Some of our beloved Summit keynotes this year are sisters Angela Davis and Fania Davis, Ericka Huggins, Linda Sarsour, Rudy Bankston, Jenifer Garcia, and sisters adrienne maree brown and Autumn Brown.
Top Row Left to Right: Angela Y. Davis, Rudy Bankston, Linda Sarsour, Autumn Brown.
Bottom Row Left to Right: Fania E. Davis, Ericka Huggins, Jenifer Garcia-Mendoza, adrienne maree brown
Featured Keynote Speaker Bios
Angela Y. Davis (she, her, hers), has been deeply involved in movements for social justice through her activism and scholarship, over many decades and around the world. Her work as an educator – both at the university level and in the larger public sphere – has always emphasized the importance of building communities of struggle for economic, racial, and gender justice.
Professor Davis’ teaching career has taken her to San Francisco State University, Mills College, and UC Berkeley. She also has taught at UCLA, Vassar, Syracuse University the Claremont Colleges, and Stanford University. Most recently she spent fifteen years at the University of California Santa Cruz where she is now Distinguished Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness – an interdisciplinary Ph.D program – and of Feminist Studies.
Angela Davis is the author of ten books and has lectured throughout the United States as well as in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and South America. In recent years a persistent theme of her work has been the range of social problems associated with incarceration and the generalized criminalization of those communities that are most affected by poverty and racial discrimination. She draws upon her own experiences in the early seventies as a person who spent eighteen months in jail and on trial, after being placed on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted List.” She also has conducted extensive research on numerous issues related to race, gender and imprisonment. Her books include Abolition Democracy and Are Prisons Obsolete?, and two books of essays entitled The Meaning of Freedom, and Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement. Her most recent books include a re-issue of Angela Davis: An Autobiography and Abolition. Feminism. Now., with co-authors Gina Dent, Erica Meiners and Beth Richie.
Angela Davis is a founding member of Critical Resistance, a national organization dedicated to the dismantling of the prison industrial complex. Internationally, she is affiliated with Sisters Inside, an abolitionist organization based in Queensland, Australia that works in solidarity with women in prison.
Like many educators, Professor Davis is especially concerned with the general tendency to devote more resources and attention to the prison system than to educational institutions. Having helped to popularize the notion of a “prison industrial complex,” she now urges her audiences to think seriously about the future possibility of a world without prisons and to help forge a 21st century abolitionist movement.
Fania E. Davis (she, hers), is a leading international voice on the intersections of racial and restorative justice. She is a long-time social justice activist, civil rights trial attorney, author, and educator with a PhD in Indigenous Knowledge. Davis came of age in Birmingham, Alabama during the social ferment of the civil rights era. These formative years, particularlly the murder of two close childhood friends in the 1963 Sunday School bombing, crystallized within Fania an enduring commitment to social transformation. For the next decades, she was active in the Civil Rights, Black liberation, women’s, prisoners’, peace, anti-racial violence, economic justice and anti-apartheid movements.
Apprenticing with African indigenous healers catalyzed Fania’s search for a healing justice, ultimately leading her to serve as Founding Director of Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth and Co-Founding Board Member of the National Association of Community and Restorative Justice. Her numerous honors include the Lifetime Achievement award for excellence in Restorative Justice, the Black Feminist Shapeshifters and Waymakers’ award, the Tikkun (Repair the World) award, the Ella Jo Baker Human Rights award, and the Ebony POWER 100 award.
The Los Angeles Times named her a New Civil Rights Leader of the 21st Century. She recently received the Open Society Foundations Justice Rising Award recognizing 16 Black movement leaders working towards racial justice in the United States. Among Davis’ publications is the Little Book of Race and Restorative Justice: Black Lives, Justice, and U.S. Social Transformation
Davis, who resides in Oakland, CA., writes and speaks internationally on restorative justice, racial justice, truth processes and indigeneity. She is a mother, grandmother, dancer, meditator and a yoga, qigong and African spirituality practitioner.
Ericka Huggins (she, her, hers), is an educator, facilitator, leading Black Panther Party member, former political prisoner, human rights advocate, and poet.
For 50 years, Ericka has used her life experiences in service to community. From 1973-1981, she was director of the Black Panther Party’s Oakland Community School. From 1990-2004 Ericka managed HIV/AIDS Volunteer and Education programs for adults and youth. She also supported innovative mindfulness programs for women and youth in public schools, jails and prisons.
Ericka was professor of Sociology and African American Studies from 2008 through 2015 in the Peralta Community College District. From 2003 to 2011 she was professor of Women and Gender Studies at California State Universities, East Bay and San Francisco.
Ericka is a Racial Equity Learning Lab facilitator for WORLD TRUST Educational Services. She curates conversations focused on the individual and collective work of becoming equitable in all areas of our daily lives. Additionally, she facilitates workshops on the benefit of spiritual practice in sustaining social change.
Linda Sarsour (she, her, hers), is an award-winning racial justice and civil rights activist, community organizer, author, every Islamophobe’s worst nightmare and mother of three. She is a Palestinian-Muslim-American born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She is the co-founder of the first Muslim online organizing platform, MPower Change and co-founder of Until Freedom.
Linda was one of the national co-chairs of the largest single day protest in US history, the Women’s March on Washington. Linda also co-chaired the March2Justice, a 250-mile journey on foot to deliver a justice package to end racial profiling, demilitarize police and demand the government invest in young people and communities.
Linda Sarsour was instrumental in the Coalition for Muslim School Holidays to push New York City to incorporate 2 Muslim high holy holidays in to the NYC Public school calendar. New York City is now the largest school system in the country to officially recognize these holidays. Linda is also a Senior Fellow at Auburn Seminary along leading social justice faith leaders.
She has been named amongst 500 of the most influential Muslims in the world. She was recognized as one of Fortune’s 50 Greatest Leaders and featured as one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world. Linda has been honored by entities across the world for her commitment and human rights work. She is the author of, “We Are Not Here to Be Bystanders: A Memoir of Love & Resistance”. She is most recognized for her transformative intersectional organizing work and movement building.
Linda has written for and has been featured in local, national, and international media discussing impact of domestic policies that target Arab and Muslim American communities, criminal justice issues, immigration and Middle East affairs. Linda is well respected amongst diverse communities in both New York City and nationally. She is most recognized for her transformative intersectional organizing work and movement building.
Roderick “Rudy” Bankston (he, him, his), is a committed educator, entrepreneur, Restorative Justice practitioner, and author. His powerful story describes his experience as a survivor of the school-to-prison pipeline and surfaces and explores intersecting themes of identity, justice, trauma and resiliency. Wrongly convicted and sentenced to life at 19 years old, Rudy spent 20 years in prison before winning back his freedom on appeal.
After his release from prison in 2015, Rudy began working for the Madison Metropolitan School District, first serving as a Community Liaison at Memorial High School. Soon after he added a second position at Restore, the district’s expulsion abeyance program. The following school year, he transitioned into a Central Office position as a Restorative Justice Coach. Since leaving MMSD in 2019, Rudy continues his work engaging Restorative Justice as a founding member of Small Fire, LLC, and founder of i Am We Coaching & Mentoring, LLC. Most recently, Rudy founded i am We Global Village, a nonprofit organization.
Rudy’s published works include a novel, Shed So Many Tears; two collections of Haiku, Snippets of Soul in Seventeen Syllables and Snippets of Soul, Too; and a book of poetry, Buried Alive.
Jenifer Garcia-Mendoza (she, her, ella) is United We Dream’s National UndocuHealth Coordinator, she was born in Chihuahua Mexico, and migrated to Tiwa Territory; New Mexico when she was 8 years old with her family. Jenny attended the New Mexico School of Natural Therapeutics – and learned a variety of healing modalities, including bodywork/massage, chinese medicine, polarity, and herbal medicine. She then worked as an herbalist for Dr. Lad at the Ayurvedic Institute in Abq, NM – a holistic health clinic focused on Ayurveda, an ancient healing system that finds its roots in India. She graduated from the University of New Mexico with a BA in International Studies with a focus in Latin America.
Jenny deeply values the mental, physical and emotional wellbeing of our communities, she devotes her work to making sure our immigrant siblings have access to health resources and talk therapy, while staying grounded in her beliefs that cultural and traditional practices of healing form an essential part of our healing and liberation as people of color in the U.S.
Autumn Brown (she, her), is a mother, artist, and movement facilitator. She is a worker-owner of AORTA, the Anti-Oppression Resource & Training Alliance, and co-host of How to Survive the End of the World. Autumn writes speculative fiction and creative non-fiction, and her work has been published in Parenting for Social Justice, Revolutionary Mothering, Octavia’s Brood, the Procyon Science Fiction Anthology, Lightspeed Magazine, and Pleasure Activism. Autumn lives in South Minneapolis with her three brilliant children.
adrienne maree brown (she, her, they), is the writer-in-residence at the Emergent Strategy Ideation Institute, and author of Grievers (the first novella in a trilogy on the Black Dawn imprint), Holding Change: The Way of Emergent Strategy Facilitation and Mediation, We Will Not Cancel Us and Other Dreams of Transformative Justice, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good, Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds and the co-editor of Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction from Social Justice Movements and How to Get Stupid White Men Out of Office. She is the cohost of the How to Survive the End of the World, Octavia’s Parables and Emergent Strategy podcasts. adrienne is rooted in Detroit.
How To Survive the End of The World
Autumn Brown and adrienne maree brown are two sisters who share many identities, as writers, activists, facilitators, and inheritors of multiracial diasporic lineages, as well as a particular interest in the question of survival. Their podcast, How to Survive the End of the World, delves into the practices we need as a community, to move through endings and come out whole on the other side, whatever that might be.
All virtual keynotes will feature American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation and captioning in English.
Left to Right: Kelsey Blackwell, Isha Camara, Chef Elena Terry, Alejandro Miranda.
Featured Guest Bios
Kelsey Blackwell (she, they), is the author of Decolonizing the Body: Healing, body-centered practices for women of color to reclaim confidence, dignity and worth (New Harbinger 2023) and a somatic practitioner committed to undermining the master’s tools with contemplative, somatic and creative practices. Working exclusively with women and groups of color, whose truth she believes is uniquely essential in this time, Kelsey supports clients to confront internalized feelings of not-enoughness and reconnect with their brilliance. In addition to being impactful and powerful, Kelsey believes working towards personal and collective liberation must also bring joy. Kelsey is a Certified Somatic Coach through the Strozzi Institute and a Certified InterPlay Leader. She holds a Masters Degree in Publishing from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
Isha Camara is a poet and visual artist from South Minneapolis and graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a OMAI First Wave alumna. She’s been doodling on tissue paper since her childhood and both writing and performing poetry since the age of thirteen, moving with the intention to always sharpen her blade. Most subjects she writes about circle thoughts and experiences of her identity as a Black Muslim woman and the ways in which she navigates in America; and in turn understanding how America responds back to her. In her visual art, she uses color to capture the human experience, attempting to hear texture and taste color Her written work has been featured or is forthcoming in Southeast Review, The Boston Review, Wisconsin Life and Canvas Literary Journal. She’s created work for TruArtSpeaks, the City of Madison, and the Overture. Isha has performed for the Madison Public Library, Walker Art Center and MMoCA.
In all forms of creation, Isha’s purpose is to give a narrative that creates conversations supplied with empathy, driven with tenderness.
Interested in Isha’s work, please fill out this Commission form.
Elena Terry is the Executive Chef/Founder of Wild Bearies, a non-profit community outreach catering organization that services participants overcoming Alcohol and other Drug Abuse Issues or emotional traumas. Developing the Native American Food Sovereignty Association’s Food and Culinary mentorship program in 2020, A 2021 NDN Collective Changemaker Fellow (Great Lakes Region) Elena emphasizes the healing nature of working with traditional indigenous ingredients while building community.
Elena is a proponent for a holistic approach to traditional food systems and advocates for sustainable Indigenous Agriculture on an international level. As a seed to table chef, Elena develops relationships with tribal and local/community organic growers and producers. After being inspired by the work happening in her community, Elena started the “Honoring our Farmers, Foragers, Growers and Producers” tours. On these tours, she’s represented Indigenous Foods in spaces such as Farm Aid, Taste of Madison and Femmestival.
She also took a cross country journey to deliver ancestral seeds to tribal farms, interviewed foragers, and highlighted the work from Native salmon, wild rice, maple, corn and tea producers. She is a butcher and wild game specialist and prefers open fire, outdoor cooking.
ALMA award winner Alejandro Miranda Cruz is a Native/Latine filmmaker in the Great Lakes region of Wisconsin. His diverse ancestral roots of Huichol, Taíno, African, and Sephardic direct his purpose for authentic storytelling and representation of BIPOC communities in the media. His work as a filmmaker often centers the communal responsibility we bear in our shared humanity while focusing his lens on depicting dignity. Since 2015, Alejandro has pioneered a methodology of filmmaking called Cinema Dignité to address the lack of diverse representation in the media. Over the past seven years, his films have documented social and transformative justice movements while amplifying Native ways of thinking. With his production company, Bravebird, Alejandro creates authentic stories with the motto of: Film with integrity. Depict dignity. Share empathy.
Left to Right: Angela Lang, Judge Everett Mitchell, Rep. Francesca Hong, Missy Tracy, Stephanie Salgado.
Featured Intergenerational Dialogue
Angela Lang was born and raised in the heart of Milwaukee. She has an extensive background in community organizing. In the past, Angela served as both an organizer and State Council Director for the Service Employees International Union, working on such campaigns as the Fight for 15. Before founding BLOC, Angela was the Political Director with For Our Future Wisconsin. She is a graduate of Emerge Wisconsin. She currently is the Vice President of the ACLU of Wisconsin Board and sits on the board for Diverse and Resilient, a non profit organization that supports the LGBTQ community in Wisconsin. Angela is motivated by making substantial and transformative change in her community while developing young, local leaders of color. Her journey in organizing hasn’t always been easy, but through it all she has remained a fierce advocate for securing more seats at the table for those who represent the New American Majority.
The Honorable Reverend Everett Mitchell is a fierce advocate for education and equity in our community. Judge Mitchell holds a B.A. in Mathematics and Religion from Morehouse College; Master of Divinity and Master of Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary; and a J.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Judge Mitchell serves as a juvenile court judge and hears cases involving family re-unification, juvenile delinquency, and other civil and criminal proceedings. Also, he oversees Dane County’s High Risk Drug Court Program. He also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School.
Judge Mitchell has worked with colleagues to change courtroom policies to reflect trauma-informed practices. He worked with the Madison Metropolitan School District to create an Office of Youth Engagement that provides a bridge for youth involved in the criminal justice system to educational programming.
Since 2011, Judge Mitchell has served as Senior Pastor of Christ the Solid Rock Baptist Church in Madison, Wisconsin. In 2015, he became the first pastor of a black Baptist church in the state of Wisconsin to marry a same sex couple inside the church.
He is married to the love of his life Dr. Mankah Zama Mitchell. They have two children, Sydney and Braylon Mitchell.
Francesca Hong is a mom, service industry worker, community organizer, and the first Asian American elected as a Wisconsin State Representative. She represents the 76th Assembly District in Madison, WI and is a small business owner and an outspoken advocate for AAPI representation. Hong is the co-founder of the Culinary Ladies collective (CLC), an organization empowering women and non-binary food and beverage professionals through shared resources, networking, and fundraising for equity focused nonprofit organizations.
Missy Tracy is the Senior Manager – Sales at Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison and a tribal member of the Ho-Chunk Nation. Her career spans decades in business with 22 years in management. For the past 14 years, Missy has operated in Indian country in Public Relations, Training, Regulation and Community Relations. She was the Senior Public Relations Manager for Ho-Chunk Gaming’s site in Wisconsin Dells where she executed an award winning strategic public relations program. Missy has served as the Seminar Director at the National Indian Gaming Association (Seminar Institute) in Washington, D. C. As a public speaker she presents on the history and culture of Indigenous people. Missy proudly serves on several boards locally, statewide and nationally serving tourism, sustainability, smoke-free and responsible gaming. In July, 2020 Missy was appointed to the WI Governor’s Council on Tourism by Governor Tony Evers wherein she also chairs the Marketing Committee.
ology of filmmaking called Cinema Dignité to address the lack of diverse representation in the media. Over the past seven years, his films have documented social and transformative justice movements while amplifying Native ways of thinking. With his production company, Bravebird, Alejandro creates authentic stories with the motto of: Film with integrity. Depict dignity. Share empathy.
Stephanie Janeth Salgado Altamirano (she, ella, they, elle), is now a fourth-year student at the University of Wisconsin – Madison pursuing a career in both Political Science and Environmental Studies with an emphasis in Chicane/Latine Studies and Public Policy. Before she got to this point, their experience growing up in Tegucigalpa, Honduras allowed her to experience and witness how the climate crisis is disproportionately affecting black and brown communities in developing nations. For that reason, once she moved to the United States in 2015 she took up the opportunity on speaking up from a perspective that is so often forgotten about, which is that Black and Indigenous people were the creators of the environmental movement. She has been co-author of the book Green Card Youth Voices Milwaukee & Madison, they co-founded the nonprofit organization of the Youth Climate Action Team (YCAT), was a member of the Wisconsin Climate Change Task Force, and recently been part of the leadership team for the Wisconsin Student Climate Action Coalition (WSCAC). Throughout their journey, they made mistakes and had to unlearn many things as a young immigrant and woman of color that wanted to participate in activism. However, she also learned about many values she holds now so closely to their heart. Through their involvement and educational pursuits, she continues to strive for climate justice that effectively engages and work with communities to strive for systematic change.