brother jeff S. Fard

Community Leader  |   See brother jeff Speak

How do we move from a world divided by racism to a world of “eracism?” Brother Jeff shares what he’s learned having courageous conversations with hundreds of people on his popular Facebook show.

A native of Northeast Denver, Jeff S. Fard, better known as brother jeff, is a multimedia journalist, historian, and community organizer. In 1994, he founded brother jeff’s Cultural Center, located in the historic Five Points District in Northeast Denver. He speaks to communities around the country about cultural identity, history, diversity, self-empowerment, community building, economic development, health disparities, and the uniting power of art. He is also the publisher and editor of the award-winning monthly publication, 5 STAR NEWS.

Margot Gage Witvliet

Social Epidemiologist  |   See Margot Speak

In March 2020, social epidemiologist Margot Gage Witvliet’s profession became a personal reality when she contracted COVID-19. And then, she never got better. What will happen to the long haul COVID patients?

Margot Gage Witvliet is an epidemiology professor with Chronic COVID Syndrome, also called “Long-Haul COVID”. She has a Bachelor’s in Psychology, a Master’s in Health Psychology, and a Doctorate in Social Epidemiology & Public Health. She currently teaches at Lamar University. She was awarded special recognition by Congressman Joaquin Castro for the advancement of social justice. She is bilingual and speaks Dutch at home with her husband & children. During her convalescent period from COVID-19, she created & published a coloring book for mighty girls with her daughters.

Rebecca Galemba

Anthropologist |   See Rebecca Speak

We take it for granted that IF you do your work, you WILL be paid. There’s only one problem: that’s not true for millions of Americans. Anthropologist Rebecca Galemba takes a look at the insidious problem of wage theft & what we can do about it.

Rebecca Galemba is an anthropologist and associate professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. Her research focuses on Latin America, migration, borders, and the intersection between immigration & labor rights in the U.S. Her first book, Contraband Corridor: Making a Living at the Mexico-Guatemala Border, was published in 2017. She is currently writing a new book, Unjust Wages: Day Laborers and Advocates Fighting Wage Theft from a Mile High, based on her experience leading the Just Wages Project. She lives in Denver with her husband Dan, daughters Lanie and Lexi, and two dogs, Oscar and Rosie.

Leslie Herod

Emcee |   See Leslie Emcee Uncharted

Representative Leslie Herod was elected in 2016 as the first LGBTQ African American in the Colorado General Assembly. Since then, she has passed 68 bills. Her work includes ending cash bail for minor offenses, de-felonizing drug possession, and passing a comprehensive police accountability bill following the murder of George Floyd. She is the Chair of the House Finance Committee, Vice Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Chair of the Committee on Legal Services, and the Chair of the Colorado Black Democratic Legislative Caucus.

 

Kevin J. Krizek

Environmental Design Expert |   See Kevin Speak

COVID-19 forced us to rethink our cities overnight. What happens when fewer people commute? When restaurants need to serve food outside? How will this propel us into a new & better future of urban design?

Kevin J. Krizek analyzes the design of cities and transport alternatives. His research was awarded a three year post as a visiting professor of “Cycling in Changing Urban Regions”(Radboud University, the Netherlands) and two Fulbright appointments (University of Bologna, Italy; EAFIT University, Medellin). He co-authored & edited four books, including Metropolitan Transport and Land Use & The End of Traffic and the Future of Transport. He spearheaded the forming of the World Society of Transport and Land Use Research. Together with his wife & 15-year-old son, he chases his dog around the Rocky Mountains.

Lolita

Performing Artist  |   See Lolita Perform

Lolita is a Latin pop artist who has performed at venues & festivals across her home state of Colorado. Her latest release, “Toda Mi Gente (Remix),[ft. Big Samir of The Reminders]” is a Spanglish pop song about gun violence and police brutality. Their goal was to weaponize joy through music and use it in the fight for social justice. Lolita studied music at the University of Colorado & graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Music Business & Entertainment Industry Studies in the fall of 2015.

Confidence Omenai

Poet  |   See Confidence Perform

Confidence Omenai, is a Nigerian-American poet, playwright, voice actor, clothing designer, mother of five, and breaker of chains. Her work explores death, rebirth, racism, fracturing the queen/whore dichotomy, martyrdom on the altar of motherhood and marriage. She represented Slam Nuba at the Women of the World Poetry Slam from 2015-2017. She is the author of Did You Die, Though?, Poems Pay For Passports, Seven Coffins and Shake Sumthin’. She currently resides in Denver, creating transformative work across genres, dancing on her dining room table, singing loud, off-key, and clearing the way for her rebellious great-granddaughters, who will rule the earth in her name.

Robin Roscigno

Autism Educator  |   See Robin Speak

For parents, a child’s diagnosis of Autism can be both overwhelming & a relief. Now what? How do you create the best life for your neurodiverse child? Autism educator Robin Roscigno explains how the “Autism Industrial Complex” is taking advantage of parents’ fears & what we can do instead.

Robin Roscigno is a PhD Candidate in Education at the Rutgers School of Education who specializes in the history of Autism intervention in the U.S. Her experience as a late-diagnosed Autistic woman, parent of an Autistic child, and educator with 10+ years of experience inspired AuTeach, her community outreach project about respectful, neurodiversity-informed parenting & teaching. AuTeach has reached 1M+ viewers on TikTok and has helped shape a new narrative around Autism. She enjoys movie nights with her husband, daughter, and miniature poodle, Blingo.

Big Samir

Hip-Hop Artist  |   See Big Samir Perform

Antoine “Big Samir” Zamundu is a bilingual artist who brings together hip hop, soul, reggae, and African rhythms. With his eclectic style & his smooth flow (seamlessly transitioning from English to French), and his inspirational, socially conscious music, the Congolese lyricist bridges cultural gaps and sends a positive message. He was born in Brussels, Belgium, but spent most of his childhood in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Much of his music is inspired by memories of his African upbringing. “Big Samir” also performs with his wife, Aja Black, as The Reminders.