KEYNOTES 2019-07-26T18:05:32+00:00

Headshot of Dr. Adolph Brown

Dr. Adolph Brown, III

Wednesday Keynote Speaker

Dr. Adolph Brown, III is an American urban and rural school educator, author, research-scientist, businessman and keynote speaker. He is a servant-leader at heart, and provides powerful, universal and timeless teachings. Brown is best known for inspiring all who hear him to learn, laugh and lead, while simultaneously reducing implicit bias at every turn. He is highly regarded as the leadership speaker who gets you from where you are to where you want to be. As a much sought-after and highly effective equity and diversity keynote speaker, Brown skillfully addresses the impact of stereotypes. He credits much of his success to the luxury of humble beginnings of being reared by a single parent mother in abject poverty of the inner city housing projects infested with gangs, drugs and violence. His oldest sibling and only brother Oscar was murdered when he was eleven years old. Young Brown often received a respite when he was sent to spend summers with his grandfather in rural farming country. Brown became the first in his family of five to participate in Head Start, graduate high school and attend college.

All Means All: Cultivating Inclusion and Inspiring Equity
Blind spots and implicit biases are hidden forces that shape our opinions, attitudes, perceptions and decisions about others. This interactive dynamic and fun presentation will address the shortcuts that create our mental blind spots. Brown provides motivation and knowledge that will help attendees remain focused, motivated and inspired to overcome faulty personal beliefs, prior expectations and anchors. Brown works at the development and maintenance of safe spaces cultivating respect, acceptance and support for ALL.


Headshot José HernándezJosé Hernández

Thursday Keynote Speaker

José Hernández, a former migrant farmworker, was selected by NASA as a member of their 19th class of astronauts in 2004. After completing his training he was selected for a mission in 2007 and flew as the flight engineer in the 2009 14-day STS-128 mission aboard Space Shuttle Discovery to the international space station. In addition to his flight engineer duties Hernández was also one of two principal robotic arm operators and the first to tweet in English and Spanish from space. Before being selected as an astronaut, Hernández worked at NASA as the branch chief of the Materials and Processes Branch at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. There he oversaw the branch’s activities in the areas of materials and processes, fracture control, nondestructive evaluation, failure analysis, and nano materials research. Hernández branch was also instrumental in participating in the investigation to help find the root cause of the Space Shuttle Columbia accident and reporting those results to the President’s Columbia Accident Investigation Board.

After the 2009 Space Mission, Hernández was assigned to work at NASA headquarters in Washington D.C. where he served as a legislative analyst and helped in the development of space policy, NASA’s annual budget package and served as liaison with key Congressional members. Additional duties included the development of an effective strategy that promoted the President’s new vision on Space Exploration. Hernández is a former candidate for U.S. Congress, author of several books including his autobiography “Reaching for the Stars” and the children’s version “The Boy Who Touched the Stars”.

Today, Hernández works as a consultant for Tierra Luna Engineering, which he founded in 2012. Here, he provides his expertise in business development and strategic operations to help clients develop optimum growth solutions through an integrated approach. He focuses these efforts on companies involved in aerospace technologies and renewable energies.

Hernández has been the recipient of numerous awards. NASA Service Awards in 2002 and 2003; Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory “Outstanding Engineer Award” in 2001; Upward Bound National TRIO Achiever Award in 2001; U.S. Department of Energy “Outstanding Performance Commendation” in 2000; Society of Mexican American Engineers and Scientists (MAES) “Medalla de Oro” recipient for professional and community contributions in 1999; Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Award, “Outstanding Technical Contribution” in 1995. Finally, Hernández has been awarded seven honorary doctorate degrees including his alma mater, University of the Pacific.

Reaching for Your Own Stars: A Recipe to Succeed In Life
Jose Hernandez’s presentation is an effective motivational talk where individuals leave so inspired, they re-evaluate and upgrade their personal and professional goals in life, by empowering attendees through his anecdotal stories of hard work and perseverance. He shares a simple yet effective recipe that serves as an effective tool in the empowerment process.