Registration is now closed, as we have reached capacity.
Please note that there will be no onsite registration due to space limitations.  



U-M CEW brings celebrated and award-winning transgender actress, producer & equal rights advocate Laverne Cox to Rackham Auditorium on Wednesday, November 15th at 6:00 p.m. In Ms. Cox’s lecture, titled Ain't I a Woman? My Journey to Womanhood, she will be sharing her experiences as a trans woman of color, and her work as an international advocate for human rights and gender equality. This lecture serves as the capstone event to the 2017 CEW Spectrum of Advocacy & Activism Symposium being held earlier in the day.

Tickets to the keynote lecture are included for all registered symposium attendees. Attendees MUST be present at the symposium to receive their ticket.

Laverne Cox is an Emmy-nominated actress, Emmy-winning producer and the first transgender woman of color to have a leading role on a mainstream scripted television show. Laverne will be sharing her experiences as a trans woman of color, and her work as an international advocate for human rights and gender equality.

As "Sophia Burset," an incarcerated African American transgender woman on “Orange is the New Black,” Laverne is the first trans woman of color to have a leading role on a mainstream scripted television show. Along with several acting awards, Laverne was notably the first trans woman to appear on the cover of TIME magazine. An accomplished producer and celebrated equal rights advocate, she continues to drive positive change on a global scale as she shares her views on race, class, and gender with audiences through a range of platforms.

Laverne projects a combination of strength and vulnerability in her presentations while delivering an animated reflection on the transgender experience. Her recollections of growing up in Mobile, Ala., moving to New York City, and finding the courage to step into womanhood illustrate the unique challenges faced by the transgender community. With a powerful and empowering message about self-acceptance and love, Laverne moves audiences to respect and appreciate all individuals and advocate for positive change. 




(Listed alphabetically)

Francine Alexander, MSW, Organizational Consultant
Francine is an organizational consultant specializing in collaborative planning for teams, organizations, networks, and communities. Her work supports private, public and service sector clients, focusing on leading practice research, opportunity analysis, and strategic planning. Her projects frequently include stakeholders with diverse perspectives who must learn together, find common ground, and take aligned action. Her unflagging curiosity and energy have helped Francine engage with openness in widely varied organizations, systems, and cultures. 
Amber Arellano, MPP, Founding Executive Director,
The Education Trust-Midwest
Under Arellano's leadership, Ed Trust-Midwest led the cross-sector development of MI’s first statewide educator support and evaluation system. Arellano also founded the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning to bring best practices to MI’s high-poverty schools. At the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, she helped develop cross-country public engagement campaigns. Arellano is an alumna of U-M Ford School of Public Policy. A former public high school teacher, she is a first-generation college graduate.
Raquel Castañeda-LópezDetroit City Council Member, and 
New American Leaders Project Board Member and Trainer
City Council member Raquel Castaneda-Lopez made history in November 2013 by becoming the first Latina elected to the Detroit City Council. Ms. Castañeda-López has over ten years of experience in the non-profit sector. She currently serves as the Vice-Chair of the Budget, Audit & Finance Committee, a member of the Public Health & Safety Committee, and is Council's official liaison to Detroit Public Schools. Castañeda-López is a first generation college graduate with a BA of Social Work (University of Montana) and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from U-M. 
Jaye ClementMPH, MPP, Henry Ford Health System
Jaye Clement serves as the current director of Community Health Programs and Strategies within the Henry Ford Health Systems’s Office of Community Health, Equity and Wellness. She has had diverse career experience engaging partners for community health and advocacy, and is a Community Policy Advocacy Trainer with the Detroit Urban Research Center (Detroit URC). Clement earned her MPH in health behavior and health education from the University of Michigan School of Public Health and her MPP from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.
Chris M. Coombe, MPH, PhD, U-M School of Public Health and Detroit Urban Research Center
Chris Coombe has extensive experience working with diverse partners to engage in community-based participatory research and policy advocacy to promote health and equity. She serves as an assistant research scientist in the U-M School of Public Health’s Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, and is also affiliated with the Detroit Community-Academic Urban Research Center (Detroit URC). She has extensive experience developing, implementing, and evaluating community-based interventions and initiatives using community-based participatory research (CBPR). 
Dessa Cosma is a long time social justice advocate, starting her environmental, LGBT, and reproductive justice efforts in high school. After earning several degrees from University of Georgie, Dessa moved to Detroit to work for Planned Parenthood Affiliates of Michigan. Dessa helped organize the 2010 US Social Forum, and the 2012 Michigan Women’s Power Assembly. Dessa worked as the Michigan Program Director for the Center for Progressive Leadership and then helped start Economic Justice Alliance of Michigan where she served as Executive Director. Dessa has tremendous disability pride and is eager to continue bridging the gap between the disability community and larger social justice movements. 
Ghida DagherAdvocacy & Government Relations Manager at United Way of SE MichiganNew American Leaders Project Trainer
Ghida Dagher manages the partnerships between the state government and the agency’s numerous nonprofit entities. She has extensive community organizing experience from her work with the University of Michigan, the Peace Corps, Arab American National Museum, Northern Borders Coalition, and numerous other community-based organizations. She earned a BA in Political Science from the University of Michigan. 
Marijata Daniel-Echols, PhDMichigan Public Health Institute
Marijata Daniel-Echols has 15 years of experience in research, program evaluation, and consultation to state agencies related to poverty policy, the intersection of race and class, early childhood education, and nonprofit management. She earned a B.A. in Sociology, a Masters in Public Policy, and a PhD in Political Science all from the University of Michigan; and a MA in Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Maya Kobersy, JDU-M Office of the Vice President & General Counsel
Maya Kobersy is an Associate General Counsel for the University of Michigan and her primary practice areas include affirmative action and diversity, election law, privacy, research and research misconduct, University logo issues, and in-state tuition guidelines for students. Maya worked in the Education Group of Hogan & Hartson, LLP, where she advised clients on numerous K-12, higher education, and civil rights issues. She received her B.A. from the University of Michigan and her J.D. from Harvard Law School, where she was an Executive Editor of the Harvard Law Review.
William Lopez received his PhD in Public Health from U-M School of Public Health. His dissertation work was a collaborative project with community based organizations that focused on the impacts of immigration home raids on individuals and families in mixed-status Latino communities. He served as a consultant and member of the development team for the Washtenaw County ID, a government issued photo-ID available to members of the county regardless of immigration status, gender identity, and residential status. As a Postdoctoral Scholar at the UM National Center for Institutional Diversity, William also works to support scholars whose research focuses on diversity and writes frequently in the public forum.

Callie McKee, MFA, Office of New Student Programs
Callie McKee is the Educational Theatre Director with the Office of New Student Programs. In this role, she designs unique and powerful theatrical presentations for numerous new student orientations, special events, trainings and classrooms. Callie is a graduate of the Internship program at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, Ireland and is currently an MFA candidate in Applied Theatre and Drama for the Young at Eastern Michigan University.


Kary L. Moss has served as the Executive Director of the ACLU of MI since 1998. Moss has spearheaded tremendous growth in the organization, leading two capital and operating campaigns. ACLU’s programs have included many high impact civil rights cases including the country’s first challenge to the government’s effort to close immigration court hearings to the public, warrantless wiretapping by the NSA and “right to read” lawsuit holding the state accountable for dismal literacy scores in a Detroit-area school district. Prior to ACLU of MI, she clerked at the US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit and served as Staff Attorney with the ACLU's Women’s Rights Project founded by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 

Karika Parker, MAMichigan Public Health Institute
Karika Parker has experience working within local Public Health in Kalamazoo County as well as with community organizers as a part of the Power of We Consortium of Ingham County. She earned a BA in Sociology and Black Americana Studies and an MA in History all from Western Michigan University. 



Ellen Rabinowitz, MUP, Health Officer for Washtenaw County
Ms. Rabinowitz oversees the entire Washtenaw County Public Health department which serves a resident population of approximately 350,000 with a variety of programs and services, designed to improve health and prevent disease or injury. She also serves as the Executive Director of the Washtenaw Health Plan. Local public health responsibilities include working with the community to ensure accessible health services, core prevention programs, a healthy environment, the capacity to respond to public health emergencies as well as comprehensive community-based health assessment and improvement.
Paul Reingold, JD, Director, Law School Civil-Criminal Litigation Clinic
Prior to joining the Law School faculty in 1983, Professor Reingold served as a legal services attorney, specializing in cases against the state and federal governments. His primary interests include civil rights litigation, appellate practice, prisoners' rights, and civil procedure. Professor Reingold has taught Trial Advocacy, Litigation Ethics, Negotiation, and Clinical Law, and is a past recipient of the L. Hart Wright Award for Excellence in Teaching. He also has taught as a visiting professor of law in Japan and Spain, and as a visiting clinical professor at Boston College Law School. He has served on the board of directors of the Clinical Law Section of the American Association of Law Schools and was a founding member of the editorial board of the Clinical Law Review. Professor Reingold attended Gerry Spence's Trial Lawyers College in Wyoming, and has been recognized as a fellow of the Michigan State Bar Foundation. He serves on the executive committee of Michigan's Institute of Continuing Legal Education, and is trained as a court-approved mediator. The State Bar of Michigan granted him its 2009 Champion of Justice Award for his work as a public interest lawyer. Professor Reingold earned his BA from Amherst College and his JD from Boston University Law School.
Molly Reno is a human rights attorney and long time social justice activist. While practicing law in Ann Arbor, she represented over 800 women and girl prisoners who were sexually assaulted by prison staff. Through a series of class action cases and 13 years of litigation, the State of MI agreed to reform the entire women's prison system to minimize future sexual assault, and paid $100 million in damages. To minimize retraumatization of women and girls during the litigation, Molly studied and became certified as a somatic coach in a neuroscience based resiliency program, Emotional Brain Training (EBT). Molly is committed to bringing EBT’s resiliency tools to social and environmental justice movements.
Omari Rush, CultureSource
Omari Rush is the newly appointed Executive Director of CultureSource, an alliance of nonprofit arts and cultural organizations in SE MI. Prior, he served as the VP of strategic initiatives for the Ann Arbor Art Center. Omari has served in several advisory roles including Vice Chair of the State of MI Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, a member of national advisory committees for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Association of Performing Arts Professionals, and as chair of the board of directors for the Ann Arbor Public Schools Educational Foundation. Omari has a BA from Florida State University and a MFA from the U-M. 
Genevieve Segura, PhD, State Advisory Committee to U.S. Committee on Civil Rights
Genevieve Segura, PhD is of second generation Hispanic descent, born in Detroit, a University of Michigan graduate, has a 30 year career in higher education at the college and state government levels. Recently Dr. Segura was appointed to a Committee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights which focuses on social issues and injustices at the national level involving diversity, minorities, immigrants, gender, the homeless, veterans, disabled citizens, the elderly, the poor, single parents, women's health, health care, the incarcerated. 

Will SherryMSW, Director of the University of Michigan Spectrum Center
Will Sherry is a 2007 graduate of the University of Michigan School of Social Work and a 2005 graduate of the College of Wooster. Will is in his tenth year in the Center, where he works to support and educate the campus community through the lens of gender and sexuality.



Matt StatmanLMSW, CAADC - U-M Wolverine Wellness
Matthew Statman is the Manager of the Collegiate Recovery Program at the University of Michigan and faculty advisor to the University of Michigan Student for Recovery group. He is an adjunct lecturer at Eastern Michigan University School of Social Work. Matt is also a Board Member of the Association of Recovery in Higher Education. He graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a BSW and received a MSW from the University of Michigan.
Jim Toy, Long-time Ann Arbor LGBTQ+ Activist and Pioneer
Jim is a gay male Asian-American clinical social worker skilled in counseling, education, civil rights advocacy, community organization, organizational training and consultation. He is Co-Founder and retired Co-Coordinator of U-M Spectrum Center, and also Diversity Coordinator, U-M Office of Institutional Equity. Jim co-founded Oasis TBLG Outreach Ministry, Episcopal Diocese of Michigan, and is the current Board Secretary. His areas of expertise include "Peacemaking Dialogue"; Bullying Prevention; Human Sexuality and Gender Identity; The Intersection of Oppressions; and Advocacy for Human and Civil Rights. 
Patricia A WrenU-M Dearborn Department of Health & Human Services
Patricia Wren is a professor and chair of the Department of Health and Human Services at U-M Dearborn. She has a research focus that centers on the measurement of patient-centered outcomes and has been involved in more than 24 clinical trials and community-based intervention studies addressing a range of health problems. Wren has a BA degree in political science and MA degree in the management of public services from DuPaul University. In addition, she earned a Master of Public Health degree in health behavior/health education and a PhD in Education from U-M. 


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