Please find below a working version of the Summit agenda. Click on the title of any session to review additional details, including the session description and learning objectives.
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Crutches & Spice
Imani Barbarin is a disability rights and inclusion activist and speaker who uses her voice and social media platforms to create conversations engaging the disability community. Born with cerebral palsy, Imani often writes and uses her platform to speak from the perspective of a disabled black woman. In the last few years she has created over a dozen trending hashtags that allow disabled folk the opportunity to have their perspectives heard while forcing the world to take notice. #PatientsAreNotFaking, #ThingsDisabledPeopleKnow, #AbledsAreWeird and others each provide a window into disabled life while forming community. Imani is from the Philadelphia and holds a Masters in Global Communications from the American University of Paris, her published works include those in Forbes, Rewire, Healthline, BitchMedia and more. She runs the blog CrutchesAndSpice.com and a podcast of the same name. She currently serves as the Communications Director for a nonprofit in Pennsylvania.
Repairers of the Breach
President & Senior Lecturer
The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II is the President & Senior Lecturer of Repairers of the Breach, Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call For Moral Revival; Bishop with The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries; Visiting Professor at Union Theological Seminary; Pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church, Disciples of Christ in Goldsboro, North Carolina, and the author of four books: We Are Called To Be A Movement; Revive Us Again: Vision and Action in Moral Organizing; The Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics, and The Rise of a New Justice Movement; and Forward Together: A Moral Message For The Nation.
Rev. Dr. Barber is also the architect of the Moral Movement, which began with weekly Moral Monday protests at the North Carolina General Assembly in 2013 and recently relaunched again online in August 2020 under the banner of the Poor People's Campaign. In 2018, Rev. Dr. Barber helped relaunch the Poor People's Campaign, which was begun by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968, starting with an historic wave of protests in state capitals and in Washington, D.C., calling for a moral agenda and a moral budget to address the five interlocking injustices of systemic racism, systemic poverty, the war economy and militarism, ecological devastation, and the false moral narrative of Christian nationalism. There are currently 45 state coordinating committees across the country, mobilizing around the Poor People's Jubilee Platform and We Must Do M.O.R.E. (mobilize, organize, register, and educate people for a movement that votes).
On June 20, some 2.5 million tuned in on Facebook alone for the campaign's Mass Poor People's Assembly & Moral March on Washington, which originally was scheduled as an in- person event but switched to digital because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thousands of others watched and listened on C-SPAN and other media.
A highly sought after, speaker, Rev. Dr. Barber has given keynote addresses at hundreds of national and state conferences, including the 2016 Democratic National Convention. He has spoken to a wide variety of audiences including national unions, fraternities and sororities, motorcycle organizations, drug dealer redemption conferences, women’s groups, economic policy groups, voting rights advocates, LGBTQ equality and justice groups, environmental and criminal justice groups, small organizing committees of domestic workers, fast food workers, and national gatherings of Christians, Muslims, Jews, and other people of faith.
Rev. Dr. Barber served as president of the North Carolina NAACP, the largest state conference in the South, from 2006 - 2017 and severed on the National NAACP Board of Directors. A former Mel King Fellow at MIT, he is currently Visiting Professor of Public Theology and Activism at Union Theological Seminary and is a Senior Fellow at Auburn Seminary. Rev. Dr. Barber is regularly featured in media outlets such as MSNBC, CNN, New York Times, Washington Post, and The Nation Magazine, among others. He is the 2015 recipient of the Puffin Award and the
Rev Dr. Barber was named one of 2020’s BET 100 Entertainers and Innovators, as a Social Justice Warrior. Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Award, a 2018 MacArthur Foundation genius award recipient, and he is one of the 2019 recipients of the North Carolina Award, the state’s highest civilian honor.
Chair, Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions
Co-Director for Policy and Public Affairs, Democracy Initiative at the University of Virginia
Melody Barnes is co-director for policy and public affairs of the Democracy Initiative at the University of Virginia where she is also the Dorothy Danforth Compton Professor of Practice at the Miller Center of Public Affairs and a distinguished fellow at the School of Law.
Ms. Barnes was Assistant to the President and director of the White House Domestic Policy Council during the Administration of President Barack Obama. Prior to her tenure in the Obama Administration, she was executive vice president for policy at the Center for American Progress and chief counsel to the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Her experience includes an appointment as director of legislative affairs for the U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and serving as assistant counsel to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights. She began her career as an attorney with Shearman & Sterling in New York City.
Barnes is narrator and host of the National Endowment for the Humanities-supported podcast, LBJ and the Great Society and co-editor of Community Wealth Building & The Reconstruction of American Democracy: Can We Make American Democracy Work? (Elgar, 2020). She also co-authored, “Community Engagement Matters (Now More Than Ever)” in the Stanford Social Innovation Review (2016) and is a commentator on U.S. domestic public policy.
Currently, Ms. Barnes serves as an independent director on the boards of Ventas, Inc. and Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corporation. She is chairperson of the board of directors of the Marguerite Casey Foundation and the board of trustees of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation (Monticello). She is vice-chair of the advisory board of the Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University. Ms. Barnes also serves as chair of the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions.
Barnes earned her B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she graduated with honors in history and her J.D. from the University of Michigan. She lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband, Marland Buckner Jr.
Center for Native American Youth
Gen I and Special Projects Fellow
Kendra Becenti is from the Diné (Navajo) Nation and was raised in New Mexico by her two mothers. She is born for the Black-streaked wood people clan and born to the German clan. Her biological maternal grandfather’s clan is Water Flows Together and her non-biological mother’s clan is Anglo. Kendra is a rising senior and Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow at Stanford University where she is working towards a dual Bachelors degree in Native American Studies and Psychology.
Kendra is the Generation Indigenous & Special Projects Fellow at the Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute. She leads the Remembering Our Sisters Fellowship; an initiative that aims to empower female and femme Indigenous youth to advocate and raise awareness for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-spirits+ crisis through digital storytelling and visual arts. This project supports her aspiration to
pursue a career in research and advocacy that benefits Native communities and focuses on the overall wellbeing of Indigenous people, decolonial methodologies, and positive and accurate political and social visibility of Indigenous people. She has worked on research initiatives that center and amplify Indigenous issues, including co-authoring a publication with acclaimed Indigenous researcher, Dr. Stephanie Fryberg, and supporting data collection and evaluation for the recent Indigenous Futures Survey. She hopes her current and future work can help challenge stereotypes, promotes Indigenous self-love, and supports Indigenous sovereignty, resilience, and excellence.
Founder & Executive Director
Crystal Echo Hawk (Pawnee) is the founder and Executive Director of IllumiNative, the first and only national Native-led organization focused on changing the narrative about Native peoples on a mass scale. Crystal built IllumiNative to activate a cohesive set of researchinformed strategies that illuminate the voices, stories, contributions and assets of contemporary Native peoples to disrupt the invisibility and toxic stereotypes Native peoples face.
At age 21, George Goehl walked into a soup kitchen to eat. Over time, he became an employee, and over time was struck by seeing the same people in line for food as when he first arrived. George decided that he needed to address the root causes that kept people coming back, so he began to organize.
Today, George is the director of People’s Action, one of the largest multiracial low-income and working-class people’s organizations in the country. People’s Action consists of 40 state and local, grassroots, power-building organizations united in fighting for justice.
Today, George is credited with elevating the field of community organizing to increase emphasis on shaping worldview, building independent political power, and on long-term vision and strategy.
In the wake of the financial crisis, George and National People’s Action mobilized more people into the streets to demand accountability than any other organization, helping win Dodd-Frank Financial Reform, creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and securing mortgage relief for hundreds of thousands of families.
Under George’s leadership, the organization leads the most robust, race-conscious, rural organizing effort in the United States. No other organizer has put more into making the case that progressives need a strategy that includes low-income white people in rural communities.
Originally from southern Indiana, he is a husband, father, and banjo player. He is the host of two podcasts, The Next Move, and To See Each Other, which tells the story of why writing rural communities off as Trump country hurts us all.
His organizing has been covered by The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, The Guardian, The Nation, and more.
George produced and directed the documentary film, King of Bluegrass: The Life and Times of Jimmy Martin.
Liberty Hill Foundation
Julio Marcial is Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at the Liberty Hill Foundation. In this capacity, Marcial oversees foundation-relations and strategy; partnerships with government and other sectors; and oversees research and evaluation. In addition, Marcial guides the Foundation’s youth justice portfolio, including the provision of grant-making, network building, public policy and capacity building supports, which are focused on reducing the size of Los Angeles County’s youth justice system and putting in its place a new countywide youth development system focused on prevention.
Julio has significant philanthropy experience, beginning his grant-making career in 1998 at The California Wellness Foundation, a $1 billion health equity-focused foundation in Los Angeles. Most recently, Julio served as a Program Director, where he managed a combined grants portfolio of more than $60 million focused on criminal justice, public safety, and other public health issue areas.
Active in the youth justice field, Julio is an appointed member of the Juvenile Justice Standing Committee of the California Board of State and Community Corrections, and the Executive Standing Committee of the California Youth Reinvestment Fund, which provides cities and counties with $37 million in funding for community-based services to divert youth from formal justice system involvement. He is a 2014 American Express/Independent Sector NGen Fellow and a founding member of the Southern California Latino Giving Circle, which has provided more than $130,000 to immigrant-serving nonprofits. Currently, Julio serves on the board of directors for InsideOut Writers and Represent Justice. Previously, he was on the board for the All For One Youth Mentoring Program, the Los Angeles Music and Art School, Hispanics in Philanthropy, as well as the Los Angeles County Commission for Children and Families.
Marcial earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was awarded an American Sociological Association fellowship to study racial and ethnic disparities in the California juvenile justice system. He has also held a graduate fellowship through the Committee on Institutional Cooperation at the Rackham School of Graduate Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where his research work focused on the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to addressing childhood exposure to violence.
Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute
Nikki’s Indian name is khwhele’ which means Meadow Lark. She is a member of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and is of the Red Bird Clan. She is also Kalispel, Yakama, Nisqually, Cowlitz, and Squaxin Island. She is a direct descendant of Chief Spokane, Chief Ignace, Chief Kamayakin and Chief Leschi. Nikki takes pride standing on the shoulders of her ancestors, honoring the foundation they have laid and being as a vessel for her grandmothers to uplift the next generation. With a true passion to support Native youth and youth-led programming, Nikki serves as the Executive Director at the Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute.
As Executive Director, Nikki works closely with the Board of Advisors and Youth Advisory Board, manages staff and sets the vision, strategy and priorities for the Center. Nikki oversees finances, manages development of communications, advocacy, programs and is the lead in resource development, partnership development and collaborative strategies.
Before her appointment as Executive Director, Nikki was Acting Director, Associate Director and Program Manager at CNAY. Prior to CNAY, Nikki served in several capacities at the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, including Student Success Program Director, Federal/ Tribal & Special Initiatives Associate, Advocacy Associate and Student Outreach Coordinator.
Nikki sits on the Partnership With Native Americans Board of Directors and serves on the Miss Indian World Committee for the Gathering of Nations Pow-wow. Nikki has worked on behalf of her people her whole life. Her biggest inspiration comes from her daughter, Aplnmarimn’tsu’tn (Carries the Medicine). Nikki maintains her culture through language, ceremony, powwows and honoring her teachings passed on to her. Nikki enjoys sewing regalia for her daughter, listening to podcasts, spending time in the outdoors, running, doing yoga and baking.
Color of Change
Rashad Robinson is the President of Color Of Change, a leading racial justice organization driven by more than 7 million members who are building power for Black communities. Color Of Change uses innovative strategies to bring about system change in the industries that affect Black people’s lives: Silicon Valley, Wall Street, Hollywood, Washington, corporate board rooms, local prosecutor offices, state capitol buildings and city halls around the country. Under Rashad’s leadership, Color Of Change designs and implements winning strategies for racial justice, among them: forcing corporations to stop supporting Trump initiatives and white nationalists; winning net neutrality as a civil rights issue; holding local prosecutors accountable to end mass incarceration, police violence and financial exploitation across the justice system; forcing over 100 corporations to abandon ALEC, the right-wing policy shop; changing representations of race and racism in Hollywood; moving Airbnb, Google and Facebook to implement anti-racist initiatives; and forcing Bill O’Reilly off the air.
Rashad is widely consulted on strategies for corporate accountability, transforming the criminal justice system, media and tech reform, culture change and narrative infrastructure, and building Black political power. He is a sought-after keynote speaker at events across the country, and appears regularly as a quoted source, interview guest and opinion writer in major media. In addition to media appearances, Rashad has been profiled by The New York Times, Wired, The Root, The Washington Post, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Fast Company, The Huffington Post, PBS, BET and several other outlets. Color Of Change has been named three times in Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies list—in 2015, 2018 and 2020—and was profiled by the Stanford Social Innovation Review. Rashad is the proud recipient of awards from organizations as varied as ADCOLOR, the United Church of Christ, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Foundation and Demos. Rashad was a member of the inaugural cohort of Atlantic Fellows for Racial Equity, and serves on the board of the Hazen Foundation. Previously, Rashad served as Senior Director of Media Programs at GLAAD.
Real Food Real Stories
Director of Programs and Cultural Strategies
Nayantara is a trilingual storyteller, a first-generation Bengali immigrant, a racial and gender justice educator and a narrative and cultural strategist. She believes that storytelling and deep listening practices can bridge across time, geography and colorlines to create conditions for social transformation.
Nayantara has 15 years of experience in narrative and cultural strategies, political education and training for racial justice, and capacity-building in the arts and culture, philanthropy and social justice sectors. She previously led the Narrative and Cultural Strategies program at Race Forward, where she created Innovation Labs for racial and cultural justice. She has a background in oral history, artistic curation and production, community engagement, racial equity facilitation and training, and organizational change strategies.
As the Director of Programs and Cultural Strategies, Nayantara supports Real Food Real Stories in advancing programs that use story, narrative, media, arts and cultural strategies to deeply transform inequitable and failing food systems. She aims to build bridges for healing and power for low-income immigrants and women of color in all her work, and believes that in the act of crossing, we are transformed.
Activist, Poet, and author of The Body is Not an Apology
Sonya Renee Taylor is the Founder and Radical Executive Officer of The Body is Not An Apology, a digital media and education company with content reaching half a million people each month. Sonya’s work as an award winning performance poet, activist and transformational leader continues to have global reach. She is a former national and international poetry slam champion, author, educator and activist who has mesmerized audiences across the US, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, England, Scotland, Sweden, Canada and the Netherlands as well as in prisons, mental health treatment facilities, homeless shelters, universities, festivals and public schools across the globe. She was named one of Planned Parenthood’s 99 Dream Keepers in 2015 as well as a Planned Parenthood Generation Action’s 2015 Outstanding Partner awardee. She was named one of the 12 Women Who Paved the Way for Body Positivity by Bustle Magazine and, in September 2015, she was honored as a YBCA 100, an annual compilation of creative minds, makers, and pioneers who are asking the questions and making the provocations that will shape the future of American culture; an honor she shared alongside author Ta-Nehisi Coates, artist Kara Walker, filmmaker Ava Duvernay and many more. Sonya and her work have been seen, heard and read on HBO, BET, MTV, TV One, NPR, PBS, CNN, Oxygen Network, The New York Times, New York Magazine, MSNBC.com, Today.com, Huffington Post, Vogue Australia, Shape.com, Ms. Magazine and many more.
The Aspen Institute
Director for Strategic Partnerships, Forum for Community Solutions
Sheri Brady is the Senior Associate for Strategic Partnerships at Aspen Forum for Community Solutions. Prior to joining the Aspen Institute Sheri served as a Senior Policy Fellow at Voices for America’s Children. In that role, Sheri helped Voices members strengthen their advocacy support and expand state-level efforts to address the needs of at-risk children. She accomplished this by delivering technical assistance and training to member organizations on various aspects of advocacy strategy including planning, implementation and evaluation, as well as developing capacity building and learning opportunities for members. In addition, she managed a policy portfolio on child welfare while providing internal consultation and management on a variety of policy issues.
She was previously the Director of Policy at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, where she provided foundation-wide leadership and consultation on policy and advocacy grantmaking, working across programming units to develop policy funding priorities and make connections that supported the larger organizational mission. In this role, she built public and political support for the Foundation’s programs and initiatives with internal and external stakeholders and provided capacity building activities and tools for grantees including training and consulting, while managing a portfolio of strategic grants aimed at strengthening and supporting the foundation’s policy goals.
Her prior work also includes serving as Director of Policy at the National Council of Nonprofits and Program Director at the Center for Policy Alternatives.
Sheri received and her bachelor’s degree in political science from Wheaton College in Norton, MA and her law degree from the University of California at Berkeley.
Executive Vice President
Ashleigh Gardere, Executive Vice President, guides the development and execution of programs to ensure that the 100 million people in America living in or near poverty — particularly those who face the burdens of structural racism — can participate in a just society, live in a healthy community of opportunity, and prosper in an equitable economy. Ashleigh manages programs and strategy to deliver a higher level of leadership and partnership across the broader equity ecosystem, activating common and uncommon partners to realize a shared national equity agenda. Formerly, she served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the New Orleans Business Alliance, the city’s economic development agency. She previously led a citywide Economic Opportunity Strategy as a Senior Advisor to former mayor Mitch Landrieu. Ashleigh has been recognized by Living Cities as one of the nation’s “Top 25 Disruptive Leaders” working to close racial opportunity gaps. She is an expert in economic and workforce development, organizational leadership and culture change, and large-scale systems transformation. Ashleigh holds a bachelor’s degree in urban studies from New York University and a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
Filipino Japanese poet, community organizer, and attorney
Troy Osaki is a Filipino Japanese poet, community organizer, and attorney from Seattle, WA. A three-time grand slam poetry champion, he has earned fellowships from Kundiman and the Jack Straw Cultural Center. His work has appeared in the Bellingham Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Hobart, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. He writes in hopes to build a safe and just place to live in by uniting the people and reimagining the world through poetry.
Colombia Cuida Colombia
Constanza Gómez. Master in Social Policy of the Javeriana University and Social Communicator and Journalist of the Externado University. Currently Executive Director Colombia Cuida Colombia. Adviser and Coordinator of the Legislative Technical Unit, Senator Angélica Lozano. Director 2016 - 2018 of the Intersectoral Commission for Comprehensive Early Childhood Care “De Cero a Siempre”, Presidency of the Republic of Colombia. Director of the public-private partnership for the Promotion and Sustainability of the “De Cero a Siempre” Policy (2015). National Coordinator of National Instances for the Articulation of the National Family Welfare System of the Colombian Family Welfare Institute - ICBF (2012 - 2014).
Executive Director – Collective Impact Forum
Jennifer Splansky Juster is Executive Director of the fielding-building initiative the Collective Impact Forum. She is one of FSG’s leaders in collective impact field building, has worked on multiple collective impact engagements, designed training opportunities for thousands collective impact practitioners, and frequently speaks on the topic. Jennifer has co-authored multiple publications on collective impact, including the report Guide to Evaluating Collective Impact and the articles “Centering Equity in Collective Impact,” “Committing to Collective Impact: From Vision to Implementation,” and “Essential Mindset Shifts for Collective Impact.” Over the course of her career, Jennifer has also worked with a range of foundations, nonprofits, government agencies, and corporations across sectors on issues of strategy, evaluation, and program design. Former clients include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Marin Community Foundation, Girard College, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and Silicon Valley ALLIES. A California native, Jennifer is a graduate of Stanford University and Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. She lives in Berkeley, California with her husband and two daughters.
Poet and Spoken Word Artist
Azura Tyabji is a poet and spoken word artist from Seattle, Washington and author of Stepwell (Poetry Northwest, 2018). She was the 2018-19 Seattle Youth Poet Laureate and National Youth Poet Laureate Ambassador for the West region of the US. Azura writes from the convergence of her Black and Indian identities and strives to lend her voice to movements for liberation. Currently, she studies as a First Wave scholar at the University of Madison, Wisconsin.
Tara Hardy is a poet, memoirist, and teacher in Seattle. She is a working class, Queer, Femme, chronically ill founder of Bent Writing Institute for LGBTIQ writers. She grew up under the great big sky of Michigan but now writes at the majestic hem of Mount Rainier in Seattle. Her most recent poetry collection, titled My, My, My, My, My, won the 2017 Washington State Book Award.
Concurrent Session Speakers
Kingsborough Community College’s Division of Workforce Development and Continuing Education
Intro on conference themes and issue areas
Through a mix of session topics, session formats, and a variety of speakers, 2021 Collective Impact Action Summit participants will explore a range of different conference themes:
- Community Engagement: Authentically co-creating alongside those with lived experiences by ensuring that community members actively contribute to and co-lead a collective impact initiative
- Community Organizing: Building community leadership to harness and mobilize power toward changing local conditions, policies, and resources
- Data and Continuous Learning: Using qualitative and quantitative data for continuous learning and decision-making in collective impact (e.g., identifying shared measures; using shared measurement systems / platforms; learning from data; evaluating the progress of collective impact work)
- Mental Models and Narrative Change: Influencing individuals' deeply held beliefs and assumptions that influence actions, and changing a community's story that leads to large-scale shifts
- Policy Change: Advocating for changes in federal/state/local legislative policy, or changing an organization’s rules, regulations, priorities, or policies/procedures that guide its and others’ actions
- Relationships, Connections, and Power Dynamics: Strengthening the quality of connections and communication occurring between partners, and changing how individuals and organizations hold decision-making power and influence
Attendees will come to the 2021 Collective Impact Action Summit from a wide range of issue areas of interest, including:
- Arts & Culture
- Community Development
- Economic Development
- Education and Youth
- Health & Nutrition
- And many other issues, including child welfare, food security, juvenile justice, social determinants of health, veterans, and more