OPENING KEYNOTE: PAUL RUSESABAGINA
Paul Rusesabagina has been hailed worldwide as a hero for saving more than 1,000 lives at a hotel he managed in Rwanda in 1994 in the midst of the Rwandan Genocide. His story was portrayed in the award-winning film Hotel Rwanda. Today, he continues to conduct activist work on the issue of international justice and debt relief for African nations. His efforts to chronicle the history of the conflict, and to show how the legacy of European colonialism shaped the trajectory of Rwanda and the tensions underlying the onset of genocide have shaped the collective memory of the atrocity.
PANEL: ROOTS - "FORMATION AND ENDURANCE"
Dr. LeManuel "Lee" Bitsói is a critical ethnographer and bioethicist and currently serves as Chief Diversity Officer at Stony Brook University. He is a member of the National Research Advisory Council for the Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Advisory Council for the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity. He serves as the chair for the Native American Affairs Committee for the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Latinos and Native Americans in Science. His research spans social justice topics, access and equity issues, bioethical concerns, and the impact of intergenerational trauma for indigenous people.
Skyla S. Hearn is the Archivist and Special Collections Librarian for the DuSable Museum of African American History and adjunct assistant professor in the School of Art and Art History Museum and Exhibitions Studies program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her work focuses on documenting, preserving and maintaining the rich legacies and histories of individuals, communities and organizations not of the hegemony.
Karari Olvera is the genderqueer firstborn of Mexican immigrant parents. An activist, writer, and makeup aficionado, Karari is the co-founder and former editor-in-chief of xQsí Magazine, an online LGBTQ Latin@ multimedia publication based out of Los Angeles, with correspondents in Mexico and Uruguay. They current serve on the board of United Latin@ Pride, organizing the Midwest's first and only weeklong celebration of LGBTQ Latin@ Pride.
Barbara Takei is a writer and researcher, and serves as an officer on the grassroots Tule Lake Committee, a non-profit that represents survivors and descendants of the WWII incarceration at Tule Lake concentration camp. The Committee organizes pilgrimages to honor the memory of those unjustly imprisoned at Tule Lake, and serves as as an advocate for and raises funds to preserve this unique civil rights site in Northern California.
Moderated by: Dr. Wendy Pearlman, Associate Professor at Northwestern's Department of Political Science. She has studied or researched in Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Germany, Spain, Israel, and the West Bank and Gaza Strip. She has written two books and more than a dozen articles and book chapters about the Palestinian national movement, focusing on internal politics and the causes and consequences of political violence.
PANEL : BRANCHES - "CONSOLIDATION AND EXCAVATION"
Cristián Correa is an expert in the definition and implementation of reparations programs for mass human rights violations. He provides advice and technical assistance to victims' organizations, civil society groups, and governments in Peru, Colombia, Timor-Leste, Côte d'Ivoire, Kenya, Sri Lanka, and other countries. He was previously the legal advisor for a commission of the Presidency of Chile responsible for identifying the disappeared and defining a human rights policy. He was also the legal secretary of the Commission of Political Imprisonment and Torture of Chile.
Dash Harris is a journalist and entrepreneur based in Havana. She is the producer of NEGRO, a docu-series that explores AfroDiasporic identity and the historical and present-day class and color complex among Latinos. She is also the founder of Venus Genus, a blog that examines gender bias and female tropes. She is currently working on a documentary on young AfroCuban drummers of the Yoruba religion and an AfroPanamanian oral history multimedia project.
Dr. Daniela Schiller is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Neuroscience and Friedman Brain Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, where she directs the affective neuroscience laboratory. Her research is focused on the flexibility of memory and the blocking of fearful memories.
Sierra Sims is currently a seventh and eighth grade social studies teacher in Englewood, a Chicago neighborhood, where she brought African American History into the curriculum and was given the charge to choose and implement it in a charter school. She has been working with the Obama Foundation and has spoken with former President Obama and Chancellor Merkel of Germany about the education system in America in comparison to the German system. She is a Golden Apple Scholar, a member of Zeta Phi Beta, and a member of Peace in the South Suburbs.
Moderated by: Dr. Peter Locke, Assistant Professor at Northwestern's Department of Anthropology. He is a cultural and medical anthropologist focused on bringing ethnographic evidence to the comparative study of global health and humanitarian intervention in post-conflict societies. His field research, writing, and teaching all explore and critique the intersection of humanitarian work and reigning modes of evidence production in contexts of contentious local politics and lingering histories of conflict and mass violence.
PANEL: SEEDS - "RECONSTRUCTION AND RESILIENCE"
Hoda Hawa oversees the Muslim Public Affairs Council's strategic initiatives in government and policy by engaged those circles at the highest levels and developing an active constituency around policy. She has written and spoken on subjects ranging from international religious freedom and national security to free expression and bullying. She spoke at the first-ever groundbreaking event at the White House honoring and highlighting the contributions of American Muslim women during Women's History Month.
Gloria Lucas is a Xicana womxn from California and the founder of Nalgona Positivity Pride. She creates spaces for marginalized folks to support each other and heal from the trauma of colonialism, eurocentric beauty ideals, and disordered eating in communities of color. Nalgona Positivity Pride is a xicana-indigenous body-positive organization that focuses on uncovering the impacts of colonialism, social oppression, historical trauma and its role in impairing relationships indigenous-descent people have with food and body-image.
Sweetwater Nannauck is an Idle No More activist that advocates for the protection of the fragile environment of the Northwest Coast, tribal sovereignty rights, and the traditional way of life of Native people She conducts "Decolonizing Our Activism" workshops in a respectful way that is both healing and empowering.
Moderated by: Jeff Rice, Senior Lecturer in African Studies at Northwestern's Department of Anthropology. His current research interests involve the development of Afro-Pessimism and in particular, its pedagogical challenges. In the spring of 2010 he hosted a conference on this topic at PAS. The other focus of his interest involves conflicts in Africa and Central Asia and the reemergence of ideas of Indirect Rule which underlie some of the current approaches to counterinsurgency.
CLOSING KEYNOTE: CARMEN PEREZ
Carmen Perez was a national Co-Chair of the 2017 Women's March on Washington. She has dedicated 20 years to advocating for many of today's important civil rights issues, including mass incarceration, gender equality, violence prevention, racial healing and community policing. As the Executive Director of The Gathering for Justice, she has crossed the globe promoting peace through civil and human rights, building alternatives to incarceration and violence, and providing commentary and guidance for state and federal policy creation.