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Alisha Birthá is the Assistant Principal of Scholar Support at KIPP Atlanta Collegiate High School. She joined the KIPP Atlanta Collegiate team in 2016 as a Math Learning Specialist. After 21 years in education, she has served in various capacities, including middle school special education teacher, special education coordinator, Head Start manager, and school leader.

Alisha’s greatest passion is for scholars to have the tools and exposure they need to make appropriate choices that lead to independent, productive, and choice-filled lives. She is the mother of twin daughters (Jala, Aerospace Engineering student at Purdue University, and Nandi, Elementary Education student at Georgia Southern University). They are her role models, having become strong, independent, young women in control of their own destiny.

Alisha Birthá
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Kwame Green

Kwame Green is the Director of Programs and Impact at Dr. Howard Fuller Collegiate Academy. Kwame was a practicing attorney before becoming an educator. He teaches secondary writing-based classes that prepare students for the challenges of going to college. Kwame has always been inspired and encouraged by the progressive leaders at the school who preached teamwork and going all out for every student. Kwame’s popularity with his students stems in part from the way he deeply understands the challenges teenagers go through. From broken families to extreme poverty, he’s seen it all. And he knows every student has his or her own story. Yet his goal is to balance compassion with teaching them to overcome the obstacles. He is adamant about the “path” that students need to learn. It’s the path out of their current world and into one that they want someday. So Kwame is relentless in getting them to accept the hard work it will take to achieve something for themselves. A big part of his job, Kwame says, is “to help you develop those skills as a critical thinker and a problem-solver and a decision-maker.”

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Ramy Katrib

Ramy Katrib is an award-winning filmmaker and CEO / Founder of Digital Film Tree (DFT), a post-production and software development company. Ramy started his career in media and technology over 25 years ago, as filmmaker, negative cutter, and telecine colorist. In all the organizations and projects he propels, Ramy champions a multidisciplinary work culture, led by world-class creatives and technologists working hand in hand to solve huge problems. DFT played a key role in transitioning the media and entertainment industry to digital post and file-based workflows, on projects like Cold Mountain and Scrubs. Today DFT is the leading provider of IP based production, post, story visualization services and software solutions. DFT clients include ABC, A&E, CBS, Disney, Fox, HBO, Netflix, Turner, Warner Bros, and first-time storytellers alike.

Dr. Billie Mayo

Educational Equity Consultant | Veteran Educator 


Dr. Billie Mayo is a decorated veteran educator and leader in the realm of social justice. She served the St. Louis Public School District for 38 years—23 of them working with students at the middle school level. She is now Senior Consultant with Educational Equity Consultants, an organization she co-founded with a commitment to dismantling the oppression of racism in public education. She works with individuals, schools, and other organizations on their capacity for addressing racism in ways that enable them to reclaim their inherent intelligence and nobility. Dr. Mayo has extended her anti-racism work and expertise in building multicultural alliances across the United States, Virgin Islands, and South Africa. She is co-author of the book, Becoming a Social Justice Leader: Using Head, Heart, and Hands to Dismantle Oppression (Routledge, 2016).

Becky Haruyama

AltspaceVR Events & Community Strategist | Microsoft

Becky Haruyama has more than twenty years of design/technology experience across a diverse range of categories including healthcare, games, research and incubation, productivity, e-commerce and publishing. She currently works on the AltspaceVR team at Microsoft, focusing on strategic events for social VR.

She recently spent a number of years working as a Principal Designer with the team responsible for designing HoloLens and Windows Mixed Reality platform. Becky is working at the forefront of mixed reality, and sees the potential for it to revolutionize the way people work, play and communicate. Based in Seattle with her husband and son, Becky has lived and worked in Beijing and traveled extensively in Asia. Her personal philosophy is one of curiosity, insight and joy and with her work she aims to ensure the mixed reality culture is intentionally designed in such a way that everyone is welcome, safe and can fully extend their potential.

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Mark Torphy

Mark Torphy is a Milwaukee-born, New York and Phoenix-seasoned, Atlanta-residing father of three. Mark began his first career as a practicing CPA and Business Manager. A desire to be more direct in advocating for his community and having learned of his own depression and anxiety during his divorce years earlier led him to birth a second career amidst the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic and he began a journey to becoming a Marriage and Family Therapist. Mark is passionate about music, Wisconsin sports and helping heal people through love, truth, faith and hope.

Jack Roberts

Chief of Story + Design | 10,001, Inc.

Jack passionately synthesizes storytelling, humor, mindfulness and design to co-create ground-breaking, socially-driven entertainment. He works as the chief of story + design at a design consultancy and storytelling studio of Parsons’ designers, Harvard researchers, rogue entrepreneurs, and award-winning storytellers called {ten thousand one}. The group is actively redesigning integrative content and reimagining the future of how humanity tells stories. Additionally, Jack holds a Global Executive MSc from Parsons School of Design in Paris; is a keynote speaker on design, creativity, and storytelling; is a bestselling author and published poet; an educator and facilitator; a father; an award-winning screenwriter-producer-actor; and a voting citizen of the Cherokee Nation.

Jisun Kim

Marketing Strategist + Partnership Builder| MK Inceptions, LLC

Jisun Kim is a brand builder. She advises small to mid-sized organizations on how to craft effective content strategies, develop products and services, open marketing channels, sell more effectively, get more creative and address operational challenges. She’s been an advisor to executives, marketing, sales, research, creative and operations teams of all sizes. Her work spans publishing, recruitment, economic development, Software as a Service, hobby enthusiasts, and healthcare, supporting revenues in excess of $300 million. Ji has executed dozens of multimedia projects, developed more than 500 sales collateral assets, and oversaw execution of nearly 100 special events.

LaTonya Watson

Women’s Basketball Coach | New Jersey Institute of Technology

LaTonya Watson is a veteran coach with nearly 15 years of Division I experience.

Before joining NJIT, LaTonya spent three seasons as head coach at the University of New Haven (NCAA Division II). Her background also includes nine seasons as assistant coach at the University of Colorado, where she guided student-athletes toward a 92% graduation rate. During her tenure, Colorado ranked among the top 20 teams in the nation. She’s made two stops in the Patriot League, first at American University, and then Bucknell University as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. While at Bucknell, LaTonya also served as facilitator of the Bucknell Bison Leadership Academy, for the development of student-athletes leaders, both on and off the court. Over the course of her career, she has coached 10 players who have gone on to play professionally, including 2002 WNBA draftee Mandy Nightingale. LaTonya earned a BS in Mathematics from Eastern Michigan University, where she played for the Eagles’ basketball team for four years. She ranked second in assists (446) and seventh in points (1,296) on the school’s career lists.

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Carmelita Tiu

Carmelita Tiu is a lawyer, podcaster, creative, and educator. After earning an art degree, law degree, and certificate in dispute resolution, she worked as an attorney at The Oprah Winfrey Show and OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network for several years, then pivoted to senior counsel roles in the design and advertising world.  She's also held adjunct professorships at DePaul University and Columbia College Chicago.
Passionate about service, creativity, and social change, she's served on various boards and committees, including with the Chicago Artists Coalition, Monuments to Movements (M2M), Project&, Lawyers for the Creative Arts Associate Board, WomanCraft (a division of Heartland Alliance), and Collaboraction Theatre Company.  A program she founded while in law school, the Pro Bono and Community Service Initiative at the DePaul College of Law, still thrives to this day. As a curious and committed mom to two daughters, Carmelita recently launched the podcast, "Know Them, Be Them, Raise Them," a show that informs and inspires mindful and growth-oriented moms of girls -- so they can show up for themselves and their daughters the way they want to.  Each week, she interviews experts, thought leaders, and moms-who've-been-there, and reads a curated collection of articles.  You can find "Know Them, Be Them, Raise Them" on all the major podcast platforms, or by visiting Though she's based in Chicago, she's currently taking a career break to loop around the U.S. with her family for the 2021-22 school year -- a bucket list dive into memory-making, hyperfocusing on the family, and pouring into passion projects. 

Mona Wheeler

Project Manager | United States Air Force


Mona D. Wheeler serves as a Project Manager for the United States Air Force. Previously, she acted as lead Logistician for Next Generation (NGEN), managing the Enterprise Technology Refresh of non-classified computers in the United States Marine Corps. She works daily with Information Technology Assets Managers in all regions of the United States, Japan, and Europe. She joined the Air Force in June 1987 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the US Air Force in May 1991, having completed her undergraduate education in Biochemistry at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Throughout her military career, Mona deployed to Afghanistan (Kabul), Iraq (Baghdad/Ramadi), Russia (Vladivostok), and Cuba (Guantanamo Bay), working in various roles as a science technology/program manager. Upon her military retirement in 2011, she started her own company as a program manager/instructor of acquisition for Department of Defense programs. In 2012, Mona extended her acquisition experience by joining Marine Corps System Command as a logistician. Her personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award and the Air Force Organizational Excellence Award. She completed her MEd from the University of Maryland in Education and Air Command and Staff College (ACSC) in 2005.

Samantha Vaupel

Post Producer | Energy BBDO

Samantha Vaupel is a producer who has worked in Film, Television and Advertising. Her passion for writing started her in the industry over 10 years ago and she has continued to pursue her creative endeavors ever since. Having worked in media for over a decade she has seen its impact on families and communities as well as how its presence has grown over the years. Her time spent in the industry has led her to seek a higher level of involvement in the type of messaging that impacts those around her.

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