Keynote Speakers

Plenary Speaker:
Dr. Devonya N. Havis

Devonya N. Havis, is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY. She has taught courses in Ethics, Contemporary Continental Philosophy, Critical Philosophy of Race, and Black Women’s thought at Boston College, Harvard University, and Virginia Union University. Her writings include “Blackness Beyond Witness” in Philosophy and Social Criticism and “Discipline” in the Cambridge Foucault Lexicon.She has a longstanding concern with utilizing philosophy to enhance awareness and promote counter-oppressive practices. Her chapter, “‘Seeing Black’ through Michel Foucault’s Eyes: ‘Stand Your Ground’ Laws as an Anchorage Point for State-Sponsored Racism,” is included in, Pursuing Trayvon Martin: Historical Contexts and Contemporary Manifestations of Racial Dynamics.

Keynote Speaker
Dr. Amer Ahmed

Dr. Amer F. Ahmed is an organizational strategist who helps institutions and leaders address diversity and inclusion, equity, race, and intercultural development through consulting, coaching, group facilitation, and keynote speeches. A frequently requested speaker nationwide, Dr. Ahmed’s approach is grounded in social justice and commitment to community. He brings his identity as the son of Indian Muslim immigrants and extensive years as an intercultural and diversity consultant as the sources of a pivotal understanding of the depth of diversity and inclusion work. Throughout his career, Dr. Ahmed has worked with large organizations, higher education institutions, non-profit agencies, schools and community groups to create understanding and change among key constituents and institutional leaders.

His thought leadership and keen sense of the latest trends informs his approaches to helping groups address potential areas of opportunity to grow and develop. Dr. Ahmed incorporates deep theoretical knowledge of the field combined with a variety of methods including storytelling, discourse on current events and connections to art and music in order to move audiences to profound awareness of issues and next steps. He has published key opinion pieces and has been featured in media such as MSNBC, documentary film, and other national press outlets for his commentary and critical perspective on news and significant topics in society.

Dr. Ahmed is the Founder and CEO of AFA Diversity Consulting, LLC, a consulting practice dedicated to enhancing the development of organizations through efforts around leadership, professional development, assessment, and strategic change. In addition to his consulting work, Dr. Ahmed serves as Director of Intercultural Teaching and Faculty Development at University of Massachusetts – Amherst, Faculty at the Summer and Winter Institutes for Intercultural Communication, and is a member of SpeakOut: Institute for Democratic Education.