Social Work Scholar
Dr. Anamika Barman-Adhikari is an associate professor of Social Work at the University of Denver. Her research focuses on preventing HIV & substance use among high-risk youth and other vulnerable populations. She studies how young people's social relationships, both in-person & on social media, shape their behavior. Her programs use innovative technology to improve social connections and prevent harmful behaviors. When she isn't geeking out about data and technology, she enjoys traveling, cooking, and watching movies with her husband and two daughters.
Dr. Austin Okigbo is the Chair of Musicology and an associate professor at the University of Colorado Boulder, College of Music. He has a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology and African Studies from Indiana University, a Masters in Sacred Music and Music Education from Westminster Choir College, and degrees in philosophy and theology from the Pontifical Urban University, Rome. His research focuses on religious music, musical diasporas, inter-religious, and inter-cultural dialogues. Before joining CU Boulder, he taught at Williams College, Harvard, and the University of Notre Dame. He's joined on stage by Angel Florencio-Zuniga, Erick Miranda, and Paul Wolf.
Dr. Bonnie J. Clark co-leads the DU Amache Project, a community collaboration researching, preserving, and interpreting Amache, Colorado's World War II-era Japanese American incarceration camp. She is a professor of Anthropology at the University of Denver & the Curator of Archaeology at the DU Museum of Anthropology. She earned a Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley. Bonnie believes that tangible history, objects, sites, and landscapes help us better understand our humanity. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and skiing across the west.
Educational Equity Advocate
Dr. Cecilia Orphan is an associate professor of Higher Education at the University of Denver and Director of Partnerships for the Alliance for Research on Regional Colleges. As a first-generation, working-class student at Portland State University, she realized that regional public universities (RPUs) do vital work to serve their local communities and support marginalized communities. Now, they're the focus of her work. From 2006-2011, she directed the American Democracy Project, a national civic engagement initiative involving 240 RPUs. She lives in Denver with her husband, Jacob, and her mischievous cat, Oso.
Father of Eco-HIPHOP
Dr. ietef "Dj CaveM" Vita the O.G. (Organic Gardener) is a Grammy-nominated eco-hip hop rapper, D.J., producer, and vegan chef from Denver with roots in the Bay. His songs are about climate action and food justice and his work was featured in the documentaries "From gangs to gardens," and HBO's "Ice on Fire," produced by Leonardo DiCaprio. Releasing the first Organic Seed albums, BIOMIMCZ, and Newly - released “KONCRETE GARDEN” to spur listeners into action in urban farming. It was featured on Sway in the morning, NPR, People, Oprah Magazine, and The Rachael Ray Show. Find him online @ietef #ecohiphop #djcavem #ietefvita #koncretegarden
Writer & Rock Climber
Dr. Francis Sanzaro is an author and essayist with an extensive background in rock climbing. He grew up in Baltimore, trained as a gymnast, and studied Mathematics at Colorado State University, only to pursue journalism and poetry – go figure. His first book, "The Boulder: A Philosophy for Bouldering," is a rich, textured philosophy of sport. He's the former Editor-in-Chief of Rock and Ice, Ascent, and Gym Climber magazines and is an advisor for Gear Lab. He's currently writing, "Zen of the Wild," a book exploring the intersections of neuroscience and nature. He lives in the mountains of Carbondale, Colorado, with his wife and two children.
Poet & Comedian
Wordsmith Hakeem Furious grew up in Jacksonville, Florida. He developed a knack for slam poetry at Florida A&M University, an HBCU that cultivated his understanding, appreciation, and preservation of black culture and resilience. In 2014, he released his debut project, “Leaky Nostrils, Monogamous Swans,” a blend of Hip Hop and Poetry, and in 2017, he released his first book, “Dinner with The Ego and i.” At the 2019 Individual World Poetry Slam, he ranked #6 in the world. Currently, he travels the country performing poetry, curating shows, writing curriculum, and grants as CEO of the #UltraTerrestrialTour.
Indigenous Feminist Scholar
Dr. Lindsey Schneider is a Turtle Mountain Chippewa descendant who grew up in the Pacific Northwest, surrounded by rivers, big trees, and salmon. After getting a Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Riverside, she worked at the University of Idaho, supporting Native American students and building relationships with tribal leaders. Today, she is Assistant Professor of Native American Studies at Colorado State University. Her research focuses on settler colonialism, the environment, and how Indigenous peoples navigate legal and political barriers to sustain their relationships with the land.
Rob Drabkin studied biochemistry, intending to become a doctor. But after a trip to New York City, he dropped science and dedicated himself to becoming a singer. Rob’s song “It’s a Beautiful Day” was recently featured in ads across Europe, propelling it to the #1 song in Greece. On tour in Rwanda and Uganda, he played to crowds of 26,000 people as part of the iKnow Concert Series and Tour Du Rwanda. Rob believes that love is ever-present. We can create it in the smallest, most unassuming moments of our lives, and share it through laughter, smiles, and sympathy. All we can do is keep being kind and have the courage to choose love in every decision we make.