Keynote Speakers & Panelists

Target Audience

The primary audience for this symposium is teams or individuals working directly on hate/bias education, prevention, response, and healing within a higher education setting, which typically includes: 

  • Chief Diversity Officers
  • Affirmative Action Directors
  • Counseling staff
  • LGBT+ Directors
  • Multicultural Directors
  • Campus Climate Coordinators
  • Residence Life stakeholders
  • Violence Prevention Specialists
  • University Police
  • Student activists

This symposium will also benefit higher education faculty/staff/administrators who understand this work is bigger than one person or any team, anti-racist and social justice-centered K-12 educators, businesses/organizations who care about people, and those who want to do their part to advance inclusivity, equity, and justice within our collective spheres of influence. 

Keynote Speakers

Masood Akhtar expanding section

Masood Akhtar is an Indian-born proud American Muslim entrepreneur and activist. Akhtar has been living in Madison for over 30 years and actively involved with numerous community projects. To address the environment of Islamophobia, Akhtar spent a significant amount of time addressing this issue in cooperation with leaders from the Madison Muslim Community, law enforcement officers, elected officials, local media and the general public. To address the current environment of hate, bigotry, and racism, Akhtar started a state-wide non-partisan Movement “We Are Many: United Against Hate”- where people who are urban and rural, spiritual and secular can unite together to build an inclusive community. Akhtar’s Movement is not about us vs. them. Akhtar also served on Dane County’s “Immigration and Refugee Task Force” aimed to build trust between local law enforcement officials and the immigration and refugee communities and thus reduce fear. In 2017, Akhtar was awarded “Certificate of Appreciation” by Sergeant Janesville Police Department; Lieutenant, Kenosha Police Department; and Director of Emergency Management, UW-Madison Police Department to recognize with deep gratitude the contributions made by Akhtar to the Wisconsin Command College Re-Trainer. In 2017, Akhtar was awarded “Certificate of Appreciation” by the Southern Poverty Law Center in recognition for his important contribution to the ongoing fight against hatred and intolerance in America. Akhtar’s name has been added to the Wall of Tolerance in Montgomery, Alabama, to provide inspiration to all those who choose to take a stand against hatred. On February 8, 2019, Akhtar received “Certificate of Achievement” from Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers that states “all Wisconsinites should be inspired by Masood’s work and strive to unite together regardless of differences and seek to build a state and a country that is united against hate, bigotry, and racism. Now, therefore, I, Tony Evers, Governor of the State of Wisconsin, do hereby congratulate Masood Akhtar and extend my best wishes to him for continued excellence.” On May 3, 2019, Akhtar received the prestigious national FBI’s 2018 Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA) at the FBI headquarters in Washington, DC from FBI Director Christopher Wray. The Award says, “In Recognition of Your Outstanding Contributions, To Our Nation & Communities Through Dedication and Leadership – With Deepest Appreciation” On June 14, 2019, Akhtar was appointed on the Board of Friends of PBS Wisconsin. 

Dany Bicoy expanding section

Dany Bicoy is a pansexual, mixed race, trans woman writer, poet, musician, with a degree in mathematics education, and a lot of words to describe herself. She began performing activism related material in 2016 with UWL's Awareness Through Performance, which she loved dearly and performed with for five seasons. She's written, spoken, and sang about various issues and identities in multiple places since then, the highlight being that one time she totally did a Tedx Talk. She's currently working as a substitute teacher and splits her free time fairly evenly between doing math, singing, and playing Tetris. She wrote an album she's not embarrassed about yet called "Rooftop Shouting" available at danybicoy.bandcamp.com

Mike McCabe expanding section

Mike McCabe is the executive director of We Are Many United Against Hate. Mike was a candidate for governor in 2018 and is the author of Blue Jeans in High Places: The Coming Makeover of American Politics. In 2015 he started the grassroots citizen group Blue Jean Nation. For 15 years before that, he led the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, an independent watchdog group that tracks the money in state elections and works for reforms making people matter more than money in politics. In that role, Mike blew the whistle on wrongdoing by elected officials and earned a reputation as one of the nation’s best political money trackers. He served in the Peace Corps from 1989 to 1991 in the West African country of Mali, where he trained teachers from 68 rural primary schools in agricultural and vocational skills and in teaching methods aimed at making instruction more applied and practical for Malian students. He planned and facilitated 16 districtwide teacher training workshops and authored a technical guide for teachers in French. Before his stint in the Peace Corps, Mike ran a statewide civic education program for the nonprofit Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance. In addition to making hundreds of classroom presentations, he produced videotapes on government and tax policy for classroom use and did teacher training. He co-authored a textbook on Wisconsin government and co-authored a curriculum guide on state and local government for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction while serving on a state social studies curriculum committee. Mike later worked for six years as the Madison Metropolitan School District’s public communications coordinator and legislative liaison. Born and raised in Wisconsin, McCabe got his start in life on the farm milking cows and working the land with his family. He has lived across the rural-urban divide, with a foot in both worlds, having spent nearly half of his life out in the country and the rest in the state’s second-largest city and state capital. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

General Session Speakers

Ida Balderrama-Trudell, M.S. expanding section

Ida has 20 years of higher education experience, ranging from her own graduate education, to student services, academic administration, advising, teaching and health and wellness.  She practices a socio-ecological approach to her work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is a fierce social justice practitioner and advocate. She holds a master’s degree in Human Development & Family Studies from UW-Madison and bachelor’s degrees from Texas Tech University, in both Psychology and Human Development & Family Studies. Her master’s thesis focused on the ambiguous discrimination experiences for Mexican American college-age students.

She enjoys making meaningful connections with students and being a small part of their life journey. Ida is currently the interim Assistant Dean & Director for the Multicultural Student Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She’s also a Girl Scout leader for both of her daughter’s Girl Scout Troops, loves cooking, and reading and most importantly spending time with loved ones and dear colleagues. She is committed to life-long learning, self-care and advocacy and is a proud Chicana, born in California, raised in Texas and living in Wisconsin.

Instagram: @idabtru

ananda mirilli, M.Ed. expanding section

ananda mirilli​​ is a native from Brazil and has a long history of working with communities in the U.S. and abroad. At age 14 she engaged in social justice movement advocating for children with multiple abilities, seniors experiencing poverty, and youth experiencing homelessness. After moving to the U.S. ananda became an educator and found her passion facilitating learning spaces for individuals, groups and organizations engaging in transformative work. ananda’s commitment to racial and gender justice led her to develop new frames for youth and women’s leadership. As a skilled facilitator, ananda has engaged with thousands of youth, women and diverse professionals, building coalition and solidarity. ananda is the Grant Director to Address Racial Disproportionality in Special Education for the WI Department of Public Instruction, she holds a master’s degree in Education Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Wisconsin and a bachelor’s degree in Human Services and Psychology.

Panelists

Satya Chima, B.A. expanding section

Satya Chima (she/her, they/them) serves as the Equity Programs Supervisor and Housing Insecure Liaison at American River College in Sacramento, California. In her role, she oversees the College’s Diversity and Equity Center, Pride Center, UndocuScholar Resource Center and Food Pantry. Satya previously worked as the Bias Response and Advocacy Coordinator at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she coordinated campus-wide processes to address hate and bias incidents as well as serve as the advocate for students who had been targeted. Satya self-identifies as a queer, multi-racial, woman of color with a disability, and has extensive experience working in higher education with marginalized student populations. She has facilitated numerous social justice trainings and restorative justice efforts with an emphasis on identity development, racial justice, and healing from interpersonal conflicts and systemic oppressions. Satya holds a B.A. in Feminist Studies from UC Santa Cruz.

ananda mirilli, M.Ed. expanding section

ananda mirilli​​ is a native from Brazil and has a long history of working with communities in the U.S. and abroad. At age 14 she engaged in social justice movement advocating for children with multiple abilities, seniors experiencing poverty, and youth experiencing homelessness. After moving to the U.S. ananda became an educator and found her passion facilitating learning spaces for individuals, groups and organizations engaging in transformative work. ananda’s commitment to racial and gender justice led her to develop new frames for youth and women’s leadership. As a skilled facilitator, ananda has engaged with thousands of youth, women and diverse professionals, building coalition and solidarity. ananda is the Grant Director to Address Racial Disproportionality in Special Education for the WI Department of Public Instruction, she holds a master’s degree in Education Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Wisconsin and a bachelor’s degree in Human Services and Psychology.

Lori M. Mueller, Ph.D. expanding section

Lori M. Mueller, Ph.D., serves as the District Administrator for the School District of Baraboo. Mueller, completed the doctoral program at Edgewood College, received her M.S. in Educational Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a B.S. in French and Health Education from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. In her 24 years in education as a teacher, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, and now superintendent, Mueller has presented at regional, state, and national conferences on topics related to grading for communicating student learning, developing assessment literacy, gifted and talented services, implementing a Response to Intervention framework, continuous school improvement, strategic planning, crisis response, and engaging the community in supporting facilities referenda.

Betty Jeanne Taylor, Ph.D. expanding section

Betty Jeanne Taylor serves as assistant vice president in the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE) at The University of Texas at Austin, where she leads the university's Campus Climate Response Team, partnering with colleagues to respond to reports of bias incidents impacting the university community. She is also a faculty member in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy, as a clinical assistant professor for the Program in Higher Education Leadership. Prior to joining DDCE, she served on the management team in the Office of the Dean of Students, as director of Greek Life and Education and instructed Intergroup Dialogue as a lecturer in the Department of Educational Psychology.

Taylor holds a Ph.D. in higher education administration from The University of Texas at Austin and received a B.S. in communication and an M.S. in higher education from Florida State University. Her research interests focus on intersectional identity development, inclusive climates, and recruitment/retention of faculty of color at predominantly white institutions.

Student Inclusion Coalition expanding section

The Student Inclusion Coalition advocates for the social, academic, and emotional wellness of all marginalized students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Our goal is to be a catalyst for change by ensuring proper representation, opportunities, and resources are afforded to each student. Launched after the Fall 2019 homecoming video that excluded everyone except white students, SIC seeks to transcend any one issue. Following the 5 demands presented to UW- Madison's Administration on October 24, 2019 a demonstration was held on Bascom Hill with attendance of around 400 people. We now are building our task forces and working with administration to complete our demands in a timely fashion.