Speakers List (Partial)

Walter Mondale

Former US Senator and Vice President of the United States

Walter F. Mondale, Vice President under Jimmy Carter and the 1984 Democratic nominee for president, was a giant of civil rights in the United States Senate during some of the most tumultuous and consequential moments in our nation’s history. The introduction of the Fair Housing Act and the passage of the 1968 Civil Rights Act would not have been possible without Senator Mondale's leadership, courage and moral clarity.
In 1967, Senator Mondale echoed Martin Luther King, A. Philip Randolph and Thurgood Marshall when he warned that America “will never be able to solve the problems of de facto school segregation, slum housing, crime and violence, disease, blight, and pollution” unless we address what he called “two monstrous national disgraces [that] are really one” – poverty and racial segregation.

 


Congressman James E. Clyburn

Assistant Democratic Leader, United States House of Representatives

James E. (Jim) Clyburn, representing South Carolina's 6th congressional district since 1993, is the third-ranking Democrat, in the United States House of Representatives.

Congressman Clyburn began his professional career as a public school teacher in Charleston, South Carolina. Before being elected to Congress he directed two community development programs, served on the staff of a South Carolina Governor, and ran a state agency under four South Carolina Governors – two Democrats and two Republicans. His memoir, Blessed Experiences: Genuinely Southern, Proudly Black, was published by the University of South Carolina Press in 2015. It has been described ‎as a primer that should be read by every student interested in pursuing a career in public service.

His humble beginnings in Sumter, South Carolina as the eldest son of an activist, fundamentalist minister and an independent, civic minded beautician grounded Congressman Clyburn securely in family, faith and public service. He was elected president of his NAACP youth chapter at 12 years old, he helped organize many civil rights marches and demonstrations as a student leader at South Carolina State College, and he even met his wife Emily in jail following a student demonstration.

 


Photo of Keith Ellison

Congressman Keith Ellison

United States House of Representatives

Congressman Keith Ellison represents Minnesota's 5th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. 
Rep. Ellisonsons guiding philosophy is based on “generosity and inclusion” and his priorities in Congress are building prosperity for working families, promoting peace, pursuing environmental sustainability, and advancing civil and human rights.
As a member of the House Financial Services Committee, the congressman helps oversee the nation's financial services and housing industries, as well as Wall Street. He also serves on the House Democratic Steering & Policy Committee. In the past he served on the House Judiciary Committee and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
Rep. Ellison was elected co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus for the 113th Congress.
He is also a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, founded the Congressional Consumer Justice Caucus, and belongs to more than a dozen other caucuses that focus on issues ranging from social inclusion to environmental protection. Before being elected to Congress Rep. Ellison was a noted community activist and ran a thriving civil rights, employment, and criminal defense law practice in Minneapolis. He also was elected to serve two terms in the Minnesota State House of Representatives.
 

 


Catherine E. Lhamon

Chair of the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

President Obama appointed Lhamon to a six-year term on the Commission on December 15, 2016 and the Commission unanimously confirmed the President’s designation of Lhamon to chair the Commission on December 28, 2016. Before coming to the Commission, Lhamon served as the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education until January 2017. President Obama nominated her to the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights position on June 10, 2013, and she was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate on August 1, 2013. Immediately prior to joining the Department of Education, Lhamon was director of impact litigation at Public Counsel, the nation’s largest pro bono law firm. Before that, she practiced for a decade at the ACLU of Southern California, ultimately as assistant legal director. Earlier in her career, Lhamon was a teaching fellow and supervising attorney in the Appellate Litigation Program at Georgetown University Law Center, after clerking for The Honorable William A. Norris on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. 

 


Randi Weingarten

President, American Federation of Teachers

The 1.7 million-member American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, represents teachers; paraprofessionals and school-related personnel; higher education faculty and staff; nurses and other healthcare professionals; local, state and federal government employees; and early childhood educators. Prior to her election as AFT president in 2008, Weingarten served for 12 years as president of the United Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 2, representing approximately 200,000 educators in the New York City public school system, as well as home child care providers and other workers in health, law and education. 

 


Derrick Johnson

President and CEO, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

Mr. Johnson formerly served as vice chairman of the NAACP National Board of Directors as well as state president for the Mississippi State Conference NAACP.

Born in Detroit, Mr. Johnson is a veteran activist who has dedicated his career to defending the rights and improving the lives of poor and working people. As State President of the NAACP Mississippi State Conference, he led critical campaigns for voting rights and equitable education. He successfully managed two bond referendum campaigns in Jackson, MS that brought $150 million in school building improvements and $65 million towards the construction of a new convention center, respectively. As a regional organizer at the Jackson-based non-profit, Southern Echo, Inc., Mr. Johnson provided legal, technical, and training support for communities across the South.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Mr. Johnson founded One Voice Inc. to improve the quality of life for African Americans through civic engagement training and initiatives. One Voice has spawned an annual Black Leadership Summit and the Mississippi Black Leadership Institute, a nine month training program for community leaders.

 


Lisa Rice

Executive Vice President of the National Fair Housing Alliance

In her capacity as Executive Vice President with the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), Ms. Rice oversees the resource development, public policy, communication and enforcement divisions of the agency. NFHA works with over 200 member organizations across the country to eliminate barriers in the housing markets and expand equal housing and lending opportunities. Prior to joining NFHA, she was the President and CEO of the Fair Housing Center of Toledo, Ohio and the Northwest Ohio Development Agency where she created the state’s only anti-predatory lending remediation program. Ms. Rice has served on the state of Ohio’s Housing Trust Fund Advisory Board, State Farm Bank Consumer Advisory Council, and Federal Reserve Board’s Consumer Advisory Council. She is a current member of the JPMorgan Chase Consumer Advisory Council, Mortgage Bankers Association's Consumer Advisory Council, Freddie Mac Affordable Housing Advisory Council, and America’s Homeowner Alliance Advisory Board. 

 


John C. Brittain

Professor of Law UDC David A. Clarke School of Law

John C. Brittain joined the faculty in 2009. He had previously served as Dean of the Thurgood Marshall School of law at Texas Southern University in Houston, as a tenured law professor at the University of Connecticut School of Law for twenty-two years, and as Chief Counsel and Senior Deputy Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Professor Brittain writes and litigates on issues in civil and human rights, especially in education law. In 2013, he was named to the Charles Hamilton Houston Chair at North Carolina Central University School of Law, established to bring prominent civil rights law professors and litigators to the law school to teach constitutional and civil rights law for a year. He has participated in filing nearly a dozen briefs in the United States Supreme Court. He has been president of the National Lawyers’ Guild, a member of the Executive Committee and the Board of the ACLU, and legal counsel to the NAACP at the local level and national office of the General Counsel.

 


Gregory Floyd

President, Local 237 Teamsters

As president of the largest local in the 1.4 million-member International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Mr. Floyd represents a diverse group of public employees in New York City and on Long Island. The local represents hundreds of occupational titles in city agencies and the Housing Authority, including assistant managers, CUNY campus peace officers, school safety agents, taxi and limousine inspectors, cleaners at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, heating plant technicians, X-ray and EKG technicians, city attorneys, emergency service workers and various skilled trades workers.

Mr. Floyd serves as a trustee to the Board of New York City Employee Retirement System (NYCERS), one of the largest public pension funds in the United States with assets of $41 billion. He is also a commissioner on the board of the IBT Human Rights Commission, a post to which he was appointed by IBT General President James P. Hoffa. Mr. Floyd also serves on the Board of Group Health Insurance (GHI) and Health Insurance Plan of New York (HIP).

Additionally, Mr. Floyd serves as a vice president of the New York State AFL-CIO and the New York City Central Labor Council. 

 


William P. Jones

University of Minnesota

William Jones is a historian of the 20th century United States, with particular interests in the relationships between race and class. He has published books on African American industrial workers in the Jim Crow South and the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963, and is currently writing on the history of race and inequality in public employment. Before coming to the University of Minnesota in 2016, Jones taught at the University of Wisconsin and Rutgers University.

 


Algernon Austin

Economist at Dēmos

Dr. Algernon Austin is the Economist at Dēmos who has interests in race, the economy, and politics. Previously, he served as the first Director of the Economic Policy Institute’s Program on Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy and he built that program into a nationally-recognized source for information on race and the economy. Algernon has also been a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Global Policy Solutions, an assistant director of research at the Foundation Center, and a professor at Wesleyan University.

Algernon’s book, America Is Not Post-Racial: Xenophobia, Islamophobia, Racism, and the 44th President, analyzes the 25 million “Obama Haters” in America. He has discussed racial inequality on PBS, CNN, NPR, and on other national television and radio networks.

 


Demetria McCain

President of the Inclusive Communities Project

Demetria McCain is President of the Inclusive Communities Project in Dallas. Ms. McCain previously held positions at Neighborhood Legal Services in Washington, D.C. and at the National Housing Law Project. ICP engages in educational, research, and advocacy activities that promote and support the policies underlying the passage of the Fair Housing Act of 1968, as amended, 42 USC 3601, et. seq. and related civil rights laws. These policies include the creation and maintenance of stable, racially, ethnically and economically integrated communities, expansion of fair and affordable housing opportunities for low income families, and seeking redress for policies and practices that perpetuate the effects of racial and ethnic discrimination and segregation.

 


Dr. Timothy Tee Boddie

General Secretary and Chief Administrative Officer of the Progressive National Baptist Convention

Rev. Dr. Timothy Tee Boddie currently serves as the General Secretary and Chief Administrative Officer of the Progressive National Baptist Convention in Washington, DC. Previously, he was the Director of the Master of Arts in Christian Education (MACE) degree program and at Shaw University Divinity School in Raleigh, NC. In addition, he also served as Pastor of Providence Missionary Baptist Church in Robersonville, NC. Pastor Boddie is also a former senior pastor of the historic Friendship Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, becoming only the sixth pastor in its illustrious 150-year history.

 


Photo of Bruce Haynes

Bruce D. Haynes

University of California, Davis, Professor of Sociology, Senior Fellow, Urban Ethnography Project, Yale University

An authority on race, ethnicity, and urban communities, his publications include The Ghetto: Contemporary Issues and Controversies, and RED LINES, BLACK SPACES: The Politics of Race and Space in a Black Middle-Class Suburb (Yale University Press 2001) and Down the Up Staircase: Three Generations of a Harlem Family
Haynes teaches courses focused primarily race and ethnic inequality, racialized spaces, ethnic communities, and urban society. 


Betsy Julian

Founder/Senior Counsel, Inclusive Communities Project

Elizabeth (Betsy) Julian is Founder/Senior Counsel of the Dallas-based Inclusive Communities Project. From 1990 to 1994, she worked as Deputy General Counsel for Civil Rights & Litigation, later as Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Her pre-HUD experience includes 20 years of practice of poverty and civil rights law in Texas, where she represented primarily low-income clients in cases involving housing discrimination, voting rights, municipal services discrimination and indigent health care. From 1988-90 she was executive director of Legal Services of North Texas, and helped found the Texas Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.


Alexander Polikoff

Co-Director, Public Housing; Senior Staff Counsel, Business and Professional People for the Public Interest

Alexander Polikoff served as Executive Director of BPI (Business and Professional People for the Public Interest), a Chicago law and policy center, from 1970-99, and continues on BPI’s staff as lead counsel for the plaintiff class in BPI’s ongoing Gautreaux public housing litigation. Before joining BPI in 1970, Polikoff was a member of the Schiff Hardin (Chicago) law firm. He received bachelors and masters degrees from the University of Chicago and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was editor-in- chief of the law review.

Polikoff has served as a director and General Counsel of the Illinois Division of the American Civil Liberties Union, and is a former national ACLU board member. For both BPI and ACLU he has carried on litigation in the civil rights and housing fields, including a successful argument before the United States Supreme Court in the Gautreaux litigation. In 2006 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award of The American Lawyer magazine.


Julian Vasquez Heilig

Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and the Director of the Doctorate in Educational Leadership at California State University Sacramento.

Julian Vasquez Heilig is an award-winning teacher, researcher, and blogger. He also serves as the California NAACP Education Chair.

In addition to educational accomplishments, Julian Vasquez Heilig has held a variety of practitioner, research, and leadership positions in organizations from Boston to Beijing. These experiences have provided formative professional perspectives to bridge research, theory, and practice.

His current research includes quantitatively and qualitatively examining how high-stakes testing and accountability-based reforms and market reforms impact urban minority students. Julian’s research interests also include issues of access, diversity, and equity in higher education.

His work has been cited by the New York Times, Washington Post, Associated Press, USAToday, Education Week, Huffington Post and other print and electronic media outlets. He has also appeared on local and national radio and TV including PBS, NBC, NBCLatino, NPR, Univision, Al Jazeera and MSNBC.

He obtained his Ph.D. in Education Administration and Policy Analysis and a Masters in Sociology from Stanford University. He also holds a Masters of Higher Education and a Bachelor’s of History and Psychology from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor.


Paul Jargowsky

Director, Center for Urban Research and Urban Education at Rutgers University

Paul A. Jargowsky’s principal research interests are inequality, the geographic concentration of poverty, and residential segregation by race and class.  His book, Poverty and Place: Ghettos, Barrios, and the American City (New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1997), is a comprehensive examination of poverty at the neighborhood level in U.S. metropolitan areas between 1970 and 1990. The Urban Affairs Association named Poverty and Place the “Best Book in Urban Affairs Published in 1997 or 1998.”  In August 2015, The Century Foundation published Dr. Jargowsky’s report, The Architecture of Segregation: Civil Unrest, the Concentration of Poverty, and Public Policy.  The report received much attention in the media an social media, summarized here.


Fred Redmond

International Vice President of the United Steel Workers Union and chairman of the board of directors of the A. Philip Randolph Institute

The United Steelworkers (USW) is the largest industrial labor union in North America, with 1.2 million active and retired members. In 2005, Fred Redmond took office as the USW's International Vice President (Human Affairs) on March 1, 2006. Redmond joined the Steelworkers union when he went to work at Reynolds Metals Co. in McCook, Ill. in 1973. He served three terms as president of the local. In 1996, Redmond was appointed to the International staff and serviced locals in District 7, in the Chicago area. In 2002, USW District Director Jim Robinson appointed Redmond as Assistant Director of District 7, where he served until his election as International Vice President for Human Affairs.

In 2007, Redmond was elected to the board of directors for Working America, a community affiliate of the AFL-CIO. In 2010, he was appointed to the board of directors of the TransAfrica Forum. He is the Regional 6 representative for the Coalition of Black Trade Unionist (CBTU). Redmond also has served on the AFL-CIO Executive Council since 2008. In 2007, Redmond was elected by unanimous assent to the position of chairman of the board of directors of the A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI) at the group’s 38th national conference in Oakland, Calif.


Rev. Terrence Melvin

President, International Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU)

Rev. Melvin is the Secretary-Treasurer of the 2.5 million members, New York State AFL-CIO.

In 1980, Mr. Melvin started his career as a member of Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) Local 427 at the Western New York Developmental Center. CSEA is a Statewide Union representing over 250,000 state, county, municipal and private sector workers throughout New York.

In May 2012, Mr. Melvin was elected unanimously as the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) new president, succeeding William (Bill) Lucy, who had held the position since he co-founded CBTU in 1972. CBTU, which is dedicated to addressing the unique concerns of black workers and their communities, has 50 chapters in major U.S. cities and one in Ontario, Canada. President Emeritus Lucy is a heralded Civil Rights and Labor Leader, marching with Dr. King and working with Nelson Mandela advocating the end of apartheid in South Africa. President Emeritus Lucy has long been a mentor and guidance for Mr. Melvin.
Amongst his various Labor and community roles, Mr. Melvin is a man of devout faith and spiritual belief. He is an ordained Baptist Minister. He serves as Associate Minister and Assistant to the Pastor at Second Baptist Church, Lackawanna, New York.

Mr. Melvin is a graduate of the Rochester Center for Theological and Biblical Studies with a Bachelors Degree in Ministry. He is married to Sonja Marie Melvin, and has three children: Candice, Terrence II and Crystal; and one beautiful granddaughter, Cadence.


Theodore M. Shaw

Julius L. Chambers Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Civil Rights at the University of North Carolina School of Law at Chapel Hill

Professor Shaw was the fifth Director-Counsel and President of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., for which he worked in various capacities over the span of twenty-six years. He has litigated education, employment, voting rights, housing, police misconduct, capital punishment and other civil rights cases in trial and appellate courts, and in the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Shaw’s legal career began as a Trial Attorney in the Honors Program of the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division in Washington, D.C., where he worked from 1979 until 1982. In addition to teaching at Columbia and at Michigan Law School, Professor Shaw held the 1997-1998 Haywood Burns Chair at CUNY School of Law at Queens College and the 2003 Phyllis Beck Chair at Temple Law School. He was a visiting scholar at the Constitution Center in Philadelphia in 2008-2009. He is a member of the faculty of the Practicing Law Institute (PLI). Mr. Shaw served on the Obama Transition Team after the 2008 presidential election, as team leader for the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department.


Kevin F. Gilbert

Executive Committee, National Education Association

Mr. Gilbert has worked as an educator for more than 18 years. He currently serves as coordinator of teacher leadership and special projects for the Clinton Public School District in Clinton, Mississippi. Prior to serving on the NEA Executive Committee, he served as president of the Mississippi Association of Educators (MAE) from 2007-2013. Mr. Gilbert has worked as a social studies teacher, coach, bus driver, and an administrator with the Clinton Public School District, Rankin County School District, and the Hinds County School District. His Association leadership includes serving as vice president for governance for the National Council of State Education Associations and chair of the National Education Association Committee on Human and Civil Rights.

Mr. Gilbert earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi. He holds an Education Specialist degree in education leadership from Mississippi College. And in 2015, he received his doctorate in education leadership from Mississippi College.

The NEA (nea.org) is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators, and students preparing to become teachers.


Myron Orfield

Myron Orfield

Earl R. Larson Professor of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Law Director, Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity University of Minnesota Law School

Professor Myron Orfield is the Director of the Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity. He has written three books and dozens of articles and book chapters on local government law, spatial inequality, fair housing, school desegregation, charter schools, state and local taxation and finance, and land use law. The syndicated columnist Neal Peirce called him “the most influential demographer in America’s burgeoning regional movement.” Orfield’s research has led to legislative and judicial reforms at the federal level and state level reform in Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan, California, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Washington, Oregon, and Maryland.


David Rusk

Founding President, Building One America

David Rusk is a former mayor of Albuquerque and New Mexico legislator.  He has spoken and consulted on urban policy in over 130 US communities as well as abroad. He is author of Cities without Suburbs, Inside Game/Outside Game, and Baltimore Unbound. Rusk is founding president of Building One America and a founding board member of the Innovative Housing Institute, the USA’s leading advocate of inclusionary zoning.


Debbie Goettel

Hennepin County Commissioner

Debbie Goettel is Hennepin County Commissioner, representing District 5: Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Richfield. Before joining the county board, she served 10 years as Richfield’s mayor. During that time, she spurred significant redevelopment in the downtown area and south side of the city. Her collaboration with the city council and staff also led to the city’s first comprehensive five-year plan to repave all city streets.

In addition to her brick-and-mortar contributions to the city, Debbie is proud of her human rights initiatives. In 2011, she and the city passed an ordinance for partnership agreements, providing same-sex couples with the same rights as married couples. The success in Richfield paved the way for collaboration with other city mayors to pass similar partnership agreements. Debbie and her mayoral colleagues were proud to support the efforts that led to statewide equality in 2013.

Outside of her service in public office, Debbie has been an active participant in local and regional civics. Her passion for creating a brighter future led to service on the Richfield Foundation board, the Minnesota Environmental Initiatives Task Force, the Richfield 4th of July Committee, the Metropolitan Housing Policy Board, the League of Minnesota Cities, the Urban Land Institute's Regional Council of Mayors, and the Governor’s 2013 Local Government Aid task force.

Debbie has a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Minnesota (Twin Cities) and completed graduate studies on environmental sustainability at Harvard and University of Minnesota. In her professional career, she worked for international companies in the area of Sustainability, Environment, Health, and Safety. Debbie is married with three children and five grandchildren.


Garry W. Jenkins

Dean of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School.

Dean Jenkins previously served as associate dean for academic affairs and John C. Elam/Vorys Sater Professor of Law at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. His research and teaching interests are in law and philanthropy, corporate governance, and leadership studies. His scholarly articles have been published in leading law reviews and interdisciplinary journals, and his scholarship has been honored for excellence in three different subfields: nonprofit law, global justice, and corporate law.

Prior to entering academia, Dean Jenkins was chief operating officer and general counsel of the Goldman Sachs Foundation. Before that, he was an attorney with the New York law firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, where he counseled public charities and private foundations, formed and advised private investment funds, and negotiated mergers and acquisitions.

He earned a B.A. from Haverford College, a master’s degree in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he served as editor-in-chief of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. Upon graduation, he clerked for Judge Timothy K. Lewis of the United States Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit.


William E. Spriggs

Chief Economist, AFL-CIO

William Spriggs serves as Chief Economist to the AFL-CIO, and is a professor in, and former Chair of, the Department of Economics at Howard University. Bill assumed these roles in August 2012 after leaving the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government. Bill was appointed by President Barack Obama, and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, in 2009 to serve as Assistant Secretary for the Office of Policy at the United States Department of Labor, taking a leave of absence from Howard University to do so. At the time of his appointment, he also served as chairman for the Healthcare Trust for UAW Retirees of the Ford Motor Company and as chairman of the UAW Retirees of the Dana Corporation Health and Welfare Trust; and on the joint National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Public Administration's Committee on the Fiscal Future for the United States; and, as Senior Fellow of the Community Service Society of New York.

Bill's previous work experience includes roles leading economic policy development and research at the Economic Policy Institute, the National Urban League, positions at the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress and the independent federal National Commission for Employment Policy.

While working on his PhD in Economics from the University of Wisconsin, Bill began his labor career as co-president of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 3220 in Madison, Wisconsin. He is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance and the National Academy of Public Administration.


Eric W. Kaler

President of the University of Minnesota

Since taking office in 2011, President Eric Kaler has focused on core priorities: academic excellence, access for qualified students, stewardship of tuition and public dollars, diversity and a welcoming and respectful campus climate, a world-class research enterprise that aligns with the needs of the state of Minnesota and its industries, and a deep commitment to public engagement and outreach, locally and globally.

Kaler received his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University in 1982. He went on to become one of the nation’s foremost experts on “complex fluids,” which have applications in drug delivery, food processing, pharmaceuticals, and manufacturing.

Before coming to the U, Kaler served from 2007 to 2011 as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, New York. Previously, he was dean of the University of Delaware’s College of Engineering. He also taught at the University of Washington. He received his undergraduate degree from the California Institute of Technology in 1978.

Kaler and his wife, Karen, have two adult sons.


Richard Briffault

Professor at Columbia Law School

Richard Briffault is the Joseph P. Chamberlain Professor of Legislation at Columbia Law School. His research, writing and teaching focus on state and local government law, the law of the political process, government ethics, and property. He is the Chair of the New York City Conflicts of Interest Board; was a member of New York’s
Moreland Act Commission to Investigate Public Corruption (2013-14); and is the Reporter for the American Law Institute=s project on Principles of Government Ethics. He served as a member of or consultant to several New York City and State commissions dealing with state and local governance. He is co-author of the textbook State and Local Government Law; principal author of Dollars and Democracy: A Blueprint for Campaign Finance Reform (Report of the Commission on Campaign Finance Reform of New York City Bar Association); and author of Balancing Acts: The Reality Behind State Balanced Budget Requirements as well as more than seventy-five law review articles. He is also vice-chair of Citizens Union of the City of New York.

Tracey Schultz Kobylarz

Supervisor, Redford Township, MI

The first woman elected to serve her community as Township Supervisor. She began her term of service on November 20, 2008 at a time when housing markets were crashing, people were losing their homes and the economic loss to the township was devastating the general fund. While many people would have thrown up their hands, she rolled up her sleeves and started to work.

Tracey has lived in Redford Township for more than 50 years and is a proud graduate of Redford Union High School and Central Michigan University. She is a Certified Citizen Planner and Michigan Political Leadership Program Fellow from Michigan State University in addition to being a graduate of the Michigan Township Association's Governance Academy. Prior to being elected as Trustee in 2004, Tracey was appointed to serve on the Zoning Board of Appeals. The years spent on the ZBA gave Tracey a solid background in zoning, building and planning issues. Supervisor Tracey Schultz Kobylarz has two incredible kids, Alex and Amy. 


Kimberly McGlonn

Councilmember, Jenkintown, PA

Kimberly McGlonn is Educator, Councilwoman, Writer, Environmentalist. She is a Councilmember in the Borough Of Jenkintown where Serve as Liasion to Jenkintown School District, serve on Public Safety and Public Works Committees. She is also an educator Lower Moreland School District where she is the English Department Chair. She is a sinbgle mother and a grauate of Louisiana State University.


Phillip Tegeler

Executive Director, Poverty & Race Research Action Council

Philip Tegeler is the executive director of Poverty & Race Research Action Council (PRRAC), a civil rights policy organization based in Washington, DC.  PRRAC’s mission is to promote research-based advocacy on structural inequality issues, with a specific focus on the causes and consequences of housing and school segregation.  Mr. Tegeler has written extensively on the application of civil rights principles to federal housing and education policy.