David Anderson Hooker — “Uniting for Social Change”
David Anderson Hooker is professor of the practice of conflict transformation and peacebuilding at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, part of the University of Notre Dame’s Keough School of Global Affairs. He joined the Notre Dame faculty in July 2016.
Hooker is an experienced mediator, facilitator and peacebuilder who has worked with communities, governments and international NGOs and civil society organizations on post-conflict community building, environmental justice and other issues of public policy and social justice. He has managed multi-party conflicts, conducted workshops and consulted across the United States and around the world.
Hooker has practiced law since 1994. He has represented the State of Georgia as assistant attorney general, with primary responsibility for the Departments of Juvenile Justice and Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services. In his private law practice, Hooker investigated numerous claims of civil rights violations and discrimination based on race, gender, age, religious practice and sexual orientation. He also represented plaintiffs in civil rights claims for denial of special education and prisoners’ rights.
Before joining the faculty at the Kroc Institute, Hooker was adjunct professor for the Pacifica Graduate Institute program in depth psychology, and associate/adjunct professor at the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, Virginia. He has taught master’s- and doctoral-level courses in negotiation, mediation, multi-party conflict resolution and consensus building, community building, conflict transformation, conflict analysis, practices in conflict transformation, restorative justice and trauma healing. He has presented Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR) workshops in New York City (two separate 9/11 remembrances), southern Louisiana (to pastors and spouses who lost churches in Hurricanes Katrina and Rita), northern Uganda and South Sudan, Myanmar, Oakland, California, and in many other community and academic settings.
From 2010-15, Hooker was a senior fellow for community engagement strategies at the University of Georgia’s J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development. Before that, he served as vice president of community building for the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Atlanta Civic Site. In both settings, he worked with multiple individuals and organizations to craft large community visions, build the networks needed to pursuit those visions, and coach individuals to assume leadership roles in the work.
Before becoming a mediator and lawyer, Hooker was a community psychologist working in an urban adult outpatient setting providing family, group and individual counseling. He is the president of and principal consultant for CounterStories Consulting LLC, where his work focuses on narrative alignment for civic, community and faith leaders.
Hooker served as director of research and training for Coming to the Table (CTTT), a pilot initiative funded by the Fetzer Institute and the Kellogg Foundation, which sought to develop both a theory and practical approach for dialogue between descendants of former enslaved and descendants of former enslavers. CTTT was established as a nonprofit civil society group that continues to flourish, with seven active chapters. Another outcome of CTTT was Transforming Historical Harms: A Guidebook for Community Engagement, co-authored by Hooker and Potter Czjaikowski and published by EMU in 2012. Several communities seeking to mitigate or interrupt the multi-generational transmission of trauma are using this manual. Hooker is also the author of The Little Book of Transformative Community Conferences (SkyHorse Publications, 2016).
Hooker is a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta (psychology and biology), the University of Massachusetts Amherst (M.P.H. in public health finance and administration, and M.P.A. in health policy), the Emory University School of Law (J.D.) and Emory University’s Candler School of Theology (M.Div.). He earned his Ph.D. from Tilburg University in the Netherlands. He is ordained clergy in the United Church of Christ and served for 10 years as minister for local and global missions at the historic First Congregational Church (UCC) in Atlanta.
Aubrey Streit Krug — environment
Aubrey Streit Krug is a lecturer and Ph.D. candidate in English, as well as a graduate fellow of the Center for Great Plains Studies, at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her research focuses on American and Indigenous literature, science and ecology, and agriculture and plants, especially on the Great Plains. She grew up in the small farming community of Tipton, Kansas, and earned her B.A. at Bethany College in Lindsborg.
Streit Krug is a contributing author and editor for a collaborative Umó?ho? (Omaha) language and culture textbook forthcoming with the University of Nebraska Press. Her essays have been published in the Journal of Ecocriticism, Writing on the Edge, Prairie Fire (Canada), the Land Report, Ravenshaw Journal of Literary & Cultural Studies, Visual Communication Quarterly and the collection Plants and Literature.
Streit Krug has taught writing and literature classes at UNL since 2010. During that time, one of her students has won the Ted Kooser Award for Outstanding First-Year Writing, and she has received the Robert L. Hough Graduate Teaching Award. She has also led public workshops at the Loess Hills Prairie Seminar and at the Nebraska Alliance for Conservation and Environmental Education/Nebraska Master Naturalist Annual Conference.
Alicia Harris — environment
Alicia Harris (Assiniboine, Fort Peck) is a second-year Ph.D. student at the University of Oklahoma. She grew up in San Diego and holds a B.A. in art history and curatorial studies from Brigham Young University and an M.A. in art history from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She taught art history survey and Native American art history courses in Nebraska for two years before pursuing her Ph.D.
Harris’ current research focuses on imagery that centers indigenous reclamations of land, language and kin-centric relationships. Her work addresses the way visual records of memory function as trans-indigenous, inter-tribal and trans-generational communication. She is interested in indigenous feminisms in dialogue with dominant culture.
Michelle Armster — racial justice
Michelle Armster is executive director of Mennonite Central Committee Central States, with headquarters in North Newton. Before her appointment in June of this year, Armster was transitional executive director of MCC Central States for three years.
Prior to that, Armster served variously as an associate pastor or co-pastor for multiple churches, co-director of the MCC Office on Justice and Peacebuilding, and director of Mennonite Conciliation Services. She brings experience and a proven track record of success in mediation/facilitation experience for labor, family, community, victim/offender, conferencing, church, interpersonal and workplace conflict resolution.
Armster is a graduate of Sterling (Kansas) College with a degree in speech and theater arts, and has a master of divinity degree from Lancaster (Pennsylvania) Theological Seminary.
Joel Barrett and David Seymour — LGBTQIA identities
Joel Barrett and David Seymour now live in Kansas City, Missouri, but were residents of South Bend, Indiana, for many years. Barrett has been in business for himself since 2013 as an LGBTQ writer, speaker and life coach (www.JoelSpeaksOut.com), while Seymour is a technical training instructor for the Social Security Administration in Kansas City.
Barrett has worked for many years in areas related to arts and culture, and environmental sustainability. His jobs have included: account executive and sustainability coordinator for WVPE, Elkhart, Indiana’s public radio station; audience development manager for Shakespeare at Notre Dame; owner and president of reason2return, consulting with businesses on how to achieve “5-star customer service”; general manager of the Downtown South Bend (DTSB) Ambassadors program, working to keep downtown clean, safe, hospitable and beautiful; and director of marketing for the South Bend Museum of Art.
Barrett frequently and openly shares his story as a survivor of ex-gay therapy and life within fundamentalist Christianity. He was raised Southern Baptist and, after nearly 14 years as a Baptist pastor in a heterosexual marriage, spent three years in ex-gay therapy trying to “pray the gay away” before realizing that being gay was just fine.
Barrett has a B.A. in youth and music from Trinity Baptist College, Jacksonville, Florida, and a Master of Liberal Studies degree in sustainability studies from Indiana University-South Bend.
Before Seymour and Barrett moved to Kansas City earlier this year, Seymour worked for more than a decade for the SSA in South Bend, in several positions: public affairs specialist, operations supervisor and claims representative. He was also an adjunct professor at the Raclin School of Fine Arts at IUSB, teaching Introduction to Latin Dance and occasionally helping with choreography on theater productions.
Seymour has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Spanish and Latin American studies from Earlham College, Anderson, Indiana, and a Master of Public Affairs degree from IUSB.