Widely known as one of the most influential authorities on racial justice in America, Khalil Gibran Muhammad is redefining our understanding of diversity; with his work featured in the likes of the New York Times’ landmark 1619 Project, and Ava DuVernay’s 13th. As Harvard Kennedy School Professor of History, Race, and Public Policy, he explains how “bias education”—race education—can help individuals and institutions reconcile the past within the present, and move towards greater equity, together.
Before serving as CEO of the Native American Agriculture Fund, Janie Simms Hipp, a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, was the founding director of the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative at the University of Arkansas. Prior to launching the initiative, she served as national program leader for Farm Financial Management, Trade Adjustment Assistance, Risk Management Education, and the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development programs at the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute for Food and Agriculture.
She was thereafter selected as the senior advisor for tribal relations to Secretary Tom Vilsack and director of the Office of Tribal Relations. Prior to her work in Washington, D.C., at the national level, she has enjoyed a lengthy domestic and international career spanning more than 35 years in the agriculture sector as an agriculture and food lawyer and policy expert. Her work focuses on the complex intersection of Indian law and agriculture and food law.
Ms. Hipp holds a JD from Oklahoma City University and an LL.M. in agriculture and food law from the University of Arkansas. She is the author of numerous publications, most recently joining with Wilson Pipestem, J.D., and Crystal EchoHawk to author the Feeding Ourselves report and thereafter the Regaining our Future report with Colby Duren, J.D. She serves as an advisor to the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community’s Seeds of Native Health campaign and numerous other campaigns focusing on food, agriculture, health and economic development in Indian Country.
She most recently has received the National Center for American Indian Economic Development’s 2017 Tim Wapato Public Advocate of the Year Award.
Often described as un-bounding and contagious energy, Dr. Maya has a true zest for life shown by her positive and fun-loving attitude. She is a native of St. Louis, MO and always had a love for science and eating ice cream. She attended Rosati-Kain High School and took a liking to chemistry during her junior year. This led her to major in chemistry at Carleton College in Northfield, MN. She was inspired to pursue a career in Food Science from watching Unwrapped on Food Network and after an internship at a cereal company, she was hooked! She obtained her PhD from University of Wisconsin-Madison in Food Science in 2015 under Professor Richard W. Hartel. There she found her love for the science of ice cream and other frozen aerated deserts.
Her scientific expertise lies in the microstructure, behavioral, and sensorial properties of ice cream and other frozen aerated desserts. She also won the 25th season of The Amazing Race with her friend and former lab mate, Dr. Amy DeJong. Since then, Dr. Maya has become a world traveler. She currently resides in Los Angeles, CA and in her free time, she enjoys working out, shopping, trying new restaurants and dessert spots, and catching up with friends! She is also an advocate for self-care and treating yourself and loves giving back to inspire people to follow their passions. She is currently the lead Ice Cream Scientist for the international division of Cold Stone Creamery and host of Ice Cream Sundays with Dr. Maya on Instagram Live.
Growing up in a single parent home on the south side of Chicago, IL, Justin J. Shaifer had little awareness of the potential of a STEM career. His worldview drastically transformed after experiences at Hampton University. Justin graduated with a bachelor's degree in marine and environmental science with the highest departmental GPA, and was also president of Hampton University's student body while receiving scholarships from NASA and NOAA that covered 100% of his tuition and room & board. Now 24 years old, he travels the country empowering young students to "embrace their inner nerd" despite their surroundings, and developing culturally responsive STEM curriculum for NYC institutions.
Justin is the Executive Director of Fascinate Inc. an organization created to excite underrepresented students about STEM. He develops culturally responsive STEM curriculum for institutions in New York City. He is known for his work on the Magic Cool Bus Project. Past partners of his organization include Microsoft, MIT Media Lab, and the Children’s Aid Society. He is studying these programs’ effects as a PhD student at Columbia University.