Cat is Vice President, Clinical Transformation, Immunology and Integration Leader at Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
She sponsors Johnson & Johnson’s WiSTEM2DUniversity . She is an advocate for supporting STEM Women now and in the future with the Women in STEAM2D Scholars Award. Hear Cat discuss:
1. How COVID-19 has disproportionately affected women in WiSTEM2D.
2. The importance of women in STEM.
3. Why investments in research will be critical to advance health for humanity.
Jack Myers, founder of MediaVillage and AdvancingDiversity.org, is the nation’s best-known practitioner of media ecology. Renowned for his entrepreneurial leadership in media industry innovation focused on growth, Myers has been recognized with the Excellence in Education Award and he’s also earned a George Foster Peabody Award for Documentary Filmmaking.
MediaVillage’s mission is to advance advertising supported media industry growth through investments in diversity and education, highlighted by the industry’s first-ever Advancing Diversity Week that took place September 2021, culminating with the 4th annual Advancing Diversity Hall of Honors Induction Experience and inaugural Gen-Z Town Hall Meeting.
Jack is the author of four books on generational shifts, including Hooked Up, the earliest research on Gen-Z influence, and The Future of Men, which is also a TED Talk that’s generated almost 200,000 views. Jack’s early consulting work contributed to strategic innovation for more than 200 media, advertising, and marketing clients. He began his career with ABC Radio, CBS Television and Metromedia Outdoor. He graduated from the Newhouse School at Syracuse U. and has a Master Degree in Media Ecology from NYU.
As head of automotive and oil, gas and energy staffing at Kelly Professional & Industrial, Vice President Keilon Ratliff spearheads Kelly’s efforts to provide job seekers with non-violent criminal records a path to employment. Under his leadership Kelly collaborated with an automotive manufacturer to hire second chance workers who had previously been disqualified from consideration. The Kelly33 initiative enabled the client to increase its talent pool, address critical staffing needs and improve retention rates.
Ratliff actively supports Kelly’s Equity@Work initiative that was launched in 2020 to remove barriers that make it hard for people to attain enriching work. Rarely challenged, these obstacles – such as outdated degree requirements, biases against candidates with criminal histories and discrimination of neurodiverse talent – leave capable talent excluded. Ratliff holds a key advisory role and develops strategies to engage clients and partners in Kelly’s efforts to build a more equitable workforce. He also serves on the company’s Inclusion Council.
How to knock down unjust barriers to work that hold millions back.
How ex offenders are a hidden workforce that can help companies address labor shortages.
How everyone deserves second chances and the dignity of work.
Carmelo Piazza (Carmelo the Science Fellow) is the Founder of the Brooklyn Preschool of Science. He is a Brooklyn born educator who taught for the Department of Education for 17 years and is now the owner of three independent science based preschools.
The Brooklyn Preschool of Science is an inquiry-based interdisciplinary school that uses play to holistically connect subject areas. The school aims to excite young kids about learning and engage their innate curiosity about the world. The school features a living wall of plants, a 300-gallon fish tank, and a multitude of living creatures that reside in the classrooms.
Carmelo talks about the value of teaching preschoolers math/science as early as 2-3 years old and discuss how science is the only true way to bridge the gap of inequality in education.
Hear the conversation about equity in education from these experts based in Chattanooga, Tennessee. This podcast is part of the ADR Black-Jewish Dialogues.
Ardena Garth Hicks: Education Activist
Ardena is a Hamilton County native and practicing attorney who is the 2020 Legal Aid Society Pro Bono Attorney of the Year. She is a member of the Hamilton County Partnership Network Board of Directors, appointed by TN Education Commissioner Candace McQueen. The Partnership’s charge is to “review the progress of the five schools in the Partnership Network- which have been deemed priority schools by the state…and make recommendations to the Hamilton County Board of Education and Network leadership to support students’ growth and development.”
She is President of Chattanooga Endeavors, Inc., a non-profit organization which advocates for the interests of citizens repatriating from incarceration. Ardena previously was Special Prosecutor for Child Abuse cases with the Hamilton County District Attorney’s office. She served as Hamilton County’s first elected District Public Defender from 1990 to 2014 (3 successive 8-year terms), having been appointed to the newly-created position by Gov. Ned McWherter in 1989. Ardena graduated as a Ooltewah HS valedictorian, earned her bachelor’s degree at Middle TN State U. and earned her Juris Doctor (JD) degree from the U. of Kansas.
Dr. Jill Keegan Levine: Education Administrator
Jill is the Chief of Innovation and Choice for Tennessee’s Hamilton County Schools, a district of over 45,000 students. Prior to this role, she served as the Chief of the Opportunity Zone, a learning community focused on turnaround of the twelve highest needs schools in the district, as well as serving previously as the Chief Academic Officer of the school district.
After graduating from Wellesley College with a double major in Music and History, Jill began her career teaching 3rd grade and directing musical theater productions in the New Orleans Public Schools. She was the principal of Normal Park Museum Magnet, a Chattanooga Pre-K through 8th grade school, for 14 years. She led the transformation of two low performing schools into award winning, innovative, exciting and challenging places of learning. In 2012, Jill was recognized as the National Magnet Schools Principals of the Year. From 2013-2015, she served in the Obama administration as the first full time Principal Ambassador Fellow at the US Department of Education. In that capacity, she worked closely with Secretary Arne Duncan to increase the department’s focus on the importance of school leadership.
Todd Cherches is the CEO & Cofounder of BigBlueGumball, an innovative New York City-based management consulting firm specializing in leadership development and executive coaching. He is also a three-time award-winning Adjunct Professor of leadership at NYU, and a Lecturer on leadership at Columbia University. Todd is a member of Marshall Goldsmith’s “MG100 Coaches”; a TEDx speaker; and the author of VisuaLeadership: Leveraging the Power of Visual Thinking in Leadership and in Life, published by Post Hill Press/Simon & Schuster (May, 2020).
Marilyn Kallet recently served two terms as Knoxville Poet Laureate, 2018-2020. She has published 18 books, including How Our Bodies Learned, The Love That Moves Me and Packing Light: New and Selected Poems, Black Widow Press. She translated Paul Eluard’s Last Love Poems and Benjamin Péret’s The Big Game.
Dr. Kallet is Professor Emerita at the University of Tennessee. From 2009-2020, she mentored poetry groups for the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, in Auvillar, France. Her poetry has appeared recently in Plume and American Diversity Report.
Maria James-Thiaw is a poet, performer and an educator from Central PA. She has written three poetry collections and her poetry has been published by Cutthroat Journal of the Arts, Love Your Rebellion and other journals. Her choreopoem, Reclaiming My Time: An American Griot Project debuted in Summerdale, PA in 2018 to 6 sold out audiences. She won the Art of Protest Poetry Prize from Penn State for works from that production. In 2020 she created a Zoom version entitled RMT 2.0. This performance poet attended Marilyn Kallet’s workshops in France in 2011 and 2015. Maria is a graduate of Goddard College’s MFA in Creative Writing Program and she is the Program Coordinator of Creative Writing for CASA, Capital Area School for the Arts in Harrisburg, PA.
American Diversity Report, Chattanooga News Chronicle, Mizpah Congregation, Jewish Federation of Greater Chattanooga, C.U.R.B. – Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda.
Dr. Tana M Session is an organizational development strategist, international speaker, and media contributor. Dr. Session changes lives at work through transformative Inclusion, Diversity & Multigenerational workforce strategies . She is the CEO and Founder of From Foster Care to Fabulous Foundation.
Christopher. Lafayette is an Emergent Technologist in medtech, virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, climate and applied sciences. He is a Silicon Valley national and international speaker, Thought Leader and Culture & Inclusion Advocate. He is the Founder of Black Technology Mentorship Program (BTMP)
Dr. Janét Aizenstros is a signatory with the United Nations Business Action Hub (UNBAH) for the United Nations Global Compact Network. She is an award-winning businesswoman with several leadership awards such as the Top 40 under 40, a recipient of the 2020 WXN Canada’s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneur Award: Top 100, the Stevie® Award winner for Female Entrepreneur of the Year Canada. She also received Employer Of The Year for Canadian Business which ranked her company 12th on Canadian Business ’s 2020 Growth List. Thus, she became the first Black Canadian woman in history to scale a 9-figure organization and sole female founder to be featured on the list.
Dr. Janét Aizenstros is also a member of the Young President’s Organization (YPO), a participant with Concordia Leadership Council and a Global Goodwill Ambassador for the Global Goodwill Ambassadors Foundation.