Executive Director, Operation Understanding DC
Yolanda Savage-Narva has devoted her professional career to helping people live their best and most healthy lives. For a little over 20 years, Yolanda’s has collaborated with Tribal governments to strengthen public health systems, promoted pedestrian safety and advocacy and coining the phrase, “Walking is a civil right,” and advancing health equity in states ad territories. Yolanda currently holds the position of executive director with Operation Understanding DC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting understanding, cooperation, and respect while fighting to eradicate racism, anti-Semitism and all forms of discrimination.
Ambassador Dennis Ross
William Davidson Distinguished Fellow Washington Institute for Nearest Policy
A scholar and diplomat with more than two decades of experience in Soviet and Middle East policy, Ambassador Ross worked closely with Secretaries of State James Baker, Warren Christopher, and Madeleine Albright. Prior to his service as special Middle East coordinator under President Clinton, Ambassador Ross served as director of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff in the first Bush administration. In that capacity, he played a prominent role in U.S. policy toward the former Soviet Union, the unification of Germany and its integration into NATO, arms control negotiations, and the 1991 Gulf War coalition.
Director of Domestic Programs LGBTQ Victory Fund
Mario Enriquez currently serves as the Director of Domestic Programs for the LGBTQ Victory Institute. For the past seven years, Mario has had the opportunity to serve as a national speaker, workshop presenter, and host to various organizations and institutions of higher education. In 2010, Mario moved to Washington, D.C., where he worked for the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the nation’s largest Latino civil rights organization. Mario was then selected as a Coro Fellow of Public Affairs in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. With Coro, he joined a group committed to public service and ethical leadership to acquire cross-sector experience in nonprofit, government, and business sectors. In 2017, he completed a year-long graduate fellowship with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) where he worked for both sides of Congress: the U.S. Senate HELP Committee for ranking member Patty Murray (D-WA) and for House Representative, Eric Swalwell (D-CA). He received his bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California and a Master’s in Public Administration from the USC Price School of Public Policy in Los Angeles. Mario aspires to establish a youth leadership institute, a scholarship program, and run for elected office in California’s Central Valley in the near future.
Congressman Jamie Raskin
Congressman Jamie Raskin proudly represents Maryland’s 8th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. The district includes parts of Montgomery, Carroll, and Frederick Counties. Congressman Raskin was sworn into his second Term at the start of the 116th Congress on January 3, 2019.
Prior to his time in Congress, Raskin was a three-term State Senator in Maryland, where he also served as the Senate Majority Whip. He quickly earned a reputation for building coalitions in Annapolis, and delivered a series of landmark legislative accomplishments. He was also a professor of constitutional law at American University’s Washington College of Law for more than 25 years.
Fr. Josh Thomas
Josh Thomas is Executive Director of Kids4Peace International, a Jerusalem-based interfaith youth movement serving more than 1,800 Jewish, Christian and Muslim youth, parents, volunteers each year. Kids4Peace’s mission is to end conflict and inspire hope in Jerusalem and divided societies around the world. KidsPeace operates a six-year, year-round program of dialogue and action for youth age 12-18, along with initiatives for parents and young adults, through 8 international summer camps and a network of local chapters in Jerusalem and across North America.
Thomas L. Friedman
The New York Times
Thomas L. Friedman became the paper’s foreign affairs Op-Ed columnist in 1995. He joined the paper in 1981, after which he served as the Beirut bureau chief in 1982, Jerusalem bureau chief in 1984, and then in Washington as the diplomatic correspondent in 1989, and later the White House correspondent and economic correspondent.
Mr. Friedman was awarded the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting (from Lebanon) and the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting (from Israel). He also won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for commentary.
Mr. Friedman is the author of “From Beirut to Jerusalem,” which won the National Book Award in 1989. He has written several other books, including “Hot, Flat and Crowded,” an international best seller.
Judith Ellen Heumann, “Judy” is an International disability rights activist from the United States of America. She is recognized internationally as a leader in the disability community. Heumann is a lifelong civil rights advocate for people with disabilities. Her work with governments and non governmental organizations (NGOs), non-profits, and various other disability interest groups, has produced significant contributions since the 1970s to the development of human rights legislation and policies benefiting children and adults with disabilities. Through her work in the World Bank and the State Department, Heumann led the mainstreaming of disability rights into international development. Her contributions extended the international reach of the independent living movement.
Rabbi Jason Kimelman-Block
Bend the Arc Jewish Action
Rabbi Jason Kimelman-Block is the Director of Bend the Arc Jewish Action and the Director of National Government Affairs and Rabbi-in-Residence of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice, where he works to bring the voices of progressive American Jews into the halls of power in Washington DC. He previously served as Bend the Arc’s Senior Director of Leadership Initiatives and directed the Selah Leadership Program. He served as the Director of the PANIM Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values is the co-editor and co-author of Just: Judaism. Action. Social Change and. He received his rabbinic ordination from The Jewish Theological Seminary of America and his B.A. in Political Science from Grinnell College. A daily bicycle commuter, Jason is also a founding member of Eastern Village Cohousing, where he lives with his wife, sustainable food activist and KOL Foods founder Devora Kimelman-Block, and their four children.