Heather Pierucki serves as the Director of Behavioral Health at Helping Hands Hawaii, overseeing the Community Based Case Management/Community Based Care Coordination, Hawaii Pathways Project, and clinical aspects of the Representative Payee departments. She is responsible for managing behavioral health contracts that directly serve low income and homeless communities, focusing on consumers dealing with homelessness, mental illness, and substance use disorders. She also provides clinical supervision to the Behavioral Health staff.
Heather graduated with her Masters in Mental Health Counseling from Argosy University. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor through the State of Hawaii and serves as one of the Qualified Mental Health Professionals at Helping Hands. Her experience ranges from adults diagnosed with severe and persistent mental illness, children and adults with developmental disorders, couples and family counseling, alcohol and drug treatment in both residential and outpatient settings, and clinical supervision of counselors pursuing licensure in the state.
Mary Brogan is the Administrator for the Hawaii Department of Health, Developmental Disabilities Division. She leads the team implementing Hawaii's Home and Community Based Services Waiver for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, through the Possibilities Now! framework, grounded in every individual's right to have a full life in the community.
She has over two decades of experience in public health, and policy. Ms. Brogan is a national expert in the areas of building accountability and performance management systems, and advancing practice development in systems of care. She has consulted with service systems in Washington D.C., Los Angeles County, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Indiana, and Massachusetts.
Ruthie-Marie Beckwith, Ph.D. is the Executive Director at TASH, a non-profit that advocates for human rights and inclusion for people with significant disabilities. She is a national consultant who helps people with disabilities develop and implement strategies for greater autonomy in their daily lives. She was the the founder and principal partner of Blue Fire Consulting and provided consulting services across the United States in areas of self-determination, community organizing, leadership development, and self-employment.
Manulani Aluli Meyer is the fifth daughter of Emma Aluli and Harry Meyer. Her family hails from Mokapu, Kailua, Kamamalu, Wailuku, Hilo and Kohala on the islands of Oahu, Maui and Moku o Keawe. The Aluli ohana is a large and diverse group of scholar-activists who have spent their lives in Hawaiian education, justice, land reclamation, law, health, cultural revitalization, arts education, prison reform, transformational economics, food sovereignty, Hawaiian philosophy and most of all, music. Manu works in the field of indigenous epistemology (philosophy of knowledge) and its role in world-wide awakening. Professor Aluli-Meyer obtained her doctorate from Harvard (Ed.D. 1998) by studying Hawaiian epistemology via language, history, and the clear insights of beloved Hawaiian mentors. She is an international keynote speaker who has published on the topic of native intelligence and its synergistic linkages to post-quantum sciences, simultaneity, spirituality, whole thinking, and to liberating evaluation and reflective pedagogy.
Dr. Charmaine Mangram is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She received her doctorate in Curriculum and Teacher Education at Stanford’s Graduate School of Education. Currently, she studies mathematics teacher professional development for inservice secondary mathematics teachers and parental practices involving mathematics.
Ashley Rhae Oliver, Esq. is an attorney and an activist, currently serving as the Assistant Director of the Center for Student Accessibility in Eastern Kentucky University. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee in 2010, moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota and received her Juris Doctorate from St. Thomas School of Law, and was then sworn in as an attorney in the State of Minnesota in October 2013. She was a law clerk at the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights, and received the Dean’s Award for her work in the Community Justice Civil Rights Legal Clinic for spearheading a symposium titled “How are the Children VI Symposium: "Re-Imagining Public Education in Minnesota."’
Dr. Fiona Moola is a Scientist at the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto. Currently, Dr. Moola is spearheading a world-class research program on the psychosocial benefits of the arts in the lives of children with chronic illnesses and disabilities.
Embracing diversity is essential for us to succeed as a human family. We are constantly growing more and more diverse as minorities become the majority and different cultures continue to interact with each other and blend together. When practiced effectively, diversity recognizes each other’s differences – whether it is gender, disability, sexuality, economic status, race, abilities or religious beliefs - and gives everyone an equal say without “categorizing.”
Dr. Emile Bruneau is a social and cognitive scientist who heads the Peace and Conflict Neuroscience Lab at the University of Pennsylvania. Previously he was a research affiliate with the Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department at MIT.