Inspiring Positive Change
Change Makers Conference
March 6, 2022
Join us for brunch, breakouts and keynotes!
Olympic Gold and Silver Medalist, Advocate for Positive Body Image
Since bringing home the Gold and Silver medals at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Laurie has gone on to win the coveted Mirror ball trophy on Dancing with the Stars Season 23 and wrote her first book titled I Got This: To Gold and Beyond published in 2017, hitting the New York Times Best Sellers list. In 2018, she released a children’s picture book She’s Got This with Harper Collins Children’s Books, also a NYT Best Seller, while serving as a Literacy Champion to promote readership as a path to leadership; and Mattel created a Laurie Hernandez “Shero” Barbie to honor her.
She is a second generation American, as her grandparents are from Puerto Rico, making her the first U.S. born Latina to make the U.S. team since 1984. Laurie is currently the Gymnastics analyst for Peacock and the Olympic Channel for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
When not in the gym, Laurie enjoys spending time with her family. Acting is one of her biggest passions and she has done cameos, voiceovers, and co-hosted American Ninja Warrior Junior, and plans to pursue an acting/screenwriting degree. She travels the country speaking to the next generation about following your dreams. She is also a fierce advocate for the importance of Mental Health and has partnered with multiple campaigns and initiatives to encourage awareness.
Athlete Ally Founder and Executive Director
Becoming a Champion for Inclusion
Athlete Ally Founder and Executive Director Hudson Taylor shares his personal journey as a college wrestler who wanted to make a difference in his sport, and ended up launching a national nonprofit dedicated to LGBTQI+ inclusion in and through sports.
Hudson Taylor was a rare breed of division one wrestler and thespian. As a three-time All-American wrestler at the University of Maryland, he was ranked 2nd in the country heading into his senior season. He was, in addition, a theatre major, and the two worlds couldn’t have been more different on the topic of LGBTQ respect and inclusion. In theatre, Hudson had friends and classmates coming out and being accepted and welcomed. But on the wrestling mat, homophobic and sexist rhetoric and actions were rampant.
To stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ community and confront the marginalization of LGBTQ people in sport, he decided to wear an LGBTQ equality sticker on his headgear. Though he encountered criticism from his teammates, he received national media attention and thousands of emails from parents and closeted athletes encouraged by his advocacy. That got Hudson thinking… if he could achieve that impact as a wrestler, in a sport that isn’t the most popular, what if he had been a football player, a team, or an entire league. This experience inspired Hudson to launch Athlete Ally.
Founder of Girls on the Run
Change the Narrative and You Change the World
The founder of Girls on the Run and a globally recognized role model for positive change, Molly Barker motivates audiences to embrace their individual strengths, ask the hard questions of themselves, and realize their potential to change the world.
An accomplished athlete and social entrepreneur, Molly encourages others to run-toward hope, passion and self-discovery to solve problems and overcome adversity. With a background in social work, counseling and teaching, she is the founder of two rapidly growing nonprofit organizations. Since 1996, Girls on the Run has helped more than one million girls across the country unleash their potential, and since 2014, The Red Boot Way has worked to address the polarization in America, by teaching a specific communication methodology designed to create spaces where people can be seen, heard and loved.
Molly is a gifted story teller who shares the gritty, real and honest life-lessons from her own personal journey of self-discovery, inspiring you to recognize the power of one person to make a significant difference. Authentic, candid and relatable on stage, she leaves audiences with a deeper awareness of the world, as well as creative strategies for channeling passions into innovative solutions for your team, organization or community.
Athlete Ally Founder and Executive Director Hudson Taylor leads students in an interactive session on tips and techniques for student organizing, activism and creating change that will leave participants energized and equipped to take action on their campuses and in their communities.
Leading From Within
Leading from Within is about understanding your internal power to create external impact. There are times as leaders when our inner negative conversation takes over and lead us to overfocus on our setbacks instead of our value. The art of leading from within requires leaning into one’s purpose, disrupting self-limiting beliefs, and effectively serving others. By attending this workshop, participants will learn how to create change through their vision, values, and area of gifting.
About Lavar Thomas
Lavar Thomas has served in the United States Peace Corps in Rwanda, East Africa as a Community Development Advisor. He has spent the last 8 years working in government at the state, federal and international levels to engage communities around public health and community development. Lavar is a teaching faculty with the Global Citizenship Alliance in Salzburg, Austria, and an Environmental Justice Coordinator with the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. Lavar attended Kingsborough Community College, where he became a Kaplan Leadership Scholar and later transferred to Clark University in Massachusetts, earning his B.A. in Political Science. Lavar is currently pursuing his Masters of Science in International Business at the University of Delaware.
He is an award-winning Toastmaster, TEDx speaker, and co-founder of Leaders of the Free World. This non-profit organization provides leadership development and international experiences to young Black men.
The 4 steps to becoming a successful change maker
During this session we will dive deep into the 4 critical steps to becoming a successful change agent.
About Jason Aviles
Jason, named by The Delaware Business Times as one of Delaware’s top 40 under 40 achievers and innovators, has lead several social impact ventures in Wilmington to support the arts and culture under his NPO, Wilmington Placemakers Inc., including projects like Wilmington Green Box (WGB) that provides at-risk teens with entrepreneurial jobs while supplying urban communities with access to cold pressed juices, fresh produce and healthy goods. In 2017, WGB was chosen as a winner of the Reinventing Delaware Event held by The Pete Dupont Foundation. Most recently, Jason has launched Green Box Kitchen, a fast-casual Plant-Based restaurant with multiple locations that serves hand crafted, fresh foods, that are incredibly delicious and always 100% Plant-Based. Green Box Kitchen won 2020 Best of Delaware for Vegan/Vegetarian Friendly Restaurant and in 2021 was named by Yelp as the top vegan restaurant in the state of Delaware.
How to be a MUVA
Jose Lanzona and Sophia Crisomia
Step into the Houses of Harlem in the 1980s and the ballrooms of a subculture. Learn more about “MUVAs” (mother-figure) as leaders in the Houses that welcomed the LGBTQIA+ community through allyship, advocacy, and co-conspiracy. How can you become a ‘MUVA’ by supporting the cause(s) that you care most about?
About the presenters
Sophia is a senior at the University of Delaware majoring in Biological Sciences, Neuroscience, and Spanish Studies. She is in her fourth year (Tier 4) of the Blue Hen Leadership Program and plans to expand her leadership skills in the medical profession to enable patients’ self advocacy. Sophia serves as a Resident Assistant, researcher at the Motor Neuroscience, and Neuroimaging Lab at Star Campus, and coaches a Special Olympics basketball and soccer team.
Jose graduated from the University of Delaware with a B.S. in Exercise Science and completed Tier 4 of the Blue Hen Leadership Program in December 2021. As a UD and BHLP student, Jose served as a Peer Mentor for a first-year leadership experience program, QUEST/LEAP, and an undergraduate researcher at STAR Campus and Developmental Motor Control Lab.
YOUth Can Do It
Sierra RyanWallick & Jonté Desiré
Don’t let anyone tell you you are too young to make change. Learn from these two UD students who have each started their own non-profit (and one started a for-profit social venture too!), how you can implement change around a cause about which you are passionate. Leave this session understanding the steps to launch your own non-profit or for-profit social venture.
About the presenters
Sierra RyanWallick is passionate about catalyzing positive change as a Social Entrepreneur. She is the Founder of AutumnLeaf Fundraisers (a nonprofit she started 11 years ago that has raised over $100,000 for charity) and the Founder & CEO of UP Cycle Design (a sustainable fashion startup that diverts textiles and plastic bags from landfills, while raising money and awareness for community causes). She also has a vlog channel, where she releases two vlogs a week about her journey as a college social entrepreneur with health challenges.
Jonté Desiré is a senior Neuroscience and Biological sciences double major and anthropology minor who started Native Nourishment when she was sixteen. After volunteering at the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation and researching food security within Indigenous communities, she decided to create and direct Native Nourishment, a nonprofit that increases healthy food accessibility and supports food sovereignty in Native communities. Jonté has dedicated her life to supporting the health of Black and Brown communities and advocacy.
Break, Build, & Succeed: Habits for Personal Change
Based on the #1 New York Time bestselling book, Atomic Habits, this session will examine participants’ everyday habits and how it impacts their capacity for personal change. Participants will identify positive and negative habits in their routine and learn practical strategies to build, break, and reflect upon the small habits that make monumental impacts in our lives.
About Julie Millisky
Julie Millisky is a University of Delaware alumna who spent her college days deeply involved in the Blue Hen Leadership Program. She received her Master of Public Administration from UD in 2018 after completing an undergraduate degree in Public Policy. Julie works with college students at the University of Pennsylvania.
The Journey to Becoming a Change Maker
Nick Beard, Haley McAveney, Francisca Moreno & Angela Seguin
S.O.S. provides 24/7 crisis intervention and victim advocacy to the UD community, as well as prevention programs and advocacy regarding victims’ rights and public policy. Advocates are “change makers” for individuals in crisis and for the broader community. Meet a panel of SOS victim advocates at various points in their educational or professional journeys, including a brand new advocate, in the group a year or two, and a long-term member who is now a professional in the field of victim advocacy in Delaware. They will talk about what fuels their work as change makers, the rewards of stepping out of their comfort zone, how and why they found their purpose in volunteering with SOS, and how they plan to fuse their SOS experience into future career or life goals. Learn how you too can channel your passion for change into a life path.
About the Presenters
Francisca Moreno (they/them/theirs) is a senior Criminal Justice and Women and Gender Studies double major with a concentration in Domestic Violence Prevention and Services. Their research interests include fatness, the latine community, and sex worker rights. They work at a Latin American Community Center as a Community Engagement and Vaccine Coordinator. They plan to pursue a Phd in Sociology and hope to encourage Queer, first-generation, and students of color to engage in research.
Haley McAveney (she/her) graduated from UD in 2021 with a BA in English & minor in Human Development and Family Sciences. A member of S.O.S. since 2020, she is an intern in the Division of Student Life. She will attend graduate school in Fall 2022 to earn a Master’s in Student Affairs and Higher Education.
Dr. Nick Beard (she/her) is an attorney in Maryland and New York who completed a PhD in Law and Gender Studies, focusing on sexual violence in the asylum process. She has volunteered on rape crisis hotlines since undergrad in Ireland & the UK. An SOS advocate since 2019, she works at the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence as a policy coordinator. She volunteers with the New York Abortion Access Fund and the Democratic Party Voter Protection Programme.
Angela Seguin (she/her) is the Assistant Director for Victim Advocacy at UD’s Student Wellness and Health Promotion and coordinates Sexual Offense Support. She is a Core Founding Member of UD’s Center for the Study and Prevention of Gender-Based Violence, and is on the Board of Directors for the National Organization for Victim Assistance.
Activating Artivism for Social Change
Throughout the decades, art has been used as a revolutionary tool. It has found its place in social movements because of the ability of art to challenge the status quo and reinvent “normal”. When art and activism are combined, and artivism is produced, it often brings about change that would not have taken place otherwise. Activating Artivism for Social Change will facilitate a space where an artivist shows the importance of bringing art as activism into the conversation around dismantling mass criminalization and demonstrate practical ways art can be used to reclaim and reshape the narratives. Workshop will be interactive.
About Felicia Henry
Felicia A. Henry is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Delaware. Her research interests include race, ethnicity, gender, criminal justice/mass incarceration, and social vulnerability in disasters. A Licensed Social Worker (LMSW), Felicia received her Master of Social Work degree from the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania. Felicia is a Bill Anderson Fund Fellow and Recipient of the Unidel Award in Sociology & Criminal Justice and the University Unidel Distinguished Graduate Scholar Award. Felicia is the founder of Behind the Walls, Between the Lines (BTWBTL), a movement to deepen the awareness of the legacy of racial inequity in America, particularly within the criminal legal system, and inspire activism aimed at its dismantlement.
Change Makers Conference 2022
Take a look at 2020’s Change Makers Conference in this highlight reel.
reflection on change PODCAST
The 2022 keynote speakers—Hudson Taylor and Molly Barker—are featured on Episode 5 of UD’s Reflection on Change podcast.
Pricing & Registration
Register today! Find your own purpose in creating positive change and walk away with your very own action plan.
All Passes Include:
- Conference Seats
- Coffee Breaks
- Change Plan
Online registration is now closed.
You may register at the door on Sunday by paying by credit, flex or with exact change.
UD Student Pass
UD Faculty, Staff and UD Alumni Pass
Group Guest Pass10 guests or more
9:30 – 10:00
Check-in or on-site registration
10:00 – 10:15
10:15 – 11:15
Opening Keynote: Hudson Taylor
11:15 – 11:55
12:00 – 12:40
Breakout Sessions 1
12:45 – 1:30
Afternoon Keynote: Molly Barker
Breakout Sessions 2
2:15 – 2:30
Dessert and coffee break
2:30 – 3:15
Closing Keynote: Laurie Hernandez
3:15 – 3:30
Conference Wrap-Up: Call to Action
3:30 – 4:00
VIP Sponsor Meet and Greet with Laurie Hernandez
Ticket Sales Now Closed
Diamond ($10,000 or more)
- Blue Hen Leadership Program
- University Student Centers
Platinum ($3000 – $9,999)
- Department of Intercollegiate Athletics & Recreation Services
- Office of Institutional Equity
- Office of the Vice Provost of Diversity
- Student Diversity & Inclusion
- Center for the Study and Prevention of Gender-Based Violence
- Community Engagement Initiative
- Honors College
- Insomnia Cookies
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- University of Delaware Programming Board