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Educated to Lead. Inspired to Achieve.

Plenary Sessions

Katharine Hayhoe (Sept. 20, 9 a.m.)

Katharine Hayhoe    Katharine Hayhoe is an accomplished atmospheric scientist who studies climate change and why it matters to us here and now. She is also a remarkable communicator: in 2014, she was recognized by Time Magazine as one of the top 100 Most Influential People in the world and by Foreign Policy as one of the top 100 Global Thinkers; her work was featured on the Emmy award-winning documentary series, The Years of Living Dangerously; and she won the American Geophysical Union’s award for climate communication. In 2016, she was named to the POLITICO 50 list of thinkers, doers and visionaries transforming American politics while in 2017 she was named one of FORTUNE’s world’s greatest leaders.

She is a lead author for the U.S. National Climate Assessments and has served on the panels for the National Academy of Science, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and many other professional organizations devoted to understanding and communicating climate change. Katharine is currently a professor and directs the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University. She has a B.Sc. in Physics from the University of Toronto and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from the University of Illinois.

Aisha Fukushima (Sept. 21, 8:30 a.m.)

    Aisha FukushimaAisha Fukushima is a public speaker, educator, singer, and ‘RAPtivist’ (rap activist). RAPtivism is a global hip hop project spanning 10 countries and four continents, highlighting the ways culture can contribute to universal efforts for freedom and justice by challenging apathy with awareness, ignorance with intelligence, and oppression with expression. As a leader of the ‘RAPtivism’ project, Fukushima has engaged in hip hop communities across the United States and from France to Morocco, Kazakhstan, Japan, Germany, England, South Africa, Senegal, India, Denmark, and beyond.

She was the first non-Native person to deliver a keynote address at Montana’s 2012 Schools of Promise Conference for Indigenous youth and has presented at such diverse venues as Standford Unviersity, Michigan State University’s Asian American conference, People of Color in Indepndent Schools (POCIS) conferences, UMass Amherst, TEDxSitka, TEDxWhitman, Rock The School Bells, Osaka University, among others. Fukushima holds an honors degree in Rhetoric and Film Studies from Whitman College (2009) with minors in French Literature and Gender Studies. She currently lives in the California Bay Area where, in addition to performing, she is the Youth Coordinator at the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC). Fukushima is fluent in French and is building proficiency in Japanese, Arabic and Wolof.

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