Keynote Speaker


Dr. Virgil Wood

Dr. Wood, a former lieutenant to Dr. Martin Luther King, supporter of the march on Washington, and coordinator of the march for the state of Virginia, has carried the Civil Rights banner for more than 50 years and counting.  Dr. Wood, Church leader, educator, and civil rights activist has committed much of his life’s work to the struggle for economic and spiritual development among the nation’s disadvantaged.  A 1956 graduate of Andover Newton Theological School with a Master of Divinity degree, he received his Doctorate in Education from Harvard University, in 1973.

Dr. Wood has many notable accomplishments.  As an administrator for Opportunities Industrialization Centers of America, founded by Dr. Leon H. Sullivan, a job training organization serving disadvantaged and under skilled Americans of all races, he assisted in founding and establishing 13 OIC centers in eight southern states, and in Boston, Massachusetts.  Wood also served as a panelist and member of three White House Conferences under the Johnson, Nixon, and Carter Administrations.  in 2005 Dr. Wood published  “IN LOVE WE TRUST: Lessons I Learned From Martin Luther King”. He has combined his dual career in Church Leadership and Education with a life-long commitment to community development as economic and spiritual transformation.

He is joyfully married to the former Lillian Walker, and they are the parents of Deborah and David, and   grandparents of Christopher and Jordan, whose mother is Lorene, David’s able and lovely wife, and now a Great Grand Father.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., accompanied by Ralph Abernathy, right, and Rev. Virgil Wood, head of the Boston branch of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference as they lead civil rights march down Charles Street as they Boston Common in Boston April 23, 1965. King came to Boston to lead the demonstration to protest schools, jobs and housing. (AP Photo)

Keynote Speaker


Larry Gelwix

Larry Gelwix

Larry is the legendary former coach of the Highland Rugby team, 20 time national champion, proclaimed as the winningest coach in sports, host of a syndicated radio broadcast “the Travel Show,” president and founder of Columbus Travel, know by many as “the getaway Guru.” Larry is recognized for his expertise in leadership and his dynamic motivational messages.  The movie “Forever Strong” (2008) was inspired by Larry and his rugby team’s history.

Christian Moore

Christian Moore

Christian Moore is an internationally-renowned speaker, licensed clinical social worker, and author of The Resilience Breakthrough: 27 Tools for Turning Adversity into Action. He is the founder of the WhyTry Organization, which develops programs, tools, and trainings to promote resilience in K-12 youth. 

Hotep

Hotep

Hotep is president and founder of Hustle University, the first self-help organization for entrepreneurs. He is an internationally renowned success strategist, Congressional Award-winning educator and authentic entrepreneur known for his out-the-box thinking, guerilla marketing tactics, branding expertise and his provocative, “hardcore” approach to teaching leadership, entrepreneurship and practical business best practices.

Dr. Kyle Reyes

Dr. Kyle Reyes

Dr. Kyle A. Reyes currently serves as VP of Student Affairs at Utah Valley University (UVU).  Dr. Reyes leads UVU’s Strategic Inclusion plan comprised of over 30 initiatives focused on making UVU a more inclusive campus. He is starting his 14th year at UVU and has spent the majority of his career in programs and services for underserved students.

Bruce Bushnell

Bruce Bushnell

For 26 years, Bruce Bushnell has centered his career around promoting youth success. He has served as a member of the Executive High School Relations Board, senior vice president of the Alpine Counseling Association, and vice president of the Utah Counselor Association. As an advocate of the WhyTry Program from its earliest days, Bruce is also the creator of many of the WhyTry learning activities, which are proven to help youth develop the social and emotional skills necessary to reach their goals.

Dr. Greg Hudnall

Dr. Greg Hudnall

Dr. Greg Hudnall is the founder of Hope4Utah, a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to suicide prevention, intervention and postvention in Utah. The school-based program, “HOPE Squads” has been responsible for over 1,000 students getting referred to help.

Kemy Joseph

Kemy Joseph

Known as the world’s premier Kindness Coach, Kemy Joseph aka “Mr. U R Awesome” combines his life’s experiences with a Masters in Brain-Based Teaching and Learning (Nova Southeastern University) and an Education Specialist Degree in Teacher Leadership (Nova Southeastern University) to teach others how to break cycles of negativity by changing lives with kindness.

Dr. Tanya Jenkins

Dr. Tanya Jenkins

Dr. Taunya L. Jenkins is a career public school educator. She is known for her work with transforming state identified priority schools. She serves on state accreditation teams and several local boards. The highlight of her professional career has been assisting with the creation of a non-profit organization that supports administrators and their school teams in meeting their goals.Dr. Jenkins is published in the national journal of School-University Partnerships and is an expert in school culture. She currently mentors school principals, leads the family and community connection projects and is the Director of Fine Arts for the Peoria Public Schools.

Ruth B. Turner

Ruth B. Turner

Ruth B. Turner, LCSW, manifested a calling for the field of social work and education at an early age. In many respects it can be called her life’s work. Currently she serves as the Executive Director of Student Support Services with the Rochester City School District. Both in her work with the District and the greater Rochester community at large she is known as an advocate for the underprivileged, marginalized, and oppressed. As an agent of social justice and practitioner of Restorative Practices she tirelessly works to bring diverse communities together to facilitate growth and positive change in our region.

Dr. Laura Owen

Dr. Laura Owen

Dr. Laura Owen, a research professor at American University, focuses on evaluating the impact of interventions and initiatives designed to address the persistent equity and access issues that so many students across the country face. She co-led the SDSU White House Convening and is the cofounder of the recently formed National Consortium for School Counseling and Post Secondary Success (NCSCPS), which aims to increase equitable and accessible pathways to postsecondary success for all students.