Conference Speaker Biography

Dr. Damon A. Williams
Senior Vice President, Chief Educational and Youth Development Officer at The Boys and Girls Clubs of America

As educator, consultant, and speaker to more than 300 institutions worldwide, he is widely considered one of the nation’s most dynamic social sector leaders, with experience in higher education, non-profit, and K-12 innovation.He is one of the world’s leading authorities on educational achievement, inclusive excellence, and chief diversity officers. He recently published "Strategic Diversity Leadership: Activating Change and Transformation in Higher Education," a ground breaking book focused on the strategic imperatives of access, achievement, and inclusion in the new economy. In June of 2013, he published "The Chief Diversity Officer," the first book to explicate the role of the CDO in any sector with Dr. Katrina Wade Golden of the University of Michigan.

He is senior vice president and chief educational and youth development officer for the world’s largest and oldest youth development organization, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA). The BGCA has a combined staff of more than 50,000 full and part-time employees and some 200,000 board and program volunteers, annually serving some 4 million youth. Reporting directly to the CEO, he is charged with “game changer” responsibilities to listen to the movement, follow the trends, and define the organization’s next generation educational and youth development strategies that create vibrant programming at more than 4,000 locations, serving millions of hip-hop generation youth throughout the nation and on U.S. military installations worldwide.

With impact across the nearly 1.54 Billion Dollar BGCA youth development movement, he is responsible for 5 key areas: (1) Education and Career Development; (2) Character & Leadership Development; (3) Health & Life Skills; (4) The Arts; and (5) Sports, Fitness & Recreation. As such, he shares strategic responsibility for partnerships with the Coca Cola, Major League Baseball, Microsoft, Comcast, Walmart, Taco Bell, Morgan Stanley, and others.

Ms. Rosa Clemente

Rosa Alicia Clemente is a Black Puerto Rican grassroots organizer, hip-hop activist, journalist, and entrepreneur.

Founder of Know Thy Self Productions, Rosa has created two successful college/universities tours, Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win and the Speak Truth to Power.

With an earned degree from the University of Albany and a Masters of Professional Studies from Cornell University she is committed to scholar-activism and youth organizing. As an activist she has traveled domestically and internationally to colleges, universities, high schools and prisons.

She has delivered lectures on topics such as African-American and Latino/a Intercultural Relations, Hip-Hop Activism, The History of the Young Lords Party, and Organizing to Free U.S. Political Prisoners. Rosa has written for Clamor Magazine, The Black World Today, The Final Call and has been the subject of articles in the Village Voice, The Amsterdam News, the New York Times and Red Eye Magazine.

Rosa has appeared on CNN, C-Span, and Democracy Now, Street Soldiers, and National Public Radio (NPR). In 2001 she was a youth representative at the United Nations World Conference against Racism in South Africa and in 2002 was named by Red Eye Magazine as one of the top 50 Hip Hop Activists to look out for.

Currently she is a co-host/co-producer WBAI's (99.5 FM/NYC) show Where We Live, was recently published in Third World Press, Role Call: A Generational Anthology, is a member of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, the Black August Collective and is the coordinator of the State of Black World Youth Caucus.

Rosa is currently writing a novel titled Siempre Palante: Young Lords and the Legacy of Youth Resistance.

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