Conference Speaker Series Presenters 2021
Thursday October 14, 2021
2021 Virtual Images and Perceptions Diversity Conference speakers!
ABC's "What Would You Do", John Quinones
John Quiñones is the anchor of “What Would You Do?,” one of the highest-rated newsmagazine franchises of recent years. During his 35 year tenure at ABC News, he has reported extensively for all programs and platforms and served as anchor of “Primetime.”
While Quiñones was covering the Chilean miners’ disaster in 2010, he was the first journalist out of thousands to get an exclusive interview with the first survivor (Mario Sepulveda), who spoke about their horrendous ordeal. Other recent headline-making interviews include an exclusive with singer/actor Marc Anthony who, for the first time, spoke about his separation and pending divorce from Jennifer Lopez.
Quiñones has extensively covered a religious sect in Northern Arizona that forces its young female members to take part in polygamous marriages. Other reports include going undercover with a hidden camera to reveal how clinics performed unnecessary surgical procedures as part of a major nationwide insurance scam; he followed along with a group of would-be Mexican immigrants as they attempted to cross into the U.S. via the treacherous route known as “The Devil’s Highway”; and he traveled to Israel for a CINE Award-winning report about suicide bombers.
In September 1999, Quiñones anchored a critically acclaimed ABC News special entitled “Latin Beat,” focusing on the wave of Latin talent sweeping the U.S., the impact of the recent population explosion and how it will affect the nation as a whole. He was awarded an ALMA Award from the National Council of La Raza. He also contributed reports to ABC News’ unprecedented 24-hour, live, global Millennium broadcast, which won the George Foster Peabody Award.
Quiñones’ reports for “20/20” have included an in-depth look at the unprecedented lawsuit against the Cuban government by a woman who claimed she unknowingly married a spy and an exclusive interview with a Florida teenager who brutally killed her adoptive mother. He was honored with a Gabriel Award for his poignant report that followed a young man to Colombia as he made an emotional journey to reunite with his birth mother after two decades. Other stories originating from Central America include political and economic turmoil in Argentina and civil war in El Salvador. During the 1980s, he spent nearly a decade in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Panama reporting for “World News Tonight.”
Quiñones has won seven national Emmy Awards for his “Primetime Live,” “Burning Questions” and “20/20” work. He was awarded an Emmy for his coverage of the Congo’s virgin rainforest, which also won the Ark Trust Wildlife Award, and in 1990 he received an Emmy for “Window in the Past,” a look at the Yanomamo Indians. He received a National Emmy Award for his work on the ABC documentary “Burning Questions—The Poisoning of America,” which aired in September 1988 and was also honored with a World Hunger Media Award and a Citation from the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards for “To Save the Children,” his 1990 report on the homeless children of Bogota. Among his other prestigious awards are the First Prize in International Reporting and Robert F. Kennedy Prize for his piece on “Modern Slavery — Children Sugar Cane Cutters in the Dominican Republic.”
Quiñones joined ABC News in June 1982 as a general assignment correspondent based in Miami, providing reports for “World News Tonight with Peter Jennings” and other ABC News broadcasts. He was one of the few American journalists reporting from Panama City during the U.S. invasion in December 1989.
Prior to joining ABC News he was a reporter with WBBM-TV in Chicago. He won two Emmy Awards for his 1980 reporting on the plight of illegal aliens from Mexico. From 1975 to 1978, he was news editor at KTRH radio in Houston, Texas. During that period, he also was an anchor-reporter for KPRC-TV.
Quiñones received a bachelor of arts in speech communications from St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, Texas. He received a master’s from the Columbia School of Journalism. Quiñones has received two honorary degrees: in 2016 he received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Utah Valley University and in 2014 a Doctor of Letters degree from Davis & Elkins College.
Supreme Court Justice Megan Cavanagh, Michigan Supreme Court
Justice Megan Cavanagh is a life-long Michigander who grew up in East Lansing and lives in metro Detroit. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan College of Engineering and Wayne State University Law School. Before joining the Michigan Supreme Court in January of 2019, she had over fifteen years of experience as one of Michigan’s top appellate attorneys and was a shareholder at Garan Lucow Miller P.C. in Detroit.
Justice Cavanagh is the Supreme Court Liaison to Tribal Courts, Child Welfare Services, the Attorney Grievance Commission and the Judicial Tenure Commission. She also serves on the Attorney General’s Elder Abuse Task Force.
Justice Cavanagh has served as Chair of the Appellate Practice Section of the State Bar of Michigan, an organization focused on maintaining excellence and improving appellate jurisprudence and practice in Michigan. She served as a council person for the Negligence Section of the State Bar of Michigan, a diverse group of plaintiff and defense attorneys dedicated to finding consensus on important issues affecting citizens’ fair and equal access to the courts. She has served many years as co-chair of the Michigan Bench Bar Appellate Conference Foundation, organizing and participating in a truly unique educational opportunity for both judges and lawyers to constantly improve our state legal system. And she was a member of the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission, charged with the responsibility of ensuring that attorneys maintain the highest standards of representation for their clients, other litigants, and the legal system.
Prior to her election to the Court, Justice Cavanagh was rated as one of Michigan’s Super Lawyers. She was honored by Michigan Lawyer’s Weekly as Lawyer of the Year in 2006 and a Woman in the Law in 2017. Justice Cavanagh is the mother of two daughters, Georgia and Eloise.
Fadwa Hammoud, Michigan Solicitor General
Fadwa Hammoud is the first Muslim Arab-American solicitor general in the country. Hammoud has spent her career as a Wayne County lead prosecutor and as a trustee and treasurer for Dearborn Public Schools. Wayne County prosecutor, Kim Worthy describes her as a visionary with an excellent work ethic. Hammoud also was appointed to the Commission on Middle Eastern American Affairs by former Gov. Rick Snyder; and sits on the Legislative Committee for the Hispanic/Latino, Asian Pacific American and Middle Eastern American Affairs Commissions. She is a graduate of Wayne State University Law School and the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Hammoud clerked for the Honorable Judge George Steeh in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and was a 2018 member of the Harvard Business School’s Young American Leaders Program.
Reverend Dr. Wendell Anthony
Reverend Wendell Anthony is the of the President of Detroit chapter of the NAACP, the largest in the country and the Senior Pastor at Fellowship Chapel in Detroit. Rev. Anthony is a Champion of Justice and Civil Rights. Rev. Anthony founded the Freedom Institute which is a 501(C)3 non-profit, urban think tank. The Freedom Institute sponsors Freedom Weekend annually with emphasis on economic, social justice and political empowerment. He is also the founder of the Fannie Lou Hamer Political Action Committee. This is a grassroots activist organization supporting issues and candidates both locally and nationally with an 80% success rate for endorsed candidates.
Barbara McQuade: U of M Law Professor and Media Legal analyst, Former US Attorney for the ED of Mi
Barbara L. McQuade, BA ’87, JD ’91, is a professor from practice. Her interests include criminal law, criminal procedure, national security, data privacy, and civil rights. From 2010 to 2017, Professor McQuade served as the U.S attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan. Appointed by President Barack Obama, she was the first woman to serve in her position. Professor McQuade also served as vice chair of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee and co-chaired its Terrorism and National Security Subcommittee. As U.S. attorney, she oversaw cases involving public corruption, terrorism, corporate fraud, theft of trade secrets, civil rights, and health care fraud, among others. Professor McQuade also serves as a legal analyst for NBS News and MSNBC. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, Lawfare, Just Security, Slate, and National Public Radio, and she has been quoted in The New York Times, Time, Newsweek, Politico, and other publications.
Before becoming U.S. attorney, Professor McQuade served as an assistant U.S. attorney in Detroit for 12 years, serving as deputy chief of the National Security Unit, where she handled cases involving terrorism financing, export violations, threats, and foreign agents. Professor McQuade began her career as a law clerk for U.S. District Judge Bernard A. Friedman in Detroit, and then practiced law at the firm of Butzel Long in Detroit. Professor McQuade previously taught at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.
Professor McQuade has been recognized by the Detroit Free Press with the Neal Shine Award for Exemplary Regional Leadership, The Detroit News with the Michiganian of the Year Award, Crain’s Detroit Businesses a Newsmaker of the Year and one of Detroit’s Most Influential Women, and the Detroit Branch NAACP and Arab American Civil Rights League with their Tribute to Justice Award.
Gregory Jbara, Actor and Star of the CBS's Drama Series, "Blue Bloods"
Dr. Glenn Maleyko Superintendent of Dearborn Public Schools
Superintendent Glenn Maleyko, Ph.D. began his career in education as a substitute teacher in Dearborn Public schools in 1995. He was hired as a full-time teacher at Salina Elementary, a school that would become home for the next 12 years. He began his administrative career in 2002 and later on served as Executive Director of Staff and Human Services from 2013. Dr. Maleyko was the unanimous choice of the Dearborn Public Schools Board of Education in 2015 to take the top spot as the leader of the 21,000-student district. Under Dr. Maleyko’s leadership, the Dearborn Public Schools District has been recognized by Bridge Magazine and the Mackinac Center as one of the top school districts in the state. Dr. Maleyko received the very prestigious recognition of “2019 Superintendent of the Year” in the State of Michigan by MASA.
Wayne County Sheriff Raphael "Ray" Washington
Raphael Washington views his recent elevation as Sheriff of Wayne County as an answer to fervent prayer and 37 years of dedicating himself to law enforcement excellence. As head of the agency, Washington runs three jail facilities, Road Patrol, Marine Unit, Mounted Unit and also supplements law enforcement activities in collaboration with the 43 cities and townships in the jurisdiction (which covers 673 square miles). Wayne County also borders an international waterway (Detroit River adjacent to Windsor Canada) requiring coordination with the U.S. Coast Guard. He also oversees development activity of the new Wayne County Criminal Justice Center which is currently under construction in the heart of the city. As a lifelong resident of Wayne County, Sheriff Washington is very active in the community and serves on several community boards. He also applies his extensive law enforcement knowledge and experience in serving as the Director of Security for Greater Grace Temple and Pentecostal Assemblies of the World.
Sheriff Washington believes that law enforcement leaders must be discerning in their decision-making, yet compassionate when meting out decisions that affect personnel, the inmate population and the public. His background in law enforcement is wide ranging including: jails and court operation supervision, inmate population management, policy development, compliance and organizational functions designed to enhance operational efficiency. Prior to joining the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, Washington wrapped up an extensive career with the Detroit Police Department where after graduating from the academy in 1985, he served as Patrol Officer, Investigative Officer (Narcotics, Violence Crimes, Traffic Enforcement and Gang Squad), Sergeant, Lieutenant and finally Inspector of Traffic Enforcement. Over that time he collaborated with officers at every rank at the local, state and federal level.
Sheriff Washington is a proud graduate of the public school system and wholly encourages everyone to pursue higher learning and continuing education. He’s currently enrolled in a dual degree program and will earn his MBA in Strategic Leadership from Cleary University in 2022. That is the academic side of his expertise. He is also MCOLES Certified (Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards) and has served as a firearms Instructor for many years. He holds numerous local and national certifications, including:
- NRA Certified Firearms Instructor
- Shotgun, Rifle and Pistol Instructor
- Michigan Coalition On Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES)
- Member of Wayne County Chief of Police Association
- Member of Southeast Michigan Chief of Police Association
- Graduate of School of Police Staff and Command-Eastern Michigan University
- Senior Executives in State-Local Government – Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government
- Graduate (Session #248) – FBI National Academy
- Executive Protection Certification (Detroit Police Department-Special Response Team)
- Director of Security for Greater Grace Church
- Director of Security for the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World
Sheriff Washington is married to Keysha Washington, a veteran law enforcement professional. They have two children and three grandchildren.
MSNBC's Richard Lui
Author, Anchor, Correspondent, Richard Lui: Lui has covered racial strife for 25 years, from Rodney King to George Floyd he’s covered in the field. And now the phenomenon of violence against senior and female Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI).As a journalist, Lui is accustomed to seeing how journalism can be a selfless endeavor, telling stories of other people, from presidents to social workers, who are more often not like him nor look like him. This is what inspired him to write this new anti-self self-help book.
ENOUGH ABOUT ME
The Unexpected Power of Selflessness
What if your path to a more successful, healthy, and satisfying life is actually not about you?
Richard Lui shares how one of the big ideas of our time is more in reach than we thought. How small choices toward selflessness are not a compromise. Choice by choice, step by step, we can do something bigger than ourselves.
WSU Phillip D. Levy, M.D., M.P.H.
Prof. (w/ Tenure) (D)
Associate Chair for Research
Medical Director Clinical Research Center/Clinical Trials Office
Biography:Phillip D. Levy, M.D., M.P.H. is a Professor at the Wayne State University School of Medicine and the Associate Chair for Research in the Department of Emergency Medicine. He is a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians and the American Heart Association. He serves as a reviewer for the NIH CHAS study section, a member of the Grants Advisory Panel for the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation and a member of the Scientific Review Committee for the American College of Emergency Physicians. Dr. Levy is a recognized expert in cardiovascular research and has served on the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s Working Group on Management of Acute Heart Failure in the Emergency Department: Research Challenges and was as a member of the American Heart Association Scientific Statement Writing Group on Acute Heart Failure Syndromes – Emergency Department Presentation, Treatment and Disposition.
Dr. Levy’s research interests center on heart failure and hypertension with a dual focus on acute management and early disease detection. He has been the Principal Investigator for grant projects funded by the Emergency Medicine Foundation, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Physician Faculty Scholars Program, and the NIH/National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (5R01 MD005849). He has also served as the project mentor for grants funded by the Fulbright Program for Scholars and Professionals from the Caribbean and Central America and the Henry Ford Hospital Physician Scientist Track Funding Program. Over the past 10 years, Dr. Levy has published more than 100 manuscripts, authored 18 textbook chapters and has been an invited lecturer on cardiovascular disease related topics more than 200 times.
Chief Mike Jaafar- Wayne County Sheriff's Office Chief of Operations
Chief Mike Jaafar is Wayne County Sheriff’s office Chief of Operations. Chief Jaafar has dedicated his life to law enforcement and to the protection of the citizens of the Great State of Michigan. He started his career in the Detroit Police Department Anti-Narcotics and Gang Squads. He has extensive background in forensics and crime prevention methods. He has served on a multitude of national and local police task forces. He’s an expert on anti-terrorism training and community safety. He is also the first Arab American from Dearborn to graduate from FBI National Academy.
Judge Kathleen McCarthy
Dr. Jim Zogby President, AAI Washington
James Zogby co-founded the Arab American Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based organization which serves as the political and policy research arm of the Arab American community, in 1985 and continues to serve as its president. He is Director of Zogby Research Services, a firm that has conducted groundbreaking surveys across the Middle East.
In September 2013, President Obama appointed Dr. Zogby to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. He was reappointed to a second term in 2015 and concluded his service in May 2017. He was twice elected Vice Chair. Zogby is featured frequently on national and international media as an expert on Middle East affairs. Since 1992, he has written a weekly column that is published in 12 countries. In 2010, Zogby published the highly-acclaimed book, Arab Voices. His 2013 e-books, “Looking at Iran: The Rise and Fall of Iran in Arab Public Opinion” and “20 Years After Oslo,” are drawn from his extensive polling across the Middle East with Zogby Research Services. His most recent book is, “The Tumultuous Decade: Arab, Turkish, and Iranian Public Opinion – 2019-2019” analyzes the fascinating transformations taking place across the Middle East region following the US withdrawal from Iraq and the Arab Spring.
Dr. Zogby has also been personally active in U.S. politics for many years; in 1984 and 1988 he served as Deputy Campaign manager and Senior Advisor to the Jesse Jackson Presidential campaign. In 1988, he led the first ever debate on Palestinian statehood at that year’s Democratic convention in Atlanta, GA. In 2000, 2008, and 2016 he served as an advisor to the Gore, Obama, and Sanders presidential campaigns.
For the past 3 decades, he has served in leadership roles in the Democratic National Committee. He currently serves as Chair of the DNC Ethnic Council, an umbrella organization of Democratic Party leaders of European and Mediterranean descent. He served on the DNC’s Executive Committee from 2000 to 2017 and for more than a decade served as Co-Chair of the party’s Resolutions Committee.
In 1975, Dr. Zogby received his doctorate from Temple University’s Department of Religion, where he studied under the Islamic scholar, Dr. Ismail al-Faruqi. He was a National Endowment for the Humanities Post-Doctoral Fellow at Princeton University in 1976 and is the recipient of a number of honorary doctorate degrees.
Keith Ellison Minnesota Attorney General
Keith Ellison was sworn in as Minnesota’s 30th attorney general on January 7, 2019. As the People’s Lawyer, Attorney General Ellison’s job is to help Minnesotans afford their lives and live with dignity, safety, and respect. His guiding values are generosity and inclusion. He led the prosecution and convection of the police officers involved in the George Floyd murder case.
From 2007 to 2019, Keith Ellison represented Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he championed consumer, worker, environmental, and civil- and human-rights protections for Minnesotans. He served for 12 years on the House Financial Services Committee, where he helped oversee the financial services industry, the housing industry, and Wall Street, among others. Among his legislative accomplishments are passing provisions to protect credit-card holders from abusive practices and protect the rights of renters and tenants. While in Congress, he founded the Congressional Antitrust Caucus and the Congressional Consumer Justice Caucus. He also served as co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which he helped build to more than 100 members.
Before being elected to Congress, Attorney General Ellison served four years in the Minnesota House of Representatives. Prior to entering elective office, he spent 16 years as an attorney specializing in civil-rights and defense law, including five years as executive director of the Legal Rights Center. As the leader of this public-interest law firm, he oversaw a team of attorneys focused on delivering justice for Minnesotans who had nowhere else to turn. He was also a noted community activist.
Attorney General Ellison received his law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1990. He is the proud father of four adult children: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Elijah, and Amirah. He is the first African American and the first Muslim American to be elected to statewide office in Minnesota.
Dr. Daveda Colbert Wayne RESA Superintendent
Dr. Daveda Colbert celebrates more than 27 years of proven results in education and leadership. She serves as a high energy executive and life-long educator as the Superintendent of Wayne Regional Educational Service Agency (Wayne RESA).
Before taking the helm as Superintendent, July 1, 2021, Dr. Colbert served as Wayne RESA’s Associate Superintendent of Educational Services for two years, leveraging existing resources to meet the current and future needs of both internal and external stakeholders. Since the onset of the pandemic, her leadership has been instrumental for the coordinated efforts and resources for responding, recovering, and rethinking education in Wayne County.
Prior to joining Wayne RESA, Dr. Colbert served as a teacher, athletic director, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent, and superintendent at the local level in school districts throughout Southeastern Michigan. Prior to her commitment to public education, she served as an accountant for the government.
Currently, Dr. Colbert serves on many boards and committees locally, state-wide, and nationally. She is recognized as a student-centered, equity-focused advocate for public education and a champion for children and their life outcomes.
Dr. Colbert holds a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Education from Oakland University; an Education Specialist Certificate in Administration and Supervision and Masters of Arts Degree in Teaching from Wayne State University; and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from Southern University at New Orleans.
David Knezek MDHHS Chief Deputy Director for Administration, Wayne County Commissioner
David Knezek is the Chief Deputy Director for Administration at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. He oversees External Relations and Communications, Financial Operations Administration, Legislative Services, Legal Affairs, Policy and Planning, Strategic Integration, Organizational Services, Workforce Engagement and Community and Faith Engagement.
Previously he was the Director of Legislative Affairs with the Michigan Department of Attorney General. Prior to joining civil service, Knezek was an elected member of the Michigan House of Representatives and Michigan Senate, where he served on the Health Policy Committee throughout his time in office. He also served our country as a United States Marine and completed two tours of duty in Iraq as a scout sniper platoon member.
Knezek is an active member of the Dearborn Heights community. He is a former board member of Starfish Family Services in Inkster, a current board member and past board chair of the University of Michigan-Dearborn Alumni Society Board, a Silver Life Member of the Detroit Branch NAACP, and a member of the Redford Township Jaycees and Dearborn Heights Goodfellows.
He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Next year, he will earn his Master of Business Administration from the University of Michigan.
Dr. Adnan Munkarah Henry Ford Health System
Adnan Munkarah, M.D., is the Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer for Henry Ford Health System. Dr. Munkarah is responsible for the complete spectrum of clinical activities across the health system, ensuring comprehensive healthcare delivery, enhancing the quality of care, and patient safety, and exceeding patients’ expectations of the overall care experience. He along with his team at HFHS continue to be at the forefront in the battle against the Covid-19 epidemic in Michigan. He oversees the development and achievement of strategic goals for clinical service lines, medical staff expansion and engagement including employed and independent providers, and innovative clinical care programs consistent with the overall strategic direction of the health system. Working the system Chief Academic Officer, he ensures the success of the system research and educational enterprise and its alignment with the clinical programs. Additionally, Dr. Munkarah provides supervision for the health system’s population health and accountable care strategies.
Dr. Munkarah is a board-certified gynecologic oncologist with a prolific career as clinician, researcher and educator. He is a professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Wayne State University. He has authored more than 165 articles and book chapters. He has served as a visiting professor and invited lecturer at national and international meetings. Among his many honors and awards, Dr. Munkarah has received Patterson Chair in Gynecologic Cancer Research, Best Doctors in America, APGO Excellence in Teaching Award, Clark Kirkman award as Surgical educator, Lebanese Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology International Achievement Award, and repeatedly named one of the Top Doctors by HOUR Detroit Magazine in the area of Gynecology Oncology.
Dr. Munkarah is a fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the American College of Surgeons, and the Felix Rutledge Society, a member of many professional societies including the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Association of Cancer Research and others. He has served on several committees in these national and international professional societies.
A graduate of the American University of Beirut in Lebanon, Dr. Munkarah received his Doctor of Medicine with Distinction in 1985. He completed residency training in Internal Medicine in 1988 and Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1992 at Wayne State University, and fellowship training in Natural Immunity and Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in 1995.
Dana Nessel Michigan Attorney General
A former criminal prosecutor and civil rights attorney, Dana Nessel was sworn in as Michigan’s 54th Attorney General on January 1, 2019. Her core initiatives have been fashioned in the image of her promise to Michigan’s residents — to give the Department of Attorney General back to the people that it serves. Attorney General Nessel’s consumer protection divisions have taken a lead role in fighting against companies that try to take advantage of Michigan consumers, whether it be through unfair utility rate increases or unscrupulous business practices. She launched the Department’s Auto Insurance Fraud Unit to investigate and prosecute individuals and businesses that exploit Michigan residents and the system designed to protect the safety of Michigan’s drivers. And, she established the office’s first Payroll Fraud Enforcement Unit to crackdown on individuals and businesses who try to cheat Michigan’s workers out of their pay and retirement benefits. She was also instrumental in protecting the voting rights in Michigan and prosecuting those who violate them.
Since taking office, Attorney General Nessel has been a champion of the state’s most important resource – its Great Lakes. Her environmental protection division is actively fighting to ensure clean air, water and energy for Michigan’s residents so that our most valuable assets are preserved for generations to come. She has also joined the battle to combat the largest public health crisis in the nation – prescription drug addiction — and to stem the tide of Michigan’s biggest environmental crisis in decades – PFAS contamination.
As the State’s Chief Law Enforcement Officer, Attorney General Nessel launched Michigan’s Elder Abuse Task Force, in partnership with the Michigan Supreme Court, to stop the rise of crimes against one of the state’s most vulnerable populations. She has continued the Department’s criminal investigations into the Flint Water Crisis and sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. And, she has created a Conviction Integrity Unit to investigate claims of innocence so that even when we prosecute the state’s most heinous crimes, we can ensure the public’s trust in our criminal justice system.
A graduate of the University of Michigan and Wayne State University Law School, Attorney General Nessel lives in southeast Michigan with her wife, Alanna Maguire, and her twin sons, Alex and Zach.
Chuck Stokes "Spotlight on the News" WXYZ Channel 7
Chuck Stokes is a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta and holds a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. He is also a graduate of Leadership Detroit and the E.W. Scripps Co. Stokes joined WXYZ in 1981. He serves as moderator and producer of “Spotlight On The News,” Detroit’s longest-running weekly news and public affairs show. His interviews have included a host of prominent politicians, entertainers, religious, and business leaders.
He has produced a prime time documentary and a 10-part news series examining Africa’s apartheid system. Stokes has served as the co-executive producer of two 60-minute national Town Meetings featuring Democratic candidates and President Bill Clinton.
Before he became Channel 7’s editorial/public affairs director, Stokes worked as the station’s executive producer of special projects in news. Under his direction, the department earned numerous awards and citations.
Prior to joining WXYZ-TV, Chuck worked at WTVF-TV in Nashville, Tennessee, as a producer and on-air reporter. Prior to that, he was a sportswriter for the Washington Post. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Stokes is married and has two daughters.
Judge Pablo Cortes Kent County, Michigan JTC
Hon. Pablo Cortes is a District Court judge in the city of Wyoming in Kent County. He was appointed to his seat in 2005 and subsequently elected in 2006, 2008, and 2014. From 1995 until taking the bench, Judge Cortes served as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for Kent County. Judge Cortes graduated from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor with honors in 1989 and from Wayne State University Law School in Detroit in 1995. He was elected to the Judicial Tenure Commission in 2010. Aside from his service on the commission and various community groups, Judge Cortes serves on the board of the Michigan District Court Judges Association and its Legislative Committee. He is also an Adjunct Professor at both the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Grand Rapids and the Grand Rapids Community College Police Academy. Judge Cortes has served as the Commission’s Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson.
Sean Stone Hollywood Actor/Producer
Sean Christopher Stone is an American actor, filmmaker, and television host. A convert to Shia Islam in 2012, in an interview with CNN, Stone said that he accepted Muhammad as the seal of the prophets. Speaking to Bill O’Reilly, he claimed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad‘s statements about Israel had been misunderstood.
Stone has acted in films since he was a child, including several of his father’s films (Oliver Stone) such as The Doors, JFK, Natural Born Killers, and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. Stone has become a director in his own right with Graystone, a movie based on Stone’s experiences exploring haunted mental asylums in addition to other movies and documentaries.
Stone is a member of the Board of Advisors for the company MindShare Ventures Group based in New York City. The company is involved in several business areas including entertainment, commodities, healthcare, real estate, tech and venture capital. He was invited to the Board in 2013 by Founder and Chairman, Ali Naqvi.
Sean Stone is one of the proponents of the idea that elections have always been rigged.
Honorable Judge Patricia Fresard, 3rd Circuit Court, Wayne County Michigan
Honorable Patricia Fresard is a judge for the 3rd Circuit Court in Wayne County, Michigan. She was first elected to this position on November 3, 1998, and took office the following January. She most recently ran unopposed for re-election in 2016. Fresard graduated cum laude with a J.D. from the Michigan State University – Detroit College of Law in 1986. Fresard began her career in 1986 as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Macomb County. She served in that county as the chief of sex crimes. Judge Fresard has served as felony trial court judge and presently serves as presiding judge for the Civil Division. She also serves on the court’s executive and strategic planning committees. Judge Fresard is a member of the Federal Bar’s diversity committee and has been active throughout her career in community service and mentor-ship programs, including the Inns of Court program.
Carolyn Clifford WXYZChannel 7 News Anchor
Carolyn Clifford was originally hired at WXYZ to anchor weekends and as the station’s health reporter. By May 2002, Detroit began waking up with Carolyn when she joined the “7 Action News This Morning” team. Carolyn is a 17 time Emmy Award winning journalist who currently anchors the 4, 6, and 11 pm newscasts at WXYZ Channel 7. Carolyn was born and raised in the city of Detroit and grew up on the northwest side, and is so very proud of the city’s comeback and new development.
Carolyn is a proud graduate of Michigan State University, earning a degree in Broadcast Journalism. She also learned mental toughness from spending time in MSU’s Army ROTC.Carolyn came to WXYZ-TV from WPGH-TV in Pittsburgh PA, where she anchored the 10 p.m. newscast. Before that, she anchored the 10 p.m. news at WLFL-TV in Raleigh, NC.Carolyn also worked at the CBS affiliates in both Orlando, FL and Lansing, MI, but got her real start in news at a small radio station in Lansing.
In 2015, Carolyn was among a handful of journalists selected from across the country and the only news anchor in Michigan to be invited to the White House to interview President Obama about the Iran Nuclear Deal. It was one of the proudest moments of her career because not many journalists can say they were lucky enough to interview a sitting president one-on-one. Additional memorable moments in broadcasting include interviewing Oprah Winfrey, Barbara Walters, and NBA legends Michael Jordan and Earvin “Magic” Johnson. Carolyn has covered everything from hurricanes in North Carolina to former South African President Nelson Mandela’s first visit to Michigan after he was freed from prison.
Carolyn’s most rewarding stories, however, are those that have helped change the lives of our viewers; whether offering free flu shots during a national shortage, or finding free mammogram test sites for women in need.
Carolyn has been named “Woman of the Year” by the YWCA of Western Wayne County. She has also been honored by the Detroit City Council and Detroit Urban League for her community and volunteer work in the Metro Detroit area. One of Carolyn’s passions is speaking out against domestic violence at numerous area events. She has also reached out and personally helped many victims of domestic violence.
Carolyn has received many professional accolades for her reporting and anchoring work at 7 Action News. She is a 17-time Emmy Award winner, including three Emmys for Best News Anchor. She has also been honored by the Associated Press, the Michigan Association of Broadcasters , and given a special tribute by the Karmanos Cancer Institute as one of their “Heroes of Breast Cancer.”
Hoping to make a difference in the children’s lives, Carolyn often speaks at area schools and community organizations. One of Carolyn’s favorite quotes is from Martin Luther King Junior in 1963: “The ultimate measure of a man or woman is not where he or she stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he or she stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
Judge Mariam Saad, 3rd Circuit Court Wayne County Michigan
Judge Mariam Bazzi was initially appointed to the bench by Gov. Rick Snyder in May 2017. She was elected in November 2020 and is currently serving her term in the 3rd Circuit Court in Wayne County. Judge Bazzi served as Wayne County assistant prosecuting attorney in 2006 and was lead attorney for the county’s Deed & Mortgage Fraud Task Force. She served on Dearborn’s school board for nearly two and a half years before resigning to accept the judgeship.
She is also a member of the League of Women Voters of Dearborn/Dearborn Heights and was until recently a member of the Michigan Middle Eastern Affairs Commission and the Arab American Political Action Committee. She was the first woman president of AAPAC.
Judge Bazzi continues to make mentoring young women a priority, helping future generations, as a way to give back to a community that’s backed her along the way.
Ron Haddad Dearborn Chief of Police
Haddad began his career with the Detroit Police Department in 1973 and retired in January 2007 as deputy chief of the northwestern district.
During his career, he also had been deputy chief of the eastern operations bureau in charge of seven precincts, and deputy chief in charge of homeland security.
In addition, among his many other responsibilities, he had commanded the 11th precinct and held executive lieutenant positions.
He has been honored for his role in the success of security at special events, including the Super Bowl in 2006 and the Baseball All-Star Game in 2005.
He has a strong background in budgeting and administrative details, as well as a talent for inspiring organizational excellence. Haddad graduated from Salesian High School in Detroit. He holds an Associate and Bachelor’s degree in law enforcement from the University of Detroit/Mercy and a master’s degree from Eastern Michigan University.
He also graduated from the school of police staff and command from Northwestern University and earned an extensive list of other educational, specialized training and professional development certifications.
After retiring from the Detroit department, he took a leadership position with Chrysler security.
In his career, he had received 170 letters of commendation from citizens, corporate and civic leaders and chiefs of police for outstanding service to the department and the community. He has two pages of community service awards and has been an active participant in more than two dozen community groups.
Dr. Alexis Travis MDHHA Senior Deputy Director for Health
Dr. Alexis Travis is senior deputy director of MDHHS’ Public Health Administration, where she oversees a vast array of public health services in Michigan, including these state bureaus: Laboratories; EMS, Trauma and Preparedness; Health and Wellness; and Epidemiology and Population Health.
Dr. Travis previously served as director of MDHHS’ Aging & Adult Services Agency (AASA), where she oversaw an agency that provides statewide leadership, direction and resources to support Michigan’s aging, adult services and disability networks. Among other contributions, she led AASA to become the fifth state in the nation and first in the Midwest to join the World Health Organization and AARP age-friendly initiative. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Travis worked with the AASA team and the aging network to launch many innovative programs to address food insecurity, social isolation and support risk mitigation in one of the highest risk populations.
In a previous position at MDHHS, Dr. Travis served as director of MDHHS’ Bureau of Health and Wellness, where she managed the Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Control and the Division of HIV and STD Programs. In that role, she collaborated with internal and external stakeholders to develop a state dementia plan and established a state-level public health workgroup on healthy aging.
Prior to her work at MDHHS, she worked as chief of community health for the Worcester Department of Health and Human Services in Massachusetts, where she managed the Community Health Improvement Plan and was a champion of health equity while working effectively with diverse community stakeholders – including older adults and people with disabilities. Earlier in her career, she was a payer operations manager for Athena Health and chapter director of program services and state director of program services for March of Dimes New England.
Dr. Travis holds a doctorate in public health from Walden University in Minnesota, a master’s degree of pharmacy with honors from the University of Bradford in the United Kingdom and was a participant in the Socrates/Erasmus Student Exchange Program at the University of Salamanca in Spain.
Mayor of Dearborn: John B. "Jack" O'Reilly, Jr.
John B. “Jack” O’Reilly, Jr.
Mayor of Dearborn
John B. “Jack” O’Reilly, Jr. has served as an elected public official in Dearborn since 1990 and as Mayor since 2007. He was last re-elected in November 2017 and will be Mayor through 2021. Before becoming Mayor, he served as president of the Dearborn City Council for 17 years.
Throughout his public career, Mayor O’Reilly has consistently demonstrated his commitment to Dearborn neighborhoods by working to preserve the City’s high quality of life and attractive residential areas.
He has promoted economic development and community programs through beneficial relationships with county, regional and state agencies, and corporations like Ford Motor Co., Beaumont Health System and Ford Land. Notably, he was instrumental in clearing the path for Ford Land’s Wagner Place development, which is scheduled to open in Dearborn’s west downtown in 2018.
The Mayor has forged productive partnerships with important community organizations, such as the Dearborn Federation of Neighborhood Associations, the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce, the Dearborn Area Interfaith Network, and the Dearborn Public Schools. He is on the board of directors of the Dearborn Education Foundation, the West Dearborn Downtown Development Authority and the East Dearborn Downtown Development Authority.
Mayor O’Reilly has significant experience in regional, state and federal levels of government, and has participated in or led many boards, task forces and high-level committees.
He was elected president of the Michigan Municipal League and served in that capacity from fall 2015-fall 2016. Under his leadership, the League lobbied to improve how municipal services are funded in Michigan.
He was appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder in 2016 to the 20-member Executive Committee of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
He was the 2014 chair of the Downriver Community Conference, following many other leadership positions he held with the regional organization.
In 2014, Mayor O’Reilly was appointed by Gov. Snyder to the Local Community Stabilization Authority Council, a five-member panel that oversees personal property tax replacement revenue distribution to communities across Michigan.
Mayor O’Reilly also maintains an active role with the Urban Core Mayors, a bipartisan, multi-regional coalition of 13 central city mayors; the Conference of Western Wayne and with the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments.
Before becoming Mayor, he was the executive director of the Southeast Michigan Community Alliance (SEMCA) from 1996-2007.
Over his long public service career, Mayor O’Reilly was a Washington staff counsel and district director for then-U.S. Congressman John D. Dingell and a chief of staff in the Michigan State Senate.
A licensed Michigan attorney, he holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Detroit and also is an alumnus of Oakland University. He is a graduate of Dearborn’s St. Alphonsus High School.
He and his wife, Christina, are the parents of Devon, Sean, and Dylan, and have one grandson.
Brian Karem Washington Correspondent Playboy
Brian James Karem is an American journalist and author working as the White House correspondent for Playboy and political analyst for CNN. He also hosts the “Just Ask The Question” podcast. In 1991, Karem received the National Press Club Freedom of the Press award for refusing to reveal his sources in a story related to the killing of a police officer in Texas Pieringer Award for Valor and Journalist Excellence.
Omar Regan Hollywood Actor, Comedian and Producer
Omar Regan was born and raised in Detroit, MI. He started writing songs at the age of 9, and debuted on the professional music scene along with his brother as a member of the group S.O.A at the age of 11.S.O.Aopened for renowned artists including, Redman, Method Man, Wu Tang Clan, KRS-One, Royce da 5’9”, Proof, and Eminem. In 1999 S.O.A was offered a record deal with Tommy Boy Records, S.O.A. held out hoping to receive more offers but in the end no deal was made and the brothers focused on solo careers. November of 1999 Regan jumped on stage as a stand-up comic in local Detroit Comedy Clubs and soon after auditioned and was awarded the leading role in a Regional Ford Focus Commercial and knew acting was his passion, all in the same year Regan left Detroit for Hollywood.
In 2001 Regan was offered and accepted the role as Photo Double for Chris Tucker in Rush Hour 2. In 2005 Regan was on the main stage at The World Famous Comedy Store in Hollywood and got the attention of talents scouts, soon after Regan appeared on E!’s reality series, “Fight for Fame,” and won a theatrical contract with Acme Talent Agency. The new show didn’t get picked up for a second season and a year later Regan was representing himself once again. Regan is now international known, winning over audiences as far as England, Ireland, Scotland, South Africa, Australia, China, Malaysia, Zimbabwe, Saudi Arabia, Dubai and more. He has appeared in films including “Internet Dating” alongside Katt Williams and “Life is Hot in Cracktown,” alongside, Evan Ross, and Kerry Washington. Regan has now founded his own production company HALALYWOOD, and uses entertainment and humor to promote tolerance, diversity, and to build bridges across racial, religious, and social divides.
As an African-American Muslim entertainer, Regan offers a unique perspective on everyday life, his mission statement is an acronym of his last name, Reflect Excellence, Gratitude And Nur (Light) REGAN.
Dr. Abdul El-Sayed Public Health Expert
Dr. Abdul El-Sayed is a physician, epidemiologist, educator, author, speaker, and podcast host. He is a commentator at CNN and his newsletter, The Incision, cuts into the trends shaping our moment. His three books include Healing Politics: A Doctor’s Journey into the Heart of Our Political Epidemic (Abrams Press, 2020), which diagnoses our country’s epidemic of insecurity and the empathy politics we will need to treat it; and Medicare for All: A Citizen’s Guide (Oxford University Press, 2021), co-authored with Dr. Micah Johnson, which offers a no nonsense guide to the policy. He is the host of “America Dissected,” a podcast by Crooked Media, which goes beyond the headlines to explore what really matters for our health. He is a Senior Fellow at the FXB Center for Health & Human Rights at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and a Scholar-in-Residence at Wayne State University and American University, where he teaches at the intersection between public health, public policy, and politics.
In 2018, Abdul ran for Governor of Michigan on an unapologetically progressive platform, advocating for universal healthcare, clean water for all, debt-free and tuition-free higher education, a pathway to 100% renewable energy, and to rebuild the barrier between corporations and government.
He was the youngest health official in a major US city when he was appointed Health Director in the City of Detroit, charged with rebuilding the City’s health department after it was privatized during municipal bankruptcy. Responsible for the health and safety of over 670,000 Detroiters, the Detroit Health Department became a state and national leader in public health innovation and environmental justice, in one of the fastest municipal public health turnarounds in American history. He was awarded “Public Official of the Year” by the Michigan League of Conservation Voters and “40 under 40” by Crain’s Detroit Business.
As a professor at Columbia University’s Department of Epidemiology, Abdul became an internationally recognized expert in health policy and health inequalities. He was Director of the Columbia University Systems Science Program and Global Research Analytics for Population Health. He has over 100 peer-reviewed publications that have earned over 2000 citations, including a foundational textbook on Systems Science & Population Health (Oxford University Press, 2016). In addition, he has previously served as the DeRoy Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan, a Sine Fellow at American University’s Sine Institute of Policy & Politics, and Pritzker Fellow at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics.
Abdul holds a doctorate in Public Health from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, as well as a medical degree from Columbia University, where he was a Medical Scientist Training Program Fellow and a Soros New Americans Fellow. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa with Highest Distinction from the University of Michigan, where he was chosen to deliver the student commencement speech alongside President Bill Clinton. He was awarded the University of Michigan Bicentennial Alumni Award in 2017.
Judge David Perkins Wayne County MI Probate Court
Honorable David Perkins is a judge of the Wayne County Probate Court in Michigan. His current term ends in 2025. He was a judge of the 36th District Court in Michigan. judge Perkins was appointed to the court by Governor Rick Snyder on January 23, 2014, and was elected to his seat that November. He replaced Judge Paula Humphries, who resigned. Judge Perkins received his undergraduate degree from Rutgers University and his J.D. from the Howard University School of Law.
Before his appointment to the 36th District Court, Judge Perkins served as the court referee for the 3rd Circuit Court’s Family Division. He also previously served as a magistrate for the 30th District Court, as an assistant corporate counsel for Wayne County, and as a judge advocate in the Michigan Air National Guard. Judge Perkins also worked as an attorney in his own private practice and was a partner at the Law Offices of Dozier, Turner, Braceful & Perkins.
Loki Mulholland Civil Rights Activist, Producer "The Uncomfortable Truth"
Loki Mulholland, a native of Virginia, is an award-winning filmmaker, and the son of Civil Rights legend Joan Trumpauer Mulholland. Loki has won multiple film festival awards, Best of State, and the Filmed in Utah Award. In addition, he has received over thirty Telly Awards for his various work in commercial and industrial films. His first book, She Stood for Freedom, is an illustrated children’s book about the life of his mother. His award-winning film, An Ordinary Hero, also about his mother, appeared on PBS. Loki has spoken all over the country on the subject of the Civil Rights Movement and current race relations.
He’s the author of the book: She Stood For Freedom: Joan Trumpauer Mulholland
Dr. Michael F. Rice Superintendent State of Michigan Public Schools
Dr. Michael F. Rice was appointed Michigan’s 44th Superintendent of Public Instruction by Michigan’s State Board of Education in May 2019. He came to the Michigan Department of Education after serving 17 years as a local district superintendent – most recently at the Kalamazoo (MI) Public Schools, where he started full-day pre-kindergarten and quintupled the number of full-day kindergarten students; and led the improvement in student achievement in reading, writing, math, Advanced Placement participation and success, and graduation rates.
Prior to serving as Kalamazoo’s superintendent, Dr. Rice served five years as superintendent of the Clifton (NJ) Public Schools. Dr. Rice began his career in public education in the Washington, D.C. Public Schools, where he taught high school French, and founded and coached an award-winning speech and debate program.
Zenell Brown 3rd Circuit Court Administrator
Zenell B. Brown is celebrating 22 years of court service with the Third Judicial Circuit Court.
She began at the Court in 1997 as a case worker; promoted to many other positions including Friend of
the Court, and was appointed to her current role as Court Administrator in 2014. The Michigan State
Court Administrator acknowledged Zenell in its 2019 edition of Court Success Stories. Additionally, the
Women Lawyers Association awarded her the Geraldine Bledsoe Ford Award at its annual
conference. The Geraldine Bledsoe Ford awardee is someone who has shown commitment to
promoting diversity for all people. Zenell recently facilitated leadership training for Houston’s Harris
County Pre-trial Service Department.
Zenell is a graduate of University of Detroit, Wayne State University Law School, Michigan State University’s Judicial Administration Graduate
Certificate Program, and Central Michigan University’s Leadership Graduate Program. She is also a Certified Diversity Professional credentialed by the National Diversity First Council.
Zenell sits on several boards including the Michigan Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), the State Bar Alternative Dispute Resolution Section. She is also active in the State Bar Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Team and chairs an annual purse drive to collect purses and toiletries for domestic violence survivors.
THANK YOU TO OUR 2021 IMAGES & PERCEPTIONS DIVERSITY CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS
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Thank you to our 2020, 17th Annual Images & Perceptions Diversity Conference Speakers
Thank you to our 2019, 16th Annual Images & Perceptions Diversity Conference Speakers