Conference Speakers

The following speakers delivered presentations at Humanity in Action's 2014 New York Conference on October 18, 2014.

Kristen Clarke

Kristen Clarke is the Bureau Chief of the Civil Rights Bureau of the New York Attorney General's Office. In this capacity, she helps promote civil rights enforcement in the State of New York under the leadership of Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman. Using federal, state, and local civil rights laws, such as the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Fair Housing Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act and other landmark laws, the Bureau investigates and prosecutes discrimination in a variety of areas. Prior to joining the Attorney General's Office, Ms. Clarke served as the Co-Director of the Political Participation Group at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. and, prior to that, worked in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Nikki Evans (Senior Fellow)

Nikki Evans is Director of the Office of Workforce Partnerships at the City University of New York (CUNY), which serves as a main institutional bridge between business, academic affairs and workforce development within the city’s 24-campus university system. As Director, Nikki develops the office's strategic vision and cultivates collaborations between CUNY and local businesses to help students gain practical work experiences that complement their education and help better prepare them to transition into employment. Prior to joining CUNY, Nikki lived and worked in Berlin, Germany for nearly five years—first, as a Robert Bosch Foundation Fellow studying German workforce development strategies, and then as the Program Administrator for the Siemens Mechatronic Systems Certification Program (SMSCP). Nikki is a Humanity in Action Senior Fellow (Amsterdam, 2002).

Casey Gerald

Casey Gerald is the co-founder and CEO of MBAs Across America, a national movement of MBAs and entrepreneurs working together to revitalize America. He began his career in economic policy & government innovation at the Center for American Progress, and has worked as a strategist with startup social ventures including Reboot and The Future Project, as well as companies such as The Neiman Marcus Group. A native Texan, Casey received an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in Political Science from Yale College. He has been featured on MSNBC, in the New York Times, Financial Times, Fast Company and other national & local media outlets. Casey is a Humanity in Action Senior Fellow (Berlin, 2009).

Delores Jones-Brown

Dr. Delores Jones-Brown is a former assistant Monmouth County, NJ prosecutor and a Professor in the Department of Law, Police Science and Criminal Justice Administration at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York. She also directs the John Jay College Center on Race, Crime and Justice. Her areas of research and scholarship include: race, crime and the administration of justice, juvenile justice, and the legal socialization of adolescent males. Her book, Race, Crime and Punishment, won a New York Public Library award in 2001. In addition to multiple articles, book chapters and legal commentaries, she is the co-editor of three additional books: African Americans and Criminal Justice: An Encyclopedia, The System in Black and White: Exploring the Connections between Race, Crime and Justice and Policing and Minority Communities: Bridging the Gap.

Justin Krebs

Justin Krebs is a political strategist, entrepreneur and author based in New York City. His work includes founding and running national and local non-profit and for-profit entities, consulting with progressive allies, media outlets and commercial partners, serving as a professional facilitator and trainer and authoring books and articles about politics and culture. Justin is the founder and National Director of Living Liberally, the network of over 200 progressive social communities.  Through its Drinking Liberally happy hours, Laughing Liberally comedy events, Screening Liberally film series and other programs, Living Liberally provides liberals around the country with political homes in big cities and small towns, including the most conservative areas. Justin is a founder of The Tank, an eleven-year-old non-profit home for performing arts and emerging artists in Manhattan. He is the author of 538 Ways to Live, Work and Play Like a Liberal, and of an upcoming non-fiction work with The New Press. He participated in Humanity in Action’s P!oneers program and serves on the American Planning Board.

Simone Kukenheim (Senior Fellow)

Simone Kukenheim is an Alderperson and Deputy Mayor for the city of Amsterdam. Her areas of responsibility include education, youth, diversity, integration and the District of Oost. Ms. Kukenheim entered Amsterdam politics in 2006. She is a Humanity in Action Senior Fellow (Amsterdam, 2003) and participated in the Lantos-Humanity in Action Congressional Fellowship.


The Moth

The Moth is an acclaimed not-for-profit organization dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling, and a recipient of a 2012 John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation MacArthur Award for Creative & Effective Institutions. The Moth has presented more than ten thousand stories, told live and without notes, to standing-room-only crowds worldwide. The Moth podcast is downloaded nearly 25 million times a year, and the Peabody Award-winning The Moth Radio Hour, produced by Jay Allison and presented by PRX, airs weekly on radio stations nationwide. The new Moth Mobile App for iOS and Android, and the national bestseller, The Moth: 50 True Stories, are available now. 

Gustavo Rivera

Gustavo Rivera was elected to represent District 33 in the New York State Senate in November of 2010. The 33rd Senate District extends from the Northwest Bronx to areas of the East Bronx and includes the following neighborhoods: Kingsbridge Heights, East Tremont, Crotona Park, Fordham, Belmont, Van Nest, Claremont, High Bridge and Morris Park. Senator Rivera is dedicated to changing the way business is done in the legislature for the better and is committed to making sure that the families of the 33rd Senate District have a voice in Albany. Since he took office in 2011, Senator Rivera has been focused on addressing issues of health inequity, as well as promoting better nutritional and exercise habits through his initiative, Bronx CAN. In January 2013, Senator Rivera was named the ranking member of the New York Senate’s Health Committee.

Michael Schober

Michael Schober is a Professor of Psychology at The New School. Michael served as the Dean of The New School for Social Research from 2006 to 2013 and has taught courses in psycholinguistics, human-computer interaction, research methods, psychology and design and the psychology of music. He is the editor of Discourse Processes and is the recipient of the Warren J. Mitofsky Innovators Award from the American Association for Public Opinion Research. He received a doctorate in cognitive psychology from Stanford University.

Marc Silverman (Senior Fellow)

Marc Silverman is an Assistant U.S. Attorney and the Deputy Chief of Appeals for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut. In these roles, he represents the United States in federal criminal prosecutions and supervises briefs, motions and other filings in criminal and civil cases in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He is a Humanity in Action Senior Fellow (Amsterdam, 2003).


Carlos Teixeira

Carlos Teixeira is an Associate Professor in the School of Design Strategies at The New School. In his signature course, Enterprising Design Knowledge, Teixeira applies new methodologies and design tools to business development, open innovation, co-creation and brand strategy for nongovernmental organizations and major corporations in the United States, Brazil and India. He is the co-director of the open innovation platform DREAM:IN, which was recognized with a 2013 Game Changer Award from Metropolis magazine.

Alok Vaid-Menon (Senior Fellow)

Alok Vaid-Menon is a trans/national solidarity activist. They have organized with queer movements in the US, India, South Africa and Palestine. They currently serve as the Communications and Grassroots Fundraising Coordinator at Audre Lorde Project and are on tour with the spoken word poetry collaboration DARKMATTER. Alok is a Humanity in Action Senior Fellow (Amsterdam, 2011).


Arun Venugopal

Arun Venugopal is a reporter with WNYC and the host and creator of Micropolis, a public radio series examining race, sexuality and urban identity. He is a regular contributor to NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered, and has appeared on Studio 360 and On the Media. His work has appeared in Salon and the Wall Street Journal, and he’s been interviewed by the New York Times, the BBC and PBS Newshour. He received his M.A. in Media Studies from The New School and now lives with his family in Queens.

with Wings and ROOTS

with WINGS and ROOTS is a collaborative transmedia project that spurs dialogue on migration and belonging through the stories of young people from immigrant families. Based in New York and Berlin, with WINGS and ROOTS produces cutting-edge tools (films, educational curricula, interactive online resources, workshops) to shift discourses, build alliances and increase the voices of young people in debates about inclusion. To date, with WINGS and ROOTS has released two award-winning short films, which have screened at over 150 events in Europe and North America often in combination with workshops and trainings. A feature-length documentary and interactive website will be released in early 2015. The project was initiated in 2005 by Humanity in Action Senior Fellow Christina Antonakos-Wallace and is undertaken by a multidisciplinary team of volunteers. Numerous Senior Fellows, including Rachel Landry, who will present at the conference, have contributed over the years.