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Keynote Speakers


Bill Bowers Solo Play - "Beyond Words"

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

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

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


Heidi Beirich - "Hate in America"

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" 

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.

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