2018 Impact Collaborative Summit Keynote Speakers

Dr. Gail C Christopher

Dr. Gail C. Christopher is an award winning social change agent and former Senior Advisor and Vice President of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), one of the world’s largest philanthropies.

She is the visionary for and architect of the WKKF led Truth Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) effort for America. TRHT is an adaptation of the globally recognized Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) model. TRHT evolved from the decade long WKKF America Healing, racial equity and racial healing initiative, designed and led by Dr. Christopher. Over the last ten years she has had responsibility for several other areas of foundation programming. These include, Food, Health and Well-Being, Leadership, Public Policy, Community Engagement and place-based funding in New Orleans and New Mexico.

In August of 2017, Dr. Christopher left her leadership position with WKKF to launch the Maryland based Ntianu Center for Healing and Nature; and to devote more time to writing and speaking on issues of health, racial healing and human capacity for caring. She is currently Chair of the Board of the Trust for America’s Health and a Fellow of The National Academy of Public Administration.

Dr. Juanita Simmons

Dr. Juanita Simmons serves as the first Vice President of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Northwest Missouri State University. This new role was designed to help broaden diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts campus wide for students, employees, and impact community initiatives. Prior to her time at Northwest Missouri State University, Dr. Simmons served on faculty at the University of Missouri-Columbia, teaching educational leadership and policy analysis. Previously, she served in various administrative roles in the Austin and Dallas, TX, independent school districts. She was also a high school English, journalism, and humanities teacher in the Dallas Independent School District.

She has a book under contract about emancipated leadership, holds numerous professional certifications and has earned an array of institutional honors. Her résumé includes several refereed articles, book chapters, conference proceedings and presentations. She also has been awarded a variety of grants and contracts.

She has Ph.D. and master’s degree, both in educational administration from the University of Texas-Austin. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English and speech from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas.