Meet the

Keynoters and Spotlight Speakers

Thursday, March 24, 2002

Earth Prayer & Discussion of Historical Perspectives of Virginia Indigenous People

Presenter: Nottoway Tribe Chief Lynette Allston

Earth prayers or “Land Prayers” recognize that we all walk on originally tribal lands and that environmental sustainability is critical to long-term survival of the human species. Lynette will lead us in such a prayer and then discuss the history and modern condition of her Nottoway Tribe, calling on social workers to become more aware of indigenous peoples in the state.

Lynette Allston is chief and chair of the Tribal Council of the Nottoway Indian Tribe, one of 11 Virginia indigenous tribes. She resides in Drewryville, Va., and is a graduate of Duke University and the public schools of Southampton County. Lynette returned to Virginia after retiring from two decades of business ownership in South Carolina. During her business and civic career, Lynette served on the corporate board of the Palmetto Health Hospital System, the largest hospital system in South Carolina. She also chaired the Palmetto Health Children's Hospital Board, Palmetto Health Hospital System Foundation Board, and Columbia Museum of Art Commission.

March 24, 2022
8:30 AM - 9:00 AM
0.5 CE

The Bridge Project - Finding Connection in a Time of Division

Keynotes: Kane Smego and CJ Suitt

Life-long friends with over a decade of collaboration in the fields of youth engagement, creative arts, and community building, poets CJ Suitt and Kane Smego explore what it means to nurture cross-cultural relationships. In this captivating performance and workshop, the duo reimagine healthy masculinity and celebrate the unique perspectives that we all carry, sharing their stories in verse, hip hop, and poetry, as well as guiding participants in telling their own through writing exercises. Beyond the poetry, this program is an invitation to dialogue, fostering social-emotional learning and leading participants in building a more connected community.

March 24, 2022
9:10 AM - 12:00 PM
2.5 CE

Kane Smego is an internationally touring spoken-word poet and hip-hop artist, educator, and National Poetry Slam finalist. He is the associate director and an artist alumnus of Next Level, a cultural diplomacy program that sends American hip-hop artists around the world to use music and dance in promoting cultural exchange, artistic collaboration, and community building. His pre-COVID hip-hop show, “Temples of Lung and Air,” was featured at the United Solo Theatre Festival in New York City and elsewhere. Kane has released multiple albums of poetry and hip-hop music, and he also was featured on Grammy Award-winner King Mez’s debut album, My Everlasting Zeal, and topped the Spotify Viral 50 billboard in May 2017 on the song North Cack with G Yamazawa. He is also a regular keynote speaker at conferences and a TEDx presenter. The music video for the song appeared on BET Jams and won Best Music Video at the Hip Hop Film Festival in Harlem. Watch the performance

CJ Suitt is the poet laureate of Chapel Hill, NC. He also is a performance poet, arts educator, and community organizer whose work is rooted in storytelling and social justice. He is committed to speaking truth to power and aims to be a bridge for communities that can't always see themselves in each other. CJ is moving toward full-time artistry to facilitate dialogue in spaces often dominated by fear-driven stereotypes. He is the co-creator of the podcast “Sitting in the Intersection,” which explores the radical nature of relationships across differences. His career as an educator enables him to work with young people awaiting trial at the Durham Youth Home, older inmates whose voices have been silenced within the Orange County Correctional Facility, and high school and college-aged men pushing to redefine masculinity in their schools and communities. Watch a video of CJ.

Cultivate Your Superpowers!

Presenter: Salome Raheim


March 24, 2022
5:15 - 6:15 PM
1 CE

As findings from neuroscience and quantum physics converge with ancient wisdom, the understanding of our capacities and connections as humans is expanding. This interactive session explores some of these findings and their applications to social work. Participants will be invited to engage in practices that tap into the wisdom of the body, ways of knowing, and ways of being that go beyond the limits of intellect.

Salome Raheim, PhD, ACSW, is a professor at the University at Albany-SUNY School of Social Welfare and dean emeritus at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work. Her scholarship, teaching, and academic leadership focus on promoting equity in organizations and communities, as well as integrative mind-body-spirit social work practice. While dean at UConn, Salome initiated and co-led a schoolwide, multi-year change initiative to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion. She led a similar effort at the University of Iowa School of Social Work while serving as its director. A native of Baltimore, Salome holds a PhD in communication studies from the University of Iowa, an MSW from Catholic University of America, an MA in integrative health and healing from the Graduate Institute, and a BSW from Bowie State University.

Friday, March 25, 2022

US United

Keynoters: Ken Nwadike and Michigan Sheriff Chris Swanson


March 25, 2022
8:00 AM -11:20 AM
3 CEs

Ken Nwadike, Jr., (the Free Hugs Project) and Sheriff Chris Swanson (Flint/Genesee County, Mich.) bring their authentic, fun and at times intense conversations on unity and social justice from the Black and Blue Podcast to live audiences. Over the past 10 years, Ken and Chris have literally risked their lives to create UNITY and peace. You’ll hear Ken share his personal story of overcoming homelessness and developing his work on the frontlines of social justice. Chris will follow with his own experiences as a police officer for 29 years and as a uniter of protesters and officers in Flint, Mich., during a time of volatile protests in response to the killing of George Floyd. Their powerful personal stories inform their creation of US United, the real dialogue that emphasizes the importance of unity. 

In addition, Chris will also break down the “truth about human trafficking,” addressing the difference between prostitution and human trafficking, and explaining how victims are hooked through grooming. He delves inside the mind of the predator and helps us understand if we are personally safe. Finally, he explains how participants can be helpful in crushing this human trafficking pandemic.

Ken Nwadike, Jr., is an American documentary filmmaker, motivational speaker, and peace activist popularly known as the Free Hugs Guy. Ken is the founder of the Free Hugs Project, which gained popularity as he made major news headlines for his peacekeeping efforts and de-escalation of violence during protests, riots, and political rallies. Ken was featured in Google’s 2016 Year in Search video as a highlight among some of the year’s most defining moments and he has made many appearances on news programs, including CNN, USA Today, Good Morning Britain, and BBC News.

Sheriff Christopher Swanson is a career police officer with experiences spanning more than two decades. He has served in a variety of positions, including corrections, patrol, narcotics, criminal investigation, death investigation, and command operations. Some of his most notable assignments have been part of the executive protection for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama and Vice Presidents Gore, Cheney, and Biden. Chris commands the police honor guard and is a licensed paramedic and certified Medical Examiner Investigator. This training has led him to witness to some of the most heinous crimes and acts of violence one can imagine, including homicides, suicides, felonies, and drug overdoses. He shares these experiences with audiences to make a positive impact on their lives using lessons from the living and the dead. Christopher Swanson holds both a master’s degree in public administration and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, along with numerous national and state certifications.

The duo love audience questions and interactive discussion, so be prepared to participate in real-time polling and live Q&A. To extend their message beyond the event, the discussion will be recorded and shared on the Black and Blue Podcast and other social media channels.

We’d like to collect question from you and others in the audience ahead of time for inclusion in their session. Please ask your anonymous question here of Free Hugs founder Ken Kwadike, Jr. and Sheriff Chris Swanson.

[{"type":"textarea","required":true,"label":"Please enter your question:","className":"form-control","name":"textarea-1641568171514","subtype":"textarea"}]
Submit a Question

Lunch and Learn: Embodying a Coaching Mindset for Social Workers

Presenter: Liz Lasky

Coaching is one of the fastest ways to improve client-centered care. Are you interested in coaching but want to do it ethically? Are you ready to expand your skills and keep up with current trends to meet client needs? A foundation for good coaching skills is the ability to embody a coaching mindset. This workshop will teach you how to cultivate a coaching mindset through instruction about what coaching is, how it differs from therapy, and how to bridge coaching and social work.


March 25, 2022
11:40 AM - 1:40 PM
2 CEs

Liz Lasky, PhD, LCSW, ACC, is the founder and CEO of The Lasky Institute of Coaching, The Coach Training Program for Helping Professionals, and An adjunct professor at Fordham University, she is an expert for Bravo TV and presents her research on coaching single women internationally, most notably at Harvard University. She is also a proud Fellow of The Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital, Harvard University. Liz is committed to helping people get what they want in business, life, and love. The author of the book Get What You Want, as well as several peer-reviewed journal articles, Liz has spent 15 years counseling, coaching, and mentoring thousands of people. She holds an MSW and a PhD from Yeshiva University in social welfare. She is also a New York University Certified Coach and earned the International Coach Federation credential of Associate Certified Coach (ACC). 

"The Last Drop” Film and Discussion

Watch the film March 25 between 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.!

Get out the popcorn! You have all day to watch “The Last Drop,” a short sci-fi film about relationship abuse, inspired by the memories of real survivors. Once viewed, tune in to hear director and producer Adam Joel discuss the film’s key messages. Here’s more about the film: A young woman links minds with her boyfriend using a device that lets couples relive shared memories—but when she spots overlooked signs of abuse, she must wake herself up to escape before he can manipulate her memories in his favor. This project is designed to help young people, experts, and policymakers spot the early signs of relationship abuse before it turns violent. The film is supported by executive producer The One Love Foundation, and an exciting Advisory Board of experts, including Leslie Morgan Steiner, The Safe & Together Institute, The National Network to End Domestic Violence, and more.

Adam Joel loves finding creative ways to make social issue films more exciting! He’s been making videos for nonprofits since he was 14. As the impact manager for Kindling Group, he booked over 1,300 community screenings of “No Small Matter,” a documentary about the importance of early childhood education. He also performs as a professional improv comedian at theaters such as iO and Second City.

J. Gina Manlove, ACSW, LCSW, LICSW, LCSW-C, is a private practitioner in Arlington, Va., who provided psychotherapy, mental health, and forensic services for 40 years. Gina continues to work clinically with individuals and in family/relational systems, as well as consulting in school, medical, mental health/private practice, and legal settings. Gina has been adjunct faculty at George Mason University and frequently presents at health care conferences. She is a past board member of NASWVA, Minnesota Society for Clinical Hypnosis, and Project Awareness-Fairfax County School System.

Brooks Zitzmann, Ph.D., LCSW, is an assistant professor at NCSSS with direct micro practice experience in young adult mental health counseling. Licensed in Louisiana, she gained more community practice experience as chair of Take Back the Night New Orleans, organizing university and city constituents to address sexual violence. Brooks also holds degrees in biology, religious studies, and the philosophical intersections of science and religion. 

Katie Moffitt, MSW, has been involved in the movement to end sexual and intimate partner violence for close to 15 years. She's worked as a volunteer, advocate, shelter manager, preventionist, and technical assistance provider and has worked with survivors across the lifespan.

March 25, 2022
5:45 PM - 6:30 PM
.75 CEs

Presenters:  J. Gina Manlove, Brooks Zitzmann, Katie Moffitt

Film producer/director Adam Joel  

Saturday, March 26, 2002

Love and Presence: A Modern-Day Map for Living an Extraordinary Life

Keynoter: Dr. Harry Pepper

We have been taught to believe that living the life we desire for ourselves and our loved ones involves challenge, struggle, effort, and an experience of striving in order to be successful.  Our growing, collective wisdom is providing us a new map for success that involves a radical and new relationship with ourselves, a life of embodied presence and self-love. In this interactive and experience-based session, you will learn some simple and accessible states of awareness that contribute to our capacity for love and presence and create opportunities to unlock our innate potential. Through deep personal insights and discovering creative solutions to old problems, we evolve in our capacity to fully accept and embrace ourselves. In learning to accept and love ourselves fully and completely, as we are in this moment, we begin to experience an extraordinary life, a life beyond the limits of our imagination. 

March 26, 2022
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
1.5 CEs

Harry Pepper, PhD, is a psychologist with more than 30 years of experience working with individuals, couples, and groups of diverse client populations in private practice and college counseling center environments. He has served for over 15 years as an international coach and facilitator of leadership and organizational development work across a wide range of settings and industries. Harry’s early career highlights include his time as a staff psychologist at Oberlin College and as director of adult programs at Common Ground, a nonprofit committed to mindfulness, conscious living, and leadership development. He currently is a senior consultant and coach at the Telos Institute, a global organizational development firm, where he supports world leaders and organizations by designing, supporting, and facilitating liminal space opportunities to catalyze disproportionate transformational change. 

Cousins: Connected Through Slavery

Keynoter: Phoebe Kilby and Betty Kilby Baldwin

What happens when a White woman, Phoebe Kilby, contacts a Black woman, Betty Kilby Baldwin, saying she suspects they are connected through slavery? A surprise. Betty responds, “Hello, cousin.” Open to exploring difficult truths and sharing an admiration for Dr. Martin Luther King, they embark on a path towards reconciliation. Each tells her dramatic story--from Betty’s experience desegregating her county’s only high school to Phoebe’s eventual question to Betty: “How do I begin to repair the harms?” Be part of this “piercingly honest” conversation, which offers examples of reparations on a personal level. Based on their 2020 book, COUSINS: Connected Through Slavery, a Black Woman and a White Woman Discover Their Past--and Each Other. All authors' proceeds from sales of the book are donated to the Kilby Family Scholarship Fund, which offers college scholarships to descendants of the people Phoebe's family enslaved, including Betty's grandchildren. Betty’s granddaughter is studying to be a social worker in Texas! Betty and Phoebe will inspire others to sit down at the table of sisterhood and brotherhood to promote racial healing."

Betty Kilby Baldwin entered and graduated from Warren County, Va., High School after suing in the landmark integration Supreme Court case, Betty Ann Kilby et al. vs. Warren County Board of Education, in 1958, changing the course of her life and countless others. She started working as a factory worker, eventually achieving executive management positions after earning her A.A.S. in business management; a B.S. in business administration; and an MBA. She also has an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Shenandoah University. She is the author of Wit, Will & Walls and is the main character of a documentary film with the same title. Betty also co-authored a second book, Cousins, released in March 2021.

Phoebe Kilby, a descendant of enslavers, was inspired by the "Coming to the Table" movement to connect with descendants of persons her family enslaved. She is trained in environmental management and conflict transformation, beginning her peace and justice journey in 2003 when she started classes at EMU’s Center for Justice and Peace Building. In 2006, she became the fundraiser for CJP, working for racial justice, healing, and reconciliation between European Americans and African Americans in the U.S. She began her work in racial reconciliation in 2007, when she first contacted Betty Kilby Baldwin on Martin Luther King Day. Since connecting with Betty, Phoebe has become a leader in the Coming to the Table organization, which seeks to fulfill Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream “that the sons of former slave owners and sons of former slaves will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.” Phoebe leads workshops and dialogues on racial reconciliation across the country and now lives in Asheville, NC.

March 26, 2022
2:45 PM - 4:15 PM
1.5 CEs