Featured Speaker

Dr. Damon A. Williams

Dr. Damon A. Williams is a visionary and inspirational leader, and one of the nation’s recognized experts in strategic diversity leadership, youth development, corporate responsibility, and organizational change.

For four years, he led a $250M social impact portfolio for the world’s largest youth development company, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, representing the interests of nearly 4M diverse youth and teens as Senior Vice President for Programs and Chief Education Officer.

One of the original architects of the Inclusive Excellence concept in American higher education, he is author of the best-selling Strategic Diversity Leadership and the Chief Diversity Officer, he is a global thought leader having worked with more than 1,000 colleges and universitiesFortune 100 companies, foundations, and government agencies, as keynote speakerstrategist, educator, and social impact leader.

As the University of Michigan celebrates her 200-year anniversary, he was recently awarded the Bicentennial Leadership Award, a one-time honor given to 20 trailblazing alumni, who exemplify the best of the academic and leadership values of the Universities 200,000 living alumni. 

He is currently chief catalyst for the Center for Strategic Diversity Leadership & Social Innovation and a Senior Scholar and Innovation Fellow at the Wisconsin Equity, and Inclusion (Wei) Laboratory of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he previously served as Associate Vice Chancellor and inaugural Chief Diversity, Equity, and Educational Achievement Officer.

Dr. Williams received his PhD from the University of Michigan Center for the Study of Higher and Post-Secondary Education (CSHPE) in Organizational Behavior and Management, and his MS and BS degrees from Miami University in Educational Leadership and Sociology and Black World Studies, respectively.

For more information, please visit www.drdamonawilliams.com.


Dr. Angelique Harris

Dr. Angelique Harris, PhD, is the Director of Faculty Development for Boston University Medical Campus, and the Director of Faculty Development and Diversity for the Department of Medicine. A trained medical sociologist, Dr. Harris’ research and teaching examines health, wellness, and belonging, as well as social problems and activism within marginalized communities, and in particular among people of color, LGBTQ+, and those at their intersections. In addition to her research and work with students, Dr. Harris has extensive experience working in faculty development. She has designed and implemented workshops, trainings, and programs on social justice in health care, community engaged participatory research, conversations across difference, and inclusive, anti-racist, and ant-colonist pedagogy. 


Dr. Mary Koithan

Mary Koithan, PhD, CNS-BC, FAAN is Professor and Dean at the Washington State University College of Nursing. She received her BSN from the University of Cincinnati, her master’s from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and her PhD from the University of Colorado. Prior to her current position at WSU she was the Associate Dean for Student and Community Engagement at The University of Arizona, College of Nursing during which she was the project director the Arizona Nursing Inclusive Excellence Program, funded by HRSA. Dr. Koithan’s clinical scholarship is focused on interprofessional team-based care that is delivered via innovative practice models that improves access to care and health outcomes. Motivated by a deep and abiding concern for high-risk, vulnerable and underserved populations, her work has been focused in tribal, border/rural, and inner-city populations over her 40+ years in nursing. Her interest in cultivating and supporting a diverse nursing workforce arises from this clinical work, recognizing that improved health outcomes occur through deep cultural understanding and connections with communities and healthcare providers that reflect the populations that they care for. Her approaches to both practice and education are grounded in a whole person/whole systems which requires consideration of the context and history of all participants and an appreciation for the intrinsic value that each person brings to their relationships. She currently serves as the co-investigator/consultant for the final year of the ANIE project and is a co-investigator with University of Arizona’s Indians into Nursing: Career Advancement and Transition Program funded by the Indian Health Service.


Melissa Joy Roberts

Melissa Joy Roberts, JD, MSN, FNP-BC, Clinical Associate Professor, has been on the faculty of the UMKC School of Nursing and Health Studies since 1995. She has been the Interim Dean of the School of Nursing and Health Studies since August 2019. Professor Roberts previously served as the Executive Associate Dean (2018), Associate Dean for Academics (2014-2018) and Assistant Dean for Student Affairs.

Professor Roberts earned BSN and MSN degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a JD from the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s School of Law. She has practiced as a Family Nurse Practitioner with rural and under-served populations since 1991 and has been a licensed attorney since 2006.  Her practice interests are in family practice, dermatology and mental health. Her law practice focused on legal issues in advanced practice nursing, nursing education. criminal law and wrongful conviction appeals. 

 She has taught courses in Policy, Politics and Professional Ethics, Advanced Health Assessment, Health Promotion and Primary Care Clinicals.


Julian L. Gallegos

Julian L. Gallegos, PhD, MBA, RN, FNP-BC, CNL is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Nurse Leader who has served in different capacities as a nurse in the past 18 years. He served 8 years active duty in the United States Air Force Nurse Corps with distinction during Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom. After military service, he settled in California working first as a neurology nurse practitioner then as a urology nurse practitioner. During his time in California, he obtained primary stroke center designation for the local community hospital he worked for then embarked on his academic career. While in his academic appointment at a local graduate medical university in California, he launched the first doctor of nursing practice program for the school of nursing. Most recently, Dr. Gallegos has moved to Indiana where he serves as a Clinical Associate Professor and Director for the DNP program at Purdue University. Dr. Gallegos is married to his lovely wife Misty, who is a NICU nurse, and has a 7-year-old son who someday has hopes of becoming an astronaut.