Keynote & Featured Speakers

Keynote Speaker

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Mayor Nadia Mohamed, named the "New Face of St. Louis Park" by The New York Times, Mayor Nadia Mohamed made history as the first Somali-American mayor in the United States and the first black Mayor of St. Louis Park. Arriving in America at the age of 10, Mayor Nadia Mohamed began a journey characterized by fortitude and an aptitude for leadership

Mayor Mohamed's commitment to public service began with a successful four-year term as an at-large council member, paving the way for her historic mayoral achievement in 2024. Widely recognized for fostering connections among diverse communities, her four-year involvement in the St. Louis Park Multicultural Advisory Committee earned her the St. Louis Park Human Rights Award, a testament to her unwavering dedication to civic engagement.

Mayor Mohamed is pursuing a Master's in educational leadership at St. Thomas University. Her expertise as a diversity, equity, and inclusion practitioner in public schools, nonprofits, and government agencies reflects her passion for creating positive change."

Featured Speaker, College of Humanities & Social Sciences, Concurrent Session I

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Dr. Jakia Marie is a Black Studies scholar and currently an assistant professor of Interdisciplinary Studies and Program Coordinator of the African/African American Studies program at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, MI. Born and raised in Muskegon, Michigan, she went on to earn a BA in Liberal Studies and M.ED in higher education with an emphasis in college student affairs leadership at GVSU. She went on to earn a Ph.D. in Pan-African Studies and M.A. in Anthropology from the University of Louisville in Louisville, KY. Her work theoretically and empirically explores the nuances of Black identities across the US and globally. With multiple peer-reviewed published works, Jakia strives to use research to better understand the complexities of Black experiences.


Featured Speaker, College of Allied Health & Nursing, Concurrent Session II

Dr. a person with long braids smilingRashida K. Fisher has 17+ years of expertise in clinical counseling and supervision, counselor education, coaching, consultation, and training services.  Dr. Fisher is the Founder of Ujima Healing and Consulting. She is currently an associate faculty member and serves as the Dean of the Counseling program at Adler Graduate School. Rashida is an Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA) practitioner for business, government, non-profit, and education.  Rashida is a qualified administrator of the Intercultural Developmental Inventory (IDI).  Dr. Fisher’s talks bring a mixture of expertise, passion, vision, and authentic style. She has successfully designed and executed IDEA and wellness-focused workshops, training, dialogues, and discussions for senior leaders, managers, and staff that encourage learning, reflection, self-awareness, and understanding, inspiring growth and progress toward equitable and just outcomes for diverse staff and communities. Rashida’s clinical experience includes co-occurring disorders treatment, culturally responsive care, and trauma-informed service delivery. She utilizes integrative and holistic counseling, most heavily influenced by Adlerian/ Individual psychology and other holistic and wellness-based approaches with a multicultural, liberation, and social justice lens. 

Pre-Conference Featured Speaker, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

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Dr. Andriel Dees serves as the Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. In her role, Andriel serves as the primary advisor to the Chancellor on issues of equity and inclusion and providing guidance and oversight for the system’s Equity 2030 imperative. She also leads the Office of Equity and Inclusion.
Andriel has also served at Capella University as Corporate Director of Diversity and Inclusion, the University of Wisconsin-River Falls as Chief Diversity Officer and Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Affirmative Action/EEO compliance and Associate Dean for Multicultural Affairs at William Mitchell College of Law.
With a highly collaborative and thoughtful style, she has led efforts in strategic diversity leadership within higher education. She recently served as the Chair for the Equity Action Collaborative for the National Association of Higher Education Systems (NASH). Her strong personal and intellectual commitment to social justice and to advancing excellence through diversity has shown her to be a transformational leader in higher education.
Andriel earned her Juris Doctorate from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia. She is active in her community as a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the Greater Twin Cities Chapter of the Links, Inc., and Advisory Board member for the Page Education Foundation.