James Whitfield employs a decidedly multi-disciplinary approach resulting from broad-based experience as an executive in business, non-profit, and government, including having been appointed by the White House to oversee the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In his dual role as the Regional Director for the Pacific Northwest and a Deputy in the Office of the Secretary, he split his time between Seattle and D.C and managing staff across the nation. James has also held positions on numerous local, statewide, and national boards of directors – including the founding board for Leadership Eastside where he subsequently served as CEO for approximately ten years and helped develop a Masters Degree in Executive and Civic Leadership. James has studied health care policy at Harvard; has a TEDx Talk called “Defining Equity. Pursuing Unity.”; is the author of the hospital patient guide, “Just What the Patient Ordered”; and is co-founder of Nourishing Networks, a local all-volunteer anti-hunger movement. He has received numerous accolades for his public speaking, training, and civic engagement work. James has been married to his wife and business partner, Kristen Whitfield, since 1992. They have two adult children together who are their undisputed pride and joy. James and Kristen are currently co-authoring a book about the Five Universal Leadership Questions at the Root of DEI Success.
Dr. Jamila Dugan (she/her/hers) is an author, leadership coach and researcher.
Jamila has dedicated her career to making “equity” more than just a buzzword. She works with individuals and organizations across the nation to develop and support transformational leaders who care deeply about advancing diversity, equity and inclusion.
Jamila is the co-author of Street Data: A Next-Generation Model for Equity, Pedagogy, and School Transformation, focusing on culturally-rich education environments and anti-racist approaches to reimagine learning. She has also co-hosted the Brave Spaces Institute that brings together hundreds of participants to learn how to lead inclusively.
Dr. Dugan began her career as a teacher in Washington, D.C. She holds a doctorate in Education Leadership for Equity from the University of California, Berkeley; a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from George Mason University; and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Fresno State University.
Dr. Jennifer Spencer-Iiams is the Assistant Superintendent for Student Services in the West Linn-Wilsonville School District in Oregon. She has been a teacher and educational leader for 32 years. She led significant transformation in her district in the movement to a full inclusion model that honors student strengths and promotes belonging. Jennifer has served as an adjunct professor in the area of Special Education and in Emerging Bilingual Education. She has presented on models of inclusion at numerous conferences, served on statewide leadership groups focused on improvement in Special Education, and she collaborated to support national educational reform efforts for higher education and educator standards. Jennifer is a triple Duck, earning her bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees from the University of Oregon. She is the child of educators and her mother was always active in improving her community. Jennifer is the youngest sister to five strong women. She lives in West Linn, Oregon with her husband, three grown children in the area, and her dog Gus.