Equity Summit 2020 Speakers & Bios
Bree Newsome Bass (Keynote Speaker)
This contemporary civil rights icon first garnered national attention for her daring
act of peaceful disobedience in June 2015. Following the brutal murder of nine black
parishioners at Mother Emmanuel Church in Charleston, S.C., Bree climbed the flagpole
at the South Carolina statehouse and pulled down the Confederate Battle flag as a
protest against racist symbolism. Her arrest galvanized public opinion and led to
the permanent removal of the flag.
As a recognized and celebrated voice on the topics of injustice and racial discrimination, Bree brings to light the importance of leadership development in building and sustaining social movements. Also an accomplished filmmaker and musician, Bree skillfully outlines the relationship between activism and art, and captivates audiences as she describes in cinematic detail the heroic gestures of ordinary people on the front lines of activism.
Lasana O. Hotep
Lasana O. Hotep is an antiracist/antisexist educator, writer, and equity-advancing executive coach. He writes and speaks globally about educational equity, anti-Blackness, and racial justice within organizations and society at-large. He has delivered transformative, multi-media presentations throughout the United States and abroad in Beijing, China and Accra, Ghana. As a writer, he has contributed to seven books and is the co-author of the recently published Minding the Obligation Gap in Community Colleges and Beyond: Theory and Practice in Achieving Educational Equity. For over 20 years, Lasana has provided equity-advancing consultation to academic institutions, community-based organizations, and corporations. Some of his most note-worthy accomplishments include developing the Equity Training series (ETS) and serving as the founding Executive Director of the Equity Institute (EI). Currently, Lasana serves as the Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) at the University of California, Berkeley.
Dorinda Carter-Andrews, Ed.D. (Humanizing Pedagogy)
Dorinda Carter Andrews is Assistant Dean of Equity Outreach Initiatives for the College
of Education and an associate professor in the Department of Teacher Education at
Michigan State University where she teaches courses on racial identity development,
urban education, critical multiculturalism, and critical race theory. She holds a
B.S.I.E. from Georgia Tech, M.Ed. from Vanderbilt University, and an Ed.M. and Ed.D.
from Harvard University. Dr. Carter Andrews is a Core Faculty member in the African
American and African Studies program, and Co-Director of the Graduate Urban Education
Dr. Carter’s research is broadly focused on race, culture, and educational equity. Specifically, she studies issues of racial justice in P-12 learning contexts and on college campuses, and school culture and climate in urban and suburban schools. Her scholarship examines these issues by illuminating youth and adult voices of those who have been historically and traditionally marginalized in schools and society. Dr. Carter Andrews is a former industrial engineer, high school math teacher, and kindergarten teacher and has teaching experience in suburban, urban, charter, and independent schools. She partners with PreK-21 educational entities with varying student demographics to develop and maintain culturally inclusive and equitable learning and work environments.
Dr. Carter Andrews regularly conducts professional development for in-service educators on how to better address racial bias in schools and meet the academic and social needs of culturally diverse students in various educational contexts. Dr. Carter Andrews has given two TEDx talks on education – one entitled, “The Consciousness Gap in Education: An Equity Imperative” and another entitled, “Teach Kids to Be Eagles: Overcoming Educational Storms”. She is co-editor of the Journal of Teacher Education and an editor and contributing author of Contesting the Myth of a ‘Post Racial Era’: The Continued Significance of Race in U. S. Education (2013). Her work has been published in several top-tier academic journals and social media outlets.
Disrupting the Model Minority Myth
Eddy Zheng is a nationally recognized leader in the policy battle for prison reform
and youth violence prevention. He is also the founder and President of the New Breath
Foundation, an organization that offers hope, healing, and new beginnings for Asian
American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) new immigrants and refugees, people impacted by
incarceration and deportation, and survivors of violence. The film, Breathin’: The Eddy Zheng Story, documents Eddy’s experience as a Chinese immigrant who was the youngest prisoner
at San Quentin State Prison and later one of the nation’s most recognized leaders
on prison reform and youth violence prevention.
Eddy entered the criminal justice system at 16 years old with limited understanding of the English language or the U.S. judicial system. After spending time in the California Youth Authority, he was transferred to San Quentin State Prison as soon as he turned 18. While in prison, Eddy learned English, earned his college degree, published his poetry, and transformed into a nationally recognized leader—inspiring youth, activists, and politicians on issues of prison reform and youth violence prevention. As an advocate for Ethnic Studies in the prison college curriculum, Eddy was sent to solitary confinement for 11 months, where he garnered support from community activists and leaders. In recognition of his work, Zheng was selected for “The Frederick Douglas 200,” a group of 200 Americans who best embody the spirit and work of Frederick Douglass and the “Human and Civil Rights Award” by the National Education Association.
Dr. Ali Michael
Whiteness and Education
Ali Michael, Ph.D., is the co-founder and director of the Race Institute for K-12 Educators, and the author of Raising Race Questions: Whiteness, Inquiry and Education (Teachers College Press, 2015), winner of the 2017 Society of Professors of Education Outstanding Book Award. She is co-editor of the bestselling Everyday White People Confront Racial and Social Injustice: 15 Stories (2015, Stylus Press) and the bestselling Guide for White Women who Teach Black Boys (2017, Corwin Press). She may be best known for her November 9, 2016 piece What Do We Tell the Children? on the Huffington Post. For more details see www.alimichael.org.
Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales, Ph.D.
Dr. Tintiangco-Cubales is an award-winning full professor in the College of Ethnic
Studies at San Francisco State University and Affiliated Faculty in the Ed.D Leadership
Program working with educators nationwide on how to implement culturally and community
responsive pedagogy in their classrooms.
For the past 17 years, she’s been teaching in the Asian American Studies Department with a focus on Filipina/o/x American Studies. She is also is an affiliated faculty member in the Educational Leadership Doctoral Program. She is also the co-founder and director of Community Responsive Education (CRE) and Teaching Excellence Network (TEN), two nationwide services that support the development of responsive, equitable, and justice-driven educators. She is also the founder of Pin@y Educational Partnerships, an ethnic studies teaching and research pipeline and the Director of Community Responsive Curriculum and Pedagogy at the Institute of Sustainable Economic, Educational, and Environmental Design (ISEEED). She has worked with several school districts throughout the nation, including the San Francisco Unified School District, to co-develop Ethnic Studies, Social Justice, and Filipino Language curriculum.
Darrick Smith, Ed.D.
Darrick Smith is currently an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership in San
Francisco, California. Dr. Smith’s course load includes requirements for the completion
of the Educational Doctorate as well as the California Administrative Credential.
Dr. Smith’s pathway has led him to consult with a number of colleges and school districts
addressing equity concerns in the areas of policy, pedagogy, and leadership. His research
interests are culturally responsive discipline practices; equity in the community
colleges; critical pedagogy; transformative leadership, and education for social justice.
Dr. Smith has served as an educator, school leader, and consultant within secondary, post-secondary, and non-profit spaces for 18 years. His experience includes his transformative role as the Co-Principal for the June Jordan School for Equity in San Francisco, California and his earlier work as the founder of the TryUMF (pronounced “triumph”) program for adolescents that taught students fundamental principles from the fields of sociology, feminism, and critical theory. Such work is what led to him being awarded the University of California’s Fannie Lou Hamer Award for his commitment to social change and a commendation from the California State Senate for his work in violence prevention and youth development.
Michael Benitez Jr, Ph.D.
Michael Benitez Jr earned his Ph.D in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in Higher Education with an emphasis in Social Justice. He is an educator who integrates multifaceted pedagogies, scholarly inquiry, and personal experience to provide multi-context and issue frameworks for empowerment and transformation. He has over 15 years of experience in higher education in different capacities including teaching, academic affairs, student affairs, and diversity and inclusion. Dr. Benitez’ scholarship and work has been focused on identity, cultural centers, ethnic studies, pedagogy and hip hop culture. He is co-editor of the anthology, Crash Course: Reflections on the Film “Crash” for Critical Dialogues About Race, Power and Privilege. He has also contributed to Being Latino On-Line Magazine, the American Mosaic Online Database, Culture Centers in Higher Education: Perspectives on Identity, Theory, and Practices, and is featured in Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity, a documentary that examines systemic inequity and racial inequity in U.S. history, culture and identity.
Genevieve Negron-Gonzales, Ph.D.
Supporting Undocumented Students
Genevieve Negrón-Gonzales grew up near the United States-Mexico border in Southern California, a fact that’s shaped her as a researcher, educator, and activist. Now an assistant professor of leadership studies at USF’s School of Education, Genevieve, at 16, campaigned against California’s Proposition 187 — a 1994 ballot measure approved by voters that denied undocumented immigrants access to public services. That fall, she watched as the U.S. Border Patrol launched Operation Gatekeeper, increasing border policing. Genevieve’s interests lie at the intersection of undocumented immigrants, political activism, and higher education. In 2013, she received a Jesuit Foundation grant to support her research on undocumented community college students in California’s Central Valley and the ways their lives are wrapped up in discourses about who has a right to belong. As chair of USF’s Task Force for Support and Services of Undocumented Students, Genevieve advocates for one of USF’s most vulnerable student populations — many of whom face financial challenges and the ever-present fear that they or their family members will be deported. Often, she says, they are also responsible for younger siblings and cousins.
Cesar Cruz, Ed.D.
Culturally Responsive Teaching
Dr. Cruz was the first Mexican immigrant male to earn an Ed.D. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He also earned a B.A. in History from UC Berkeley. Dr. Cruz co-founded the independent school, Making Changes and oversees the Homies Empowerment Program that serves gang impacted/involved youth in Oakland. He has authored two books, Revenge of the Illegal Alien, and Bangin for Freedom.
Roni Ellington, Ph.D.
Transformative STEM Education
Mathematics Education Professor, Inspirational Speaker and STEM education scholar
and mentor, Dr. Roni Ellington has spent the last 18 years cultivating herself as
a teacher, speaker, scholar and personal development expert. Trained as a mathematics
educator, Dr. Roni Ellington has authored several scholarly articles on STEM education,
parental involvement, and successfully navigating the STEM pipeline, particularly
for minority students. Dr. Ellington is a leading expert on how to cultivate student’s
success in mathematics and STEM related disciplines. She is currently an Associate
Professor of Mathematics Education and the former Coordinator of the Graduate Programs
in Mathematics Education at Morgan State University. She has also worked as a high
school mathematics teacher, mathematics lecturer and mathematics education consultant.
She is the owner of the Transforming STEM Network, a company committed to providing
transformative education models to schools and school districts that promote diversity
and inclusion in STEM-related disciplines and She is also the owner and president
of the Transformation of STEM Network (Trans-STEM.net), an organization committed
to promoting and advocating for diversity in STEM education and developing, implementing
and evaluating STEM practices and programs that empower ALL students to excel and
persist in STEM disciplines and careers. partner in Evoklife, a well-being company
that creates programs and products that promote wellness, transformation and individual
and organizational success.
Her research has been featured in The Negro Educational Review and CBE-Life Sciences Education, Equity and Quality in Mathematics Education and Progress in Education, Volume II and the Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem Based Learning. Ellington has presented her research at various national and local conferences including the annual meeting of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), the American Educational Research Association (AERA). Dr. Ellington has been featured as a TEDx Baltimore Speaker in 2013 and her moving and thought provoking talk on the future of STEM education was so well received that she was highlighted as is one of the featured speakers on the TEDx website. Her authenticity, wisdom, and straight talk about what is needed to transform STEM education inspired a standing ovation. Her research, teaching and innovative frameworks on rethinking STEM education inspires and ignites global audiences. She has given talks at various local and national conferences presenting her transformative framework for STEM education. Her message has been well-received and she is sort after speaker and scholar.
Dr. Ellington has written several articles on mathematics and STEM education, and she is a co-author of the book Capitalizing on Culture: Successful Patterns of Parental Participation for African American Students, which highlights the ways in which parents can use their own human and social capital to advocate for their children and help foster their success in STEM related disciplines. She has just completed a book chapter reflecting her transformative framework for STEM education and is currently working on a book that helps schools, school districts and non-profit organizations implement this framework into their STEM focused programs.
David “Olmeca” Barragan
Olmeca is a Bilingual Hip-Hop artist, producer, activist and scholar who has been
featured on Complex Magazine, Billboard, NPR, Huffington Post, Noisey, and Democracy
Now. His work has been featured on various documentaries on PBS, BBC World, as well
as, featured films. He has written music for tv shows including “Sons of Anarchy,”
and new series, “The Mayans” on FX and toured Latin American, U.S. and Europe. Currently,
Olmeca is celebrating the release of his new album, “DEFINE". The album can be found
on multiple playlists on Spotify and itunes where some of the singles are reaching
100k plays. He is faculty at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in the Interdisciplinary
Gender and Ethnic Studies Department teaching Latin American History, Latinx in the
U.S. and Hip-Hop courses. For the next year, Olmeca will be a Kennedy Center Artist
Fellow and is finishing a poetry book to accompany the album
Olmeca grew up in the barrios of L.A. and Mexico, a reality that brewed his blending of music genres and cultural sensitivity. His bilingual music has earned him respect and praises in both English and Spanish news outlets and genres (Hip-Hop and Latin Alternative). Olmeca has collaborated with Taboo (Black Eyed Peas), Latin Alternative band, Ozomatli, Hip-Hop legend, Ras Kass, and Dave Kushner (Velvet Revolver). Olmeca has toured Canada, Latin America and Europe and has helped spawn a new trend of bilingual Hip-hop. While everyday people respect his lyrical content, music connoisseurs value the production, and educators utilize Olmeca’s music in their classrooms.
This, along with his social commentary and community efforts makes Olmeca a stand-alone artist in how he can intersect various identities and demographics. It is also for this reason that he is not only a gifted performing artist, but a university lecturer doing guest lectures, residencies and keynote speeches in universities throughout the U.S. His capacity to bring various campus programs, offices and academic departments together is not only unique, but also necessary. His work has been noted by social justice dignitaries speaking alongside Dolores Huerta, Naomi Klein and many others.
Rocky, or “the First Lady of Beatrock,” has been etching out her lane with her signature brand of brashness and lyrical wit since her debut mixtape, “Married To The Hustle.” As one of the label veterans, she has helped pave the way, set the tone and create a platform for militant feminist Hip Hop. Rocky’s live shows and recorded music keep her loyal Rocky Soldiers motivated, and turn new ears into instant fans. Along with her Beatrock releases, “Gangster Of Love,” “Pop Killer,” and “Nom de Guerre,” she has released two mixtapes, three albums and seven joint projects with DJ Roza under the Rock & Roz series on Soundcloud. Rocky’s music is a journey into the spirit of resistance in the form of loud bass and energetic feminist anthems. Her latest album, Rocky's Revenge, was created in collaboration with Women's Audio Mission and is available now for streaming and purchase on all digital platforms
Maimouna Youssef (also known as Mumu Fresh) is a Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter, MC, activist and acclaimed Hip Hop artist who’s been called a “quadruple threat” by The Roots’ Black Thought and “groundbreaking” by Oscar-winning artist, Common. As a performer, Maimouna has shared the stage with countless icons including The Roots, Sting, Bobby McFerrin, Lala Hathaway, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, Ed Sheeran, D’Angelo, Femi Kuti, Aloe Blacc, Zap Mama, Bruno Mars, Nas and Dave Chappelle.
In 2018, Maimouna received international acclaim for featured performances on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert Series alongside Common, Robert Glasper, Karriem Riggins, Black Thought and DJ Dummy. NPR calls her “an abundantly gifted singer and emcee” with “multi-octave range and ferocious rap delivery.” Her stage show has been called a “unique” and “spiritual” experience, captivating audiences at world-famous venues around the globe: Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Montreaux Jazz Festival (Switzerland), Sundance Film Festival, Jazz Café (London), Red Rocks Amphitheater (Denver), Central Park Summer Stage (New York), Rueben Dario National Theater (Nicaragua), The Recording Academy’s “Grammy Festival At Sea,” and New Africa Shrine (Lagos, Nigeria).
In 2018, Mumu also became the voice of Ford Motor Company’s “Roll On” campaign celebrating Women of Color and was awarded the prestigious post of “Musical Ambassador for The United States,” travelling to Central America to support the rights of young women. Maimouna’s Afro-Native roots and rich activist history have spawned collaborations with philanthropic leaders including W.K. Kellogg Foundation, IMAN, Congressional Black Caucus, and Global Citizen Festival, leading to appearances on CNN, MSNBC, FOX 45, and global network, Al Jazeera.
With two solo independent albums to her credit (including the recent “Vintage Babies” with DJ Dummy)—and film credits including Queen Sugar, Being Mary Jane, Girls’ Trip and Dave Chappelle’s Block Party—Maimouna stands poised to be a true breakthrough artist in 2019. Her latest project, produced by DJ Jazzy Jeff and The PLAYlist, is due in the 4th quarter of 2019. Maimouna’s work continues to establish her as a true Global Citizen, a musical healer, teacher, powerhouse performer, and community pillar.