Damon A. Williams, Ph.D.Senior Vice President for Programs, Training, and Youth Development
Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Damon A. Williams, Ph.D., is a scholar, leader, and educator passionate about making organizations inclusive and excellent for all, creating equitable educational outcomes, and activating learning, youth development, and leadership in ways that are transformative and inspiring of new possibilities.
Williams has served as a keynote speaker and thought leader to more than 300 institutions worldwide, and won the 2013 National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE) Inclusive Excellence Award for Leadership. Williams has authored or co-authored dozens of books, monographs, and articles, including Strategic Diversity Leadership: Activating Change and Transformation In Higher Education (Stylus Publishing, 2013), The Chief Diversity Officer: Strategy, Structure, and Change Management (co-authored with Katrina C. Wade-Golden; Stylus Publishing, 2013), and A Matter of Excellence: A Guide to Strategic Diversity Leadership and Accountability in Higher Education, a featured publication of the American Council of Education (ACE).
Prior to joining the Boys & Girls Clubs of America in September 2013, he served for five years as associate vice chancellor, vice provost, chief diversity officer, and member of the educational leadership and policy analysis faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he founded the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Educational Achievement (DDEEA).
Alvin Sanders, Ph.D.
Associate Executive Director of National Ministries
Evangelical Free Church of America
Alvin Sanders, Ph.D., has a passion for developing Christian organizational leaders to serve a non-
white-majority, multiethnic America. He’s the author of Bridging the Diversity Gap: Leading Toward God’s Multi-Ethnic Kingdom (Wesleyan Publishing House, 2013), and he speaks on and consults with Christian organizations concerning issues of community impact and strategic diversity planning.
He grew up a “third culture” kid, as his father worked in the military around the globe. He completed his undergraduate work at Cincinnati Christian University and his graduate studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and earned a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Miami (Ohio) University, his dissertation focusing on ethnic diversity on a Christian college campus. A turning point in his life was planting and pastoring the multiethnic, economically diverse River of Life Church in downtown Cincinnati in the midst of civil unrest over the shooting death of an African American teenager by a white police officer. He has also served as an ethnic diversity officer for Cincinnati Christian University, during which time the school ethnically integrated the faculty for the first time, and the school now has a much more integrated student body because of his efforts.
In addition to his work with the Evangelical Free Church of America, he’s an adjunct professor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, an advisory board member for the Christian Community Development Association, and diversity advisor for the Association of Biblical Higher Education. More importantly, he’s the husband of Caroline and the proud father of two children. You can follow his blog at alvinsanders.net.
Mary Poplin, Ph.D.
Professor of Education
Claremont Graduate University
Mary Poplin, Ph.D., developed the Claremont Graduate University Teacher Education program from 1985–95, increasing enrollment from 25 to 100 and the percentage of students of color from 6% to 50%. She also led the revitalization of the program from 2000–04, and was dean of the School of Educational Studies from 2002–04. From 2005–09, she led a research team that completed a large study of high-performing teachers in low-performing schools; the first summary of the study was published in the February 2011 issue of Phi Delta Kappan.
Poplin’s other academic work includes a focus on discerning the differences between Judeo-Christian principles and principles of other worldviews as they relate to issues such as the contemporary university, education, and justice. In 1996, she worked for two months with Mother Teresa in Calcutta and wrote a book on the experience, Finding Calcutta: What Mother Teresa Taught Me About Meaningful Work and Service (InterVarsity Press, 2008). She recently studied and now teaches on the history of philosophy in the West and its impact on epistemology—how educators have approached “knowledge,” particularly as it relates to the intellectual history of the university. Her most recent book, just released by InterVarsity Press, is called Is Reality Secular? Testing the Assumptions of Four Global Worldviews.