Diversity Equity and Inclusion Speakers/Practitioners Bureau

For Campuses/Divisions/Departments seeking a PCC speaker

PCC has a wealth talented faculty/staff who have a commitment to and experience with issues of social justice. There are many different areas that can be addressed by the list of exceptional PCC speakers and we hope that your experience with them is a rewarding one. They can aid in the creation of a more inclusive work/learning environment with the information, perspectives and activities they share.

The topics range from the beginning part of the DEI journey What is Diversity? to sessions geared to the more seasoned practitioner who is ready to develop in the areas of allyship/advocacy or racial activism.

Our speakers have voluntarily agreed to participate in the Bureau and we are grateful for their leadership at PCC in advancing diversity, equity and inclusion. Please remember that speakers’ time is limited for these special engagements, given their busy work schedules. Staff in the Office of Equity and Inclusion will endeavor to work with you as best we can to accommodate your request for a speaker or aid you in identifying an alternate.

Please read through the guidelines and responsibilities outlined on this website. If you determine that you would like to request a speaker please submit your request a minimum of 4-weeks prior to the event.

If you are interested in learning more about the Speakers/Practitioners Bureau, contact the Office of Equity and Inclusion. If you would like to invite a Speaker to your classroom or department please submit our request form.

OEI Responsibilities

  1. Upon receipt of the speaker request OEI will coordinate connecting the Speaker to the invitee.
  2. OEI will provide the invitee a biography for the Speaker and the Title of their talk/session.
  3. The speaking engagement will be posted on the OEI website.

Host/Invitee Responsibilities

  1. Complete DEI Speaker request form found on the OEI website. (link here)
    You will be asked to designate a contact person. This person will be responsible for all communication with OEI and the Speakers/Practitioners Bureau member. Other responsibilities include arranging logistics for the Speaker, serving as the host/cultural navigator.
  2. The Host/invitee is responsible for general marketing and attendance for the event e.g. save the date, website announcements, emails etc.
  3. The host/invitee is responsible for any special needs the Speaker may have e.g. technology, dietary concerns etc.
  4. After the Speaker has accepted the invite please send a confirmation letter to the Speaker with a copy to OEI (link here) with the following:
    • Date and time agreed upon
    • Expected event attendance
    • Name and contact information for the primary event contact
    • Address of the event site
  5. After the event please send a thank you note to the Speaker.
  6. After the event please fill out the DEI Speakers/Practitioners Bureau evaluation form.

PCC Diversity and Inclusion Practitioners Bureau

Name Campus Diversity Expertise Area Practice (ex: research, training)

Max Macias

Max Macias teaches Information Literacy P/T. He is a full-time Technology Trainer for Portland Community College in Portland, Oregon. His interests include Technology, Social Movements, Philosophy, Music and Art. His family is his passion. Max Macias seeks to decolonize Information Science and to provide a much needed innovative voice in the movement for minority rights and education. Max publishes occasionally on his blog Lowrider Librarian. Areas of expertise include culture and information, education and race, ethnic civil rights movements, diversity, inclusion and equity.

SY Chicano culture, Information literacy and culture Teaching information literacy, growing up immersed in Chicano culture

Ida Hadgu

My name is Ida (Alem) Hadgu, a mother of a gorgeous daughter, and I am originally from Eritrea, East Africa. I have been working at Portland Community College (PCC) in Technology Solutions Services (TSS) for over nine years. In addition to over nine years of work experience at PCC, I also pursued an advanced degree and in 2013 and was awarded an M.S. degree in Management and Organizational Leadership from Warner-Pacific College, Bachelor Degree in Management Information Systems from Portland State University (PSU), and an AAS in Computer Information Systems from PCC. Currently, I am a SY campus classified union representative and an active member of the SY Diversity Council. In addition, I serve with the Bureau Advisory Committee (BAC) on the Office of Equity and Human Rights (OEHR), City of Portland. I am an active member of the Africa House, Center for Intercultural Organizing (CIO), and co-founder and board member of the Eritreans for Justice and Executive Committee member from October 2013 - March 2015 and co-founder of the African Women's Coalition. I have volunteered and worked for over a decade with different ethnic groups and non-governmental organizations, such as The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Eritrea, Africa.Coming from a different part of the world, diversity has always been a part of my life and an integral component of my personal philosophical beliefs. I believe everyone sees the world through a unique lens, colored by their own background, values, and experiences. I strongly believe that all individuals are unique and their skills and experiences should be honored and valued. I do believe we all have a moral and an ethical obligation to create an inclusive society and promote social inclusion and integration to all. With such deep beliefs, I hope all of us put an effort to end racial disparity so that there is an equitable service to all residents in hiring and promoting opportunities, and inclusive work and living environment for all. I look forward to working with the PCC Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Speakers Bureau, and other institutions to promote diversity, equity and inclusion. Equity matters!

SY Living and being raised in a diverse culture Work with African women coalition, Eritrean Community, Center for culture.  Work with refugee resettlement organizations: Refugee Community Organization (IRCO), Africa House Leadership Cohort and Center for Intercultural Organizing (CIO).  Bureau Advisory Committee with the Office of Equity and Human Rights (OEHR) City of Portland. 

Heiko Spoddeck

Heiko Spoddeck grew up in East Germany, lived for 10 years in the reunited Germany, and has now lived in Portland for 13 years. He started teaching 19 years ago and has been full-time faculty as the Math Coordinator of the SY Student Learning Center for 10 years. Heiko identifies as a person with a disability and a transgendered man. He has been working on the SY Diversity Council for 8 years and is dedicated to social justice work on and off campus.

SY Physical disability, gender/transgender, sexual orientation, culture, language. Teaching, group facilitation, thinking

Kaela Parks

Kaela Parks is the Director of Disability Services at PCC. She works to inform policy and practice that reduces barriers for individuals who experience disability. She has taught college courses at the undergraduate and graduate level on disability related topics including College Survival Skills, Universal Design, Assistive Technology, Disability in Society, and Accessible Multimedia. She has been published in a variety of formats and was co-editor of the text "Beyond the ADA: Inclusive Policy and Practice for Higher Education." She has led case study sessions as well as structured conference presentations and webinars on a variety of disability related topics including accessibility in the digital environment, medical versus cultural models of disability, access versus accommodation, and implementation of practices to promote equal access in higher education.

SY Disability as a social construct, Accommodation and compliance, Universal Design, Accessibility as a shared responsibility. Professional development for staff and faculty. Teaching undergraduate and graduate courses. Technical standards development. Research and authorship. Consultation and policy development

Ricci Elizabeth

Ricci Elizabeth is a part-time Sociology and Humanities Instructor at Portland Community College’s Cascade campus. Raised in the mid western U.S., she has lived in urban, suburban, and rural environments across the country. She earned her Master’s of Sociology, Master’s of Education and Certificate in Black Studies from Portland State University. She is also a military veteran and former AmeriCorps volunteer. Ricci is a working member of the campus Diversity Council and PCCs District Leaders of Diversity.  She is a trained facilitator and trainer of trainers in racial justice work co-leading corporate and community discussions and activities for Uniting to Understand Racism, and Portland’s Intergroup Dialogues (currently the Office of Equity and Human Rights).  She co- created and developed curriculum for Cascade Campuses Purposeful Dialogues About Race, which was adapted to the culture of some of the Colleges other campuses. Ricci enjoys, critical listening, questioning and discussions, working in collaborative relations, love, and honest conversation. PCCs Whiteness History Month Project is her brainchild, created to help uplift humanity.

CA Race & Racism, Class, Gender, Equity, Education Teacher, Dialogue, Facilitator, Trainer, Trainer of Trainers, CRT
Traci Fordham SY/Dis Social Inequality/Social Justice/CRT/Intercultural Communication/Gender and Sexuality Studies/Intergroup Dialogue Dialogue, facilitation, training, curriculum. 30+ years’ experience as a college professor and diversity experience

Jeannie LaFrance

Jeannie LaFrance has coordinated Portland Community College’s Illumination Project, a nationally recognized campus equity and inclusion program, since 2001. The Illumination Project utilizes Theater of the Oppressed and other interactive theater styles to promote dialogue and problem solving around issues of social justice. Jeannie is also the director of Act for Action-Theater for All based in Portland Oregon. Act for Action was founded in 1998 and uses theater and teaches others to use theater as a form of community building, education and social change. In 1991 Jeannie participated in a train-the-trainers-training through SE Uplift and Tools for Diversity to become an anti-oppression trainer. Since then she has facilitated and co-facilitated workshops on racism, heterosexism, sexism, oppression theory, social justice, and being an ally with a wide variety of organizations. In addition Jeannie worked in the Oregon anti-domestic and sexual violence movement for 12 years doing crisis line, support group, shelter and community education work. She co-authored “Chance for Change” a nationally recognized curriculum for youth education and prevention around domestic and sexual violence.

WC/SY Oppression Theory, Gender-Based Violence, LGBTQ, Being a White Ally Interactive Theater, Training design and facilitation

Heather Mayer

Heather Mayer has been teaching US History as a part-time faculty member at PCC since 2008. She received her PhD from Simon Fraser University in 2015, specializing in 20th century US gender and labor History. She has also been working as the Coordinator of the Rock Creek Teaching Learning Center since 2014. In that work she facilitates workshops and conversations on Culturally Responsive Teaching, discussing race and racism in the classroom, and Inclusive Classrooms for STEM Faculty.

RC Gender, race and class in US History, Inclusive Classrooms. Training and facilitation.

Mark Patrick George

Mark Patrick George is an applied sociologist and veteran social justice activist whose research and teaching interests include race/ethnic relations, gender/masculinities, sexuality, and class stratification. Much of his scholarly attention centers on the application of critical theory and his community organizing energy focuses on anti-racist, anti-sexist, and anti-heterosexist initiatives. Prior to joining PCC, Mark founded the Mary Turner Project (www.maryturner.org) in the deep south, a multi-generational racial justice initiative that he continues to coordinate. When not teaching or organizing, Mark makes documentary films on the topics of racial and gender equality.

CA Critical Race/Whiteness, Masculinities/Gender, Sexuality, Class Inequality, Community Organizing Training, Facilitation, Community Based Action, Research
Rut Martinez SE Oppression Theory, Race and Racism, Gender-Based Violence, Violence Prevention, Intercultural Communication and Competence, Small Group Facilitation, and Leadership Development. Training design and facilitation, dialogue facilitation, interactive theater

Jane Zunkel

Jane Zunkel has taught Composition and Literature at PCC since 1992, dividing her career between Sylvania and Cascade campuses. She holds Bachelor's and Master's degrees in English and a teaching certificate in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). She has also taught in England, Japan, and China. Jane is trained in learning styles with the Dunn and Dunn model. She has held many faculty development and leadership positions during her career, including TLC director at Sylvania and Division President of CCHA (Community College Humanities Association). More recently, Jane has taken PCC courses in critical theory and social justice teaching models. She is a member of the PDAR (Purposeful Dialogues About Race) planning committee at Cascade. Jane is available to facilitate and co-facilitate workshops on learning styles, classroom dynamics, cross-cultural communication, student engagement techniques, poetry as a medium for expression and social change, and other topics as they emerge.

CA Culturally-responsive pedagogy and learning styles Training and facilitation

Ben Cushing

My name is Ben Cushing. My home, in the rapidly gentrifying Cully neighborhood of NE Portland, sits on the ancestral land of Chinookan people, and within Portland’s historic redline zone. I was born 125 miles upstream, in the small logging community of Veneta OR, on the slick muddy banks of the Long Tom River, on Kalapuya land. Like so many other communities, mine has weathered the rise and fall of the logging industry, and the land and its people bear the scars. I tell you these things because they convey a small sense of my responsibilities. It is as an extension of these responsibilities to my community that I approach the craft of teaching and facilitating. As an instructor at PCC, I focus much of my teaching on social movements, racial justice, globalization and decolonization. As a facilitator, I work alongside participants to co-create spaces that honor one another and engage in the long work of collective healing. I situate myself not as an "expert" but as one participant within a shared process - as one more person trying to figure out how to live in meaningful community and together build our way out of this mess.

RC Group Dynamics, Movement Organizing, Social Inequality (Race, Class, Gender, Sexuality) Murmuration Group Works-Facilitation for Equity & Anti-Oppression, Consensus Decision Making and Movement Building, Teaching, Organizing for Social Change.

Dr. Clifford Meeks

Clifford C. Meeks is a native of Georgia and completed his undergraduate studies at Prairie View A&M University where he earned his Bachelor of Science (BS) Degree in Biology. While studying and preparing to complete requirements for his Master’s Degree in Public Health (MPH), he developed an interest in Natural Medicine. He later earned his Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND) and a Master’s of Science Degree in Oriental Medicine (MSOM) from the National College of Natural Medicine (NCNM). Dr. Meeks currently serves as the Assistant Coordinator of the Multicultural Center at Portland Community College – Sylvania Campus. He is also the Coordinator of the Men of Color Leadership Program (MOCLP), a year-long program designed to increase the recruitment, retention, and completion rates of men of color enrolled at Portland Community College. In addition to his roles with the Sylvania Multicultural Center, Clifford also teaches courses for the Health Studies Department and Counseling & Guidance Department. He enjoys advising and supporting students in leadership development and academic success as well as the exploration of identity, race, gender, individual transformation, and social change. When he is not advising students or supporting efforts to advance equity and inclusion at Portland Community College, Dr. Meeks consults and assists patients with their efforts to achieve healthy lives through the use of acupuncture, Chinese medicine, and natural medicine at Kwan Yin Healing Arts Center in Northwest Portland. He is committed to supporting underserved communities through empowering lifestyle changes and education. In his spare time, Clifford enjoys spending time with his family, reading (mostly comic books), and watching his favorite sports teams.

SY Educational Experiences of Men of Color, Race and Health, Basic Introduction to Oppression/Power/Privilege, Men’s Health, Masculinity and Health, Leadership Development (Social Justice Context)  Public speaking, group facilitation and dialogue, training design

Traci Boyle-Galestiantz

I am the Coordinator of the SY Women’s Resource Center. I have worked with survivors of domestic and sexual violence since 1996 and am passionate about creating awareness and addressing the sexism, classism, racism and heterosexism that contribute to this epidemic problem. I am consistently working in improving my understanding and teaching abilities around issues of social justice and anti-racism. I teach at Portland Community College, Portland State University and for the State Attorney General's Task Force Against Sexual Assault.

SY Being a white ally and basic intro to oppression Dialogue, training and lecture

Dr. General C. Johnson

Director, Cascade TRIO SSS
Chair, The Men of Color Task Force (District Level)
As a Social Justice practitioner, Dr. Johnson has spent his career at PCC developing, growing, and evaluating programmatic efforts, for students from marginalized and minoritized groups through mentorship, advocacy, and leadership development. His commitment to advancing the access, inclusion, and achievement for students is reflected in his work with the Bridges to Baccalaureate an NIH Funded Program, Founder and Advisor to the AAMSP (African American Males Scholars Program), and Director of TRIO SSS. Further, Dr. Johnson played a vital role in the inception, development, and implementation of the nationally recognized ‘Whiteness History Month’.

CA