Black and Brown Summit

Reviving Our Roots Through Courageous Conversations

November 19, 2016 — Highline College



To empower and motivate our Black and Brown young men to excel in academics and to accept nothing less than excellence from self.


  • Critique social structures that inhibit Black/Brown young men from being successful in education.
  • Highlight the achievements in spite of the obstacles/barriers that they face.
  • Contextualize their self identity socially, culturally, historically, and politically by giving the young men a sense of self and value of self.

Summit Archive

View proceedings from the 2015 Summit.

Free Admission  •  Free Breakfast and Lunch  •  Free Enlightenment

agenda View Adult/Chaperone Agenda


8:00 - 8:45 am Registration
8:40 - 9:00am Welcome —Rashad Norris and Loyal Allen Jr
9:00 - 10:15am Keynote Address: Kevin Powell
#TheEducationofMe: Why Young Men of Color Matter

Speaking very personally, Kevin talks about how he was socialized, from boyhood on, and via school, the mass media culture, his community, and religious institutions shaped him as a Black boy becoming a Black man. He also discusses the importance of self-care, healing, and holistically development as it helped shape his identity, his activist work, and his community engagement around the globe.

10:30am - 11:45am Roundtable Reflection
12:00 - 12:50pm Lunch
1:00 - 2:15pm
Clinton Taylor
ABC’s on Life; (Attitude, Beliefs and Choices) My Life, My Choice!

Attitudes are a settled way of thinking or feeling about yourself or someone or something. And choices are the right, power, or opportunity to choose; in other words “options”. During this workshop, participants will learn to identify common causes underlying how our attitudes, control our beliefs and beliefs dictate the choices we make thus determining the direction we take in life. In addition participant will learn practical and useful strategies to address, interrupt, and change some of the beliefs and choices they have made in the past so that they can have a positive attitude and outlook on their future.

Joshua Magallanes MA., LMHCA., NCC
Social Barriers, Social Constructs…When does it all stop?

We inhabit and are inhabited by multiple categories of identity and our experience of several identities taken together may be emotionally, culturally, and materially different than the experience of any one particular identity. When we add this to the complexity of social structures, understanding the relationship between the powers bestowed upon these identities is important in order to understand how intersectionality really plays out. For me as a first generation Latino college student, it took me a while to understand that I could be my own person and still be connected to my community and family. However, I knew it would be difficult to have strong discussions with family members and those in my community based on what my sexual orientation was. I knew that I would have to cut through many biased opinions based off of fear. I am not saying that it was easy or that I was the golden child, but this is why I continue to do this work to help others like me understand that there are other ways, and other chosen families that can help us through this. Come explore through participatory exercises gender identity and theory identity as it relates to intersections in one's life; also exploration of masculinity and the integration of masculinity and identity within social constructs. How it is that society gets to say who we are and when we can become who they say we are going to be. Don't you want to have a say in that? Participants will leave with a better understanding of the following questions: What does it mean to have identity? What does Masculinity mean? How are gender roles perceived?

John Eklof
How Spoken Word Poetry Can Change Your Life

The session would center around how spoken word poetry can change a student’s life. Spoken word poetry allows for a person to express themselves, process life experiences, and share their artistry with the world. When the student has the opportunity to share their poetry, it can be extremely beneficial for them. It helps develop public speaking skills. It helps students become more vulnerable with one another. It gives students a sense of confidence that they may not have had beforehand. During the session, I would perform a couple pieces for the students. Then I would share with them some background how I started performing and what I have gained personally from spoken word poetry. I would pull up a few spoken word pieces from youtube to better help them to see men of color perform poetry. Then I would engage in a conversation with them about spoken word poetry and their experiences with it.

Brendan Nelson
The Mask Masculinity and the Impacts on Men of Color

This presentation will help young men of color explore how we, as a society, view young men and understand concepts of masculinity. Participants will reflect on those messages, identify where those concepts and stereotypes come from and begin to understand how they can be challenged. Learning Objectives: Participants will reflect on the societal messages, concepts and stereotypes of masculinity, identify and share examples of the different sources and ways those concepts and stereotypes are perpetuated in society, share or listen to personal reflections about growing up male and create a male story character with stereotypical and nonstereotypical male behavior.

Marcus Harden
"When you know better…"

"When you know better…" students will engage in learning about the power of identifying areas of strength and challenges in their lives, using scientific practices from the ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences study) and learn how to apply them to their everyday life.  Students will engage in an interactive learning environment in which they’ll get to know the presenter and each of the participants. Students will learn about themselves, how to make their trials their triumphs and about resiliency and hope.

Philip “Sharp Skills” Jacobs
Path to Greatness

Philip “Sharp Skills” Jacobs’ workshop entitled Path to Greatness is designed to get students to think about the importance of their life choices and the impact that they can have on their overall outcome. People have an inner need to be significant, make an impact, and leave their mark on the world. The unforeseen circumstances that life presents as well as our own decision making can cause us to deviate from the path that we desire to go in. In order to overcome this, it is imperative that we are intentional about the choices we make and how we react to the curve balls life often sends our way.

Christian Paige
"My voice. My future. My life."

Your voice is the strongest weapon that you have. Your voice can shape the future, it can shape lives, and the biggest threat to society in the current times is silence among powerful voices. When you realize that your voice is powerful, and realize what is at stake, you will never be able to be silent in the face of injustice again. In between each of the activities theme fragments I will be inserting personal experience of transforming a higher education institution. I have gone from being a first generation college student to being contracted by various institutions and agency to use my voice and create institutional change. Your voice is your weapon. Your life is your choice. Your future is now.

Jesse Elijah Johnson and Kendrick Glover

Education does not occur in a vacuum but a social context as a means to fulfill the purposes of the system in which it resides. Black and Brown children are educated by a system that benefits white people to the detriment of people of color. Our responsibility in this workshop is to empower our black and brown males who are historically and contemporarily the most marginalized and disenfranchised group in schools as well as equip them with a growth mindset and the tools to navigate the system in a way that provides them success. Education and knowledge without indoctrination or subjugation.

Tyson E.J. Marsh, PhD
Fostering Insurgent Voices in the Struggle Against White Supremacist State Sanctioned Violence

In this workshop, the facilitator will draw from the Black radical tradition and hip hop culture to articulate the critical need to foster the development of Black and Brown youth voices in the struggle against white supremacist state-sanctioned violence as it manifests in their daily lives. Focusing specifically on education, this workshop seeks to assist young men of color in drawing upon and reversioning historical and contemporary tools of resistance to develop insurgent voices that name and challenge the violence of white supremacy. This workshop is structured to provide participants with an opportunity to learn about the radical activism born out of our respective communities, while also offering a space and time for them to reflect on how their voices might inform the struggle ahead.

Matthew Vaeena, M.Ed - Malaelupe Samifua, Va'eomatoka Valu–
Faufau mo Lalanga: Building Alliances through Shared Aspirations & Struggle

In this workshop, participants will engage in self-reflection, facilitated group dialogue, and collective problem solving to address obstacles that hinder our efforts to build more unified alliances in our high schools, college campuses, and even in our own communities. Participants will be presented brief histories of Pacific Islanders in the Northwest to highlight part of the shared aspirations and struggles that immigrant communities bring to the larger picture of social justice. Our goal is to work alongside participants to define tangible action items that they can use to follow through after the summit.

John PUSH Gaines
How to make your dream a reality in a world full of obstacles

HELPING STUDENTS PUSH PAST THEIR PAIN TO OVERCOME LEARNING AND SOCIAL OBSTACLES, FIND THEIR PURPOSE AND FOLLOW THEIR DREAMS. In this engaging talk, discusses his personal struggles and trials of overcoming his inability to read and write. John covers his tough road to doctoral academia, a career with a Fortune 500 company, winning a college football championship and his cameo on Wall Street during the New York Stock Exchange. He provides practical tips to the audience about perseverance, and a step-by-step guide to achieve ones dream.

Darryl Brice and Natorius Ezell
A Curse and a Curse: Black Masculinity and Bipolarity

Negative stereotypes about Black masculinity continue to prevail as the dominant representations of Black men within the mainstream. As such, Frank Rudy Cooper, bell hooks, W.E.B. Du Bois, and other scholars maintain that black masculinity limits the possibilities of black men and their racialized and gendered identities. Black men are constrained by vacillations that waver between hook’s notion of patriarchal masculinity and Cooper’s theorizing of bipolar masculinity. Thus, Black men are cursed through dual—and competing—identities, projections, and representative frames. This presentation explores these analyses and representations and also looks critically at how this bipolarity wreaks havoc on Black male identity.

Jose S. Gutierrez Jr
HIP HOP Culture, Business, Leadership & YOU...

Jose Gutierrez’s workshop, Hip-Hop Culture, Business, Leadership & YOU in as interactive, knowledge-infused and tangible workshop covering the immensely powerful culture of Hip Hop – it’s history, it’s present and it’s future, which is dependent on the elders and youth of NOW. This award-winning workshop makes relevant a history that has reared itself in the present conditions of society. Covering Hip Hop’s original principles of Peace, Love, Unity, Having Fun & Knowledge, Professor Gutierrez presents an interactive presentation that forages for the voices in the audience to fortify facts and dispel myths and most importantly relay to the audience that they are the most important and vital component of Hip Hop Culture, as it was founded by youth of color and embraced by youth of color when elders of color and the remainder of society were bewildered, hesitant and dismissive of the culture created by ‘gang members and leaders’ in the early 1970s. Today many of the conditions remain and the chasm between elders and youth continues its widening. With Hip Hop Culture, Business, Leadership & YOU – Professor Gutierrez delivers vital information and motivation that empowers audience members by highlighting the significance of Hip-Hop’s principles and compelling the audience to take part in continuing the positive and inspirational traditions of it.

Evan Silvers
Cash Flow Game

The Cash Flow Game is based off the work of Robert Kiyosaki’s CashFlow Quadrant book. The purpose is for the students to understand that their actions before, during, and after college can indirectly or directly affect their financial goals and their vision for financial success. There are 4 quadrants that Kiyosaki breaks down; Employee, Self Employed, (Big) Business Owner, and Investor. The workshop will breakdown each quadrant; the risks, the rewards, type of income and what work looks like to that quadrant. The Cash Flow quadrant’s will help the students identify what path best suites them and their vision for success. By the end of the workshop each student will define their idea of success and answer "What does success look like to me in 10 years?"

Daniel Atkinson, Ph.D
The Power of Narrative

This presentation is designed to encourage young people to dig into their own personal history in order to find out how they do and do not fit into the American social order, so they can begin to think and act with potency, empathy, purpose and candor to bring about real and lasting change. Foremost, any social change must come from within and examining personal narrative is an ideal place to begin.  To drive the point home, I use my own personal narrative, and the likes of Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs and others as a means to entice young people to embrace the discomfort of the learning process and view the act of seeking enlightenment as an essential component of asserting a person’s civil rights.

Michael Benitez and Michael Tuncap
When Keeping it Real Goes Right... Advocating and Empowering the Men of Color Youth and Culture Crossroad

Often, those of who work closely with youth, whether at home, in schools, and or the broader communities, find it challenging to find ways to connect to younger generations. Even more challenging is the need to cultivate possibilities and solutions that guide and encourage positive and critical development among youth in a complex society. What does it mean to be male of color in the United States during times of cultural uncertainty? What are the issues faced by young men of color today and how can we teach youth to mentor up? This empowering and exciting presentation addresses such questions through the utilization of personal narrative and interactive dialogue to help youth understand how to effectively leverage learned resilience, youth culture, and personal experience to overcome adversity and be successful in the 21st century.

2:30 - 3:30pm Kevin Powell
3:30 - 4:00pm Closing


Registration for the 2016 Summit is now closed.

In order to create the best possible environment for growth, learning, and empowerment, please take note of the following:

Although we have allowed 8th grade students to attend in previous years, the summit is now reserved for high school students only.

You are in for a tremendous day of enlightenment and fellowshipping. You young men deserve this day and this day is for you to be recognized as assets in our communities. Our mission at the summit is to have you leave knowing that you, your fellow classmates, and other young men of color have the ability to put posturing aside and work together to combat all stereotypes and perceptions.

I acknowledge that I have read the above statements, understand the summit’s expectations and mission, and am ready to engage and succeed!

Registration is Now Closed

Frequently asked Questions


Do I need to register for the summit?


When I tried to register, it said that registration had closed. Is there a waitlist I can get on?

Unfortunately, we are unable to have a waitlist for the summit. Registration is capped at our capacity plus 30 percent, which takes into account the substantial number of no-show attendees on the day of the summit.

I forgot to register/registration is closed. Can I just show up to the summit?

Only registered students will be guaranteed admittance to the summit. If an unregistered student shows up on the day of the summit, they will be required to wait in the will call area until all registered students have been processed. In the event that there is still space available after all the registered students have been admitted, unregistered students will be admitted in the order that they arrived. After we have reached capacity, any remaining unregistered students are required to leave the campus for liability purposes.


Why can’t middle school aged students attend?

Although we have allowed 8th grade students to attend in previous years, the summit is now reserved for high school students only for the following reasons:

Maturity level: The planning committee strives to bring presenters and topics to the summit that speak to current events and issues important to young students of color. As many of the topics discussed revolve around the dense and multi-faceted issue of social justice, many middle school students do not have the comprehension level needed to both engage in, and respect, this dialogue.

Behavior: Attending the summit requires students to have the strong personal responsibility and critical listening skills that are more common in older students; we simply do not have the staff or the ability to continuously monitor individuals who need to be reminded consistently to behave appropriately.

How long is the summit?

The summit is an all-day event, from approximately 8:00am to 4:00pm.

What if I arrive late?

We cannot facilitate late arrivals. Our registration and check-in tables open at 8:00 am sharp and close promptly at 9:15 am when the keynote speaker begins. IF YOU ARRIVE AFTER 9:15 AM, EVEN IF YOU HAVE REGISTERED, YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO ATTEND THE SUMMIT.

Cost, Location, and Programming

How much does it cost to attend?

The summit is FREE to attend.

Where is the summit?

The student summit is located in the Student Union Building (Bldg 8) on the Highline College campus, with adult chaperone programming located in Building 7. Individual student workshops are held in various classrooms on campus; students are escorted by summit volunteers to and from these classrooms.

Do I need to bring my own food?

No. Breakfast, lunch, and snacks will be provided for you.

What workshops will I be attending?

Workshops will be assigned as students are processed through the registration table the day of the summit.

I want to see a particular workshop presenter. How can I ensure a seat in his specific workshop?

To ensure equal workshop sizes, students are assigned a workshop. Students are not able to choose their workshops. However, workshop presentations are thoroughly screened by the Black & Brown Summit Planning Committee to ensure each workshop is equally informative, engaging, and impactful.

For Adult Chaperones

I’m an adult chaperone for a school/organization but I don’t know which students I’m bringing yet. Can I just hold some spots?

No. All attendees (both students and adults) must be registered individually to attend. We can NOT hold spots under any circumstances.

I’m a chaperone and some of the registered students I was supposed to bring can’t come. Can I substitute different students in their place?

No. If a student or adult has registered but is unable to attend, they cannot substitute another individual.

As a chaperone, will I stay with my student throughout the day?

No. Adult chaperones/attendees and students are on different activity tracks in different buildings. The summit is for the students and part of the impact of the summit comes from being able to have real, open dialogue. Please respect this space and understand that you will be reconnected with your students at the close of the summit.

I’m a chaperone who is bringing multiple students. Can I send you a list of the students attending instead of registering them all?

We greatly appreciate attendees or adult chaperones registering themselves and/or their students. Having attendees or chaperones directly enter their information increases accuracy, so we politely ask that you register attendees individually.

I want to see a particular workshop presenter. How can I ensure a seat in his specific workshop?

As the summit is geared focused and created for high school aged males, chaperones are not permitted to sit in on these workshops; adult chaperones are able to view the keynote speeches remotely but have a fixed adult chaperone agenda in an adjacent building.

This is a valuable, transformative event that I want to be a part of. How can I get involved?

If you would like to volunteer at next year’s Black and Brown, please contact Rashad Norris or Rickitia Reid.

My students received a t-shirt/lanyard/giveaway item. Do adult chaperones also receive giveaway items?

Unfortunately, adult chaperones are ineligible to receive giveaways. As Highline absorbs the entire cost of the summit, we decided to limit giveaways to students to increase the quality and quantity of items they receive.

Will all my students stay together if I bring a group of students?

One of the values of the summit is to encourage meaningful conversations and create new friendships. In order to facilitate this, students are assigned to workshops by individual rather than by school. Some students in you group may end up in the same workshop by chance, but it is highly unlikely that you student group will stay together for the entirety of the summit.

keynote speaker

Kevin Powell

Kevin Powell is one of the most acclaimed political, cultural, literary and hip-hop voices in America today. Kevin is a native of Jersey City, raised by a single mother in extreme poverty, but managed to study at Rutgers University thanks to New Jersey’s Educational Opportunity Fund. Kevin is the author of 11 books, including Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan, and the Ghost of Dr. King: Blogs and Essays. In 2017, he will publish a biography of Tupac Shakur. Kevin's writings have also appeared in, Esquire, Ebony, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, The Guardian, and Vibe Magazine, where he worked for many years as a senior writer.

Kevin routinely appears in interviews on television, radio, and in print and on the internet discussing major issues of our time. As an activist, he is the president and co-founder of BK Nation, a new national, progressive, multicultural organization focused on such issues as education, civic engagement, leadership training, health and wellness, social media, arts and culture, and job and small business creation. Kevin was also a Democratic candidate for Congress in Brooklyn, New York, his adopted hometown, in 2008 and 2010.

Kevin routinely travels nationally and globally as a public speaker, at colleges and corporations, at various institutions, and a wide range of communities. Recent speaking engagements include stops at Microsoft headquarters, Stanford University, and the U.S. Department of Justice.On behalf of the U.S. State Department, he toured Japan lecturing on the relevance of Dr. King's famous "I Have A Dream" speech in the 21st century.

As a pop culture curator, Kevin produced the first exhibit on the history of hip-hop in America at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. As a humanitarian, Kevin's work includes local, national and international initiatives to end violence against women and girls and he has done extensive philanthropic and relief work, ranging from Hurricane Katrina to earthquakes in Haiti and Japan, to Superstorm Sandy in New York, to his annual holiday party and clothing drive for the homeless every December since 9/11. As an acknowledgement of Kevin's life of public service and his dedication to literature and the arts, Cornell University recently became the owner of The Kevin Powell Collection, documenting nearly 30 years of his work to date in print, photos, videos, books, handwritten notes, speeches, and select memorabilia.


Additional Presenter Bios Coming Soon

Dr. Darryl Brice

Dr. Darryl Brice was born and raised in Baltimore, MD. He attended Frostburg State University located in Frostburg, MD where he received his BS in Political Science and Justice Studies. He received his MA and PhD in Sociology from Loyola University Chicago. Dr. Brice is currently an Instructor of Sociology and Diversity and Globalism Studies at Highline College where he has taught since 2003. While teaching at Highline College he was awarded tenure in 2007. In 2008, Highline College recognized him as Faculty Member of the Year. In 2007 the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints honored him with the Teachers Assisting in Discovery award. In 2009 he was the recipient of the NISOD (National Institute for Staff and Development) Excellence Award. In addition, Darryl has appeared in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.

John Eklof

John Eklof is a public speaker, poet and educator from Lakewood, Washington. He has dedicated his life to social justice and uplifting the consciousness of his community. John has spent the past 7 years traveling around the country speaking at universities, high schools and open mics sharing the message of changing the world. He works at South Seattle College as the Cultural Center Coordinator, the Wing Luke Museum and writes for the International Examiner.

Jose S. Gutierrez Jr., M.Ed

Mr. Gutierrez is an educator and journalist who has taught and trained law enforcement and criminal justice courses at the university level. As a former law enforcement agent serving with award-winning and recognition bearing service, he has witnessed and studied the sharp contrast between excellent and poor service within law enforcement. His workshop includes coverage of the cognizance of attitudes, behaviors, abuse of position and authority of both citizens and law enforcement and finally, he offers solid and immediately applicable solutions to the problems and issues presented in his presentation.

Clinton Taylor

Clinton is heralded as one of the most powerful and engaging Inspirational Speakers and Life Development Professionals on the speaking circuit today. Clinton is referred to by his peers as Mr. Inspirational. Clinton has spoken too and conducted hundreds of high energy workshops locally, regionally at Colleges, High Schools, Middle Schools, Youth Academies, Drug and Alcohol facilities, Prisons, Correctional Institutions and Fortune 500 companies. In 2006 he founded Right State of Mind a consulting, training and speaking business dedicated to helping individual overcome obstacles and barriers that hold them back form reaching and maximizing their full potential in life. Currently Clinton is the program manager for the non profit organization Financial Beginnings a financial literacy program offering free financial literacy education classes for youth and adults in Washington State.

Marcus Harden

Marcus Harden is currently a Student & Family Advocate at Interagency Academy with Seattle Public Schools. Previously, he was the International Baccalaureate Outreach Manager for his alma mater (and greatest school in the known universe) Rainier Beach High School in Seattle, Washington. Marcus is a proud Seattle native with deep roots in the community and the state, and is passionate about mentoring and facilitating educational opportunities for students while honoring the families and communities they come from.

Brendan A. Nelson, CNP

Brendan has a passion for service, and this is demonstrated in his personal and professional life. He is dedicated to working with individuals to identify avenues for unimaginable success and serves as an outstanding role model. He has influenced the community with his ten plus years of solid experience involving youth mentorship, counseling, planning service projects and conducting workshops in collaboration with city and civic leaders, faith based organizations, private and public ventures throughout the state of Washington. Brendan is the President and Founder of Nvision Professional Services, a company that offers coaching for personal and professional development. He is truly a leader that believes in creating other leaders by discovering, developing, and deploying these individuals back out into our community, ready and eager for success.

Joshua Magallanes

Joshua earned his Bachelor of Science from Northern Arizona University and his Masters in Community Counseling from Seattle University. Joshua explores the societal constructs placed on communities of color and Queer communities as a way to continue to raise awareness and create change. Joshua has spoken and led workshops at the Students of Color conference, Queer I am conference, Annual American Counseling Association, Students of Color Conference and Black and Brown Male Summit. Joshua serves as committee chair for the LGBTQIA Task Force at Highline Community College and served on the board of directors for Gay City Men’s Health Project. Currently a faculty member at Highline College teaches courses including “The Queer Experience” and also Cultural Competency Practices. Joshua also owns a private practice in Seattle where he provides therapeutic services for individuals and couples in the queer community and for communities of color. Joshua believes the developmental process a road that is never paved or well-traveled; the way we travel it and experience it is what makes us marvel at the amazing products along the way.

Philip "Sharp Skills" Jacobs

Philip "Sharp Skills" Jacobs earned his BA degree in business administration from Seattle Pacific University in 2008. Jacobs has leveraged his unique skillsets to become a professional leadership speaker, hip hop artist, author (Accuracy, Rebel Firm Books/Trafford Publishing, 2014), and entrepreneur. Jacobs has delivered keynotes, workshops, and performances for several colleges and universities. His music has been featured in major films and television shows such as The Mindy Project, America's Next Top Model, Takers, Bones, Nakita, and more. He is Cal State Long Beach University's 2011 Battle of the Beats Champion. Sharp, as many call him, is an avid reader (mostly on the topics of leadership, business, and personal development), NBA fan, and loves action movies (his favorites are 300 and Gladiator). He lives in Auburn, WA with his wife and two sons.

Christian Paige

Christian Paige is an educator, keynote speaker, higher education administrator, and a voice for his generation. He is a first generation college graduate who has committed himself to empowering others to reach for goals that are larger than themselves. Christian’s passions have led him to a career in higher education and founding a non-profit called the HOPE initiative. He specializes in mentoring and cultivating equitable young leaders that become agents of change in their communities. He speaks on topics such as leveraging diversity, equitable leadership, and cultivating inclusive environments. Christian has spoken at The Governors Prayer Breakfast, The Secretary of State’s Combined Fund Drive kick off, The Washington Student Achievement Council, Pave the Way Conference for Educators, The Department of Licensing Leadership Conference, The Q Commons regional conference, The Attorney General’s Professional Conference, The “SeaJustice” Conference, Multiple College Commencements, Various schools and youth groups, and graduating classes in the Hickman Mills school District. He has shared the stage with Governor Jay Enslee, Civil Rights Leader Andrew Young, Eugene Cho, and World Vision President Richard Stearns.

Jesse Elijah Johnson

Jesse currently serves as the Secondary Success &College Readiness Project Specialist for Highline Public Schools providing opportunities to empower families to intentionally support their students in planning and preparing for on time graduation and successful matriculation to postsecondary education. He received his Masters in Education and Program Administrator certification through the Danforth Educational Leadership Program at the University of Washington while also serving as a Family Engagement Coordinator in Seattle Public Schools. He is passionate about building infrastructure for school, family, and community partnerships geared toward college and career preparation for middle and high school students. In addition, He has facilitated parent academies teaching how to navigate the school system and effectively advocate for students through a social justice lens. Previous to his work in Seattle Public Schools, he was a College Coach at Garfield High School and African-American Outreach Coordinator at the University of Washington developing programs such as the Young, Gifted &Black and Essence of Success Conferences.

Kendrick Glover

Kendrick Glover is the Co-founder and Executive Director of Glover Empower Mentoring Program (G.E.M.). Kendrick is from Natchez, Mississippi and growing up he loved to play basketball, baseball, and shoot pool. Kendrick got his official start in mentoring with the Police Activities League (P.A.L.) in 2009, a national organization that focus on youth community involvement and mentoring. He worked in the field of politics as an Intern for King County Councilman Larry Gossett of District 2, and also for King County Drug Diversion Court as a Wraparound Coordinator. Kendrick served as a school counselor at Kent Meridian High School for three years, and as the Program Manager for the Puget Sound College and Career Network at Puget Sound ESD, where the focus was on getting first generational and low-income students access to college and career. Kendrick has his undergraduate degree from Seattle University in Criminal Justice, Master’s degree in Education with a Counseling Certificate from City University, and currently working on a Ph.D. in Education Leadership with a Concentration in Organizational Leadership.

John Gaines

John Gaines aka “John PUSH Gaines” is a former at-risk kid turned youth advocate. He has spoken at universities, nonprofit organizations, youth conferences, NBA skill camps, churches and schools. He has worked with groups of parents, educators, coaches & mental health professionals and has spoken to and inspired thousands of youth live! His ultimate goal is to help as many young people as possible and to help them realize that regardless of the adversity or obstacles they may face, they can still PUSH to be the great human being that they were created to be. John attended East Central University where he graduated outstanding student in Business and won a football championship as captain of the football team! In addition, he graduated from Liberty University with a Master degree in Business Leadership and he is currently pursuing his Doctorate degree in Business Administration."

Natorius D. Ezell

Natorius is a Faculty at Highline College. Prior to that Natorius served as an intern of Instruction in the Sociology department. During that same time he worked as Program Assistant and Advisor for the Umoja Black Scholar’s program. Natorius also has worked at Hihgline's Women’s Programs and Workfirst Services and the Counseling Center. He also served as an Ambassador for TRIO and has worked on a number of projects with the Center for Leadership and Service. Natorius is an Ordained Minister at the Heart of David Christian Church where he serves as the Associate Pastor. While serving as Associate Pastor he also is the Sunday School Superintendent. Natorius has been involved with his church and the Kent Community for over ten years heading up various outreach programs for kids and food drives for needy families. Natorius Ezell has been a big Social Justice advocate in terms of opportunities and privileges within our society. Natorius holds a certificate as a Family Support Specialist, AAin Theology, AAS in Human Services, BA Theology, BA Sociology and a Master’s in Religious Education. He has dedicated most of his Higher Education time helping students aside from his own studies.

Dr. Tyson E.J. Marsh

Dr. Tyson E.J. Marsh is Associate Professor of K-12 Teaching, Learning, and Social Justice at Seattle University. A graduate of the University of Washington and the University of California – Los Angeles, before returning to the Pacific Northwest, Tyson worked at the University of New Mexico, Iowa State University, and resided in Egypt, working as a teacher, P-12 principal, and adjunct faculty in international education. A student/practitioner/scholar/activist of color from a working-class background, Tyson is committed to social justice from the ground up. Dr. Marsh’s work is situated within critical theories of praxis focusing on race, racism and intersectionality. As a product of the hip hop generation, he believes that the struggle for racial and economic justice begins with the voices of youth and communities silenced within and beyond P-20 education, and other colonial/imperialist projects.

Evan Silvers

Evan is from Yakima, Washington. A graduate from the University of Washington with a degree in Communications & Sociology, a minor in Diversity. He traveled throughout his college years through Study Abroad and Self Research studies in the Caribbean and Hawaii. Evan is pursuing a career as a State Farm Agent in the Capitol Hill area. The State Farm mission is to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected, and realize their dreams. He will be leading and encouraging team members to reach their highest potential in sales and financial services. His passion for developing an educated and business savvy younger generation drives him to get in front of as many young people as possible. Evan believes that the construction of wealth in our communities and families is one of the leading solutions to the problems facing us today.

Daniel Atkinson, Ph.D.

Daniel Atkinson received his PhD in ethnomusicology from the University of Washington, Seattle and is currently an independent scholar. His research focus is on African American vernacular expression and its interaction with the global landscape. His dissertation research was conducted at the former slave plantation turned world's largest prison, Angola State Penitentiary in Louisiana. This research is now housed at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American history and Culture. He is currently working on the first historical biography of Vaudevillian and founding father of the Harlem Renaissance, George W. Walker (1872-1911).

Matthew Vaeena

Matt comes from a family that is rooted in the islands of Manu'a and Tutuila in American Samoa. After graduating high school in Lawton, Oklahoma, he went to the Air Force Academy before finishing his bachelor's degree at the University of Washington as an Honors student. Inspired by his work with the Our Future Matters Pacific Islander Youth Advocacy Group, Matt chose to go into education and earned a Masters in Teaching from Seattle University. Today, he considers himself fortunate to be teaching English at Decatur High School in Federal Way, WA while still maintaining his dedication to his family, his involvement in youth development in the South King County region, and his faith community.

Vaeomatoka Valu

Toka was born and raised in the island Kingdom of Tonga before migrating to the United States at age 14. His personal experiences in U.S. schools started at Kent Meridian High School and all the way through the University of Washington which has helped him with an acute awareness of the empowering experiences our K-20 system provides but especially of the critical points where our students need opportunities the most. Today he serves as Manager for Leadership Programs at the UW Samuel E. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center and is a staunch Pacific Islander and youth community advocate in South King County.

Michael Tuncap

Michael Tuncap was born in Aniguak, Guam and raised in South Tacoma/ Lakewood. He was a Ralph Bunche fellow at the University of Virginia and earned his B.A in AES, Communications and Political Science from UW Seattle and his MA from UC Berkeley. He was the co-founder of the Student Ambassadors, UW LEADERS and the nation’s first Pacific Islander Student Commission. His 17 year career includes work in student affairs, instruction and institutional advancement from UC Berkeley, City College of San Francisco, UW Seattle, Evergreen State College, South Puget Sound, Green River, Northwest Indian College and Tuncap now serves at Highline College. He served 3 years with the Guam Delegation to the United Nations 4th Committee on Decolonization. Tuncap became the first PI male director in WA state community and technical college history in 2012 and is featured in the book MATAMAI: THE VASA IN US.

Michael Benitez

From the Villalba and Juana Diaz areas of Puerto Rico, Michael Benitez was born in Ponce. He later moved to Washington Heights in Manhattan, NY and then onto to the Lehigh Valley of PA, where he spent his teen years. A first generation and low-income student, he completed his B.S. and M.Ed. at Penn State University and his Ph.D. at Iowa State University. Now a leading social justice educator/activist-scholar and highly sought out speaker and workshop leader at conferences and colleges across the nation, Dr. Benitez has authored book chapters and articles on topics of identity, cultural centers, ethnic studies, pedagogy and praxis in higher education, and hip hop culture, has been featured in educational documentaries, such as Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity (2012), and has appeared on talk shows such as Worlds Apart and Hard Knock Radio.

Oussama Alkhalili

Oussama Alkhalili is a tenured professor at Highline College since 2005. Oussama serves as the president of Arab Center of Washington and Arab Chamber of Commerce of Washington State. Oussama is an advocate speaker against extremism and stereotyping of Muslims and the religion of Islam who made numerous presentations addressing these issues.

Fawzi Belal

Fawzi Belal is a Sports Outreach Manager at Highline College and a mentor for Muslim youth in the community. Fawzi is an advocate for the Muslim students in the local High Schools and helps facilitate discussion between students and administrators, as well as help students respond and not react to micro aggressions and stereo types against Muslims.


Highline College is located at:

2400 South 240 Street, Des Moines, WA 98198

All Summit sessions will take place on the first floor of the Highline Sudent Union (Building 8)

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Please email us if you have any questions.