Raised between Washington, D.C. and Augusta, Georgia, on a steady diet of gospel, pop, soul and go-go, Alice is a passionate singer, songwriter, and producer who has an unshakable sense of self and an attitude to match. Her 2006 debut, For Lovers, Dreamers & Me, garnered a GRAMMY nomination in Best Urban/Alternative category, her second album She was released in 2013. Smith’s latest single "House of the Rising Sun," is an arresting rendition and breathtakingly powerful version of the American standard classic. She decided to record and release the song after performing it live at the Kennedy Center earlier this year. Her Full LP Mystery compiled of all original compositions will be released at the end of 2018, as previewed on NPR’s Tiny Desk and the CW hit TV series Black Lightning earlier this year.

Smith’s prior release was a stunningly chilling version of Nina Simone’s "I Put A Spell on You" from the Nina Simone all-star tribute album Nina Revisited: A Tribute to Nina Simone RCA (2015), which included songs from Lauryn Hill, Usher, Mary J. Blige and more. Smith’s version of "Fool For You" popularized by Cee-Lo Green has garnered licenses including Gotham, Being Mary Jane, and Fox’s hit series Empire.



Through her activism and scholarship over many decades, Angela Davis has been deeply involved in movements for social justice around the world.  Her work as an educator – both at the university level and in the larger public sphere – has always emphasized the importance of building communities of struggle for economic, racial, and gender justice.

Professor Davis’ teaching career has taken her to San Francisco State University, Mills College, and UC Berkeley.  She also has taught at UCLA, Vassar, Syracuse University the Claremont Colleges, and Stanford University.  Most recently she spent fifteen years at the University of California Santa Cruz where she is now Distinguished Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness – an interdisciplinary Ph.D program – and of Feminist Studies.

Angela Davis is the author of ten books and has lectured throughout the United States as well as in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and South America.  In recent years a persistent theme of her work has been the range of social problems associated with incarceration and the generalized criminalization of those communities that are most affected by poverty and racial discrimination.  She draws upon her own experiences in the early seventies as a person who spent eighteen months in jail and on trial, after being placed on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted List.”   Her recent books include Abolition Democracy and Are Prisons Obsolete? about the abolition of the prison industrial complex, a new edition of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, and a collection of essays entitled The Meaning of Freedom. Her most recent book of essays, called Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement, was published in February 2016.

Angela Davis is a founding member of Critical Resistance, a national organization dedicated to the dismantling of the prison industrial complex.  Internationally, she is affiliated with Sisters Inside, an abolitionist organization based in Queensland, Australia that works in solidarity with women in prison. Like many educators, Professor Davis is especially concerned with the general tendency to devote more resources and attention to the prison system than to educational institutions.  Having helped to popularize the notion of a “prison industrial complex,” she now urges her audiences to think seriously about the future possibility of a world without prisons and to help forge a 21st century abolitionist movement.



White House Correspondent April Ryan has a unique vantage point as the only black female reporter covering urban issues from the White House – a position she has held since the Clinton era.  On behalf of the American Urban Radio Networks, she delivers her readership and listeners (millions of African Americans and close to 300 radio affiliates) a “unique urban and minority perspective in news.” Her position as a White House Correspondent has afforded her unusual insight into the racial sensitivities, issues, and attendant political struggles of our nation’s last presidents.

Inspired by her experience in the White House, April Ryan is the author of Under Fire: Reporting From the Front Lines of the Trump White House and The Presidency in Black and White; along with the book At Mama's Knee: Mothers and Race in Black and White.


Fourth generation and first female owner/operator of Great Bear Auto Repair and Body Shop, Audra Fordin has received national and local recognition in her industry. She is heralded as a visionary for women coming into the auto industry.  She is founder and CEO of Women Auto Know, providing programs to drive auto awareness with free, fast, and fun workshops empowering women and drivers to take positive action and change the way drivers feel about their vehicles.

“The auto repair industry is a respectful, fulfilling career for women (and men). It allows an alternative to higher education careers that are traditionally expected.”


Baraka Sele has over 30 years’ experience as a performing arts curator, consultant, and producer. She has held leadership positions as assistant vice president of programming at New Jersey Performing Arts Center, as the first artistic director of performing arts at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco and vice president of performing arts of The Houston International Festival. She has also served on local, national and international advisory committees, boards and panels for numerous organizations. Sele has traveled throughout Africa, Asia, Europe and North and South America, focusing on collaborations and presentations with artists of diverse cultures in order to facilitate intercultural exchange.

Her work or presentations have been featured in a wide range of publications, including American Theater magazine, Dance magazine, Essence magazine, Inside Arts magazine, The New York TimesWashington Post. National and international awards and recognition include the Association of Performing Arts Professionals' William Dawson Award for Programmatic Excellence given to an individual or organization for "the quality, innovation, and vision of program design, audience building and community involvement."  At Rutgers University-Newark, Sele served as a Fellow for the Institute of Ethnicity, Culture and the Modern Experience and also taught a graduate course in Leadership and Diversity.

Photo Credit: Robin Carpenter



Brandy Heyward is a Manhattan based dance performer and instructor who specializes in North African Dance (Belly Dance). Brandy has travelled New York City and throughout the country giving workshops and performances that encourage the participation of people of color in the dance. She conducts weekly classes which embrace all levels of the dance. Brandy is also the founder of Harlem Hafla: Bellydance with Soul! which is an annual festival featuring dance workshops with performers and teachers of color. These artists are chosen for their obvious talent but they often lack mainstream exposure.

For classes with Brandy, go to and for Harlem Hafla information, go to



Camryn Bruno is a 19 year-old Queens born spoken word poet and is the 2019 Youth Poet Laureate for New York City and member of the Urban Word NYC Youth Leadership Council. She was the winner of The 2017 Trinidad and Tobago First Citizens National Poetry Slam and the 2017 Ms. Tobago Heritage Personality Queen. With many other titles under her belt, she is internationally recognized and has performed at various festivals in the Caribbean and a two-time participant of the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Festival. Her poems usually explore social issues that affect youths and she is passionate about youth development; aiding those who have walls as windows. As a young female, she is always looking for opportunities to help young women around the world.


Cheryl Walker-Robertson is the Founder and Chief Protocol Officer of Protocol International, offering interactive etiquette, protocol civility and cultural competence programs and consultations for today’s executives and tomorrow’s business leaders. Ms. Walker-Robertson is recognized for her extraordinary talent in presenting professional and business development strategies in an interactive and interesting way.  Walker-Robertson honed her savvy business skills with over 20 years in corporate environment and on professional and philanthropic boards.  She is a founding executive of Odyssey Media and the Odyssey Network Business Retreat. Her background includes executive roles in sales and marketing, and extensive experience in protocol and cultural diversity with an international airline. A graduate of Saint Augustine’s College, she has also studied under the direction of the Protocol Adviser and Liaison to the Washington Diplomatic Community for the Joint Military Attaché.

She received the Excellence in Business and Community Service Award from Project Re-Direct . She has served on the Association of Image Consultants International (AICI) Civility Board, an AICI Chapter Charter Member and as Chapter President of Business Networking International (BNI). Cheryl is the author of best seller Rules of Engagement -How to Win at Entertaining Clients and Other Important People and co-author of The Power of Civility.  She has been called the ‘ultimate networker’ and named one of the 25 Influential Black Women in Business. Cheryl is the protocol and etiquette expert for Count Me In, NBC 40, and serves as Protocol Officer for  ProDiverse and AAU Team IZOD. You can check out Cheryl’s blog and get her weekly tips at


Founded by journalist Caroline Shin, Cooking with Granny is a video and event series that invites you inside Grandma’s kitchen and connects us to our shared multicultural American experience. In every Cooking with Granny production, an immigrant grandmother cooks and teaches a generations-old family recipe while telling the deeply human, richly cultural stories behind her delicious food. The series has been critically acclaimed by the New York Times, BuzzFeed, Food and Wine, NBC, and NY1, among others. Follow Caroline’s ongoing quest for amazing grandmothers — from Korean to Honduran, Greek to Congolese — on and Instagram @CookingWGranny.



After her release from prison in 1992, Debbie established Sisters Inside to advocate for the rights of women and girls in prison.  As CEO of Sisters Inside, Debbie is a tireless advocate for the interests of criminalised women and girls, and actively works to dismantle the prison industry.  Debbie has completed qualifications in social work, forensic mental health and law.  Debbie was the first former prisoner to be admitted as a lawyer in Queensland and, in 2013, opened her own legal practice, alongside Sisters Inside.  Debbie’s advocacy has been recognised through various awards, including the Order of Australia (2003).



Eboné M. Carrington, MPA is currently the Chief Executive Officer and the Chief Operating Officer of NYC Health+Hospitals|Harlem. NYC Health+Hospitals|Harlem is a public hospital that serves the communities of central and west Harlem, northern Manhattan, and the south Bronx. As the Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Carrington provides leadership to the Hospital’s inpatient, outpatient, emergency, and critical care units. With fiscal and operational responsibility for a workforce of 3,200 and a budget of $443 million, Ms. Carrington has used a collaborative approach to successfully implement patient safety, revenue enhancement, and cost containment initiatives. She is credited with establishing innovative operational and customer service strategies to improve patient experience, improving the Hospital’s Emergency Preparedness activities, meeting and exceeding regulatory and accreditation requirements, and has significantly enhanced the services provided to the Harlem community. A native of New York City, Ms. Carrington earned her Master of Public Administration from New York University and her Bachelor of Science in Business with honors from Stony Brook University.



EE Miller is a death doula and educator supporting individuals and groups, in all stages of life and health, as they prepare for and navigate death and grief. EE’s artful interdisciplinary strategies come from over a decade of experience as an oral historian, educator, and hospice volunteer. She holds a CT in Thanatology from the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) and masters degrees in both Electronic Arts and Public History. EE is a badge-holding member of the National End of Life Doula Alliance (NEDA).
For more information:

Photo Credit: Anja Schutz


Erika L Ewing has a gift and passion for empowering communities to believe in the power of the arts to heal, unite, and be a catalyst for social change and transformation. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, and raised in Westbury, NY; Erika has been a proud "Harlemite" for over 20 years. Her Harlem roots date back to the early 1970s when her Grandmother Lucille Kelly brought a brownstone and opened her beauty parlor and restaurant on West 123rd Street. From a child, she was in Harlem every week visiting family and attending church services.  After graduate school, she returned to the community she was born to love. Erika started Got To Stop LLC in 2018. Got To Stop LLC is a social impact consulting company and fashion lifestyle brand that uses the arts, advocacy, and education to raise awareness and eradicate injustice. Erika holds a B.A. in Theatre from Smith College, and an M.F.A. in Acting, Theatre Arts, from Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts. She has also been an Adjunct Professor at The City University of New York’s Grad Center teaching, Literacy, Drama and Dramatic Writing, and Guest Lecturer at NYU. Her career has encompassed directing, writing, acting, and producing for television, film, theatre, and music videos.This year Ms. Ewing is receiving the 2019 Laure J. Banks-Social Service Advocate- Community Activist Award by the National Negro Women Council, Queens Chapter at their 32nd Annual Awards Banquet.



Isisara Bey is producer, keynote speaker, cultural curator and facilitator for performances, conferences, festivals, workshops, trainings, travel  retreats and board meetings.

As a keynote speaker, Isisara brings her powerful presence, rich subject matter and engaging delivery exploring the principles of leadership, mindset and personal empowerment.  As an event and workshop facilitator, she blends core content with human development processes, cultural rituals and theater games, allowing participants to experience individual agency and their own creativity toward an enhanced capacity to accomplish goals and manifest dreams.

As an event producer, she serves as Artistic Director of the March on Washington Film Festival (MOWFF), an annual Civil Rights and social justice-themed festival of short, documentary and narrative films, first person accounts, scholarship, the performing arts, a student filmmaker competition and student  journalist fellowship program  in the nation’s capital.

Past and current clients include: Institute for Veterans and Military Families, The Apollo Theater, New York Public Radio, American Society of Transplantation, Odyssey Network Business Women’s Retreat , NY Summer Stage/City Parks Foundation, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Young Leaders Initiative in Singapore,  Women of the World (WOW) Festivals in the UK, Australia and NYC,  New Jersey Performing Arts Center, U.S. State Department’s Pathways to Prosperity in Egypt, Vital Voices in Guatemala, and Life & Hope Association in Cambodia.

Prior to joining MOWFF, she was VP of Programs for Count Me in for Women’s Economic Independence, designing and leading over 40 nationwide business pitch competitions and multi-day leadership events.

Before that, she was VP of Corporate Affairs for Sony Music, and led its strategic philanthropy, external outreach and employee enhancement programs.  She produced the Sony Music Black College Tours that served as fundraisers for HBCUs.  She designed the first two Congressional Tri-Caucus Retreats for the Black, Hispanic and Asian Pacific Islander members of Congress, and produced five La Grande Affaire invitation-only galas at the annual CBC Legislative Conference.  She initiated and managed the company’s Black, Hispanic and Asian Affinity Groups, produced the internal Corporate Affairs Symposium Series of lectures and workshops in the arts, and directed several large scale employee volunteer events in LA and NYC public schools.

Her career began as an on-air personality and producer for WEAA.FM, and news writer/producer for WJZ-TV in Baltimore, MD.   She has won several awards for her work.

Isisara has served on the boards of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, National Book Foundation, Rhythm & Blues Foundation, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Center for Traditional Dance & Music, and Delaware State University Corporate Advisors.

She has a BA in Theater and an MA Media from Antioch University, is a certified Empowerment Institute facilitator, and has decades of training with Pathways Institute, Pax Communications, Loving Relationships Training, Transcendental Meditation and Landmark.



Jami Floyd is the local host of WNYC’s “All Things Considered,” which airs from 4 PM until 8 PM weekdays. Jami was born and raised in New York City and grew up listening to WNYC.  She has been a news junkie ever since her childhood on the Lower East Side, where she used to deliver newscasts for her parents and grandmother from the dining room table. She went on to serve as EIC of her high school newspaper, ombudsperson for the college newspaper and broadcaster for WHRW, the campus radio station at SUNY Binghamton.  In law school she was selected as an associate editor of the prestigious California Law Review, where she also published.

In a career that spans nearly two decades, Jami’s journalism ranges from breaking news to long form investigations. She has appeared on CBS, CNN, Fox News, NBC and MSNBC, PBS, and WNYC. For nearly a decade, she reported for ABC News in various capacities, including as the network’s youngest person—and only woman—to ever hold the post of Law & Justice Correspondent. She’s won numerous awards, including the Gracie, two Tellys, the Maggie and two Cine-Golden Eagle Awards for journalism.

Jami has conducted hundreds of interviews, among the most memorable: Hillary Clinton, Don Cheadle, Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Henry Kissinger, Lenny Kravitz, Congressman John Lewis, Dave Matthews, and former Governor Rod Blagojevich.  She considers Myrlie Evers-Williams, widow of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers, her most meaningful interview.

Photo Credit: Matthew Septimus


Johanne Picard-Scott is a Licensed Acupuncturist and nationally board certified Diplomate in Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). She earned her Masters of Science in Chinese Medicine from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in New York, where she began her studies in 2005 while working as a corporate attorney.  She is the owner and sole-practitioner at Harlem Chi Community Acupuncture – a thriving alternative health & wellness practice in Harlem, specializing in acupuncture and herbal medicine. Her mission is to help more people heal their ailments naturally with Chinese Medicine while partnering with them to discover more proactive ways of reclaiming and cultivating their health.



Jude Kelly was the Artistic Director of the Southbank Centre in London for 12 years. Southbank Centre is Europe’s largest Arts Institution and London’s 3rd biggest tourist attraction.

She is currently building the WOW Foundation. Jude created the WOW - Women of the World Festival in 2010 which celebrates the achievements of Women and Girls. WOW is now entering its 9th year at Southbank Centre as well as taking place in other parts of the UK and 20 countries in 5 continents across the world.

She is an award winning theatre and opera director and has been the recipient two Olivier awards, a BASCA Gold Badge Award winner for contribution to music, a Southbank Award for her opera work, Red Magazine’s 2014 Creative Woman of the Year, CBIs 2016 First Woman Award winner for Tourism and Leisure and in 2017 won the inaugural Veuve Clicquot Woman of the Year Social Purpose Award.  Her recent TED talk currently has over 1.4 million views. She has founded a range of arts institutions including the international artists space METAL.

In 1997, she was awarded an OBE for her services to theatre and in 2015 she was made a CBE for services to the Arts.

Photo Credit: Kalpesh Lathigra


Keisha Sutton-James is a creative who engages audiences with topics that are relevant to culturally rich communities and women.

Keisha spent over a decade in management at Inner City Broadcasting Corporation where she built the company’s digital platform.  Since then, Keisha has developed content for corporate events, such as BET’s Leading Women Defined, and activist organizations, such as the National Action Network (NAN).  Keisha chaired NAN’s Annual Convention and 25th Anniversary Celebration - a gathering of over 5,000 people. Keisha is also conducting research for the biography and documentary of her grandfather, the late politician and businessman Percy Sutton.

Keisha resides in Harlem with her husband Michael and two daughters, Nola and Shelby.



Born in Trinidad, raised in Far Rockaway, Queens, Khane Kutzwell is a Brooklyn based Celebrity Master Barber and the owner of Camera Ready Kutz, Inc. located at 73 Utica Ave. Khane has made a name for herself by taking great pride and care in serving the LGBTQIA community as well as speaking out about the extreme inadequacies of service and treatment to LGBTQIA persons & women. Khane is a natural entrepreneur and visionary currently working towards adding "new" language, interpersonal & client servicing techniques to the atmosphere of neighborhood barbershops as well as introducing higher expectations to its clientele.




Stockholm-raised, NYC-based multidisciplinary artist and music producer KISSEY vibrates a charge of high voltage in her performances, original productions and DJ-sets. Her record 'Unplug The Delusional Monkey' (Fool's Gold) speaks about ego distortions and self empowerment. The EP was created together with producers Sean C & Lv. KISSEY has left her mark on Sundance film soundtracks (Dear White People), art exhibitions (Sputniko!), Fashion runway shows (Givenchy), and has a diverse catalog of remixes for the likes of DFA soulman Sinkane and underground rap diva Cakes Da Killa. Generation Watts is a music
and wellness website founded by KISSEY.

Photo Credit: L.Engelmaier


Linda Kay Klein is the founder of Break Free Together, a not-for-profit organization that uses story exchange to help people release shame and claim their whole selves. She is also the author of PURE: Inside the Evangelical Movement that Shamed a Generation of Young Women and How I Broke Free. Called “a revelation” by New York Magazine’s The Cut, “impossible to forget” by Bust Magazine, Purewas named one of the best books of 2018 by Library Journal, and is a finalist for the Association of American Publishers' 2019 PROSE Award for an Outstanding Scholarly Work by a Trade Publisher.

Photo Credit: Jami Saunders Photography


Linda Noel-Kawabata is President of Ai Sake Solutions. She is  an advanced  Sake Specialist, Certified by the Sake Education Council, Tokyo, Japan. Since 2008 she is has been the USA Brand Manager for  The Akita Sake Promotion and Export Council (ASPEC). Linda is  signicant influencer  behind the millions in sake sales for Winebow  importer.

Linda explores marketing potential, provides representation at industry events and host fun and exciting group or corporate  sake soirees.

Fluent in Japanese and having  lived in Japan for  27 years Linda's  educational seminars, provide  unique, insight into the food and beverage culture of Japan as well as the compatability of sake with world cuisines.


Emerging in a pouf of dazzling stardust, Liv Warfield has solidified herself as a legend of her own time. Liv Warfield’s talent defies definition. She sits comfortably outside the box and can croon her way into the top talent of any mix. However, if a definition is insisted upon – the singer herself describes her style as “alternative R&B Soul with a little bit of Rock ‘n’ Roll” – a style which she has spent years cultivating.

In 2006, Liv’s self-released debut album Embrace Me, was well received and offered the world a glimpse into her distinguished sound. However, it was 2009 which brought the pivotal change of her career. The legendary performer Prince watched a video on YouTube of Liv singing “Gimme Shelter” and three months later, he called her to invite her to audition for his vocal backing group, the New Power Generation (NPG). Liv toured extensively with Prince and the NPG. Liv also sang on Prince’s 2010 album Lotusflow3r and since then, the rest is history – in the making. Prince was one of Liv’s greatest celebrity supporters. In a short but powerful appearance, he even sat with Liv’s band, BlackBird, during her top billed show at a 2014 Essence Fest afterparty at the House of Blues. Liv recorded her sophomore album, The Unexpected, with Prince as the Executive Producer.

Liv has performed from her album The Unexpected on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” “Late Show with David Letterman” and “The Arsenio Hall Show.” Liv has been interviewed on NPR (National Public Radio), and she has been nominated for three 2014 Soul Train Music Awards, becoming the winner of the 2014 Soul Train Award for Best Contemporary Jazz Performance for her raw performance of “Stay-Soul Lifted.” She was also nominated for the NAACP 2015 Image Award for Outstanding New Artist. With the dedication and tremendous talent evidenced in her journey so far, it is realistic to speculate
that a future Liv Warfield Grammy nomination would not be unexpected.


Lorella Praeli is a freedom fighter, movement builder, policy advocate, and agitator. She is the ACLU’s Deputy National Political Director and Director of Immigration Policy and Campaigns, where she defends the rights of immigrants and refugees and builds power to develop, reaffirm, and vastly expand pro-immigrant measures in states and localities of resistance. Most recently, she was the National Latino Vote Director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Prior to joining to the campaign, Lorella served as Director of Advocacy and Policy of United We Dream, the country’s largest immigrant youth-led organization, where she led the advocacy campaign to implement DACA, and was part of the team that persuaded the Obama administration to protect four million undocumented Americans through Deferred Action for Parents of Americans.

Lorella got her start in Connecticut, where she co-founded and directed CT Students for a Dream and led the organization’s efforts to pass and implement tuition equity for undocumented students. She immigrated from Ica, Peru to New Milford, Connecticut with her family at the age of ten, where she grew up undocumented. Lorella graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology from Quinnipiac University.


Mabel Valdivia is Executive Director at Fonkoze USA. She has twenty years of international and domestic non-profit experience and a deep commitment to international development issues that impact women specifically including micro-finance, agriculture, and health. Mabel’s desire to make an impact in the world is fueled by her own experiences as a child refugee. Mabel has a Master’s in Public Policy from American University and is currently pursuing her PhD. She resides in Orlando, Florida with her husband, Jose, where they’re raising two fearless two little girls.



Maria Praeli moved to the United States from Peru in 1999 when she was five years old to seek medical treatment for her sister, whose leg was amputated in a car accident. Today, Maria is the government relations manager at Her work focuses on strengthening outreach efforts to elected officials, providing education and resources on immigration policy to congressional offices, and working on special projects related to Dreamers and TPS holders. Prior to joining, Maria was the deputy director for canvass at Mi Familia Vota, where she worked on initiatives to build broad community partnerships and drive stronger voter engagement in Nevada. After moving from Peru, Maria attended public schools in Connecticut before earning an associate’s degree in liberal arts from Gateway Community College, and then a bachelor’s degree in political science from Quinnipiac University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude.




Michelle O. Adams, MPA, MSW, is a social services champion and a native New Yorker. After graduating from Metropolitan College of New York with a Master’s in Public Policy and Administration in 2010, Michelle dedicated herself to making a positive impact for all whom crossed her path. Determined to improve positive outcomes for people of color she returned to school in 2014 to obtain her Master of Social Work from New York University. Since then, Michelle has worked tirelessly with several community-based organizations, including The Door and Safe Horizon, to service marginalized populations. In addition to currently serving as an administrator at Planned Parenthood of New York City, she is also a mother to exuberant 6-year-old son. Michelle is very active in her Brooklyn community, where she serves on the Board for a parent-led district-wide education reform initiative.

Michelle prides herself on being viewed as a sexual and reproductive justice advocate and has made it her life’s work to make sure that everyone gets “a seat at the table”.





With over 30 years in innovation, founder of two startups, and pioneer in mobile technology, Ms. Minerva Tantoco also served as Senior Product Manager at Palm, Chief Technology Officer at Merrill Lynch and UBS, and holds four US patents on intelligent workflow. Minerva Tantoco most recently served as New York City’s first-ever Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Appointed in 2014, Tantoco directed the Mayor’s Office of Technology and Innovation. As CTO, Tantoco launched groundbreaking initiatives in smart city policy and government tech, such as LinkNYC, CSforAll, Neighborhoods.NYC, the first-ever IoT Guidelines for New York City, and NYC’s Smart+Equitable City Strategy. Based on her efforts, New York City was named "2016 Best Smart City" at the Global Smart City Awards. Tantoco was named 2016 Distinguished Fellow, Barnard College, Athena Center for Leadership Studies. Tantoco serves on the Board of the New York Hall of Science (, and as Board Member, New York Tech Alliance ( Ms. Tantoco is currently an entrepreneur and investor, and is a frequent speaker on AI, blockchain, and IoT.


Malaika Uwamahoro is a Rwandan actress, poet and activist. She stars in the 25th anniversary production of Miracle in Rwanda beginning April 4, 2019. She is a graduate of Fordham University in NYC, with a BA in Theatre Studies. US Theatre includes: Our Lady of Kibeho (Signature Theatre), Measure Back (Dixon Place), Bishop (Fordham/Primary Stages), and Africa’s Hope (USC Bovard Theatre, CA). International theatre: Les Os que Craquent (Theatre de Poche, Belgium).  Film: Notre Dames Du Nil (Dir. Atiq Rahimi), Loveless Generation (Dir. Thomas Petkovski), Un Plain Parfait (Dir. Pascal Chaumeil), Shake Hands with the Devil (Dir. Roger Spottiswoode).

Photo Credit: Ted Ely


Nathalie Molina Niño is the author of LEAPFROG,  The New Revolution for Women Entrepreneurs (Penguin Random House, Tarcher Perigee) and an impact investor targeting high-growth businesses that benefit women and the planet. A confessed but recovering serial entrepreneur, Molina Niño launched her first tech startup at the age of twenty. She's the cofounder of Entrepreneurs@Athena at the Athena Center for Leadership Studies of Barnard College at Columbia University.

Before that, she spent over a decade sharing her opinionated flavor of business advice and growth strategy with organizations like Disney, Microsoft, MTV, Mattel, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Just prior to launching her last venture, BRAVA Investments, Molina Niño led the launch of Nely Galán’s New York Times bestselling book and online education venture, Self-Made, and stepped in as CRO of PowerToFly, the fastest growing hiring platform for women in tech and beyond.


Patricia Rangel is a passionate innovative birth worker, educator and entrepreneur and an advocate of maternal and infant health, breastfeeding, and reproductive justice. She is a Nurse and received her Licensed Professional Degree from Hostos Community College, where she finished her Registered Nursing Training. A  Doula trained by ALACE, DONA, CAPPA, Ancient Song and Birth Mama. A Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) under the organization Healthy Children Health Start. Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator (LCCE) under Lamaze International, apprentice herbalist with well-known herbalist Karen Rose of Sacred Vibes in Brooklyn, Nursing student of Holistic and Integrative medicine trained under Integrative Healing Arts Program, and a midwifery assistant trained by the midwives of “The Farm” in Tennessee founded by the well know midwife Ida Mae Gaskin. Her trainings have taken her from new York to as far as Indonesia.


Executive Coach and facilitator to Senior Executives. Specializing in leadership, equality and life purpose work in UK, US, Europe and Africa. Her clients include L’Oreal, UBS, and  Clinton Foundation, In 2017 she designed/ Chaired the first ‘Black /Asian Leader’ program at Windsor Castle.

Shirley launched She’s Got Drive Podcast at Apollo WOW 2017. Her interviews with Black women on their success demonstrates her belief you can live life by design and not default.

Shirley’s work was In The Guardian, and BBC’s Woman’s Hour.  She Is an EmpowHER member, former Board member of Fawcett Society and was once invited to Buckingham Palace for her of breast cancer campaign work for Black women. She lives in Chicago with Dan, and two children.


Suze Orman has been called “a force in the world of personal finance” and a “one-woman financial advice powerhouse” by USA Today. A two-time Emmy Award-winning television host, author of nine consecutive #1  New York Times best sellers, magazine and online columnist, writer/producer, and one of the top motivational speakers in the world today, Orman is undeniably America’s most recognized expert on personal finance.

Orman was the contributing editor to “O” The Oprah Magazine for 16 years and for 13 years hosted the award winning Suze Orman Show, which aired every Saturday night on CNBC.

Over her television career Suze has accomplished that which no other television personality ever has before. Not only is she the single most successful fundraiser in the history of Public Television having raised over $200,000,000, but she has also garnered an unprecedented eight Gracie awards, more than anyone in the entre history of this prestigious award. The Gracies recognize the nation’s best radio, television, and cable programming for, by, and about women.

Orman has been named twice by Time Magazine as one of the TIME 100, The World’s Most Influential People.  Forbes named her one of the world’s 100 Most Powerful Women”  as well as 18th on their list of The Most Influential Women In Media.

Orman was the recipient of the National Equality Award from the Human Right Campaign, the Touchstone Award from Women in Cable Telecommunications, the recipient of a Visionary Award from the Council for Economic Education and was presented with the Amelia Earhart Award for her message of financial empowerment for women.

Orman has an honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Illinois and a Honorary Doctor of Commercial Science degree from Bentley.

Orman who grew up on the South Side of Chicago earned a bachelor’s degree in social work at the University of Illinois and at the age of 30 was still a waitress making $400 a month. Saturday Night Live has spoofed Suze six times which she considers one of her highest compliments.


After reaching her threshold and becoming ultimately frustrated with hearing the same narratives by different authors, Tasha Dougé turned to art as a means of expression and unrestricted messaging.  Driven by conceptual ideas using mixed media, Tasha gives birth to art that challenges audiences to grapple with the ideals of tradition and narrowness of conventional thinking. Women empowerment initially was the focal point of her practice.  However, her work quickly evolved to address social injustice, activism, racism and issues that speak to the Black experience -- creating provocative works that elicit authentic, raw and at times, uncomfortable feelings. Tasha creates to spark open and honest conversations that lead to change and REFORM.

Photo Credit: Anthony Lewis


Winner of the distinguish, Tony Award, for her performance in the Broadway show For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf Trezana Beverley,  has performed in film; acted and directed in numerous theaters thought the United States. Her musical talents are currently displayed in her one-woman show depicting the life of the famous chanteuse, Mable Mercer, entitled  Mabel Madness. Maintaining her acting career, she is also on the teaching faculty of The State University of New York at Purchase. Trezana, has written 3 plays including Mabel Madness; A Song For Mara and “The Spirit Moves. Trezana is a firm believer in the power of God and speaks soulfully before church and educational groups.



Victoria Flores is CEO and Co-Founder of Lux Beauty Club. Born in Los Angeles moved to El Paso, TX in her middle school years. Her studies took her to Dallas, TX, where she earned a B.S. in Political Science with a Minor in English Literature from Texas Woman’s University. Also, earned her MBA from the University of Dallas. After business school worked as a Regional Manager at an asset based lending bank in downtown, Dallas, Themis Capital. Catering to plaintiff’s attorneys across the United States. Relocated to NYC to open the Manhattan office with the entire Northeast as the primary territory. Themis was sold to CIT soon after and she was quickly recruited by the prestigious Prime Brokerage Consulting group at Morgan Stanley. After a long career at Morgan Stanley, Victoria moved onto to a small boutique broker-dealer covering the top blue chip hedge funds on Wall Street, Katz Capital. While at Morgan Stanley, Victoria partnered with a friend from Brasil and launched a fine jewelry line, Adriana Carador designs. Women across the US would sell the jewelry privately in their homes and earn commissions on sales. Adriana Carador was also sold at many local boutiques in NYC and Dallas, TX. During this time, Brasil’s emerging market economy was making it more and more difficult to keep margins cost effective and delivery times to the US became strained. Victoria sold her equity and brainstormed her next move.
After years of spending thousands at the salon applying hair extensions, Leslie and Victoria created Lux Beauty Club, out of their own pain points. What started as a side hustle, selling hair extensions wholesale to salons out of their apartment, they quickly figured out they wanted to be part of the solution and not add to the problem of keeping hair extensions artificially high. DTC was the larger untapped
market opportunity. Victoria and Leslie appeared on Project Runway: Fashion Startup in August 2016, and have also been featured in TIME Magazine, Allure, Latina, Univision’s Primer Impacto, Telemundo, Shape, Huffington Post, NY Post and many others. Victoria and Leslie also appear on the Home Shopping Network (HSN). Victoria is an alum of AccessLatina as well as in the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurs
Leadership program and the 2017 winner of the USHCC Foundation’s At The Table: Enterprise Accelerator. She is the published author of “The Menhattan Project”, a fictional novel, which remained for 10 weeks on Amazon Kindle’s Top 100 List. Victoria resides on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her husband, Peter Argue and daughter, Alejandra.