Artist, Immigration Lawyer and Activist
Carolina Rubio-MacWright is an artist, immigration lawyer and activist fighting for immigrant and humanitarian rights. Her experience as an immigrant and immigration attorney opened her eyes to systems of oppression and how these intersect, taking peoples freedom away. She believes art is the most powerful way of explaining these inequities. She has thus mixed her law and art into the perfect platform called Touching Land; a program that uses hands on experiential arts as a tool for immigrant empowerment and community building. At Touching Land, immigrants learn about their rights and self-worth as they make a ceramic piece. The program also has a building bridges track, where cross cultural exchange happens as immigrants and American citizens come together through the power of art. Whether working on policy campaigns for non- profits, performing public art pieces, speaking at events or organizing lawyers to work inside detention centers, Carolina is guided by a simply principle: anything is possible when inspiring ideas and passionate people come together.
Research Professor of Biomolecular Engineering at the University of California, Santa Cruz
David Deamer is a Research Professor of Biomolecular Engineering at the University of California, Santa Cruz. In 1989, Deamer proposed the idea that it may be possible to sequence a DNA molecule by passing it through a nanoscopic pore embedded in a membrane. Mark Akeson and Deamer investigated the technique over the next 15 years, and in 2014 commercial devices were marketed that utilize nanopore sequencing concepts and patents developed by the Akeson and Deamer research groups. In a second research area, Deamer investigates how nucleic acids and primitive cells could have emerged on Earth 4 billion years ago, which is the topic of his TEDx talk. Deamer’s research is described in Assembling Life (2019), published by Oxford University Press, and was featured in a cover article in the August 2017 Scientific American.
Sylvanna M. Falcón
Associate Professor in the Department of Latin American and Latino Studies, Director of the Research Center for the Americas, and Founder of the Human Rights Investigations Lab at UCSC
Sylvanna M. Falcón is an Associate Professor in the Department of Latin American and Latino Studies, Director of the Research Center for the Americas, and founder of the Human Rights Investigations Lab at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is the author of Power Interrupted: Antiracist and Feminist Activists inside the United Nations, [University of Washington Press, 2016; winner of the National Women’s Studies Association’s Gloria E. Anzaldúa Book Award] and the co-editor of Precarity and Belonging: Labor, Migration, and Noncitizenship [under contract with Rutgers University Press] and New Directions in Feminism and Human Rights [Routledge, 2011]. She is also the producer and host of a weekly public affairs radio program called Voces Críticas/ Critical Voices that airs on KZSC and KCSB.
Phillip L. Hammack, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair of Psychology and Director of the Sexual and Gender Diversity Laboratory at the University of California, Santa Cruz
Phillip L. Hammack, Ph.D., is Professor and Chair of Psychology and Director of the Sexual and Gender Diversity Laboratory at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Dr. Hammack is an expert on gender and sexual identity diversity and diversity in intimate relationships. For over a decade, Hammack has been a leader in psychology’s paradigm shift in how we think about and study identity. He has published dozens of scientific papers in scholarly journals and is the editor of The Oxford Handbook of Social Psychology and Social Justice. His research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health and the William T. Grant Foundation, and he has been a guest on the popular NPR Freakanomics podcast. Hammack has received several early career awards and has been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.
EVP / Innovation & Impact Practice Global Lead
Sandy believes in the power of business as a platform for disruption and mobilization to help customers, investors, partners, communities, governments, and employees create a regenerative and equitable world. She’s worked more than 30 years driving business value by aligning purpose, messaging and communications with business strategy. Over the years, her work with corporations, nonprofits, and NGOs has been focused on everyday products, recycling and waste, renewable energy, supply chain, social justice and LGBTQ and gender issues. She sits on numerous boards including Sustainable Brands, Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County, and Mini Mermaid Running Club. In Santa Cruz, she founded 100 Women Who Care, Breaking the Glass Ballot, and was appointed to a four-year team on the County's Human Services Commission.
Co-founder of the Center for Public Philosophy at UC Santa Cruz
Kyle Robertson holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from UC Santa Cruz and a J.D. from UC Berkeley. In 2015, he co-founded the Center for Public Philosophy at UC Santa Cruz. He has a passion for all things public philosophy, including high school ethics bowl programs, teaching inside San Quentin State Prison, and philosophy for children. He regularly speaks on public philosophy topics and publishes on the challenges of doing public philosophy. In addition to this work, he is a Lecturer in the Philosophy Department at UC Santa Cruz.
Executive Director of Friends of Santa Cruz County Parks
Mariah Roberts is Executive Director of Friends of Santa Cruz County Parks. She was one of the key partners of the collaboration to imagine, fund and build Chanticleer County Park, a 4.5 acre park, featuring LEO’s Haven Inclusive Playground designed beyond ADA requirements to be an outdoor classroom for inclusive play. The park is slated to open in January 2020. Mariah holds a bachelor's degree from Pomona College in Women's Studies/Religious Studies and a master's degree from San Francisco State University in Special Education. Her passion for community engagement and Universal Design in public spaces is informed by having spent twelve years as an educational specialist serving families across the South Bay and Central Coast. In medical clinics, schools or homes, she worked with professionals and families to co-design activities, materials and spaces to promote active learning and healthy development through play.
Chair of the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors and former Mayor of Santa Cruz
Ryan Coonerty is Chair of the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors and the two-time former Mayor of Santa Cruz. He is also an entrepreneur, author, and educator. He is currently the host of "An Honorable Profession" podcast and a lecturer on law and government at UC Santa Cruz. Previously, he cofounded NextSpace Coworking, co-authored of The Rise of the Naked Economy – How to Benefit from the Changing Workplace and wrote Etched in Stone – Enduring Words from our National Monuments. Ryan was selected by the Aspen Institute to be a Rodel Fellow in Public Leadership as one of "the nation’s most promising young elected officials.” Ryan graduated from Santa Cruz’s public schools and the University of Oregon. He received a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and a law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law.
Zero Waste Programs Manager for Santa Cruz County
He is a well-known innovator and problem-solver, and the creator of many cutting edge environmental protection programs. Tim has won numerous awards for his accomplishments and speaks all over the world about his inspiring work.