Barbara (Bob-e) Simpson Epps has spent a lifetime working to enhance the operations and effectiveness of organizations in both the public and private sectors. Deeply committed to strong, healthy and resilient communities, she has used her expertise to build and sustain diverse environments. Bob-e engages others in creating system-wide, community-based and culturally specific approaches to address trauma and stress-induced health issues in the lives of children.  She focuses most of her work in the area on African American and American Indian children and families using the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACES) and brain research. Bob-e has worked tirelessly in the filed of public health for more than 30 years to create compassionate systems to connect communities to and build more trustworthy relationships.

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Hannah Planalp is from Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Experiencing transient housing and living in a group home, she became passionate about empowering homeless and foster youth. Although she was able to live independently as a high school student, many young people are left unsupported or overlooked, and their voices should be amplified. Hannah was fortunate to receive the Daniels Fund Scholarship, and she graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 2013. She is currently an Associate Guideline Advisor at the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology.

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Kristine Snyder is the LEAP (Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential) Director at Project for Pride in Living. She has been dedicated to serving students who do not have the access to the culture of power for some time. She taught middle school in Baltimore City Public Schools for 8 years and is a National Board Certified Teacher. When she moved to Minneapolis, she pursued a doctoral degree in Culture and Teaching at the University of Minnesota. Through that work, she engaged with the community of Anishinabe Academy to continue to develop a demonstration site for culturally competent pedagogy based on the Memorandum of Agreement with the Native community. Through that passion in building better teaching and pedagogy, Kristine started teaching at Minneapolis Community and Technical College in the Education department. She reinvented the curriculum to ensure that all teachers start with a rigorous interrogation of self, community and assumptions about education and use that reflective study to build student-centered, culturally rooted pedagogy. She currently partners with multiple schools and GED programs to support young people who have had county involvement to set their career dreams and make them happen.


Shannon Mitchell taught sixth-grade English language arts in the Bronx where she experienced the power of elevating and making space for youth perspectives. Following her time in the classroom, she attended law school at the University of Minnesota, focusing on special education and school law. She then worked at the Children’s Law Center of Minnesota, helping foster youth navigate the judicial, education and healthcare systems. Shannon currently is the Managing Director of External Affairs for Educators for Excellence - Minnesota.