Keynote Speakers

Bryan McKinley Jones Brayboy (Lumbee) is President’s Professor, Borderlands Professor of Indigenous Education and Justice, Associate Director of the School of Social Transformation, Director of the Center for Indian Education and co-editor of the Journal of American Indian Education at Arizona State University. His research focuses on the experiences of Indigenous students and faculty in institutions of higher education, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, and the intersections between race, law, and education.


Baruti Kafele, recipient of the National Alliance of Black School Educators Hall of Fame Award, the New Jersey Education Association Award of Excellence and the prestigious Milken National Educator Award, is ON FIRE! He has distinguished himself as an award-winning educator, an internationally-renowned speaker and a best-selling author. As an elementary school teacher in East Orange, NJ, he was selected as the East Orange School District and Essex County Public Schools Teacher of the Year. As a middle and high school principal, he led the transformation of four different urban New Jersey schools, including "The Mighty" Newark Tech, which went from a low-performing school in need of improvement to national acclaim, which included U.S. News and World Report Magazine recognizing it as one of America's best high schools. An internationally-renowned education speaker and consultant, Principal Kafele is one of the most sought-after speakers for transforming the attitudes of at-risk student populations in America. A versatile speaker, he regularly conducts conference keynote addresses, professional development workshops, parental engagement seminars and male empowerment meetings. He works with hundreds of schools and districts to assist them with closing what he coined, the “attitude gap" - the gap between those students who have the will to strive for academic excellence and those who do not. A best-selling author, Baruti is a leading authority on professional development strategies for creating a positive school climate and culture, transforming the attitudes of at-risk student populations, motivating Black males to excel in the classroom and school leadership development. In addition to writing several professional articles on these topics for popular education journals, he is the author of the best-selling books, Closing the Attitude Gap and Motivating Black Males to Achieve in School and in Life. Driven to help at-risk male students throughout America reach their potential, Principal Kafele says his most important work is a You Tube video series he created entitled: Message to Your Son, which is a series of over 100 short “selfie” videos where he speaks directly to male students of all ages and 12 ethnicities. His messages include: attitude, goal setting, planning, purpose, vision, determination, self-esteem, self-image, decision-making, school behavior, bullying, distractions, temptations and so much more in an effort to motivate, educate and empower them for success. Baruti Kafele is married to his wife Kimberley, and is the father of their three children, Baruti, Jabari and Kibriya. He earned his B.S. degree in Management Science/Marketing from Kean University and his M.A. degree in Educational Administration from New Jersey City University. He is the recipient of over one hundred educational, professional and community awards which includes the City of Dickinson, Texas proclaiming February 8, 1998, as Baruti Kafele Day.

Sectional Presenters

Forrest Brooks is a lecturer in First Nations Studies at UW-Green Bay. He has also worked in the Adult Degree program for the last four years as an Academic Advisor. He served the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin in several capacities working on the teaching and preservation of the Oneida language. He is currently a doctoral student in the Education program at the University of Minnesota-Duluth with a focus on World Indigenous Education.

Kedibonye Carpenter (WSPEI Statewide Family Engagement Coordinator) is with the Department of Public Instruction’s Wisconsin Statewide Parent-Educator Initiative (WSPEI) as a Statewide Family Engagement Coordinator providing additional support to engage African American families and other culturally diverse populations. She works to provide support for families of students with disabilities and to provide educators with tools to help build strong family-educator partnerships.

Dr. Patrick Duffy earned his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Minnesota and graduated summa cum laude with a major in history, later earning his Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction and his Doctorate in Educational Policy and Administration. Patrick also holds certificates of advanced study from the Fundacion Ortega y Gasset in Toledo, Spain and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. Patrick’s career spans 18 years as a teacher, principal, and district administrator in suburban and urban K-12 schools where he has worked to develop systems, teachers, students, and principals. Patrick also developed Dare 2 Be REAL, a systemic student anti-racist leadership development program which was featured in a co-authored chapter in the book, More Courageous Conversations About Race (Singleton, 2012). Dr. Duffy serves on the board of directors for the Minnesota Educational Equity Partnership (MEEP). In 2013, the American Educational Research Association (AERA) honored him as one of three national finalists for dissertation of the year based on his critical ethnography on high school leadership for racial equity. Patrick has presented regionally and nationally on racial equity, leadership, and organizational development and currently works as the director of leadership development for Saint Paul Public Schools where he provides professional development and coaching for principals and other district administrators in the largest school district in Minnesota.

Dr. Terry Ehiorobo currently works as the assistant director for the Special Education Team at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Prior to coming to the WDPI, he served as special education director for Milwaukee Public Schools. His prior work includes:

  • Adjunct professor for National-Louis University (10 years)
  • Taught for University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee school of continuing education in the area of youth development
  • Alternative school principal for the Kenosha Unified School District
  • Middle school principal for Racine Unified School District
  • High school assistant principal for Kenosha Unified School District
  • Over fourteen years of school administrative experience
  • Served as a district central office administrator
  • Published writings on Bullying and Trauma

Terry holds the following certifications and qualifications: National-Louis University - Ed.D.; Marian University - MA in Education Leadership; University of Wisconsin-Whitewater - MS in Special Education; University of Wisconsin-Whitewater - BS in Biology. Terry also has the following Wisconsin State certifications: Superintendent, School Principal, Director of Special Education, Director of Instruction, Biology and Life Science (6 to 12), Special Education (6 to 12), and Alternative Education (6 to 12).

Anthony Galloway is an Actor, Storyteller, and Student Learning Program Specialist for the West Metro Education Program. Anthony has worked in experiential learning and community engagement for over 15 years. While traveling to South Africa for the 10-year celebration of the election of Nelson Mandela, he was part of an American student delegation studying the effects of Apartheid on the new South Africa. It was here that he found a passion for multiple perspectives on race and ethnicity after interviewing more than 20 people who worked and were imprisoned with Nelson Mandela. Recently, he worked with Dr. Patrick Duffy to create a regional network of anti-racist student leaders which was featured in a co-authored chapter in the book, More Courageous Conversations about Race (Singleton, 2012). Anthony Galloway also works as a conductor and historian for the Kamau Kambui Circle for Cultural Learning, Underground Railroad simulation. As a young man Anthony worked on the KARE 11 “Whatever” show in addition to starring in several local theatrical productions of “Kumbaya: The Juneteenth Story.” This led him to being one of the founding members of the Voices Merging Poetry Collective, the largest and most diverse student organization at the University of Minnesota and only open forum for poetry, music, and student experiences on campus.

Eva Kubinski has been a school administration consultant at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction for nine years. Prior to joining DPI, Eva worked as a school psychologist in several Wisconsin school districts, and as a technical assistance provider and assistant director of a federally funded Comprehensive Center. Her areas of specialization include American Indian student issues in Special Education, graduation promotion and dropout prevention, and the use of data for program development and improvement.

Dr. Joseph Mangi is a lifelong educator having served as a three time superintendent of the Kenosha Unified School District, a principal of 31 years at the high school, middle school and elementary school levels, a teacher at the middle school level in Baltimore and Kenosha, and a Peace Corps volunteer to the country of Iran, teaching English as a foreign language. He serves on several Kenosha Community Boards of Directors including the Kenosha Achievement Center, Community Impact, and Peace Learning Circles of Racine and Kenosha. He is also an adjunct professor with National Louis University mentoring educators who wish to become school principals and directors of instruction. He has been inducted into the Southeastern Wisconsin Educators Hall of Fame and was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate in Public Service by Carthage College of Kenosha. He is married to Patricia for 45 years and has three children and four grandchildren.

Ananda Mirill is the Restorative Justice Director at YWCA Madison. She has a human services and educational policy background. She has worked with youth in a school environment since 2009. She has developed relationships with many community members, agencies, and school personnel. Her academic research lies in educational attainment of youth of color. She has been connected with several organizations in the United States and abroad that promote restorative justice and youth empowerment in their communities. Ananda has extensive experience in racial and restorative justice training for youth and adults. She currently co-chairs the Dane County Poverty Commission, is the Treasurer of the Latino Education Council, and is a Chair of Communities United. Ananda is completing an M.A. in Education Leadership and Policy Analysis, and holds a B.A. in Human Services and a certificate in Human Resources.

David O'Connor is originally from and is a member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (Ojibwe) in northern Wisconsin. In January 2012, he became the Education Consultant for the American Indian Studies Program at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. In David’s current role, he supports school districts’ efforts to provide instruction in Wisconsin American Indian history, culture, and tribal sovereignty, also known as Wisconsin Act 31 and the education of American Indian students.

Dr. Lisa Poupart is an enrolled member of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Superior Anishinaabeg. She is an Associate Professor of First Nations Studies, Education, Humanistic Studies and Women & Gender Studies, at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. She serves as the chair and advisor of the First Nations Studies program and co-directs the Professional Program in Education’s Center for First Nations Studies. Her research is concerned with healing historic trauma and internalized oppression in First Nations communities and the social problems that stem from these phenomena. She is currently involved with a number of state and national initiatives to standardize First Nations Studies curriculum and core knowledge.

Alan “Jawenodee-Inini” Rabideau is a family advocate/consultant and member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians located in the beautiful Upper Peninsula of Michigan. For the past 22 years, Alan has been working with youth, parents, and their families in many different capacities. He has served as a school-based intervention specialist, adolescent substance abuse counselor, program manager of a residential based youth treatment program and a specialized or treatment foster parent. Mr. Rabideau has provided training to court ordered parents, foster parents and treatment foster care parents, teachers and human services professionals. Currently Mr. Rabideau works as an independent consultant providing training and technical assistance to state, federal, and tribal programs around children’s mental health initiatives, consumer, family and youth “driven” systems of care and positive behavioral support. Mr. Rabideau serves on the Board of Directors for the First Nationals Behavioral Health Associated and Human Services Research Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Mr. Rabideau utilizes his cultural values and beliefs as an Anishinabe to help plan and advise programs so that they are culturally sensitive and “strength based”.David O'Connor is originally from and is a member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (Ojibwe) in northern Wisconsin. In January 2012, he became the Education Consultant for the American Indian Studies Program at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. In David’s current role, he supports school districts’ efforts to provide instruction in Wisconsin American Indian history, culture, and tribal sovereignty, also known as Wisconsin Act 31 and the education of American Indian students.

Finn Ryan is a producer based in Madison, Wisconsin. His current project, The Ways, features stories on language and culture from Native communities around the central Great Lakes. He produced and directed the regional Emmy Award winning Climate Wisconsin, which features multimedia stories and interactive data exploring local climate change impacts. As a producer for Wisconsin Media Lab, a state public media agency, he has also collaborated with Wisconsin Public Radio and Wisconsin Public Television to produce environmental science stories for QUEST, a national public media project headed by KQED. Finn has worked as a high school special education teacher and co-founded an outdoor education program. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education and English, and a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction, all from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Paul S. Rykken is completing his 36th year in secondary public education and has taught in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. Rykken graduated from Concordia College with a B.A. in History in 1979 and earned a Master’s Degree in American History from UM-Moorhead in 1985. He has been in the Black River District since 1990 and teaches courses in both history and politics. His most recent project is the development of Ho-Chunk and Ethnic Studies, a dual-credit offering in collaboration with the First Nations Studies Department of UW-Green Bay. He also chairs the District’s Committee on Culturally Responsive Teaching.

Wendell Waukau is currently the Superintendent for Menominee Indian School District (MISD). MISD is located on the Menominee Indian Reservation in Northeast Wisconsin and serves approximately 900 students in grades 4K-12. Wendell is enrolled member of the Menominee Indian Tribe in Wisconsin and considers both a privilege and an honor to work for the community he grew up in. For 25 years Wendell has served MISD & his community as a teacher, coach, athletic director, dean of students, principal and superintendent. Once labeled a “drop out factory” for graduating less than 60% of its students on time; MISD has successfully implemented various reforms/initiatives in the areas of: community & family engagement; mentoring; early childhood; nutrition & wellness; alternative schooling; over the past 7 years which have led to a present day graduation rate of rate of 94%. In 2012 President Obama as a “Champion of Change” honored Wendell at the White House or what the White House calls a “school turnaround leader. This recognition gave MISD and their native community the validation they were making significant progress in building a culture of high expectations, improving instruction, creating safe learning environments, and fostering professional collaboration among schools and community. Wendell and his wife Lori have 3 children who all attend MISD Schools.

Pamela Whyte has worked at a state award winning middle school as the Assistant Principal for ten years. As an elementary principal at a diverse and low performing school, Pamela and her staff improved the scores of students scoring at the minimal level in reading from 20% minimal to 0% minimal. Scores in math increased from 38% advanced and proficient to 75% advanced and proficient. Pamela has a Master’s Degree in Teacher Leadership from Carthage College and a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has extensive training in professional learning communities and has spent twenty years working with culturally diverse students. Pamela is a published author in Behavior Strategies that Work, writing the chapter “The Four Elements of Teacher-Student Relationships that Support an Interdependent Relationship.” Currently Whyte is the CEO of Key Classrooms, an educational consulting agency focused on improving student engagement.