Katherine M. Gehl

Political Reform Advocate  |   See Katherine Speak

Katherine M. Gehl is the founder of The Institute for Political Innovation, a nonpartisan nonprofit founded in 2020 to catalyze modern political change in America. She is the former president and CEO of Gehl Foods, a $250-million high-tech food-manufacturing company that she sold in 2015. In the public sector, Katherine served on the Board of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). In 2020, she published The Politics Industry: How Political Innovation Can Break Partisan Gridlock and Save Our Democracy.

Leslie Herod

Criminal Justice Reformer  |   See Leslie Speak

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.

Ming Hsu Chen

Citizenship Law Expert |   See Ming Speak

Ming Hsu Chen is a professor of law and political science at the University of Colorado Boulder. She is Faculty-Director of the Immigration and Citizenship Law program and co-editor of ImmigrationProf blog. She writes about immigration, citizenship, and the regulatory state, and authored the book “Pursuing Citizenship in the Enforcement Era. Before joining academia, she worked for the Brookings Institution and several civil rights nonprofit organizations. She has degrees from Harvard University, NYU Law School, and UC Berkeley.

Alejandro Jimenez

Poet & Writer   |   See Alejandro Speak  |  FIRST SPANISH TALK 

Alejandro Jimenez is a formerly undocumented poet & writer, educator, and avid distance runner from Colima, Mexico. He is a two-time National Poetry Slam Semi-Finalist, TEDx Speaker & Performer, and Emmy-nominated poet, whose work centers around the intersections of cultural identity, immigrant narratives, masculinity, memory. His self-published book, Moreno. Prieto. Brown., has sold over 1,500 copies and been incorporated in curriculums of various school districts. As a College and Career Coordinator, he tries to laugh with his students as much as possible.

Christopher A. Lowry

Mental Health Researcher  |   See Christopher Speak

Christopher A. Lowry, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Integrative Physiology at the University of Colorado Boulder with a secondary appointment in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Center for Neuroscience at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Dr. Lowry’s research program focuses on interventions for the prevention and treatment of disorders including anxiety, depression, and PTSD, with an emphasis on the role of the microbiome-gut-brain axis in stress resilience, health, and disease.

Kayla Marque

Singer-Songwriter |   See Kayla Perform

Kayla Marque is an unstoppable force in the music industry. Her soul, R&B, and funk roots run deep with a musical family pedigree that stretches back to legendary supergroup Earth, Wind & Fire. Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, Marque was Voted Best Singer/Songwriter in the Denver Westword. Her second studio album “Brain Chemistry” is the culmination of years of work consisting of two EPs, “Right Brain” and “Left Brain,” and a slew of visuals. For Kayla Marque, music is a means of expression that is better when shared. She is joined by guitarist Eman Alexander.

Dawn Spencer Hurwitz

Olfactory Artist  |   See Dawn Speak

Dawn Spencer Hurwitz is a pioneer of olfactory art and the American indie perfumery movement. As a synesthete, DSH developed her talent for creating perfumes based on fine art principles. In the early nineties, she began developing innovative lines of ready-to-wear artisan perfumes under her own label, DSH Perfumes. She has worked with top designers to consult and create exclusive perfumes and frequently collaborates with art institutions including the Denver Art Museum.

Joan C. Williams

Legal Scholar  |   See Joan Speak

Over the past 25 years, Joan C. Williams has played a central role in reshaping the conversation about work, gender, and class. She is a Distinguished Professor of Law, Hastings Foundation Chair, and Founding Director of the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California, Hastings Law. She is one of the 10 most cited scholars in her field and is the author or co-author of 11 books including “What Works for Women at Work” and “White Working Class.” She developed “bias interrupters,” an evidence-based metrics-driven approach to eradicating implicit bias.

R. Alan Brooks


R. Alan Brooks teaches writing for Regis University’s MFA program and the Lighthouse Writers Workshop. He created & wrote the graphic novels, “The Burning Metronome” and “Anguish Garden,” and hosts the popular “MotherF**ker In A Cape” Podcast, which focuses on marginalized members of the geek world. He writes a weekly comic, “What’d I Miss?,” for The Colorado Sun, and has written comic books for Pop Culture Classroom & Zenescope Entertainment. Alan is a musician and stage host, regularly emceeing events like the DINK Awards Show & Arise Music Festival.

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