Featured Speakers

Dr. Michael Benitez is a nationally-acclaimed scholar practitioner and educator in the field of diversity, equity and inclusion in higher education. Dr. Benitez is known for his down-to-earth, insightful commentary, and critical perspectives on social and cultural issues, ranging from leadership and identity development, intersectionality, race and ethnicity, postcolonial thought, knowledge production, and critical pedagogy and practice in higher education.

DeDe Halfill is a renowned Leadership Expert. Described by Dr. Brené Brown as one of her “leadership heroes and a total badass,” U.S. Air Force retired Colonel, DeDe Halfhill is a proven leader who draws from 25 years of command experience and as a senior advisor to the military’s highest-ranking officials to provide a real-world perspective on the power of embracing humanness and vulnerability in leadership.

Roxanne Shante was raised the Queensbridge Public Housing Projects in Queens, New York. She released her first single at the age of 14.  She was the first female Rapper to have Platinum singles and Gold albums. She was the first nationally known female Rapper. Roxanne Shante also helped launch the careers of many Hip Hop Icons.  She has been an influence and role model for many.