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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Epiphanies in Proximity: Personal Stories of Turning Points

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Session Description

Where were you when you had your last big breakthrough? In your office, in the field, in the weeds, in the shower? From a lawyer whose apparel designs can be seen in the film Black Panther to a doorman reviving coffee cultivation in Yemen, you’ll hear from social entrepreneurs and other leaders about their moments of epiphany: the specific experiences or insights that caused them to rethink everything and chart a new course.

When | Where

1:30 PM - 2:45 PM Thursday, April 12 Pyramid Room (TBEC)


Lightning Talks

Session leaders

  • Executive Director - Africa, Campaign for Female Education
    Angeline Murimirwa, née Mugwendere, was one of the first young women to receive support from Camfed to go to secondary school. She is now Camfed Executive Director - Africa, overseeing the Camfed delivery, working closely with all Camfed offices. Angeline understands from experience both the desire for education and the enormous hurdles girls face in securing their right to education. In a spirit of solidarity with those facing the same struggles she has overcome, Angeline became a key founding member of the Camfed Association, CAMA, a powerful pan-African network of young educated women, which grew to 100,000 members in 2017. CAMA members are united by a background of rural poverty and are stepping up as a new generation of leaders and entrepreneurs in their communities, as well as at national and international level. Angeline served on the Board of the Zimbabwe National Youth Council, and represented Camfed on the Education Coordination Group and on the UNAIDS Gender Task Force. In 2006, she was awarded the Prize for Women's Creativity in Rural Life by the Women's World Summit Foundation in Switzerland. In 2009, Angeline’s story featured in ‘Half the Sky’, a book by award-winning writers Nick Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn. In September 2017, the Clara Lionel Foundation presented Angeline with the 2017 Diamond Ball Honours Award, recognising her past, present and future support of young leaders, entrepreneurship and civic engagement.
  • Community Paralegal, Nigeria, Justice & Empowerment Initiatives
    Bisola grew up in Itu Agan, an informal settlement in Lagos, Nigeria. She is a member of the Nigerian Slum / Informal Settlement and a founding member of the Federation's youth media team. She is trained and works as a community paralegal with Justice & Empwerment Initiatives - Nigeria (JEI), providing grassroots legal aid to the urban poor.
  • John Valverde Speaker
    John Valverde is the CEO of YouthBuild USA, Inc. He joined YouthBuild in 2017 after decades of work as an advocate for creating access to opportunity and removing barriers for formerly incarcerated and low-income people. John began working with imprisoned individuals in 1992 to ensure access to HIV/AIDS counseling, high school equivalency instruction, alternatives to violence programs, and college education. In 1998, he co-founded Hudson Link for Higher Education, the first privately funded accredited college program in New York’s prisons.. As a young man who was incarcerated at 21, for almost 16 years, John is now recognized as a proven leader and example for people affected by the criminal justice system. John’s personal and professional life embodies the work of YouthBuild and is a powerful representation of its mission. John is a graduate of Aspen Institute’s Sector Skills Academy. He holds a Master of Professional Studies in Urban Ministry from the New York Theological Seminary and a bachelor’s degree in behavioral science from Mercy College.
  • Lindsey Spindle Moderator
    President, Jeff Skoll Group
    Lindsey Spindle is President of The Jeff Skoll Group. Working for global change-maker and renowned entrepreneur Jeff Skoll, Spindle helps oversee and connect Mr. Skoll’s network of philanthropic, commercial, and personal interests. In addition, Spindle leads communications and reputation management activities for Mr. Skoll to ensure his full suite of impact activities are creatively promoted as a means to achieve a sustainable world of peace and prosperity. Lindsey has dedicated her career to shaping progressive organizations and campaigns that improve people’s lives, particularly women and children. Before joining The Jeff Skoll Group, Lindsey was Chief Communications and Brand Officer of Share Our Strength, a national nonprofit focused on ending childhood hunger in America through its groundbreaking No Kid Hungry campaign. Under her leadership, The No Kid Hungry campaign won PR Week’s prestigious Non-Profit PR Campaign of the Year in 2015. Before her time at Share Our Strength, Lindsey spent nearly 20 years in healthcare communication, policy and government relations working for some of the nation's most respected commercial and non-profit organizations. These include Georgetown University, Brookings, and Porter Novelli. Throughout her career, Lindsey has shaped major campaigns that curbed youth smoking by 30% in one year, increased patient safety through reduced medical errors, defended vaccine safety, and secured bipartisan Congressional funding for improving health care quality. Lindsey was among the first class of girls to attend the Lawrenceville School outside of Princeton, New Jersey, and is a graduate of the University of Michigan. She's a fourth generation native Washingtonian turned Los Angeles transplant along with her husband and two children. Spindle currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles and the Next Generation Council of the Shoah Foundation.
  • Founder & CEO, Port of Mokha
    Historian, community organizer, and coffee innovator, Mokhtar Alkhanshali envisions a world where industry empowers rather than exploits, uplifts rather than represses. Following his studies, he worked with some of the most respected civil rights and community organizations including the ACLU and Asian Law Caucus. On several occasions he’s been requested to partner with the city of San Francisco in working on initiatives regarding civil liberties. In 2013 Mokhtar shifted his focus towards his family’s roots as coffee farmers in Yemen. Seeking to reverse Yemen’s nearly lost art of coffee cultivation, he founded Port of Mokha. Combining his knowledge of specialty coffee production, progressive infrastructure strategy and community organizing, Mokhtar has helped to reverse the declining quality of Yemeni coffee and re-establish it as the one of industries most treasured origins. Best-selling author Dave Eggers’ forthcoming title “The Monk of Mokha” traces Mokhtar’s journey as a social entrepreneur and his harrowing escape from war torn Yemen with his first coffee samples. Mokhtar can be found amongst his coffee farmers in remote villages or speaking around the world on topics of social entrepreneurship, community development and, of course, coffee.
  • Walé Oyéjidé Speaker
    Founder, Designer, Ikiré Jones
    Walé Oyéjidé, Esq. is a designer, writer, musician and lawyer that combats bias with creative storytelling. As the founder of Ikiré Jones, he employs fashion design as a vehicle to celebrate the perspectives of marginalized populations.