Meet Our Featured Speakers
Twice long-listed for the National Book Award, Kwame is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including The Newbery Award, The Coretta Scott King Author Honor, Three NAACP Image Award Nominations, the Inaugural Pat Conroy Legacy Award, The Dominion Energy Strong Men and Women of Virginia, and the Penn State Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award.
He has appeared in or on: The Today Show, Comedy Central, BET, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Parade Magazine, and ESPN’s TheUndefeated.com. He has delivered hundreds of keynote speeches for corporations, educational institutions, commencements, and annual organization conferences such as Hallmark, Writer’s Digest, Teachers College Columbia University, and The International Literacy Association.
Kwame has led cultural exchange delegations to Brazil, Italy, Singapore, and Ghana, where he built the Barbara E. Alexander Memorial Library and Health Clinic, as a part of LEAP for Ghana, an international literacy program he co-founded.
In 2020, Dr. Lopez ended her tenure as Mott Hall Bridges Academy’s principal to focus on her work as a mental health advocate and wellness enthusiast. After developing a stress-related illness that threatened her life, she dug deeper into her passion for educating, providing workforce training and coaching through her company, The Lopez Effect. Dr. Nadia Lopez continues to support leaders on their journeys to build their capacity, improve culture through DEI practices, and develop systems to create healthy spaces for professional sustainability; on her crusade to impact 10,000,000 educators globally. Additionally, she consults with individuals and organizations on their goals and social responsibility initiatives that target marginalized communities for a positive impact.
Toth was formerly the president of the National Center for the Profession of Teaching, a university faculty member, and director of research and development grants. He is an expert in research-based school improvement models, shifting instructional methodologies, root causes analysis for school issues, and building 21st century skills in students; he gives public presentations and advises education leaders on these issues.