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Conference Co-Founders

The late Julius J. Ford, BA, JD, was a true renaissance man, a lawyer, a classically trained musician, former professor of law at Holyoke Community College and a published author. Mr. Ford conducted diversity trainings for Walt Disney, Seagate Inc., The Conference Board, and numerous other institutions throughout the United States. He conceived of the critical thinking project called the Harriet Project. Named after Harriet Tubman, the project supplements educational instruction in public schools and Universities.

Debora Ferreira, HTHLC Project Co-founder; JF/HTHLC lead Facilitator/Organizer; Attorney, poet, facilitator, Executive Director for the Office of Equal Opportunity & DiversityUmass, Amherst.

Gopi Krishna, is a Husband, Father, carpenter, homesteader, dancer and one of the early members of Earthdance Community. He has been inspired by the lessons of his African-American ancestors -and other courageous, loving human beings from around the world- to help create the conditions neccesary for just, peaceful and equitable human societies. Given the challenging historical context of race relations in the U.S.A Gopi Krishna's focus is in creating healing cultural conferences, workshops and gatherings of people of color and our allies such as the HTHLP.

Margit Galanter, former Co-Director at Earthdance, as well as a movement educator, practitioner, and performer. She understands that healthy living and movement study have the potential to catalyze both social and physical/personal landscapes. Her dedication to the value of the movement arts has led her to practice improvisation and movement meditation forms for over 15 years, with a distinct dedication to articulation and community composition. Margit received a Masters in Experiential and Embodied Research through NYU’s Gallatin Program.

Conference Organizers

Krista DeNio, Earthdance Co-Executive Director; Choreographer/performer/ director/educator/activist; JF/HTHLC summer conference administrator & project partner

Nia Rahman-Khan Arana, is a 16 years old writer and spoken-word artist who has been involved in social activism for six years. In collaboration with Youth Leadership in the Arts (YLA), Nia teaches writing in an after school program. She is a Help Increase the Peace (HIP) Trainer. She is a member of University of Massachusetts/Amherst New World Theater¹sProject 2050.

Jamila Ferreira, Youth Organizer for JF/HTHLC; student at UMASS

Temistocles Ferreira, Outreach Coordinator for Youthbuild New Bedford, Board Member of the Marion Institute; Presenter Bioneers by the Bay Conference; Member Green for All; Facilitator for JF/HTHLC

Joseph DiCenso, Counselor, facilitator, coach; JF/HTHLC Project Organizer

Edgar Cancel, Original Project facilitator; Medical translator; Community builder & Activist

Carlos “Rec” McBride, Co-owner, Food for Thought Books; Organizer/ Co-host Trggr Media Project (trggradio.wordpress.com ); JF/HTHLC Project Partner; PhD Candidate UMASS

Tyson Rose, Consultant, Educator, Community Advocate, 3 rd Eye Unlimited Workshop Facilitator; JF/HTHLC Lead Project Facilitator/Organizer

Rani Varghese, Independent Consultant/Educator, Ph.D Candidate in Social Justice Education, UMASS; JF/HTHLC Project Facilitator/ Organizer

Kent Alexander, Director of Intercultural Programming at Elms College, playwright, actor and youth educator; JF/HTHLC project Organizer, Earthdance Board member

Catherine Sands, Director of Fertile Ground, and collaborator with Nuestras Raices, Holyoke Food & Fitness Policy Council; JF/HTHLC Project Partner

Mike Funk, Independent Consultant/Educator, Ph.D Candidate in Social Justice Education, UMASS; HTHLC Project partner since founding; JF/HTHLC lead Facilitator/Organizer




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