Keynote Panel Discussions

Monday, June 22: IGNITING Young Women’s Political Power

Valerie Jarrett

Former Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama, Senior Distinguished Fellow | University of Chicago Law School, and Co-chair | The United State of Women

Valerie B. Jarrett is a Senior Distinguished Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School, and a senior advisor to the Obama Foundation and Attn. She serves as chairman of the board of When We All Vote and co-chair of The United State of Women. She also serves on the boards of Ariel Investments, 2U, Lyft, the Economic Club of Chicago and the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts.

Ms. Jarrett was the longest serving Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama. She oversaw the Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and Chaired the White House Council on Women and Girls. Ms. Jarrett worked throughout her tenure at the White House to mobilize elected officials, business and community leaders, and diverse groups of advocates. She led the Obama Administration’s efforts to expand and strengthen access to the middle class, and boost American businesses and our economy. She championed the creation of equality and opportunity for all Americans, and economically and politically empowering women in the United States and around the world. She oversaw the Administration’s advocacy for workplace policies that empower working families, including equal pay, raising the minimum wage, paid leave, paid sick days, workplace flexibility, and affordable childcare, and led the campaigns to reform our criminal justice system, end sexual assault, and reduce gun violence.

Ms. Jarrett has a background in both the public and private sectors. She served as the Chief Executive Officer of The Habitat Company in Chicago, Chairman of the Chicago Transit Board, Commissioner of Planning and Development, and Deputy Chief of Staff for Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. She also served as the director of numerous corporate and not-for-profit boards including Chairman of the Board of the Chicago Stock Exchange, Chairman of the University of Chicago Medical Center Board of Trustees, and Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Ms. Jarrett has also received numerous awards and honorary degrees, including TIME’s “100 Most Influential People” as well as the Abner J. Mikva Legal Legends Award.

Jarrett received her B.A. from Stanford University in 1978 and her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1981.

Nicole (co-moderator)

Student, Class of 2020 | The Young Women’s Leadership School of East Harlem

Nicole is a graduating senior at The Young Women’s Leadership School (TYWLS) of East Harlem, a public school for girls in New York City. She is the co-founder of RPRSNTD., a digital platform connecting book clubs in communities across the United States centering underrepresented stories and filling gaps in high school curricula. Nicole is also the founder Lit Club, TYWLS of East Harlem’s first book club composed of students, teachers, and staff. She is a co-chair of her school’s Riley’s Way Council, which connects public and private high schoolers to create projects that are led with empathy and kindness in order to be of service to different communities, and an original member of the TYWLS Harambee step team. Nicole will begin her first year at The University of Chicago in September.

Ava (co-moderator)

Student, Class of 2021 | The Ursuline School, New Rochelle

Ava is a rising senior at The Ursuline School, a girls’ Catholic school in New Rochelle, New York. She is passionate about politics and advocacy work and plans to study political science in college. In addition to founding the Let’s Talk Politics Club at her school, Ava interned for her County’s Board of Legislators last summer. Ava is also a student leader of Ursuline’s Diversity Alliance and serves on the Diversity and Equity Council. Through the Diversity Alliance, she started the Intent vs Impact Initiative, a presentation which aims to combat ignorant language using pop-culture examples. Ava was just recently elected senior class president and has been a strong advocate for a composting program which will reduce 90% of her school’s waste in the coming school year. She loves theater and has acted in in many plays and musicals in her community and directs an annual charity cabaret, the proceeds of which benefit victims of domestic violence.

Karla Garcia

Trustee and Board Secretary | Dallas Independent School District

Trustee Karla Garcia is a proud native of Southeast Dallas and a product of Dallas ISD schools. Garcia was inspired to run for Dallas ISD District 4 trustee because she wanted to address the inequities that she saw in the public school system, particularly in Southeast Dallas. Her goal is to represent the perspective and needs of students in her community.

Garcia’s parents came to the United States from Guanajuato, Mexico, with a dream of a bright future for their children. Her parents’ strong desire to see her obtain a college education, led Garcia to attend Dallas ISD’s Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School, the first public all-girls magnet school in the state of Texas. She was the first in her family to attend college and studied public policy and entrepreneurship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Garcia has traveled extensively to broaden her global perspective. During her last semester at UNC, she worked at the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics at the U.S. Department of Education. Her unique experiences in the private and public sectors while working in Washington, D.C., London and Dallas have helped solidify her aspirations in public service.

After graduating from UNC, Garcia returned to Dallas looking for a way to have an impact in her local community. She is currently working with the Dallas County Promise to make college education possible for all students.

Anne Moses, Ph.D. (moderator)

President and Founder | IGNITE

Anne Moses, President & Founder, IGNITE.  Anne Moses has more than years’ experience in social justice and political organizations across the non-profit, political, and academic sectors with a focus on women and girls. In 2010, Anne founded IGNITE, a nationally recognized 501c3 that is building a movement of women who are ready and eager to become the next generation of political leaders. IGNITE has grown rapidly to become the largest and most diverse young women’s political leadership program in the country. Anne’s previous senior leadership positions as Chief Operating Officer for Emerge America and Majority Council Director for EMILY’s List informed her passion and expertise in the arena of gender parity in political leadership. Throughout her career, Anne has also worked as a consultant in the non-profit and philanthropic arenas, with clients across the environmental, veterans affairs, domestic violence, and health and human service sectors. She has served as Principal Investigator on federal, state and local evaluations regarding the impact of welfare and health care reform on low-income individuals and communities. Anne and her work have been featured on CBS, CNN, NPR, Fox News, Marie ClaireCosmopolitanVoxBustleRefinery 29 as well as numerous international and domestic articles on women and leadership. Anne holds a Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley, an MSW from New York University, and a B.A. from Middlebury College. She is also a proud graduate of The Nightengale-Bamford School.


Tuesday, June 23: Correcting the Archive: Historical Empathy and Inclusivity in the Social Studies Classroom Through the Lens of Woman Suffrage

Many thanks to the National Women’s History Museum for curating this panel of esteemed speakers.

Dr. Martha S. Jones

Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and Professor of History | The Johns Hopkins University

Professor Martha S. Jones is the Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and Professor of History at The Johns Hopkins University. She is a legal and cultural historian whose work examines how black Americans have shaped the story of American democracy.

Professor Jones is the author of Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America (Cambridge University Press, 2018), winner of the Organization of American Historians Liberty Legacy Award for the best book in civil rights history, the American Historical Association Littleton-Griswold Prize for the best book in American legal history, and the American Society for Legal History John Phillip Reid book award for the best book in Anglo-American legal history. Forthcoming in 2020 is Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Fought for Rights for All(Basic.) Professor Jones is also author of All Bound Up Together: The Woman Question in African American Public Culture 1830-1900 (University of North Carolina Press, 2007) and a coeditor of Toward an Intellectual History of Black Women (University of North Carolina Press, 2015, together with many important articles and essay. Today, she is at work on a biography of US Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney.

Professor Jones is recognized as a public historian, frequently writing for broader audiences at outlets including the Washington Post, the AtlanticUSA TodayPublic Books, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and Time, the curatorship of museum exhibitions including “Reframing the Color Line” and “Proclaiming Emancipation” in conjunction with the William L. Clements Library, and collaborations with the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, the Charles Wright Museum of African American History, the American Experience, the Southern Poverty Law Center, PBS, Netflix, and Arte (France.)

Professor Jones holds a Ph.D. in history from Columbia University and a J.D. from the CUNY School of Law. Prior to the start of her academic career, she was a public interest litigator in New York City, recognized for her work a Charles H. Revson Fellow on the Future of the City of New York at Columbia University.

Professor Jones currently serves as a President of the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians, and on the Executive Board of the Organization of American Historians.

Dr. Allison K. Lange

Professor of History | Wentworth Institute of Technology

Allison K. Lange is an associate professor of history at the Wentworth Institute of Technology. She received her PhD in history from Brandeis University. Lange’s book, Picturing Political Power: Images in the Women’s Suffrage Movement, will be published in May 2020 by the University of Chicago Press. The book focuses on the ways that women’s rights activists and their opponents used images to define gender and power during the suffrage movement.

Various institutions have supported her work, including the National Endowment for the Humanities, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Library of Congress, and American Antiquarian Society. Lange has presented her work at conferences such as the American Historical Association, Organization of American Historians, and Berkshire Conference of Women Historians. Her writing has appeared in Imprint, The Atlantic, and The Washington Post.

Lange also engages in public history. She has worked with the National Women’s History Museum and curated exhibitions for the Boston Public Library’s Leventhal Map Center. In preparation for the 2020 centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment, she is curating exhibitions at the Massachusetts Historical Society and Harvard’s Schlesinger Library.

Dr. Katherine Perrotta

Assistant Professor of Middle Grades and Secondary Education | Mercer University

Katherine Perrotta is an Assistant Professor of Middle Grades and Secondary Education with an emphasis on social studies education in the Mercer University College of Education. She was the recipient of the John Laska Distinguished Dissertation Award in 2017 from the American Association of Teaching and Curriculum for her research on implementing historical empathy pedagogies in middle and secondary social studies. Prior to relocating to Atlanta, Katherine was a middle school social studies teacher in the New York City Department of Education, and holds professional educator certification in New York and Georgia. She taught U.S. history and world history courses, as well as teacher education courses as a Part-Time Assistant Professor of History at various institutions in the University System of Georgia. Her research on historical empathy pedagogies, high impact practices, student engagement, social studies methods, and the history of education topics on antebellum civil rights activist Elizabeth Jennings have been published in several leading educational and history journals.

Katherine attended the CUNY College of Staten Island and received her M.A in History from CUNY and Ph.D. from Georgia State University.

Dr. Kenvi Phillips

Curator for Race and Ethnicity | Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at Harvard University

Kenvi Phillips is the first Curator for Race and Ethnicity at the Schlesinger Library of the Harvard Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. An accomplished historian, Phillips holds a master’s in public history and a doctorate in US history from Howard University. Before coming to the Schlesinger, she worked at the Mary McLeod Bethune House in Washington and the Maryland–National Capital Park and Planning Commission. Most recently, she served as assistant curator for manuscripts and librarian for prints and photographs at Howard’s internationally renowned Moorland-Spingarn Research Center.

Catherine Allgor (moderator)

President | Massachusetts Historical Society

Catherine Allgor has been appointed the next president of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Previously, she had been the Nadine and Robert Skotheim Director of Education at the Huntington Library in San Marino, CA, and a former Professor of History and UC Presidential Chair at the University of California, Riverside.Allgor attended Mount Holyoke College as a Frances Perkins Scholar and received her Ph.D. with distinction from Yale University, where she also won the Yale Teaching Award. Her dissertation received a prize as the best dissertation in American History at Yale and The Lerner-Scott Prize for the Best Dissertation in U.S. Women’s History. She began her teaching career at Simmons College and has been a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and a Visiting Professor of History at Harvard University.

Her first book, Parlor Politics: In Which the Ladies of Washington Help Build a City and a Government (University Press of Virginia, 2000), won the James H. Broussard First Book Prize from the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic and the Northeast Popular Culture/American Culture Association Annual Book Award. Her political biography, A Perfect Union: Dolley Madison and the Creation of the American Nation (Henry Holt, 2006), was a finalist for the George Washington Book Prize. In 2012, she published Dolley Madison: The Problem of National Unity (Westview Press) and The Queen of America: Mary Cutts’s Life of Dolley Madison (University of Virginia Press).

President Obama appointed Allgor to a presidential commission, The James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation. Allgor also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Women’s History Museum.

Holly Hotchner (moderator)

President and CEO | National Women’s History Museum

Holly Hotchner, President and CEO, has extensive experience creating institutional advancement, and new and interesting experiences for museum visitors. She was the first museum director at the New-York Historical Society—considered one of America’s oldest museums. She built a staff, raised millions of dollars for the care of the collections and exhibitions, and took the museum through the American Alliance of Museums’ accreditation process. Her team established a premier education department, the Luce Study Center for the Study of American Material Culture, and made collections accessible through innovative interpretation, helping the New-York Historical Society take its place as a world-class museum of history and culture.

As director of the American Craft Museum—a niche museum in New York—Hotchner re-envisioned it as the Museum of Arts and Design, a new kind of interdisciplinary museum adhering to the values of craftsmanship and expanded the mission to include creativity across traditional boundaries. Through the process of translating that vision, she built a greatly expanded collection and institution. She led the museum through site and architect selection and creating plans and budgets. She developed the board, enhanced staff and, under her leadership, the museum raised $120 million starting from a very small donor base.

Hotchner also led her own consulting firm working with nonprofits on strategic growth and held positions with The Princess Grace Foundation, Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Tate Gallery and the Museum of Modern Art. She holds an MA in Art History from The Institute of Fine Arts, a BA in Art History and Studio Art from Trinity College, completed Harvard University Business School’s Non-Profit Education Program and attended the Museum Management Institute.


Wednesday, June 24: Creating Change, One Girl at a Time

Many thanks to Girl Up for curating this panel of esteemed speakers.

Jumana Haj Ahmad

Global Chief of Adolescent Development and Participation | UNICEF

Jumana Haj Ahmad, Global Chief of Adolescent Development and Participation, UNICEF New York Headquarters, she leads UNICEF’s efforts to accelerate results for adolescent girls and boys. Jumana has served at UNICEF for more than 18 years, specifically in the area of adolescent development and participation, and in various country offices including Sudan, Jordan and the State of Palestine. Before joining UNICEF, she worked for a grass root non-governmental organization, Palestinian Medical Relief Society, focusing on promoting the health and wellbeing of children and adolescents. Jumana has a Master’s Degree in Health Sciences with focus on Community Health from Brigham Young University and a Bachelor’s degree in Medical Technology from the University of Jordan.

Nadya Okamoto

Founder | PERIOD and Co-founder and Chief Brand Officer | JUV Consulting

Nadya Okamoto is the 22-year-old Harvard student and Founder of PERIOD, now the largest youth-powered organization fighting to end period poverty and stigma. She founded the organization at age 16, inspired by her family’s own experience with housing instability. The organization has addressed over ONE MILLION PERIODS for people in need, registered over 800 campus chapters in all 50 states and 40 countries, and is actively engaging in policy advocacy. Her debut book, PERIOD POWER, was published in 2018 by Simon & Schuster, which made the Kirkus Reviews list for Best Young Adult Nonfiction of 2018. At 19, she ran for public office, becoming the youngest Asian American political candidate. At 21, she created the first-ever National Period Day, organizing rallies in all 50 states to demand action on menstrual equity — mobilizing tens of thousands of young leaders around the US. She’s considered an expert on Gen Z brand marketing as the Co-founder and Chief Brand Officer of JUV Consulting. She is included in the latest cohorts of Forbes 30 under 30, Bloomberg 50 “Ones to Watch” and People Magazine’s Women Changing the World.

Imani Brooks

2015-2016 Teen Advisor | Girl Up

Imani Brooks is a 2015-2016 Girl Up Teen Advisor. Since working with Girl Up, Imani has continued to advocate for women’s and girls’ rights as a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., working in Swaziland, South Africa, and Georgia. Imani is a 2016 graduate of Chatham Hall, a member of the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools (NCGS). She graduated from Emory University with a BA in International Studies and is now pursuing her JD.

Melissa Kilby (moderator)

Executive Director | Girl Up

Under Melissa’s leadership, Girl Up helps girls access their inner power to advance girls’ skills, rights, and opportunities, transforming girls by exposing them to new possibilities, increasing their sense of confidence and positioning them to be changemakers in their communities. Having developed 58,000 girl leaders in nearly 120 countries and all 50 U.S. states, Girl Up is inspiring a generation of girls to be a force for gender equality and social change. Since joining Girl Up in 2011, Melissa has helped Girl Up raise more than $15 million for girls’ leadership programs and impact partners at the United Nations.

Prior to Girl Up, Melissa served as a National Director for OP3, where she helped to manage the nine-city multi-day fundraising walk series benefiting the Avon Foundation for Women, which raised an average of $45 million each season. Melissa holds a Bachelor of Journalism in Strategic Communication from University of Missouri – Columbia. In 2014, she was selected to participate in a program for non-profit leaders through Harvard University’s Kennedy School. Previous experience includes working with donor relations and marketing for Hinsdale Hospital and the American Red Cross of Chicago. She is Vice Chair of the board of directors of Girls on the Run of Washington, DC. Melissa has appeared on MSNBC, written articles for Huffington Post and Harvard International Review, been quoted in many national press outlets and speaks regularly as an expert on GenZ girls and their insights in the world, most recently participating in TEDxQUINCY.