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On Monday February 28th, the PCSD Diversity & Equity YouTube Channel will host a special Speaker Series event for Black History Month. The event will host five special distinguished guest speakers.
Check out the flyer, and be sure to tune in at 7 p.m. on Monday evening.
Yvonne Nsabimana, MPA
Yvonne Nsabimana Baraketse moved to Belgium as a refugee in 1994 after losing her father and half of her extended family in the Rwandan massacres. There she earned her BA in Corporate Logistics and Transportation Management before moving to New Orleans. In 2005, she relocated to Utah as a refugee from Hurricane Katrina. After a work stint back in Europe, she earned her MPA from the BYU Romney Institute in 2016, and a second Masters in Educational Studies from WGU.
She now works as a French Immersion Teacher with PCSD, and has served as the Chair of the Black Advisory Committee with PCSD for 2 years. She also dedicates her time to create a more united community with Ngoma y’ Africa Cultural Center, a nonprofit organization she founded 7 years ago in addition to serving as the advisory board for the Dean of the BYU Marriott School. Yvonne and her husband have 4 children.
Amber Mitchell, MPA
Amber Mitchel is a native Utahn. She received her BA from BYU-Hawaii in International Cultural Studies, and her MPA from the University of Utah. She has 10 years of nonprofit experience. She has worked with at-risk youth in residential treatment centers in Colorado and Utah. She has worked for the National MS Society, and the American Red Cross as a Donor Development Officer. She currently works for the University of Utah as the Parent and Family Giving Officer.
Amber sits on the board of directors for the non-profit Curly Me! as well as the advisory board for Life Support Cares. She is an active member of the Black Advisory Committee at PCSD. As a mother of 3 biracial daughters, she understands the importance of representation and works to ensure her daughters stay connected to the Black community.
Meligha Garfield, MPA
Meligha Garlifed (he/him) is the inaugural director for the Black Cultural Center at the University of Utah – a center that works to holistically enrich, educate and advocate for students, faculty, staff and the broader community through Black centered programming, culturally affirming education initiatives, and retention strategies. Hailing from Rochester, New York, Garfield holds a B.A. in Government, with a minor in colonial Latin American history and Africana studies and a Master of Public Administration from New Mexico State University where he was previously the Programs Coordinator for the Black Programs Department.
He has implemented outreach and retention services, served as coordinator and advisor in Black programs, and managed numerous departmental programming and events while at NMSU- many of which he hopes to start at the U. He is also a proud member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Incorporated.
Kathleen Spencer-Christy, Ph.D.
Kathleen has been an educator for over 42 years, serving as a teacher, Educational Specialist, Principal, Director and Assistant Superintendent. She has spent most of her career addressing educational equity. For many years, she has worked to engage educators in courageous conversations about race, cultural competency, and addressing educational inequities. Although recently retired, Kathleen is committed to continuing this important work throughout the community.
Originally from Compton California, Kathleen has resided in Utah for over 40 years. Kathleen has 3 adult children, six grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. She is actively involved in the community and loves to travel.
J. Tekulvē Jackson-Vann
JTekulvē Jackson-Vann is a native of Georgia. He graduated from the Georgia Military College Prep School with Distinction where he, along with a faculty advisor organized the institution’s first Black History Month celebration in 1994.
Tekulvē served a full-time LDS Mission in the Michigan Lansing Mission, where he was the first African American missionary to serve in that mission. He attended BYU where he served as President of the Black Student Union, the Pre-Certified Family Life Educators Association, and the School of Home, Family, and Social Sciences Student Council on his way to earning a BS in Marriage, Family, and Human Development with an emphasis in Family Life Education.
He earned an MS in Marriage and Family Therapy from Valdosta State University before returning to Utah and beginning a nearly two decades career in Utah’s various adult and adolescent residential treatment centers. He has completed doctoral studies in Medical Family Therapy at Northcentral University and Health Sciences at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. He is continuing his studies as a doctoral student at Arizona State University’s College of Health Solutions in hopes of serving one day as the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services.
He is a co-founder of the Black Clinicians, Secretary of the Board of Directors of My Children’s Hope, and President of the Board of the Directors of Two Brothas International, Inc. He is the founder and Clinical Director of Two Brothas Counseling at the Utah Center for Connection and Visionary of Two Brothas Ministries.
Tekulvē holds various licenses and certifications, including being a Certified Family Life Educator, Certified EAGALA Equine Assisted Therapist, AAMFT Supervision Candidate, and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Utah, Georgia, and Nevada. He considers his greatest accomplishment to be the life and bond he shares with his partner, five children, daughter-in-law, and family pets Teemo, BeeBee, and Osita.