2020 Featured Speakers

All scheduled sessions will be streaming online, free to members and students, and open to the general public on a sliding scale.

Register and get your tickets here! 

2020 conference sponsor:

The Baker Institute for Peace & Conflict Studies at Juniata College


Brandon Brown M.S. received both his Associate and Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of Maine at Augusta while confined in a maximum-security prison. After realizing his passion for learning and storytelling, Brown was introduced to restorative justice through a workshop offered inside of the prison, which compelled him pursue his master’s degree in conflict analysis and resolution with an emphasis on the intersections of narrative and justice—becoming the first person in Maine to complete a graduate degree while incarcerated, and leading to his enrollment in the doctoral program at George Mason University’s newly named “Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution.”

Possibly the first incarcerated student in the U.S. to receive IRB approval to conduct human subject research inside of a prison, Brown’s research documents, analyzes, and explores the narratives of current prisoners within the facility where he was housed for nearly eleven years.  This groundbreaking work dives into the authentic voices of incarcerated men, uncovering themes around narrative suppression and the expectations of silence arising from a diverse group of participants, uncovering what he terms “the violence of silence”, and what happens when human voice is almost completely suppressed.  Brown hopes to advance the utilization of narrative theories of conflict resolution across a wide spectrum of conflict scenarios and contexts, including social justice advocacy and activism around issues of mass incarceration and the United States’ history of systemic violence. Brown has also been the recipient of the Davis Putter organization’s Marilyn Buck Award (2018), the Stephen M. Cumbie and Druscilla French Graduate Fellowship Award (2019), and the Lester “Les” Schoene, MS ’92 Scholarship Award for Service (2019).

Dr. James Fenelon is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for Indigenous Peoples Studies at California State University San Bernardino, in the USA. His latest book, Redskins? Sports Mascots, Indian Nations and White Racism (Routledge, 2016), was written to address compelling social issues concerning Native Nations, cultural sovereignty, and representation. He is co-author (with Thomas D. Hall) of Indigenous Peoples and Globalization (Routledge, 2015), which builds on his prior work in Culturicide, Resistance and Survival of the Lakota/Sioux Nation(Routledge, 1998). Professor Fenelon has published numerous articles and book chapters on Indigenous Peoples and genocide, and on climate change wars and Indigenous peoples. He is Lakota/Dakota from the Standing Rock Nation, and has taught internationally on urban inequality, social movements, Native Nations, race, and racism. He is an advocate for social justice around the world.

Dr. David Hooker is an associate professor of the practice of conflict transformation and peacebuilding at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, at the University of Notre Dame. Hooker has worked with communities, governments, and international NGOs and civil society organizations on post-conflict community building, environmental justice, and other issues of public policy and social justice. He has managed multi-party conflicts, conducted workshops, and consulted across the U.S. and around the world. Hooker also is a lawyer who has represented the State of Georgia as an assistant attorney general. He has taught graduate courses in negotiation, mediation, conflict resolution, conflict analysis, trauma healing, and conflict transformation at Eastern Mennonite University.

From 2010-2015, Hooker was a senior fellow for community engagement strategies at the University of Georgia’s J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development. He is president and principal consultant of CounterStories Consulting, LLC, where his work focuses on narrative alignment for civic, community, and faith leaders. Hooker is a graduate of Morehouse College (B.S./B.S.) in Atlanta, Georgia; the University of Massachusetts Amherst (M.P.H. & M.P.A.); Emory University’s School of Law (J.D.); and Emory University’s Candler School of Theology (M.Div.). He earned his Ph.D. from Tilburg University in the Netherlands.

Ericka Huggins is an educator, Black Panther Party member, former political prisoner, human rights advocate and poet. For 45 years Ericka has lectured in the United States, and internationally, on Restorative Practices and, the role of spiritual practice in creating social change. Ericka speaks on campuses, and in community, about the importance of inclusive grassroots movements, past and present. Ericka was professor of Sociology and African American Studies from 2011 through 2015 in the Peralta Community College District. At Merritt College, home of the Black Panther Party, she co-created and taught a course titled, “The Black Panther Party-Strategies for Organizing The People”. Currently Ericka works with WORLD TRUST Educational Services facilitating conversations focused on Race and Gender Equity. In addition, she facilitates workshops on Radical Self Care for Women of Color.

Dr. Kelli Te Maihāroa (Waitaha, Ngāti Rārua Ātiawa) is the Tumuaki Te Kahui Whetu/Director of Māori Research at Otego Polytechnic in Aotearoa New Zealand. Along with John Synott and Heather Devere, Kelli was co-editor of Peacebuilding and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Experiences and Strategies for the 21st Century (Springer, 2016). She has published on Māori education initiatives, cultural revitalization, and Indigenous peace traditions. Kelli is the great granddaughter of the Te Maihāroa, a Māori prophet from Te Waipounamu, the South Island of Aotearoa New Zealand. She has served on the Board of the Asia-Pacific Peace Research Association and as an Executive and Council member of the International Peace Research Association.

Dr. Philip Metres is the author of ten books, including Shrapnel Maps (Copper Canyon 2020). His other works include The Sound of Listening (essays), Pictures at an Exhibition (poems), the translation I Burned at the Feast: Selected Poems of Arseny Tarkovsky, and Sand Opera. His work has garnered fellowships from the Lannan Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as six Ohio Arts Council grants, the Hunt Prize, the Adrienne Rich Award, two Arab American Book Awards, the Watson Fellowship, the Lyric Poetry Award, the Alice James Award, the Creative Workforce Fellowship, and the Cleveland Arts Prize. He is professor of English and director of the Peace, Justice, and Human Rights program at John Carroll University.

Dr. Matt Mogekwu is Associate Professor and Chair of the Journalism Department in the Park School of Communications, Ithaca College. Prior to coming to Ithaca, Matt taught at Bowie State University, Maryland and has served as faculty member and administrator at universities in South Africa, Swaziland, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. His research has focused on media and peace building; international communication; press freedom and sustainable development in Africa; and capacity building for media practitioners in developing countries. He is a member of the International Association for Mass Communication Research (IAMCR), the Association for Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), the African Studies Association (ASA), and the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC). In addition, he was a founding member of the Africa Peace Research and Education Association and served as an Executive and Council member of the International Peace Research Association

Dr. Adriana Anacona Muñoz is an Indigenous woman of the Yanakuna People of Colombia. A sociologist with a master’s degree in Public Policy from Universidad del Valle, Adriana holds a doctorate in History and Art with specialty in Peace and Conflict Management from the University of Granada-Spain. She has worked with the Fund for the Development of Indigenous Peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean (FILAC), and as a member of the GISOHA Research Group of the Santiago de Cali University. She is also part of the Management and Public Policies Group of the Universidad del Valle, and of the Ibero-American Research Network for Imperfect Peace. Her areas of research include Among her lines of research include history and gender; social organizations and movements; peacebuilding and pacifist empowerment; and the design, evaluation and analysis of rights-based public policies.

Dr. Sol Neely is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and Associate Professor of English and Philosophy at Heritage University, located on the Yakama Nation, where he also serves as Director of Composition. In Fall 2012, he founded the “Flying University,” a prison-education program that brings university students inside the prison for mutual and collaborative study. Dr. Neely earned his Ph.D. from the “Philosophy and Literature Ph.D. Program” at Purdue University, during which time he also completed Cornell University’s School of Criticism and Theory “With Distinction.” He also holds degrees from the University of Alaska Anchorage in English and Philosophy. His specializations include Theory and Cultural Studies, Critical Indigenous Studies, and Phenomenology and Literature. During Fall 2019 sabbatical, he traveled the Trail of Tears with his father and daughter as three generations of Cherokee Nation citizens.

Dr. David Ragland Is co-founder and co-director of the Truth Telling Project, which began in the early days of the Ferguson Uprising to shift the narrative of the protests and police violence. David also co-leads the Grassroots campaign and recently authored a series on reparations for Yes Magazine. David also co-authored “Systemic Humiliation in America” & Radical Truth Telling and Ferguson in the “Handbook on Violence in Education.” David was recently inducted into the Martin Luther King Jr. Collegium of Scholars in the International College of Ministers and Laity at Morehouse College. David recently finished the RSF Social Finance Integrated Capital Institute Fellowship. David is currently finishing his upcoming book “The Pedagogy of Ferguson”.

Sarah Fontaine-Sinclair’s Anishinaabe name is Nimizhien-nibikwe, meaning “the light that dances on the water.” She is an award-winning speaker who advocates for our environment, participating in the Lake Winnipeg Water Walk and marches for Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women as well as is a leader in the #FridaysforFuture education for climate change movement. She also plays the flute, soccer, and performs in improv and musical theatre productions. When she has time, she is a grade eight student in Winnipeg School Division.

Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair is Anishinaabe (St. Peter’s/Little Peguis) and Professor in the Department of Native Studies at the University of Manitoba. He is a regular commentator on Indigenous issues nationally on CTV, CBC, and APTN and internationally in The Guardian and Al-Jazeera America. His written work can be found in the pages of The Exile Edition of Native Canadian Fiction and Drama, newspapers like The Guardian, The Globe and Mail and The Winnipeg Free Press, and online with CBC Books: Canada Writes. Niigaan is the co-editor of the award-winning Manitowapow: Aboriginal Writings from the Land of Water (Highwater Press, 2011) Centering Anishinaabeg Studies: Understanding the World Through Stories (Michigan State University Press, 2013) and The Winter We Danced: The Past, the Future, and the Idle No More Movement (Arbeiter Ring, 2014). He is also the Editorial Director of The Debwe Series with Portage and Main Press.

Dr. Jamil Al Wekhian earned his Ph.D. in International Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University.  Al Wekhian is a faculty member at the School of Peace and Conflict Studies, at Kent State University, where he serves as the advisor of Students for Justice in Palestine. Dr. Al Wekhian has also been teaching at the Peace Studies Department, at the University of Missouri-Columbia (MU) since 2013. He is the founder and advisor of the Better Together Interfaith organization at MU. Dr. Al Wekhian enjoys hiking and playing volleyball.