original song for The Claudia Kishi Club documentary, wrote a song and made a video with punk rock friends and legends to get out the vote in the presidential election, and self-released their eponymous debut EP, which features songs penned and sung by each member of the band. In 2021, they reached a wider audience by appearing in a key scene of the Amy Poehler film, Moxie, before performing their now-legendary set for the Los Angeles Public Library that included “Racist, Sexist Boy.” Unexpectedly and organically, the clip went viral, expediting their pending deal with Epitaph Records and setting them up for more shows.
Manolia Charlotin (she/her), a co-founder of Press On, tells stories that feed spirit and amplifies voices that seek liberation in her roles as multimedia journalist, curator, strategist, and educator. Over the last 15 years she has helped lead several media organizations and campaigns, including the Boston Haitian Reporter, The Haitian Times, and Feet in 2 Worlds. Most recently, she was the Associate Director at The Media Consortium, a network of leading independent news media, where she advanced the sector’s racial equity strategy, development of emerging local media networks, coverage of social justice movements, and editorial management for a landmark scientific study on the impact of collaborative storytelling. Currently, as a social impact and equity consultant to movement-building organizations and independent media platforms, she’s helping change agents channel their resources to center the capacity of communities of color to build institutions in their image. Manolia also serves on the board of directors for Bitch Media and YES! Media.
Four-time Emmy-winning correspondent Mara Schiavocampo is the Senior Investigative Correspondent for The Dr. Oz Show. Mara is also one of the top podcasters in the country, as the Executive Producer and Host of iHeart Media’s The Trend Reporter podcast (iTunes #1 Fashion and Beauty), and the news and social justice podcast Run Tell This. Mara has appeared on Good Morning America, The Today Show, The View, The Oprah Winfrey Show and more.
Mariano Avila is WGVU – PBS’s inclusion reporter in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has made a career of bringing voices from the margins to those who need to hear them. Over the course of his career, Mariano has written for major papers in English and Spanish, published in magazines, worked in broadcast, and produced short films, commercials, and nonprofit campaigns. He also briefly served at a foreign consulate, organized for international human rights efforts and has done considerable work connecting marginalized people to religious, educational, and nonprofit institutions through the power of story.
Mariano was born in Mexico City, Mexico, where he learned the value of civic engagement and public discourse. His life and work have taken him from refugee camps in Palestine to garbage-dump communities in Egypt, Guatemala, and Mexico. He has met presidents and dignitaries from several countries, as well several international celebrities. Mariano is a graduate of Calvin College and has an MFA in creative writing from Warren Wilson.
Marshall Hatch Jr. is the co-founder and executive director of the MAAFA Redemption Project, a Chicago-based workforce, social & spiritual-development initiative for Black and Brown men ages 18-30. Hatch Jr. hails from the Westside of Chicago. The project provides them with housing, job skills development, educational opportunities, and wrap-around social services. These supports are supplemented with programming that focuses on the arts, cultural identity development, spiritual enrichment, transformative travel, civic empowerment, and insistent life coaching and mentoring.
Maryam Ishani is a specialist on the impact of armed conflict on civilians. She has worked at the United Nations in monitoring and reporting for the Security Council on human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sudan. She has also taught International Humanitarian Affairs at Columbia University and has conducted field research in emergency zones, most recently in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Colombia.
Currently, she is the director of The Journalist Connection, an on-line news service reporting from areas of conflict, and is writing a book about non-combatants caught between national militaries and irregular armed groups.
Maya King is a national politics reporter at POLITICO, where she covers state and national campaigns as well as the intersection of race and politics. She has written for POLITICO for two years and has covered education, breaking news, political advertising and gubernatorial campaigns. Prior to joining POLITICO, Maya held positions at NPR, USA Today and the Democracy Fund.
Maya serves as an adviser to the Obama Foundation, working closely with their international team to develop programming in the Asia Pacific region. Prior to her work with the Obama Foundation, she was the Director of the Matsunaga Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa where, in addition to leading outreach and development initiatives, she also taught Leadership for Social Change, History of Peace Movements, Peace Education, and Conflict Management for Educators. She was awarded a master’s degree in Secondary Education from NYU’s College of Education and a PhD in Multicultural Education from the University of Hawaiʻi. For many years, she worked at the University of Hawaiʻi College of Education where she taught Multicultural Education, Social Studies Methods, and Peace Education at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Maya has published a number of book contributions as well as a picture book entitled Ladder to the Moon and is currently under contract to write a Young Adult novel entitled Yellowwood. Maya sits on many voluntary boards and is the proud co-founder of three nonprofits – Ceeds for Peace, Institute for Climate and Peace and The Peace Studio.
In November 2019, Steven L. Reed made history as the first African-American to be sworn in as Mayor of Montgomery, Alabama, a city known globally as The Birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement.
A native of Montgomery, Mayor Reed is committed to realizing his vision of a more equitable, progressive, and compassionate city. To that end, he is advancing an agenda that puts Montgomery on track to become a leader in the New South.
In his first year in office, Mayor Reed successfully led a transformational ballot initiative to increase investment in Montgomery Public Schools for the first time in over 30 years. Amid the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and its sweeping effects on public and private sector budgets, Mayor Reed restructured the city government to increase efficiency and effectiveness while the City maintained a balanced budget, increased reserves and avoided employee furloughs and layoffs. As a result, bond rating agencies awarded Montgomery its best grades since the Great Recession. In the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder Mayor Reed is proud to have steered the city through peaceful protests without any personal or property incidents, while also leading initial police reform efforts.
Born in Niterói, brothers Rodrigo, Diogo and Gabi are Melim. Owners of several hits in Brazil, such as Meu Abrigo, Ouvi Dizer, Gelo and Eu Feat. Você, they ventured into music early on, still in solo careers. These four songs were on “Spotify Brazil Top 200”, and Melim spended 144 weeks at “Spotify’s Top 100 Songs” . They got together to sing at a festival, and have never been apart since.
After the success of their first album “Melim”, they recorded the album “Eu Feat. Você”, which was nominated for the 2020 Latin GRAMMYs in the category “Best Portuguese Language Album”.Riching more than 3 million views in one week video. And in early 2021, they released the second part of the project: “Amores e Flores”, collecting more than 23,6 million views. The group has two times diamond singles with the song “Meu Abrigo” and one time diamond single with “Ouvi Dizer” on more than 300K copies sold.
Also in 2021, Melim released “Deixa Vir Do Coração”. A 13-track project in honor of Djavan, with his participation on the track “Outono”, collecting until now more than 5 million players on Spotify and Youtube .Riching 3,94 million monthly listeners, Melim is the one of biggest Brazilian pop group.
Michael Koenigs serves as the executive producer of ABC Localish, developing shows for ABC that highlight the good happening in cities across America. He also serves as the host of ABC’s “More In Common,” a show about people coming together despite their political and personal differences.
Previously, Koenigs was a reporter for ABC News covering events ranging from presidential campaigns to breaking news. He began his TV career producing for Chris Cuomo at “20/20,” before joining Diane Sawyer’s team at “ABC World News Tonight.” As a senior coordinating producer for ABC’s Lincoln Square Productions, he developed original TV formats for Disney Channel, ABC and Hulu.
In 2016, he biked 1,000 miles across America for his original series “Election Cycle” which ran across ABC News platforms including “Good Morning America” and “Nightline.”
Michael Skoler works with NYT columnist David Brooks on the Aspen Institute’s Weave: The Social Fabric Project in Washington, DC. Weave supports a grassroots movement that is repairing America’s frayed social fabric by bringing communities together to support and serve each other.
Michael is a non-profit executive, journalist and serial collaborator. He served as a science and foreign correspondent at NPR, led public radio’s regional newsroom in the Twin Cities and founded the Public Insight Network, the first major crowdsourcing system for newsrooms. He stays centered through parenting, meditating and backpacking.
Michelle Dorrance is a New York City based tap dancer, choreographer, director, teacher, performer, and is the founder and Artistic Director of Dorrance Dance. Mentored by Gene Medler, she grew up performing with his North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble and studied under many of the last master hoofers of the jazz era. As a solo artist, Michelle has performed with the NYC and North American touring Casts of STOMP, and was a founding member of Savion Glover’s company, ti dii. Other work includes: Manhattan Tap, Barbara Duffy & Co, JazzTap Ensemble, Max Pollak’s Rumba Tap, Ayodele Casel’s Diary of a Tap Dancer, Mable Lee’s Dancing Ladies, Harold Cromer’s original Opus One, Derick Grant’s IMAGINE TAP, Jason Samuels Smith’s Charlie’s Angels/Chasing the Bird, and solo work ranging from The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to choreographic commissions for the Martha Graham Dance Company, American Ballet Theatre, New York City Center, and Works & Process at the Guggenheim Museum. A 2018 Doris Duke artist, a 2017 Ford Foundation Art of Change Fellow and 2015 MacArthur Fellow, Michelle holds a B.A. from New York University and is a Capezio Athlete.
Mike Slaton is the Executive Director of the Louisville Pride Foundation, a non-profit organization serving the LGBTQ community. The Foundation is working to open an LGBTQ Community Center in Louisville by the end of 2021.
Mike previously worked for Louisville Metro Government for 10 years, in both the Parks Department and the Office of Management and Budget. During his tenure at Metro, Mike expanded the Adopt-a-Park program and helped revitalize the Iroquois Amphitheater. Mike helped form the city government’s first LGBTQ employee resource group before he left. Before working for the city, Mike was a volunteer and then staff member at the Fairness Campaign, where he was involved in the successful effort to protect school board employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation. Mike received his Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Louisville and a Master of Public Administration from Indiana State University. He is a graduate of St. Francis High School in Louisville.
Mike volunteers with Every1 Reads and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kentuckiana. He has served on the board of the Fairness Campaign and the Kentuckiana Association of Volunteer Administrators. Mike and his husband Jake were among the first legally married same-sex couples in the state of Kentucky, and they became foster parents in 2018. In addition, they have two dogs, Pepin and Selena. Mike enjoys hiking, studying history, theater, ballet, and jigsaw puzzles.
Mwangi Mukami is an award-winning humanitarian, writer, and current president/CEO of the MLIFE Foundation, a 501(c)(3) faith-based organization working in the Bay Area and Kenya at the intersection of arts, education, faith, and technology to right wrongs, lessen poverty, build leaders, and promote peace. An immigrant from Kenya, Mwangi moved to the United States in 2009 after an illustrious public service career that spanned a decade as Chairperson of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Africa Foundation, founding youth president of Kenya, and Special Advisor to the Ninth Vice-President of Kenya, the honorable Moody A.A. Awori.
Mwangi is an alumnus of the University of California Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy, where he completed his Master of Public Affairs (MPA). He received his dual bachelors’ degree in Political Science and International Relations, magna cum laude, from San Francisco State University. In 2013, Mwangi was the recipient of the President’s Volunteer Service Award. His other commendations include the Georgia General Assembly’s Senate Recognition Resolution, the Gandhi Peace Award, and the Morris Brown Medal of Peace.
From February-June 2021, the Rugged Elegance Foundation provided a financial grant to MLIFE Foundation to host three separate monthly series of “Day to Breathe” at the Retreat: SF (theretreat-sf.com) to commemorate Black History Month, Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and Pride Month.
Mwangi co-hosted the retreats as a meditation guide with social entrepreneurs and philanthropists Jennifer Carolyn King and Timothy Fredel.
Myda El-Maghrabi is an artist and yoga teacher whose work in both has arisen out of a need to understand the various dimensions of human experience. Through a previous more physical, artistic practice to a currently more subtle, introspective one, she mines the nature of the self- in its multitudinous relationships with itself and others and the vast harmonies and cacophonies that those relationships precipitate.
Through different types of media, from wax and wood to sound and silence, she searches for what underlies our basic humanness, that which engenders the viscerality of emotions. She questions how a raw feeling can translate into something more concrete, something more tangible- how an experience of sadness, for example, can transform into a thought, a word, an artwork, a belief system, a body. And how we, in turn, through a deeper understanding and knowing of ourselves and each other, may better shape, build and sustain a stronger resonance for our humanity’s unfolding.
Myda has a BA in English Literature from Boston University, an MFA in Sculpture from Stony Brook University and has been teaching yoga, meditation and sound work throughout NYC for over 10 years (and Zoom for over 16 months).
Per is a certified Master in the Art of Qigong Healing. He provides Body-Mind guidance to promote physical well-being, spiritual growth and emotional healing. His understanding of Western rationalism paired with his deep connection to Eastern spiritualism allows him to act as a bridge between the East and West but also between the intellect and the intuition.
Nsé Ufot is the Chief Executive Officer of the New Georgia Project (NGP) and its affiliate, New Georgia Project Action Fund (NGP AF). Nsé leads both organizations with a data-informed approach and a commitment to developing tools that leverage technology with the goal of making it easier for every voter to engage in every election. Nsé and her team are also developing Georgia’s home-grown talent by training and organizing local activists across the state. She has dedicated her life and career to working on civil, human and workers’ rights issues and leads two organizations whose complementary aim is to strengthen Georgia’s democracy.
Peace Jolis is a well-known Rwandan R&B Singer/Songwriter. He frequently collaborates with the Mashirika Performing Arts and Media Company based in Kigali and founded by renowned theater maker Hope Azeda. In 2019, Peace Jolis participated in a collaboration between The Peace Studio and Mashirika in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide against the Tutsi. The performance, called Generation 25, received multiple standing ovations to a crowd of over 5,000 people at the Kigali Genocide Memorial – the site of the annual Ubumuntu Arts Festival, where the program was first premiered.
Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III is senior pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. He is a preacher, activist, author and filmmaker with an eye toward justice and equality, as evidenced through the gospel of Jesus Christ. He founded the Unashamed Media Group, a justice centered faith-based agency committed to producing and curating stories to inspire the heart and challenge the mind. His most recent book is Blue Note Preaching in a Post-Soul World: Finding Hope in an Age of Despair (2015). Dr. Moss is ordained in the Progressive National Baptist Convention and the United Church of Christ.
Acclaimed for her originality in song composition and spellbinding, soulful vocals, Fuga is one of Hawaii’s top female musicians in generations. A poet at heart and an accomplished ukulele player under Master Instructor, Roy Sakuma, she has intertwined her passions into award-winning songwriting. Her debut album, LILIKOI lauded the prestigious Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award for ‘Most Promising Artist.’ Since the release of her EP Misery’s End, which featured guest appearances by Ziggy Marley and Jack Johnson, Fuga has headlined the global music circuit and performed on the stages of Madison Square Garden, The Sydney Opera House Forecourt and is a three-time return guest artist to The White House. Today, with a global fanbase and thriving music career, Fuga’s music is dedicated to inspiring positive social change – rooted in perseverance and hope. She is fiercely committed to permeating the world with the evocative voice of the Hawaiian people. Fuga released her second full length album Rain On Sunday on June 25th, 2021 through Brushfire Records, with the amazing lead single “If Ever” with the one and only Jack Johnson.
Throughout his career Ringo Starr has received 9 Grammys, has twice been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame first as a Beatle and then as solo artist. Between 1970 and 2015 Ringo has released 18 solo studio records. He has acted in over 15 films, received an Academy Award, and was nominated as an actor for an Emmy. Ringo has published three books; had a stint as a male fashion model and that same year went behind the lens for the Foo Fighters PR shots.
For all his many creative successes, Ringo is and always will be first and foremost a musician, a drummer. Ringo’s candor, wit and soul are the lifeblood of his music. As he sang on the autobiographical Liverpool 8, “I always followed my heart and I never missed a beat.” Peace and love are his life’s rhythm and melody, and he propels this universal message in everything he does: his evocative artwork, his enthused live performances, his legendary songs, all imbued with the joy, reflection, and wisdom of the music icon the world knows and loves simply as ‘Ringo.’
Rosa María Zamarrón is a Documentary Photographer from Southwest Detroit. She graduated from Grand Valley State University with a B.A in Photography, focusing primarily on Documentary/Photo-journalism. She has exhibited in various cities such as Grand Rapids, New York City, Detroit, Austin, and Rome, Italy. Her work has been in various publications including Vogue, Hour Detroit Magazine, The Detroit Free Press, Metrotimes, BridgeDetroit, D Business Magazine and WDET.
Rosa María is co-founder of La Sirena Studio, which is a collaborative female lead studio in Southwest Detroit that provides studio space in the community. Rosa María has also collaborated with local non-profits like Capture Belief and Young nation to teach photography to the youth in Southwest Detroit. She currently lives and works in Detroit, Michigan.
As the Senior Social Impact Communications Manager at Participant, Rosalina is the point person for the creation and execution for communications efforts around the impact campaigns we develop alongside the content we produce. Previously, Rosalina was the Research and Policy Manager for The Hub Project, a progressive advocacy organization in Washington, D.C., where she worked on issue advocacy campaigns around health care and the economy. Before that, she worked on public affairs, social impact and diversity-related communications campaigns at Weber Shandwick. Rosalina attended Villanova University for a Bachelor’s in Communications and she received Masters in Public Relations and International Relations from Syracuse University.
The world-renowned musician Samite was born and raised in Uganda, where his grandfather taught him to play the traditional flute.
When he was twelve, a music teacher placed a western flute in his hands setting him on his way to becoming one of East Africa’s most acclaimed flutists. He performed frequently to enthusiastic audiences throughout Uganda until 1982, when he was forced to flee to Kenya as a political refugee. Samite immigrated to the United States in 1987, and now he and his wife Sandra make their home on their small horse farm in upstate New York.
When he is not touring, Samite finds inspiration from their horses, Shadow and Thyme, photography and woodworking.
Today his smooth vocals accompanied by the kalimba, marimba, litungu, and various flutes mesmerize audiences throughout the world.
Saundra Thomas, Principal of SPT Consults, is a driven professional with 30+ years in media and nonprofit leadership. SPT Consults focuses on nonprofit strategic planning, board governance and development. In addition, SPT Consults offers coaching services to nonprofit executive directors, business leaders and individuals. She is also a sought-after speaker and strategic planning facilitator. Saundra most recently filled the role of Interim Co-Executive Director at Open House New York during an executive director transition change in 2020.
Prior to launching her consulting business, she spent 16 years as Vice-President of Community Affairs at WABC-TV, where she oversaw all on-air public service announcements and led the station’s strategic vision for community engagement, outreach and projects within the tristate. As liaison between the public and the station, Saundra recommended news and programming coverage of important local topic and directed the station’s philanthropic endeavors.
Saundra brokered station community-related partnerships with organizations including BRIC (Celebrate Brooklyn), World Science Festival, and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. She initiated and led WABC-TV’s partnership with government and community organizations, holding town hall meetings across the tristate.
In 2013, she took a leave of absence from WABC-TV and dipped her toe into the political arena, as a candidate for New York City Council, mounting a formidable challenge to the incumbent, including outraising all three challengers.
Saundra’s commitment to community is evident in her tenure on nonprofit boards, which have included, Brooklyn Book Festival, Jazz Reach and NY Women in Communications, plus chairing the boards of Council for Unity, Dancewave, and Global Action Project, respectively. In addition to The Peace Studio, she is currently a board member of Indigo Arts Alliance, Open House New York and Prospect Park Alliance. Saundra is a former advisory board member of Grace Institute, NYC Young Men’s Initiative and Services for the Underserved.
She is a recipient of an honorary doctorate in humane letters from St. Francis College (Brooklyn), and numerous awards and recognitions for her work. Thomas holds a BA in Journalism from Rutgers University and an MA in Media Studies from the New School. She is a resident of Ditmas Park, Brooklyn.
Grammy-nominated American musician Scarlet Rivera burned a hole in the fabric of rock history as a pioneer of electric violin. From a classical background she bent the accepted norms by experimenting with all genres of music from Rock fusion and Jazz to Latin polyrhythms. She was a revolutionary from the start.
Bob Dylan was the first to discover and acknowledge Rivera, inviting her as an integral part of the legendary album ‘Desire’ and Rolling Thunder Revue tour. Dylan recognized the genius of Rivera’s vision as a violinist who played much like a lead guitarist. Rivera’s dynamic presence led the way to the inclusion of other string players in Rock music. ‘Desire’ was chosen by Time Magazine as one of the top five albums of Dylan’s career and was Rivera’s debut on the world stage.
Shakita Brooks Jones is a Montgomery, AL native. Shakita is a graduate of Troy State University with a B.S. in social work and a master’s in social work from the University of Alabama. Shakita also has a master’s degree in public administration and a nonprofit management certification from Auburn University Montgomery. Shakita is an Assistant Clinical professor within Auburn University’s social work program. She is the founder of Central Alabama Alliance Resource & Advocacy Center. Shakita is also a strategy and facilitation consultant with Radical Optimist, a cooperative team of practitioners that serves to support groups in racial healing learning.
Sonali Kohli worked for the L.A. Times for six years covering education and breaking news. She was part of the Times staff that won a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the 2015 San Bernardino mass shooting, and in 2020 was named the best education journalist in the U.S. by the Education Writers Association.
Most recently Sonali was a Spencer Fellow in Education Reporting at Columbia University, working on a young adult nonfiction book about teen activists. A product of Southern California, Sonali grew up in Diamond Bar and graduated from UCLA. She worked as a metro reporter for the Orange County Register and as a reporter covering education and diversity for Quartz before joining The Los Angeles Times in 2015.
Stephanie Sy is a PBS NewsHour correspondent and serves as anchor of PBS NewsHour West. Throughout her career, she served in anchor and correspondent capacities for ABC News, Al Jazeera America, CBSN, CNN International, and PBS NewsHour Weekend. Prior to joining NewsHour, she was with Yahoo News where she anchored coverage of the 2018 Midterm Elections and reported from Donald Trump’s victory party on Election Day 2016.
Stephanie has been a foreign and domestic journalist for nearly two decades for national, international and local news outlets. She is the recipient of an Overseas Press Club Award for her breaking news reports from the Sichuan earthquake in 2008 for ABC News. That year she also received a Business Emmy for her contributions to the ABC World News report “Global Food Crisis.”
Stephanie serves on the advisory board of Report for America, and has also been a host of Ethics Matter, a public affairs program by the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs. In 2015, she was awarded an Asian American Journalists Association “Mentor of the Year” Award.
Stephanie received her BA from the University of Pennsylvania, with a double-major in International Relations and Environmental Studies. She was born and raised in Southern California and has two children.
Tayo Rockson is a writer, speaker, consultant, podcaster, professor, co-founder and brand strategist at UYD Management – a strategic consulting firm that empowers organizations to incorporate sustainable diversity and inclusion practices.
As the son of a diplomat, Tayo grew up understanding the nuances of multicultural diversity while living on four continents. He leveraged his experiences to establish himself as an authority in communicating effectively across cultures and personal branding. He graced various stages to share his knowledge including TEDx, the prestigious Chautauqua Institution, and the United Nations.
Tayo is the host of As Told by Nomads, a podcast ranked in the top 5 tier of the Top 25 Business Podcasts for Entrepreneurs on Entrepreneur.com. He’s the author of Use Your Difference To Make A Difference, and in 2020, he launched the national anti-racism campaign called #LetsTalkBias.
Tejal (she/her/hers) is a first-generation Indian American yoga teacher, social justice educator, podcaster, and community organizer.
Tejal aims to educate and empower individuals and communities around the world by teaching yoga through a social justice lens. She is co-lead of the Yoga is Dead Team which offers a podcast questioning who and what killed yoga, workshops and training about cultural appropriation, and live events about the issues with modern yoga. She created the abcdyogi village, where South Asian teachers reclaim the yoga and mindfulness space.
Thomas Hampson, America’s foremost baritone, has received international honors and awards for his captivating artistry and cultural leadership. Lauded as a Metropolitan Opera Guild “Met Mastersinger” and inducted into both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Gramophone’s “Hall of Fame,” Hampson is one of the most respected and innovative musicians of our time. With an operatic repertoire of over 80 roles sung in all the major theaters of the world, his discography comprises more than 170 albums, which include multiple nominations and winners of the Grammy Award, Edison Award, and the Grand Prix du Disque. He received the 2009 Distinguished Artistic Leadership Award from the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC, and was appointed the New York Philharmonic’s first-ever Artist-in-Residence. In 2010, he was honored with a Living Legend Award by the Library of Congress, where he has served as Special Advisor to the Study and Performance of Music in America. Furthermore, he has received the famed Concertgebouw Prize.
With several years of experience as both a justice-centered performing arts producer and professional opera singer, Thomas previously held positions as a special projects producer at The Juilliard School and as the founder and Executive Director of the NY-based Collaborative Arts Ensemble. In 2014, he was named a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts by President Barack Obama.
Tiffany Yip, Ph.D. is a Professor, and Chair of Psychology at Fordham University. She completed an undergraduate degree at Cornell University, earned her MA and PhD at NYU, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan. Her research on ethnic identity, discrimination, and sleep among ethnic/racial minority adolescents and young adults has been published in American Psychologist, Child Development, Developmental Psychology, and Current Directions in Psychological Science. She serves as an Associate Editor for Developmental Psychology and was a former Associate Editor for Child Development, Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, and the Asian American Journal of Psychology. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science, and her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. Her research has been featured in outlets such as the NY Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, CBS and Psychology Today.
Timothy Fredel is a Board Member of the Rugged Elegance Foundation, a co-creator of The Retreat : SF, and a proud co-sponsor of The Peace Studio Summit. The 2021 Summit opens with ‘Time to Breathe’ meditation sessions on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021 @ 10am, EST. You will want to watch these opening meditations — beautifully delivered by Dr. Aymee Coget and Deborah Greene, key partners at The Retreat : SF — over and over again.
Tim has worked for some of the biggest names in technology — Cray Research, Sun Microsystems, and Apple. In 1994, Tim was recruited away by his wife, Jennifer Carolyn King, to help launch and scale BioSpace.com which remains the leading portal for the life sciences industry more than 25 years later.
Today, Tim runs Kudos Trading Co. which delivers great goods and gratitude to over 1,500 corporate customers in San Francisco. In addition, Tim has partnered with Jennifer to co-create The Retreat : SF and The Retreat : ME as ‘Places to Purpose’ for BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and women leaders. Since January 2021, Jennifer, Tim and the Rugged Elegance Foundation have served over 100 leaders.
Tonika Lewis Johnson is a photographer/social justice artist and life-long resident of Chicago’s South Side neighborhood of Englewood. She is also co-founder of two community-based organizations, Englewood Arts Collective and Resident Association of Greater Englewood, that mobilize people and resources for positive change in Greater Englewood. Her multi-media project titled “Folded Map” that illustrates Chicago’s residential segregation while bringing residents together to have a conversation, was exhibited at Loyola University’s Museum of Art in 2018. Since then she has transformed this project into an advocacy and policy-influencing tool that invites audiences to open a dialogue and question how we are all socially impacted by racial and institutional conditions that segregate the city.
Tony Weaver, Jr. is an award-winning writer and educator creating diverse stories that make young people feel seen and valued. After seeing the impact that media stereotypes had on students in his community, Tony embarked on a journey to create new media narratives that would challenge the status quo. He is the CEO of Weird Enough Productions, where he developed The UnCommons, an award-winning comic with over 2 million readers. In 2018, Tony made history as the first comic writer to ever be selected for the Forbes “30 Under 30.” He was named a History Shaker by Coca Cola, a Global Barrier Breaker by Marriott International, and a Champion for Change by CNN.
Tracy K. Smith was born in Massachusetts and raised in northern California. She earned a BA from Harvard University and an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University. From 1997 to 1999 she held a Stegner fellowship at Stanford University. Smith is the author of four books of poetry: The Body’s Question (2003), which won the Cave Canem prize for the best first book by an African-American poet; Duende (2007), winner of the James Laughlin Award and the Essense Literary Award; Life on Mars (2011), winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry; and Wade in the Water (2018). In 2014 she was awarded the Academy of American Poets fellowship. She has also written a memoir, Ordinary Light (2015), which was a finalist for the National Book Award in nonfiction.
In June 2017, Smith was named U.S. poet laureate. She teaches creative writing at Princeton University and hosts American Public Media’s daily radio program and podcast The Slowdown, which is sponsored by the Poetry Foundation.
A mental health equity advocate, Tramaine EL-Amin currently serves as the Client Experience Officer (CXO) for Mental Health First Aid USA® at the National Council for Behavioral Health in Washington, D.C. In this role, she provides oversight of corporate and community engagement and leads strategic initiatives. As a certified master trainer and national instructor, EL-Amin has contributed to more than 2 million individuals being equipped to recognize signs and symptoms related to mental health, substance use and suicide across the country. Prior to her tenure at the National Council, EL-Amin oversaw health equity initiatives at the City of Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) —a publicly held behavioral health managed care organization. Her efforts focused on diversity, equity and inclusion, community engagement and a strategic approach to addressing public mental health and substance use disparities in service delivery for more than 1.5 million youth and adults throughout Philadelphia.
Travis Laplante is a saxophonist, composer, improviser, and qigong practitioner who is based in New York City and southern Vermont. Laplante leads the acclaimed tenor saxophone quartet Battle Trance and Subtle Degrees; his duo with drummer Gerald Cleaver. Laplante also recently composed long-form works for new music ensembles the JACK Quartet and Yarn/Wire while performing alongside them. Laplante is also known for his raw solo saxophone concerts and being a member of the avant-garde quartet Little Women.
Laplante has toured his music extensively and has appeared at many major international festivals such as The Moers Festival (Germany), Jazz Jantar (Poland), Saalfelden (Austria), Jazz em Agosto (Portugal), Earshot (Seattle), Hopscotch (North Carolina), and the NYC Winter JazzFest. As a composer, Laplante has recently been commissioned by the Lucerne Festival (Switzerland), the JACK Quartet, Roulette (Brooklyn, NY), Yarn/Wire, Yellow Barn Music Festival, and The Jerome Foundation. As a qigong student of master Robert Peng, Laplante has undergone traditional intensive training. His focus in recent years, under the tutelage of Laura Stelmok, has been on Taoist alchemical medicine and the cultivation of the heart. Laplante is passionate about the intersection of music and medicine. He and his wife are the founders of Sword Hands, a qigong and acupuncture healing practice based in Putney, Vermont.
Viola Davis is a critically revered, award-winning actress of film, television and theater. She is the first black actress to win two Tony Awards (“Fences” & “King Hedley II”), an Oscar (“Fences”) and an Emmy (“How to Get Away with Murder”). In 2012, Davis and her husband founded their production company, JuVee Productions, with its focus being on giving a voice to the voiceless through strong, impactful and culturally relevant narratives.
Xernona Clayton Brady is an American civil rights leader and broadcasting executive. During the Civil Rights Movement, she worked for the National Urban League and Southern Christian Leadership Conference, where she became involved in the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Later, Clayton went into television, where she became the first African American from the southern United States to host a daily prime time talk show. She became corporate vice president for urban affairs for Turner Broadcasting.
Clayton created the Trumpet Foundation She was instrumental in the development of the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame that was developed by the foundation to honor the achievements of African Americans and civil rights advocates She convinced a Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan to denounce the Klan Clayton has been honored by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the city of Atlanta for her work.