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2018 Annual Conference Keynote Presentations
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Friday Keynote: Dr. Artika Tyner


Leadership for Social Justice

This keynote address will provide attendees with the motivation and inspiration needed to advance social change. Drawing upon her scholarly research and professional experience, Dr. Tyner offers practical guidance for attendees to embrace their unique leadership qualities, foster their leadership development, and make a difference in the world.

Dr. Artika R. Tyner is a passionate educator, author, sought after speaker, and advocate for justice. At the University of St. Thomas, Dr. Tyner serves as the Associate Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion. She is committed to training students to serve as social engineers who create new inroads to justice and freedom. Tyner received her B.A. from Hamline University (Major: English; Certificate: Conflict Studies). Due to her passion for advocating for social justice and educational policy reform, she decided to pursue graduate studies at the University of St. Thomas. She began her journey with law school since she recognized that the law is a language of power and therefore she sought to become well versed in the law.

Subsequently, Tyner earned a Master of Public Policy and Leadership in order to gain tools for effecting social change through policy reform efforts. Later, inspired by the legacy of W.E.B. Dubois, she obtained a Doctorate in Leadership. Her doctoral studies provided her with key tools for serving in her community and promoting social justice.

Dr. Tyner is committed to empowering others to lead within their respective spheres of influence. She provides leadership development and career coaching for young professionals. She has also developed leadership educational materials for K-12 students, college/graduate students, faith communities and nonprofits. Additionally, Dr. Tyner teaches leadership coursework on ethics, critical reflection, and organizational development. Her research focuses on diversity/inclusion, community development, and civil rights. She has presented her research and conducted leadership training programs both nationally and internationally.

Dr. Tyner leads by example by organizing policy campaigns, fostering restorative justice practices, developing social entrepreneurship initiatives, and promoting assets-based community development. She serves as a global citizen by supporting education, entrepreneurship, and women’s leadership initiatives in Africa.

Follow Dr. Arika Tyner on Twitter



Saturday Keynote: Sasha Aslanian

Creating Connections through Storytelling

In a time of snap judgments and knee-jerk commentary, meaningful connections feel few and far between. Sasha Aslanian, veteran journalist and creator of the Young Reporters project for MPR News, will play clips of what happened when she gave microphones to young people and invited them to tell stories that mattered to them. This keynote will examine why such intimate stories move us so profoundly and help us appreciate our common humanity. 

Sasha Aslanian is a correspondent and producer for APM Reports, the investigations and documentary unit of American Public Media. The team produces documentaries about education that are carried on public radio stations across the country and on their bi-weekly podcast called Educate. 

Sasha began her career at Minnesota Public Radio 25 years ago as a daily news producer. Her work has won some of the top awards in broadcasting including a Peabody and an Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Award. 

In 2009 she created the Young Reporters Series for Minnesota Public Radio News where she partnered with high school and college students to produce unique first person stories on topics such as youth homelessness and growing up undocumented.

Follow Sasha Aslanian on Twitter


Keynote Sessions are sponsored by:

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