2022 ATI Conference Speakers

Sade Burrell

Sade Burrell is an Associate Professor at San Diego Mesa College and an author of two books, What Are You Reaching For? and The Opportunity Guide. Sade has been recognized throughout the state of California for her efforts to eliminate child abuse. As a person who experienced foster care, Sade has traveled the country impacting lives through her story of resiliency and overcoming.

Her advocacy work has led to the passing of Senate Bill 1252, which provides foster youth with stable housing until age 25 while enrolled in post-secondary education. As a member of the Child and Family Strengthening Advisory Board, Sade focuses on how she can use her personal and professional experiences to change how child welfare services supports children in care.

Now, as a doctoral student, Sade will expound on current literature that addresses the foster care system and how it impacts post-secondary education for former foster care students.

Reverend Naomi Tutu

The challenges of growing up black and female in apartheid South Africa has led Nontombi Naomi Tutu to her present as an activist for human rights. Those experiences taught her how much we all lose when any of us is judged purely on physical attributes. In her speeches she blends the passion for human dignity with humor and personal stories.

Ms. Tutu is the third child of Archbishop Desmond and Nomalizo Leah Tutu. She was born in South Africa and has also lived in Lesotho, the United Kingdom and the United States. She was educated in Swaziland, the US and England. Tutu’s professional experience ranges from being a development consultant in West Africa to a coordinator for programs on Race, Gender and Gender-based Violence in Education at the African Gender Institute at the University of Cape Town.

In addition, Naomi Tutu is a consultant to two organizations that reflect the breadth of her involvement in issues of human rights. These organizations are the Spiritual Alliance to Stop Intimate Violence (SAIV), founded by renowned author Riane Eisler and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Betty Williams, and the Foundation for Hospices in Sub-Saharan Africa (FHSSA).

Wesley Hamilton

Wesley Hamilton was born and raised on the east side of Kansas City, Mo. Just five days after his 24th birthday (January of 2012), everything about Wes’s life changed dramatically. As he was walking to his car, Wes was shot multiple times, with one bullet slicing through his chest and fracturing a rib. The other entered his abdomen, partially severing his spine and paralyzing him below the waist. The shooter was a guy he’d never met.

Wes spent the next three years in recovery, which also included two of those years fighting the severe emotional depression that arose from his belief that his life would forever be bedeviled by medications, surgeries, and limitations.

But for the overwhelming love he had for his daughter, Wes knew he had to set an example for Nevaeh. He started down a path of taking ownership back in his life. He started a fitness and nutrition regiment, which was completely foreign to him. The fitness side took off, and in the first year, lead him to lose 100 pounds- which is incredible, especially for a man who doesn’t have the use of his legs. He became a powerhouse of inspiration and felt his transformation had the potential to help others who are struggling similar battles, so he founded a non-profit called, Disabled But Not Really (DBNR). DBNR has helped so many individuals with disabilities (not just physical) to feel empowered and has helped so many lives overcome any mental limitations they may have – which is the driving force of the organization.