"The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking" - Albert Einstein
LOUIS ALLORO is a leading expert in applying positive psychology, the scientific study of human wellbeing and flourishing. As a change-agent, he empowers people to build their psychological muscle and learn how they uniquely impact the world. Louis is one of the first 100 people in the world to earn a Masters of Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and holds a second Masters degree in the Foundations of Education. His toolkit is stocked with the applied sciences of well being, success, neurobiology, appreciative inquiry, biomimicry, multiple intelligences, systems theories, and mindfulness. He is a culture strategist in organizations and offers leadership and organizational development interventions and initiatives that move groups and systems of people to new heights in sustainable ways.
AUTUMN ANGELETTIE is a senior at Cheltenham High School who has spent her four years finding opportunities to create positive change through writing, performance, and activism. She is the author of Neighborhood Blue, an award winning monologue touching on issues of race and community policing. The monologue was specially selected for performance at the African-American History Museum in Washington, D.C., and was part of the Philly Young Playwrights Monologue Festival in April. She prides herself in her position as the Overseeing Director of the CHS Women's Student Union—the gender equality advocacy club at the high school. She thanks this group and her co-leaders for being the catalysts for her activism and her pursuit of social justice as a career. Autumn will be attending Howard University in the fall and plans on continuing her activism in racial equality and intersectional feminism there.
KEVIN BETHEL served in the Philadelphia Police Department for 29 years; in his most recent role as Deputy Police Commissioner, he was responsible for Patrol Operations for the entire city. Although his primary responsibility was to ensure public safety, throughout his career he has been committed to improving the lives of the most vulnerable young people in our community. He has deliberately pursued work in the juvenile justice field, including serving on numerous national, statewide and local committees and advisory boards; regularly lecturing on school diversion and racial and ethnic disparities at the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University; and serving as a faculty member for the International Association of Chiefs of Police Juvenile Justice Leadership Institute. His passion has always been and remains reforming the juvenile justice system.
LIA HYMAN is a singer-songwriter and a senior at Cheltenham High School. She was recently awarded Activist of the Year by The Humane League’s Philadelphia office where she interns. Lia is active in various school-based activities such as Key Club, Best Buddies, Environmental Club, Women’s Student Union, and runs Track & Cross Country. She became the face of the Humane League’s ‘Subway Secrets’ campaign out of concern for the millions of chickens suffering the worst cruelties in the chain’s supply chain each year. Hyman led the charge for the campaign in securing more than 50,000 signatures ; her leadership resulted in Subway’s adoption of a new set of animal welfare policies and has inspired countless students to perform campaign actions on their own campuses nationwide. Lia plans a career in Environmental Science, but is first taking a gap year to travel the world.
ALI MICHAEL, Ph.D., is the co-founder and director of the Race Institute for K-12 Educators, and the author of Raising Race Questions: Whiteness, Inquiry and Education (Teachers College Press, 2015), winner of the 2017 Society of Professors of Education Outstanding Book Award. She is co-editor of the bestselling Everyday White People Confront Racial and Social Injustice: 15 Stories (2015, Stylus Press) and The Guide for White Women who Teach Black Boys (2018, Corwin Press). She also sits on the editorial board of the journal Whiteness and Education. Ali teaches in the mid-career doctoral program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, as well as the Graduate Counseling Program at Arcadia University. In the 2017-18 school year, she will hold the Davis Visiting Professorship at Ursinus College. Ali’s article, What do White Children Need to Know About Race?, co-authored with Dr. Eleonora Bartoli in Independent Schools Magazine, won the Association and Media Publishing Gold Award for Best Feature Article in 2014. She may be best known for her November 9, 2016 piece What Do We Tell the Children? on the Huffington Post, where she is a regular contributor. For more details see www.alimichael.org.
JOHN MOHL, Ph.D., teaches psychology at Cheltenham High School and Bucks County Community College in Newtown, Pennsylvania. His experimental research program investigates various facets of consciousness and phenomenology, including fantasy proneness, hypnosis and suggestibility, and anomalous experiences. He serves on the Executive Committee of the Society of Psychological Hypnosis of the American Psychological Association and the Program Committee of the Society of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis. He has to his credit eight scholarly publications and over 20 professional conference presentations.
GERALD RICHARDS is the Chief Executive Officer of 826 National, where he oversees the strategic direction, administration and building of resources for affiliate organizations in seven cities nationwide, as well the establishment of affiliates in additional cities. With more than twenty years of management and development experience at national nonprofit organizations, Gerald is a respected trainer and sought after speaker on topics of youth writing and creativity, and education access. He is interviewed regularly on these topics and has appeared on NBC’s Nightly News, CNN’s Anderson Cooper’s 360, and The Michael Eric Dyson Show, as well as in articles in publications including the Huffington Post, GOOD, and Inc. Magazine. He has also served as an education expert for national marketing campaigns promoting creativity in and outside the classroom.
MATTHEW RIGGAN, Ph.D., is a Co-Founder of the Workshop School, a project-based high school within the School District of Philadelphia’s Innovation Network. As Executive Director of the school’s nonprofit arm, Matt directs research and development, designs and develops systems to support the school’s instructional model, and advocates locally and nationally for schools bringing project-based learning and authentic assessment to high-need communities. Prior to launching the Workshop, Matt was a Senior Researcher at the Consortium for Policy Research in Education, where his work focused on a variety of topics including organizational development, formative assessment, distributed leadership, and high school reform. He earned his Ph.D. in 2005 from the Penn Graduate School of Education, where he continues to serve as an Adjunct Assistant Professor. He has taught qualitative and mixed methods research for over a decade, and is a co-author of Reason and Rigor: How Conceptual Frameworks Guide Research, now in its second edition.
LI SUMPTER, Ph.D., is an art educator, mythologist and cultural producer who engages in social and liberatory practice through community-centered projects and mission-driven work. As a curator and multidisciplinary artist, Li employs strategies of image activism and mythic design to challenge oppressive systems and cultivate community awareness of local and global issues. She has worked on art and social justice projects addressing representations of race, class, identity, environmental injustice and ecological crisis with the New Museum of Contemporary Art, International Center of Photography, AFROPUNK, Rock the Vote, Philadelphia Museum of Art, African-American Museum of Philadelphia, Mural Arts, the Germantown Historical Society, Scribe Video Center and The Leeway Foundation. Li is a proud graduate of Spelman College and holds an MA in Arts and Humanities Education from New York University and a MA/Ph.D. in Mythology and Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. Her academic research explores the intersections of visual anthropology, media ecology and afrofuturism with a focus on cinema and psyche and media and mythic literacy. In 2016, Li was awarded an Art and Change Grant from the Leeway Foundation for Graffiti in the Grass—an interactive graphic novel that promotes creative resistance and community readiness through an apocalyptic adventure set in a Philadelphia of the speculative future. Currently, Li is a professor of curatorial studies at Moore College of Art and Design, Project Manager of Elephants on the Avenue: Race, Class, and Community in Historic Germantown, Institutional Support Manager of the BlackStar Film Festival and Creative Director of MythMedia Studios.
CHRISTOPHER SWAIN was the first person in history to swim the entire lengths of the Columbia, Charles, Hudson, Mohawk, and Mystic Rivers, as well as Lake Champlain, the Gowanus Canal, Newtown Creek, and large sections of the Atlantic coast of the United States. As part of his mission to bring awareness to waterway pollution, Swain has stroked through water laced with arsenic, cyanide, dioxin, coal tar residue, radioactive waste, PCBs, neuro-toxic pesticides, trash, and raw sewage. Swain documents his swims through photographs, video, social media posts, stakeholder interviews, and the collection of scientific data.
Since 1996, Swain has shared his message of clean water and universal human rights with cities, towns, nonprofit organizations, foundations, companies, indigenous peoples, government agencies, and over 80,000 K-12 students across North America. Stories about Swain's swims have received more than four billion media impressions worldwide.
Keith A. Wallace
KEITH A. WALLACE is a self-proclaimed 'actorvist.' As an actor he has appeared in JUNK: The Golden Age of Debt, Blueprints to Freedom, Movers + Shakers, Death of a Driver, Venus, In the Crowding Darkness, and more. Select directing credits include The Last Days of Judas Iscariot and The Brothers Size (Theatre Bay Area Award for Outstanding Production). His La Jolla Playhouse commissioned solo play, THE BITTER GAME, had a workshop premiere in the International WOW Festival in October 2015 and was restaged as a part of the 2016 La Jolla Playhouse season. Since, Keith has toured the show nationally at 2017 Under The Radar Festival at The Public Theater, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, The Skirball Cultural Center LA among others. Keith's writing credits have earned him semi-finalist status in the 2016 Sundance Theater Lab, the Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference, Powerhouse Theater Playwrights Fellowship and the New Dramatist Van Lier Playwrights Fellowship. Keith is the is also a recipient of the 2016 Princess Grace Theater Award and a San Diego Critics Award nominee for Outstanding Solo Performance. Education: MFA in Acting, UC San Diego, BA in Drama, Morehouse College.