Jennifer Godinez is the associate director of the Minnesota Minority Education Partnership, Inc. (MMEP) and the executive director of Minnesota College Access Network, an initiative of MMEP. Prior to joining MMEP, she served as executive director of La Escuelita, a non-profit after school and summer program which focused on academic enrichment and leadership devel-opment for Latino youth. This fall, Ms. Godinez received the Distinguished Alumnus Award for Community Service from the National Hispanic Institute for her work. She has also been named one of 25 on the Rise by the Minnesota Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Leaders of the Year by La Prensa de Minnesota, a com-munity newspaper, for her advocacy work on access to college for immigrant youth. Ms. Godinez has a masters in Public Administration in Public Policy.
C. Willi Myles takes everyday life challenges and applies humor to them. With extremely funny, non-offensive stories and jokes, Willi makes everybody laugh. What happens when you take a guy from Alabama and you move him up to Minnesota and let him experience his first winter including ice fishing? One thing for sure is a lot of laughs and a unique look at living in the Mid-west.
C. Willi Myles was born and grew up in Mobile, Alabama. He attended St. Cloud University, majoring in Theater and has been performing professionally for 10 years. Willi has performed in 49 states and 3 countries; a couple of per-formances that he considers to be his career highlights are performing at the Legendary Apollo in New York and the Surf Ballroom in Iowa.
He has been featured locally and nationally on the Fox Network, Comedy Central, and Showtime at the Apollo, and he has released a DVD, "My House, My Time", and a CD, "Respect".
Together, Michelle Myers and Catzie Vilayphonh are a dynamic duo of Philly-based Asian American spoken word poets. Through their voices and poetry, Catzie and Mi-chelle hope to provide an awareness that is not often heard. Exploring topics from fet-ishes to cultural appropriation to ethnic pride, Yellow Rage challenges mainstream mis-conceptions of Asianness. They have been featured on HBO’s Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam and have performed around the country.
Jonathan Sprinkles keeps it real when he steps to the mic. He's funny, his energy keeps the audi-ence on the edge of their seats, and he pulls no punches. His style is interactive, not “act like you’re interested.” In record time, Jonathan has been celebrated as one of the most sought-after and well-respected speakers in the country. These are just a few of the reasons why he was nominated as the 2006 College Speaker of the Year by the members of the Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities. He uses humor and his unforgettable stories to show young people how to be authentic, live with strong character and avoid dream-robbers both in and out of the classroom. After just a few minutes with Jonathan, his quick wit and down-home style of "teaching beautiful people to act like it" will make you feel like you've known him your entire life.
Winona LaDuke is an Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) who lives and works on the White Earth Reserva-tion in Northern Minnesota. She is founding director for the White Earth Land Recovery Pro-ject, which works to facilitate recovery of the community’s original land base, while preserving and restoring traditional practices of sound land stewardship, language fluency, community de-velopment and spiritual and cultural heritage. She is a human rights activist, environmentalist, economist and writer. She has twice been the vice presidential candidate for the United States Green Party on a ticket headed by Ralph Nadar. The Harvard-educated activist is the recipient of numerous honors and awards such as the Reebok Human Rights Award, the Thomas Merton Award, the Ann Bancroft Award for Women’s Leadership and Fellowship, the Global Green Award and the International Slow Food Award for working to protect wild rice and local biodiversity. She has been featured in Time and Ms. magazines for her work on environmental, political and women’s issues. Ms. LaDuke has authored several books including Last Standing Woman, All Our Relations, In the Sugarbush, and Recovering the Sacred: The power of naming and claiming, as well a collection of essays, The Winona LaDuke Reader: A collection of essential writings.
Dr. Tony Byers joined Cargill in 2007 as a Diversity Consultant. His role is to support Cargill business units in the development of diversity organizational management including strategy development, diversity consultation and coaching for leaders, diversity development programs, external diversity vendor relationships and serves as the relationship manager for Learning and Development and Global Diversity and Inclusion. Prior to joining Cargill, Dr. Byers taught at Metropolitan State Uni-versity in organization development, diversity management, and management and leadership. He has served as the Director of Development for the National Leadership Council, the Director of Diversity Marketing with Augeo Inc., and was a senior management consultant with Vaughn-Lee and Associates in Minneapolis and J. Howard and Associates in Boston.