Featured Speakers

We are excited to have the following Speakers and Workshop Facilitators participating and addressing this year's attendees!

 RON JONES (Friday Opening Keynote Dinner and Evening Workshops)
 RON JONES has been an actor, director and trainer for over twenty years. He has been a performing member of such troupes as ImprovBoston, StageCoach improv, and The U.S. Improvisational Theatre League as well as numerous stage and industrial productions. He was Artistic Director and Director of Operations for ImprovBoston the areas longest running and most acclaimed troupe. He was selected as Player/Coach of the team representing the United States in the World Championships of Improvisation (seen on the Comedy Channel). Mr. Jones' American squad was ranked #1 in the world through 2000 and 2001 league play. He has been guest director for more than a dozen troupes and has taught improvisation classes at Harvard University, Wheelock College, Tufts University, and Curry College. Ron has been a returning guest instructor in the Graduate Education program at Fitchburg State College and Endicott College.  

Mr. Jones has developed customized trainings for educational and business communities. As a founding member of the Program Urban Improv; he does no less than 250 workshops a year throughout New England for young people using improvisation as a tool for self-expression and violence prevention. In 2002 Urban Improv won an EMMY Award for Best Children's Programming for the television program "re:Action." Over the years Mr. Jones has also put significatn focus on developing interactive training for corporate clients such as Ocen Spray, Stax Interactive Consultants, Pitney-Bowes, Target Blue, McDonalds, Harvard University's Executive MBA Program and The American Bar Association.

Website: http://dialoguesondiversity.com/ 

Yadira De La Riva (Saturday Keynote Lunch and Afternoon Workshop)
Yadira De La Riva is an artist/educator from El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua. She graduated from the University of Santa Cruz, and was an intern for Theater of the Opressed in Brazil in 2002. Yadira recently obtained her Master's Degree in Artivism: Performance as Cultural Resistance at New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study as a Newington-Cropsey Fellow. As part of her Master's thesis she wrote, performed and produced "One Journey: Stitching Stories Across the Mexican American Border". One Journey was performed as part of the Emerging Identities Solo Performance Collaborative; Emerging Artist Theater: One Woman Standing Theater Festival; and Gallatin's Master's Thesis Showcase in Spring 2010 in New York. In 2011, One Journeywas performed in to California, Illinois, Georgia and Wisconsin as Well as Repertorio Espa
ñol and Project Reach in New York. Yadira is an intellectual fierce and multi-faceted performer whose passion is to write, perform and produce performance that represent and empower marginalized voices nationally and internationally.

Website: yadiradelariva.com ---- www.onejourneychronicles.com     Twitter Handle:@yadiradelariva

T.J. Jourian (Saturday Closing Keynote Address and Afternoon Workshop)
T.J Jourian is a social justice educator, learner, activist and speaker, having spoken and provided trainings at hundred of college campuses, conferences and community-based organizations all over the country. He is part of the Training Team of the Brown Boi Project, a community of masculine of center womyn, men, two spirit people and trans*men of color committed to changing the way that communities of color talk about gender. T.J. self-identifies as a pan sexual queer Middle-Eastern Armenian trans*man and his passions lies with supporting, learning from and participating in social justice work that is intersectional, empowering, and dynamic-- much like what he inspires to deliver through his work and in person. 

In 2005, T.J. was featured in the Sundance docu-series TransGeneration, depecting the lives of four trans*college students during a single academic year at four different institutions. Currently, a PhD student in Higher Education at Loyola University Chicago, T.J. received his MA in Student Affairs Administration at Michigan State University, and has 6+ years of professional experience in residential life, LGBT affairs, student activities & events, women's center, multicultural affairs, orientation and more. T.J. formerly served as the Co-Chair of the GLBT Issues Knowledge Community for NASPA, a leading association for student affairs administrators in higher education, and is a co-founder and inaugural Managing Editor of the Journal of Critical Scholarship on Higher Education and Student Affairs (JCSHESA).

Website: about.me/tj.jourian     Twitter Handle: @tjjourian