Keynote Speakers

We are happy to announce the 2019 Cambio de Colores Keynote Speakers:

Plenary 1:


Nicole Novak, PhD MSc is a social epidemiologist and population health scientist with a focus on health equity in the United States. She uses epidemiologic and community-engaged research methods to study reproductive and perinatal health, immigration and migration, and rural health. She is particularly committed to addressing socioeconomic, rural-urban and racial/ethnic health disparities in the Midwestern US. Nicole is partnering with the Eastern Iowa Community Bond Project to study the family and community impacts of immigration detention, and the potential of an immigration bond intervention to mitigate these harms. She also works with Dr. William Lopez of the University of Michigan School of Public Health to study community responses to six worksite immigration enforcement raids that took place in rural communities throughout the heartland in 2018.

Plenary 2:


In the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation of the Administration for Children and Families within the US Department of Health and Human Services, Ann oversees research grants and contracts focused on increasing access to high-quality child care and early education and human services for low-income and vulnerable children and families. To date, Ann’s portfolio at ACF includes: Child Care and Early Education Policy Research Consortium, Child Care Research Scholars, Early Childhood Training and Technical Assistance Cross-System Evaluation Project, National Research Center on Hispanic Children and Families, Child Care Policy Research Partnerships, Professional Development Tools to Improve the Quality of Infant and Toddler Care. Ann works on a variety of internal projects intended to communicate and bridge research to practice more effectively and to promote equity and cultural and linguistic responsiveness in ACF services. Prior to her current position, Ann was a Society for Research in Child Development Executive Branch Policy Fellow at OPRE. Ann’s own research has examined the effects of social exclusion, community‐based and government programs (e.g., Head Start, WIC, SNAP) in the lives of immigrant and low‐income children and families, using survey, quasi-experimental, ethnographic, and participatory research methods. While completing her doctoral training, Ann provided research support to community agencies in New York City. Ann received a B.A. in Religion from Haverford College and a Ph.D. in Community Psychology from New York University.

Plenary 3:

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Denzil Mohammed is an intercultural communications specialist who works to build understanding across boundaries utilizing a research- and asset-based approach. As director of the Public Education Institute at The Immigrant Learning Center in Malden, MA, he manages specialized online education, a variety of local and national research initiatives, and collaborative public events that educates Americans on the social and economic contributions of immigrants. He’s been published by The New England Journal of Higher Education, featured in The Boston Globe, and is a contributing author to the forthcoming book Working Together: How Community Colleges and Their Partners Help Immigrants Succeed. He serves on advisory boards for the MA New Americans Integration Institute and the Boston Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement. He is a frequent speaker on immigrant integration, demographics, entrepreneurship and education.  

Plenary 4:


Originally from Torreón, Coahuila, México, María migrated to the Unites States at the age of three and has been living in Texas for the past 28 years. She received a Bachelor Degree of Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2012; however, due to her immigration status, her dream of becoming an educator seemed close to impossible. Upon her 25th birthday on June 15, 2012, DACA was announced and provided María the opportunity to obtain her teaching credentials allowing her to secure a position as an educator. As a 2015 Teach for America alumni, María is in her 5th year as an educator in San Antonio, TX and recently received her M.Ed. in Educational Leadership at UTSA in December 2018. María is a strong advocate of early childhood education, dual-language programs, and providing equitable educational opportunities for all students regardless of their immigration status. She knows first-hand the importance of providing a safe space for our immigrant community. Immigration has been a very contentious topic for years and what better way to share her life experiences with others. With our country’s population diversifying, our immigrant students find themselves dismantling barriers many would seem impossible. She is currently using her platform as an educator to ensure students embrace their cultural background thus continuing to instill and carry their familial values.