Dina Gilio-Whitaker (Colville Confederated Tribes) is a scholar, educator, journalist, activist and sought-after consultant on issues related to environmental justice, environmental activism and working with Indigenous communities.
A lecturer of American Indian Studies at California State University San Marcos, Gilio-Whitaker is also policy advisor, associate scholar, and faculty at the Center for World Indigenous Studies. Her research interests focus on Indigenous nationalism, self-determination, environmental justice and education, and in recent years she has been involved with Indigenous peoples’ participation in the United Nations arena.
Gilio-Whitaker also works within the field of critical sports studies, examining the intersections of indigeneity and the sport of surfing, and helped author AB 1782 in 2018, a bill to make surfing California’s state sport. Contributing language on Indigenous name places and the Indigenous history of surfing, the bill represents the first legislated Indigenous land acknowledgement in the state, and likely the country.
As a freelance journalist, she was a contributor and columnist at Indian Country Today for six years, and has been published in the Los Angeles Times, High Country News, Time.com, Salon.com, History News Network and many other online and print publications. Gilio-Whitaker has won numerous awards for her writing, including awards from the Native American Journalists Association.
In 2016 Gilio-Whitaker published her first book, “All the Real Indians Died Off and 20 Other Myths About Native American,” co-authored with Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (Beacon Press). Her most recent book is “As Long as Grass Shall Grow: Settler Colonialism, Standing Rock, and the Fight for Environmental Justice in Indian Country” (Beacon Press, 2019).
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Gilio-Whitaker considers herself an urban Indian whose Colville mother came to LA during the termination years.
Robert W. Lee
The Reverend Robert W. Lee IV is a pastor, commentator, activist, and author.
Lee, a descendent of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, has been engaged in the work of racial reconciliation on the national and international stage. He has preached and lectured in such pulpits as the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, Harvard University’s Memorial Church and the American Cathedral in Paris.
Lee is the author of two books, “A Sin by Any Other Name: Reckoning with Racism and the Heritage of the South” (Penguin Random House, 2019) and “Stained-Glass Millennials” (Smyth and Helwys, 2017). He has written extensively for both secular and religious news outlets, and he or his work have appeared on the MTV Video Music Awards, ABC’s The View, NPR’s Weekend Edition and All Things Considered, The State of Things, Huffington Post, CNN, and in the Washington Post.
Lee received his Bachelor of Arts in religious studies from Appalachian State University and his Master of Theological Studies from Duke University. He is currently pursuing doctoral work in preaching and is pastor at Unifour Christian Fellowship Church in the Catawba Valley region of western North Carolina, where he lives in Statesville with his wife, Stephanie, and poodle, Frank.