Mid-Winter Conference Keynote Speakers

Stefan Bradley, Ph.D.

Wednesday Invited Keynote Speaker

Minding Justice: Intentionally Centering Equity In Our Work

Born and reared in Yakima, Washington, Stefan M. Bradley is currently the chair of the Department of African American Studies and Professor at Loyola Marymount University.  Bradley received his Ph.D. in 20th Century US History with an Emphasis on the Black Experience from the University of Missouri-Columbia; an M.A. in the same from Washington State University; and, a B.A. in History from Gonzaga University.  An educator at heart, Bradley’s life ambition is to personally teach/mentor/inspire the young people who change the world for the better.

Some of Bradley’s publications include his newest book, Upending the Ivory Tower:  Civil Rights, Black Power, and the Ivy League, which won the History of Education Society Outstanding Book Award as well as the Anna Julia Cooper & CLR James Book Award from the National Council of Black Studies; Harlem vs. Columbia University:  Black Student Power in the Late 1960s, which won the Phillis Wheatley Book Prize; and, Alpha Phi Alpha:  A Legacy of Greatness, The Demands of Transcendence.  His articles have been featured in the Journal of African American History, the Journal of Civil and Human Rights, and American Studies.  To discuss his research, he has appeared on C-Span BookTV; NPR; PRI, as well as at universities and colleges throughout the nation.

He has received numerous honors and awards including the Don Brennan Humanitarian Award; the Better Family Life Excellence in Educational Leadership Award; the SLU Faculty Excellence Award; the Ernest A. Calloway, Jr. Teaching Excellence Award; and, the St. Louis American’s Salute to Excellence Young Leaders Award.  He was selected as one of Delux Magazine’s Power 100.

Generous with his time, Bradley frequently volunteers on and off campus.  In the wake of the tragic events in Ferguson and St. Louis, he engaged in discussions with representatives from the US Department of Justice, Civil Rights Commission, and Department of Education.  As a voice from the community, Bradley has appeared on BET, MSNBC, CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, and in the New York Times.

Rahul Sharma, Psy.D.

Thursday Invited Keynote Speaker

Amplifying Professional Psychology’s Commitment to Cultural Competence and Innovative Community Engagement

Dr. Rahul Sharma is a consultant, psychologist, musician, and speaker. His expertise includes the areas of diversity, social justice, multiculturalism, individual/community health, violence against women prevention, music, and healing.

As a consultant, Dr. Sharma has recently partnered with DePaul University’s Theatre School to design and implement training and coaching for students, faculty, and administration around topics & processes related to diversity, leadership, and conflict resolution. Previously, he trained Evanston’s 180-member Police Department on mental health response, integrating issues of diversity and community concerns. Recent engagements include being an invited speaker to the Diversity Challenge (October 2019), opening Keynote Presenter at the annual Illinois Psychological Association convention (November 2019), and Keynote Presenter in January 2020 at the National Council on Schools of Professional Psychology. He is also Co-Chair of the Diversity & Equity Committee for City of Chicago’s Year of Music 2020 Campaign. He is the former Chair of the Division on South Asian Americans, an AAPA subdivision.

Dr. Sharma was Associate Professor at the Illinois School of Professional Psychology (ISPP) and Chair of its Diversity Concentration for 13 years, teaching courses including Diversity Psychology: Past, Present, Future and Personal and Professional Development, along with supervising wide-ranging psychotherapy work. He also served as Director of the University of Chicago’s Resources for Sexual Violence Prevention, reporting early on to then-Associate Dean Michelle Obama. Dr. Sharma’s completed and forthcoming publications include a book chapter on men’s roles in addressing domestic violence in South Asian communities, and on cultural competence in treating inter-partner violence perpetrators. His commitment to address sexism and violence against women won him an award from the Vagina Monologues’ V-Day Celebration.

Dr. Sharma is also founder and bassist/sitarist for the intercultural award-winning music group Funkadesi, which includes diverse members (Indian-American, African-American, Jamaican, Latino, and European-American) who are musicians, activists, educators, and healers. With Funkadesi and independent of that group, Dr. Sharma has used music as a vehicle for advancing emotional intelligence, leadership, and cultural competence. He harnesses Remo Drums’ evidence-based HealthRhythms protocols and other high-impact approaches to promote healing, growth, group cohesion, and dialogue in multicultural groups. Recently, Dr. Sharma led Funkadesi in presenting an experiential plenary session for 180 conference-goers, with each participant learning a specific cultural rhythm to contribute to a whole-group performance, reflecting the power of diversity and community.

In 2017, Dr. Sharma was the recipient of the Joyce Foundation Award, a commission to co-write a musical piece, “Quantum Englewood,” to provide arts opportunities for youth in high-risk environments. The piece was performed by hundreds of musicians in late 2018. He recently served as an NEA grant review panelist for proposals that apply art to community wellness and equity endeavors.

Dr. Sharma earned his Clinical Psychology doctorate from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology (Multicultural Proficiency) & earned a Social Science Bachelors from the University of Michigan.