Opening Keynote Speaker

Julieanna L. Richardson

Thursday, October 19 - 6:00 pm - 7:15 pm

Julieanna L. Richardson has a diverse background in theatre, television production, and the cable television industry that created a unique path to founding the largest effort to record the African American experience since the WPA Slave Narratives of the 1930s. Founded in 2000, The HistoryMakers is a national, 501(c)(3) non-profit educational institution headquartered in Chicago committed to preserving, developing and providing easy access to an internationally recognized, archival collection of thousands of African American video oral histories.

A 1980 graduate of Harvard Law School, Richardson graduated from Brandeis University with a double-major in Theatre Arts and American Studies, where she did extensive oral history interviews on the Harlem Renaissance and Langston Hughes. She worked as a corporate lawyer at the Chicago law firm of Jenner & Block prior to serving in the early 1980s as the Cable Administrator for the City of Chicago Office of Cable Communications.

Richardson currently sits on the Honors Council of Lawyers for the Creative Arts; Simmons University Dean’s Advisory Council of the Gwen Ifill College of Media, Arts, and Humanities, and James Madison University’s Flowerings Advisory Council. She has been awarded Honorary Doctorates from Howard University (2012), Dominican University (2014) and Brandeis University (2016). She has also served as the commencement speaker for Dominican University as well as Brandeis University 65th commencement.  In 2014, Black Enterprise magazine awarded Richardson its 2014 Legacy Award, its highest recognition of women’s achievement. That same year, Richardson was profiled in American Masters: The Boomer List, a PBS documentary and exhibition at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. She is a 2021 recipient of the Chicago History Museum’s John Hope Franklin Making History Award, which celebrates prominent Chicagoans who have made the city a better place to live. Published in July 2022, her TedTalk “The Mission to Safeguard Black History in the U.S.” is viewable on YouTube.

Mathew B. Holloway


Mathew B. Holloway is the founder of Conversations by Courage, a consulting practice dedicated to connected ideas, sectors, and communities for collective well-being. A scholar-practitioner and skilled storyteller, his focus delves deep into the realms of social pain, care, and conflict within the landscape of U.S. public affairs. As the nation gears up to commemorate its 250th anniversary in 2026, Mathew’s work takes on added significance in reshaping the discourse around these critical issues.

With 10 years of experience excelling in community development across rural, urban, and international settings, he believes that establishing public spaces where people can come together to connect through shared experiences of joy and pain serves to humanize our viewpoints, nurture social connections, and reshape cultural narratives. Mathew holds a B.A. in Sociology, and a M.S. in Conflict Resolution from the University of San Diego

2023 Selma Jeanne Cohen Dance Lecture Awardee

Tria Blu Wakpa

Saturday, October 21 - 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Photo by Kristine T Pham

Tria Blu Wakpa is an Assistant Professor of Dance Studies in the Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance at the University of California, Los Angeles. She received a Ph.D. and M.A. from the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley; an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from San Diego State University; and a B.A. in English with an option in Film summa cum laude from Oklahoma State University. Her research and teaching center on community-engaged, decolonizing, and dance studies methodologies to examine the politics and practices of dance and other movement forms—such as theatrical productions, athletics, and yoga—for Indigenous peoples in and beyond structures and institutions of confinement.

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Climate Change & the Environment/Food & Water Insecurity Panel

Friday, October 20 - 11:00 am – 12:15 pm

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Sen. Michael Bennet

U.S. Senator for Colorado

Mike Kruger

President and CEO of COSSA

Erin Pulling

CEO of Food Bank of the Rockies

Clinton D. White

Counselor for the USAID

Heather Godsmark


Social Justice & Prejudice/Health & Education Panel

Saturday, October 21 - 4:00 PM - 5:15 PM

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Lucille A. Echohawk

Advisor & Advocate for Denver’s Native Community

Senadora Julie Gonzales

Senator for Senate District 34, Colorado

Dr. Kristin Deal

Assistant Vice Chancellor for DEI Partnerships & Operations, DU

Stacey Nickson


All Session Presenters

General Sessions, Roundtables, Posters, and Fulbright Stories

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