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Keynote Speakers


Bill Bowers Solo Play - "Beyond Words"

4-6pm Union Ballroom

kymr8622sm.jpgHailed by critics as the most accomplished and renowned mime of his generation, Bill Bowers currently performs and teaches the art of physical storytelling throughout the world. His methods and exploration of universal truths transcend the spoken word to educate and touch audiences in countries as varied as Poland, The Netherlands, Serbia, Macedonia, Romania, Italy, Germany, Norway, and throughout Asia.

An award-winning actor, Bowers has also performed in all 50 United States and Puerto Rico appearing on the stages of Broadway, The Kennedy Center, The White House, Steppenwolf, LaMaMa, Theatre for a New Audience, St. Anne’s Warehouse, Urban Stages, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Ensemble Studio Theater, Radio City Music Hall, HERE, and the New York International Fringe Festival. His Broadway credits include Zazu in The Lion King and Leggett in The Scarlet Pimpernel. He has also portrayed the great silent clowns: Charlie Chaplin in the world premiere of Little Tramp, Pierrot in the world premiere of Beethoven N Pierrot, and Petruchka with The Colorado Symphony.

Bill’s autobiographical play It Goes Without Saying won the Grand Prize at the International Thespis Festival in Germany, and garnered 5 Star reviews in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. His other solo plays, Beyond Words, All Over the Map, and Under A Montana Moon have also been produced Off Broadway and around the globe. Bill adapted Dalton Trumbo’s novel Johnny Got His Gun into a devised ensemble play, and is presently working on a new solo play to premiere in the Fall of 2019.

A passionate student and educator, Bowers studied with the legendary Marcel Marceau and currently serves on the faculties of New York University, Stella Adler Conservatory, and William Esper Studios. He holds an MFA from Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts, and an Honorary PhD from Rocky Mountain College.

For Beyond Words, Bowers draws his characters from life and moves beyond mere anecdotes to create a vibrant and visual poetry.  With both audacity and compassion he explores what it means to be a boy and the messages we receive on our way to becoming men.  It is an inclusive montage that celebrates maleness and humanity in capacious terms rather than any narrow punitive viewpoint that diminishes us all. 


Dr. Dionne Poulton

12:15-1:15pm Union Ballroom

poulton.jpgExecutive Coach, Educator, Diversity & Inclusion Consultant, Author, Radio Talk Show Host, Owner, Poulton Consulting Group, LLC,

Dr. Dionne Wright Poulton is a leading expert on diversity and inclusion, unconscious bias, and transformational adult learning and behavior with special emphasis in addressing, mitigating and solving intercultural conflicts and incidents of unconscious bias in the workplace. A formally trained K-12 teacher with a Ph.D. in Adult Education, she has 20 years of experience conceptualizing and creating innovative and research- based workshops, course curriculum, and on and off-site immersive programs for countless workplace leaders and employees—both one-on-one, and in group settings. Formally trained in discourse analysis and conflict mediation, Dionne has sound ability to analyze, address and solve the most difficult and complex situations—especially those involving issues of race, gender, class, sexual orientation, disability, and nationality.

Dionne is also author of the acclaimed book, It’s Not Always Racist...but Sometimes It Is: Reshaping How We Think About Racism (2014, Archway Publishing), which is an extension of her innovative workshops called Think You Are An Unbiased Teacher? Think Again! and Unconscious Bias at Work. The empirically tested methodology she created and utilizes in these workshops is designed to facilitate open and sustained intercultural dialogue, honest self-reflection, as well as an exploration and critique of personal assumptions and biases that might hinder the process of cultivating meaningful relationships with ‘others.’ Renowned book critic, Kirkus Media said, “This important book shows readers what such a lively but civil dialogue could look like.”

She has also received national and international recognition for her work—training leaders and employees around the world, including across the United States, Canada, France, and Bermuda. Industries to which she has consulted and trained in include, technology, advertising, media, retail, banking, non-profits, K-12 schools, higher education, sports, government, social groups, health care, and social services. She has also been invited for social commentary and ad hoc writing assignments for media outlets in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, and is also host of the popular radio show, The Dr. Dionne Show, which focuses on diversity and inclusion in the workplace and beyond.

Dionne holds a Ph.D. in Adult Education from the University of Georgia, a Master of Arts Degree in Administration and Interdisciplinary Studies in Adult Education with special emphasis in Equity and Social Justice from San Francisco State University, a Bachelor of Education Degree (teaching certification) from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto (OISE/UT), and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Kinesiology and Health Sciences from Rice University where she earned her degree while competing as an NCAA Division 1 track and field scholarship athlete.

Originally from Toronto, Canada, Dionne currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts with her husband and their two daughters.

Estelle Nadal

4-5pm Union Ballroom

estellenadel_creditdenverpost.jpgHolocaust survivor Estelle Nadel will share her story of struggle and survival as a child in hiding in Nazi-occupied Poland.

After a long life in America with a family of her own, Nadel has chosen to share her experience with audiences around the US, despite the pain of each retelling, so the lessons of the past will not be forgotten.

“There are less and less survivors,” Nadel said. “I want everybody here, the young people especially, to be able to tell their children that they saw a survivor, that she told her story.” (Branding Iron, 2017)

Buddy Wakefield

7-9pm Union Ballroom

Buddy Wakefield in blue sweatshirt with term 'word' in whiteBUDDY WAKEFIELD is a three-time world champion spoken word artist featured on the BBC, HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, ABC Radio National and has been signed to both Sage Francis’ Strange Famous Records as well as Ani DiFranco’s Righteous Babe Records. In 2004 he won the Individual World Poetry Slam Finals thanks to the support of anthropologist and producer Norman Lear then went on to share the stage with nearly every notable performance poet in the world in over 2000 venues internationally from The Great Lawn of Central Park, Zimbabwe’s Shoko Festival and Scotland’s Oran Mor to San Quentin State Penitentiary, House of Blues New Orleans and The Basement in Sydney, Australia.

In the spring of 2001 Buddy left his position as the executive assistant at a biomedical firm in Gig Harbor, WA, sold or gave away everything he owned, moved to the small town of Honda Civic and set out to live for a living, touring North American poetry venues through 2003. He has not yet stopped.

Having spent most of his career based in Seattle, WA, now claiming Los Angeles, CA as home, Buddy has been a busker in Amsterdam, a street vendor in Spain, a team leader in Singapore, a re-delivery boy, a candy maker, a street sweeper, a bartender, a maid, a construction worker, a bull rider, an incredibly slow triathlete and a facilitator at Quantum Learning Network. He loves crunchy peanut butter, long-form napping, chopping firewood and Vipassana meditation. Wakefield is an actor, a writer, elated son of Guitar Repair Woman, wingman of Giant Saint Everything and pays attention.

An author at Write Bloody Publishing and an original Board of Directors member with Youth Speaks Seattle, Buddy is published internationally in dozens of books with work used to win multiple national collegiate debate and forensics competitions. Wakefield, who is not concerned with what poetry is or is not, delivers raw, rounded, disarming performances of humor and heart.


Heidi Beirich - "Hate in America"

12:30-1:30pm Union Ballroom

splc_ip_heidi_beirich_2017_21_0.pngHeidi Beirich leads the SPLC’s Intelligence Project, which publishes the award-winning Intelligence Report and the Hatewatch blog.

She is an expert on various forms of extremism, including the white supremacist, nativist and neo-Confederate movements as well as racism in academia.

She oversees the SPLC’s yearly count of the nation’s hate and hard-line, anti-government groups and is a frequent contributor to the SPLC’s investigative reports and an oft-sought speaker at conferences on extremism. Prior to joining the SPLC staff in 1999, Heidi earned a doctorate in political science from Purdue University. She is the co-editor and author of several chapters of Neo-Confederacy: A Critical Introduction, published by the University of Texas Press in 2008.


Marco Castro-Bojorquez - Film Screening & Panel Discussion: "El Canto del Colibrí" 

2-4pm West Ballroom

marco.pngMarco is a filmmaker and an LGBT and HIV/AIDS activist who fights daily for the civil and human rights of LGBT people as a convener for Venas Abiertas: A National Network of Latinx Immigrants Living and / or affected by HIV/AIDS, a member of the U.S. People Living with HIV Caucus, and a lead organizer with the coalition of Californians for HIV Criminalization Reform. He is also the senior advisor for Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, MAVEN and Somos Familia, organizations that work with queer youth and their families in the United States.

In 2010, Marco directed his first short documentary Tres Gotas de Agua where three Latina immigrant mothers tell their personal stories about their children's coming out processes.  His most recent work, El Canto del Colibrí 2015, (The Hummingbird’s Song) explores the relationships between Latino immigrant fathers and their LGBT family members. This documentary addresses important issues such as family acceptance, culture, machismo, and immigration.
In November of 2015, Marco was selected by the White House for the prestigious Champions of Change award that recognizes LGBT artists who use media to illuminate the experiences of LGBT Americans and create opportunities for dialogue, inclusion, and understanding.


Hot Tamale Louie

Collaboration with the Wyoming Arts Council

6:30pm Education Auditorium

Developed by Professor John Rapson of the University of Iowa School of Music’s Jazz Studies Program, “Hot Tamale Louie” is a powerful multi-media performance piece about an early 20th-century immigrant who lived in Sheridan, Wyo. A genre-bending tale with lilting Western ballads, gentle Mexican waltzes, folk songs and melodies from the East, evocative tone poems and raucous ragtime melded together by jazz. A story about leaving home, of travel and wandering the west. A coming-of-age story. A story of fortunes won and lost, of immigrants and citizenship, of generosity and hate. The performance is based on a June 2016 “New Yorker” article that caught Rapson’s eye. Rapson recognized the story’s dramatic possibilities, the timeliness of its themes, and the opportunities it presented to work with local musicians whose talents mirrored Khan’s global wanderings. In addition to Rapson, composer and piano; and Gaglione, composer, voice and mandole; other musicians are Dave Moore, voice, slide guitar, accordion, harmonica; Ryan Smith, saxophone, flute and clarinet; Tara McGovern, violin; Dan Padley, electric guitar; Blake Shaw, double bass; and Justin LeDuc, drums and percussion. Join us at 6:30pm on Saturday, April 13th in the Education Auditorium on campus and stick around following the show for a conversation with the composer.

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