Dr. Waded Cruzado, Montana State University
Since January of 2010, Dr. Waded Cruzado has served as the 12th President of Montana State University. She is he first female and the first Latina to serve in this role. During that time she has significantly reshaped the face and future of the state's first land-grant institution.
An inspirational speaker on the role of the public university, President Cruzado has become well-known for her understanding of the Morrill Act, which created the land-grant university system 150 years ago. She is a passionate champion of the land-grant's tripartite mission of education, research and public outreach, and the important role higher education plays in the development of individuals and the prosperity of the nation.
Dr. Nell Painter
Nell Irvin Painter is an American historian notable for her works on southern history of the nineteenth century. She is retired from Princeton University, and served as president of the Organization of American Historians. She also served as president of the Southern Historical Association.
Dr bell hooks (invited)
bell hooks is an American author, feminist, and social activist. Her writing has focused on the interconnectivity of race, capitalism, and gender and what she describes as their ability to produce and perpetuate systems of oppression and class domination. She has published over thirty books and numerous scholarly and mainstream articles, appeared in several documentary films and participated in various public lectures. Primarily through a postmodern perspective, hooks has addressed race, class, and gender in education, art, history, sexuality, mass media and feminism.
Dr. Carmen Gonzalez
Carmen Gonzalez is a Professor of Law at Seattle University School of Law, where she teaches environmental law, torts, international environmental law, hazardous waste and toxics regulation, and international trade law. She is the co-editor of Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia. Carmen has published widely in the areas of international environmental law, environmental justice, trade and the environment, and food security. In 2011-12, she served as chair of the Environmental Law Section of the Association of American Law Schools. She holds a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Dr. Regina Dixon-Reeves
Regina Dixon-Reeves is the Faculty Diversity/Development Specialist for the University of Chicago Medicine and Biological Sciences. She is a past president (2009-2010) and current treasurer of the Association of Black Sociologists and has served as chair of the Professional Development Committee for that organization for 14 years. Regina is a member of the editorial board of Issues in Race & Society: An Interdisciplinary Global Journal and an executive board member of the Illinois College Access Network. Her areas of expertise include mentoring of early career faculty and graduate students, strategies that increase academic productivity, and student support programs that increase college retention of first generation students.
The Black Chorus at the University of Illinois
The Black Chorus at the University of Illinois was founded in 1968, and the following year received the co-sponsorship of the African-American Cultural program and the School of Music Choral Division. Originally organized by four students, and later under the direction of School of Music faculty with student officers, the Black Chorus has achieved and maintained a reputation for presenting inspiring concerts and demonstrating high standards of musical performance. The Black Chorus has performed with the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra and as special guests at an Orchestra Hall concert in Chicago. Dr. Ollie Watts Davis is conductor of the Black Chorus.
Ms. Latrelle Bright - Inner Voices Social Issues Theatre University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Latrelle Bright is the Program Coordinator INNER VOICES Social Issues Theatre at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has served as founding artistic director of The Renaissance Guild - San Antonio’s Black theatre company, Director of Audience Development for Voices of the South in Memphis and Assistant Program Director for the Heifer Theatre Project with Heifer International, a world hunger relief and sustainability organization in Little Rock. In addition to her theatre work, she was a paralegal in the corporate world and volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters, Alamo Theatre Arts Council, on the board of the San Antonio YWCA and as a facilitator for dialogues on Race through the Common Ground program. As a facilitator, Latrelle develops arts-based civic dialogue workshops for local organizations. As a performer, she creates solo pieces for community events. She has received awards for her innovative programming, writing and directing and has been recognized as a Young Leader of Color by TCG. Latrelle graduated from the University of Memphis with an MFA in Directing focusing on narrative and devised theatre and audience theory.