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Keynote Speakers

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Dr. Jessica M. Barron

Texas A&M - PH.D. in Sociology


A thought leader and national expert on systemic barriers to equity and inclusion. She is an innovative methodologist whose research approaches are sought after by philanthropic organizations, social impact groups, and private venture funds. Dr Barron’s work has secured millions of US dollars  advancing women and girls/femmes/trans folx of color. Her equity-centred strategies supported  80+ organizations in organizational culture and development, investment and grant-making,  liberatory evaluation, and community-driven impact.  Dr Barron is a highly sought speaker,  with 70 keynotes,  multiple podcasts, and panels. She has  published and received academic and philanthropic awards. Barron’s (2017) award-winning book The Urban Church Imagined (NYU Press) on diversity and inclusion efforts among  organizational and religious  structures in the USA. 

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Dr. Jillian Powers (She/Her/Hers)

Duke University - PH.D. in Sociology

Graduating as an applied sociologist she held postdoctoral positions at Washington University in St. Louis and Brandeis University.  She considers herself a rabble-rouser. Based at JP Morgan Chase, her  AI  portfolio facilitates opportunities that strive to embed best practices and ethics into technology and data-enabled operations. Dr Powers built the foundation of Cognizant's Responsible AI framework. She has dedicated her specialist skills to UX and strategic research as an applied ethnographer and design researcher. She joyously lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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