Our Distinguished Panelists

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet

Gloria Gibson, moderator

Gloria J. Gibson is executive vice president and provost at the University of Northern Iowa. She was formerly the dean of the College of Humanities & Social Sciences and professor in the Department of English, Folklore and Ethnomusicology at Arkansas State University.

She earned her doctorate in folklore, with an ethnomusicology concentration from Indiana University in 1987. She also has Ph.D. minors in Afro-American studies and African studies. She holds an M.A. and B.A. in music education from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, Ill.

Art Erickson

Founder and CEO, Urban Ventures Leadership Foundation

Art Erickson, founder and CEO of Urban Ventures Leadership Foundation (UVLF), represents a career commitment of working with young people, facilitating community development, and forming collaborations and networks.

He spent 10 years reaching unreached high school kids in the west suburbs of Minneapolis through Young Life - six of those years as the Minneapolis West-Metro Area director. For 25 years Erickson served as youth director and director of summer programs at Park Avenue United Methodist Church. In addition to serving on the pastoral staff, he developed summer camps, youth and family outreach and other programs that followed a curriculum of leadership development and training. During that time he also served as president of the Park Avenue Urban Program and Leadership Foundation, designed to implement and increase funding and programs that focused on the development and success of at-risk kids and families.

In 1993 Erickson co-founded Urban Ventures Leadership Foundation, a faith-based nonprofit organization committed to building successful community in the city and whose mission is breaking the cycle of generational poverty by developing youth leadership, strengthening families and creating meaningful work opportunities.

Since 2007, with the completion of The Colin Powell Youth Leadership Center/Cristo Rey High School, and the expansion of the Urban Ventures Transformational Leadership Campus, Urban Ventures annually serves more than 3,000 direct program participants, 12,000 with collaborations.

Judy Jeffrey

Former director, Iowa Department of Education

Judy Jeffrey was appointed director of the Iowa Department of Education in November 2004 and retired this month. In this role, she provided leadership and supervision for an educational system that includes 515,000 students in public and private accredited K-12 schools; 126,000 credit students in 15 community colleges; and 3,000 employees in 10 area education agencies.

Before serving as director, Jeffrey had been the state's Early Childhood, Elementary & Secondary Division administrator since 1996. Before that, she served 24 years in the Council Bluffs Community School district in various administrative and classroom teaching positions. Jeffrey also has been an instructor at Creighton University, and has taught in other Iowa districts including Cedar Falls and Goldfield, where she began her teaching career in 1963.

She was president of the Council of Chief State School Officers Deputy Commission from 2001-2003, co-chaired the CCSSO Task Force on Math and Science Education, served on the ESEA Reauthorization Task Force and other committees. She also represented CCSSO on the Science and Mathematics Imperative Commission.

Throughout her professional career she has advocated on behalf of the students of Iowa believing that schools must provide not only the foundational skills of literacy and mathematics but that a student must be prepared to live an adult life that contributes to society, advances democracy, and fulfills personal hopes and dreams. To ensure a well-rounded education for all students, a learning environment must be free of harassment, bullying and violence. School must be a place where all students can reach their potential through engaging and robust learning activities in which students learn to work with all people, regardless of age, social differences, and family backgrounds. During Jeffrey's tenure anti-bullying laws were passed, learning supports for all students were implemented in Iowa's schools, professional development opportunities were implemented to improve teaching and learning, and the Iowa core became law for all schools. Included in the essential concepts and skills of the Iowa core are expectations that all students will graduate from high school as responsible decision makers and ethical human beings. 

Jeffrey earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Northern Iowa and her master's degree from Creighton University.

Jackson Katz

Founder and director, Mentors in Violence Prevention

Jackson Katz, Ph.D. is internationally recognized for his groundbreaking work in gender violence prevention education in schools, the sports culture and the military, as well as for his pioneering work in critical media literacy. An educator, author, filmmaker and social theorist, Katz is co-founder of the multiracial, mixed-gender Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) program at Northeastern University's Center for the Study of Sport in Society.

Founded in 1993, MVP was one of the first programs to use a "bystander" model for gender violence prevention. Today, MVP is the most widely used sexual and domestic violence prevention program in college and professional athletics. MVP is also the first gender violence prevention program in the U.S. Marine Corps, and is currently being piloted in the Army and Navy.

Katz is the creator of the award-winning educational video "Tough Guise: Violence Media and the Crisis in Masculinity," and author of "The Macho Paradox, Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help."

Katz holds academic degrees from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in cultural studies and education from UCLA. A native of Boston, he lives with his family in the Los Angeles area.

Lee Rainey

President, C-Level Consulting

Lee Rainey has more than 20 years of direct sales, sales management and sales consulting experience in Fortune 500 companies. He is president of his own consulting firm, C-Level Consulting Services, in Minneapolis, Minn., and is an affiliate of Change Masters® Incorporated and IMPAX, INC. Most recently he consulted with Target Corporation's Diversity Group, coaching and mentoring managers and interns for their INROADS Program. INROADS is a non-profit organization that provides training, development, and internships to the best and brightest ethnically diverse talent, who historically have been under-represented in business and industry.

             He has been actively involved in the Minneapolis urban community for more than 30 years. He has served in a leadership capacity on numerous boards and committees impacting youth, such as Urban Ventures (board of directors and chairperson for Center for Fathers), Development Committee member for Colin Powell Youth Leadership Center, Youth Emergency Services/NEON board of directors, and the Multicultural Committee for School District #281. Through his participation in Summit Academy advisory board, Leadership Minneapolis Organization, Center in the City board of directors, and as an adjunct professor at St. Mary's University in the inner city, Lee has worked with diverse individuals to build and improve upon their educational and life skills to better function in mainstream society. In addition, he served as president of the University of Northern Iowa Alumni Association board of directors, is a member of the Minneapolis Lions Club, and a member of the US WEST Foundation committee.

Lee received his bachelor of arts and master's degrees in education from the University of Northern Iowa. His educational background also includes executive education through Columbia University and the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management.