Brittany Packnett

Brittany serves as Teach For America’s Vice President of National Community Alliances, where she leads partnerships and civil rights work with communities of color.  Beyond Teach For America, Brittany was a Fall 2018 Fellow at Harvard’s Institute of Politics. She was a Ferguson protestor and continues in activism as, among other things, co-founder of Campaign Zero, a policy platform to end police violence. She is a contributor to the Crooked Media network, most notably contributing to the weekly news roundup on Pod Save The People, which earned the team two 2018 Webby Awards for Best News Podcast. Brittany is a Video Columnist for Mic News, and writes for many publications.

Brittany was an appointed member of the Ferguson Commission and President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. She is an alum of Washington University in St. Louis, American University in Washington, and is a Pahara-Aspen Institute Education fellow

She has appeared on the cover of Essence Magazine, been named one of TIME Magazine’s 12 New Faces of Black Leadership, and honored at the 2018 BET Awards as “one of the fiercest activists of our time.” Brittany has been named to Marie Claire’s New Guard, LinkedIn’s Next Wave, received the Peter Jennings Award for Civic Leadership and shares the number three spot on Politico’s 2016 50 Most Influential list.  She has been honored by Emily’s List, The Women’s Choice Awards, the NAACP, Ebony Magazine, Public Allies, and Washington University, among others.


John Dau

As one of the 27,000 “Lost Boys of Sudan”, John Dau has experienced challenges that most people could never imagine. He spent the years from 1992 to 2001 in the camp, where he learned to read, write and speak English, and received a basic education. In 2000, he earned a prestigious Kenyan Certificate for Secondary Education. In 2001, Dau was selected to emigrate to the United States and settled in Syracuse, New York.Following his initial culture shock, John Dau regularly worked 60 hours a week at two or three jobs, ultimately earning an Associate’s and Bachelor’s Degree from Syracuse University.

He was the subject of the film God Grew Tired of Us, which won several awards at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival.

As a human rights activist for the people of South Sudan, John has lived a remarkable life of cultural adaptation in America. He has received many prestigious awards (including the National Geographic Emerging Explorers Award) and was a Volvo for Life finalist in the Quality of Life category, which brought a financial contribution from Volvo to the John Dau Foundation. John was also named a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader for 2008; he also received a Most Caring Award from the Caring Institute in addition to other 38 awards.

Ted talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQ7VVXvtM_Y










Rebecca Ginsburg

Rebecca Ginsburg is a co-founder and current director of the Education Justice Project (EJP), a unit of the University of Illinois. EJP is a community of scholars, students, and teachers who are dedicated to the vision of a more just and humane world. Through its educational programs, events, outreach, and advocacy, EJP supports critical awareness of incarceration and reentry, with special focus on the responsibility of institutions of higher education to engage systems-involved individuals during and after incarceration.

Hundreds of University of Illinois faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, and staff, community members, and incarcerated scholars have been involved in EJP’s initiatives since it was formed 10 years ago.

Rebecca received her Bachelors degree in English from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, her JD from the University of Michigan Law School, and a PhD in Architectural History from the University of California at Berkeley. It was while she was a graduate student at Berkeley that she first became involved in prison education.

Rebecca has been a resident of Urbana-Champaign for 15 years. She shares a home with her husband, William Sullivan, and daughters Anna (12) and Isabella (8). It is her great pride that her children don’t think there’s anything unusual about the fact that she visits prisons, and she looks forward to the day when it’s common for university professors to teach behind the wall.











Flynn Coleman

Flynn Coleman is an international human rights attorney, an author, a professor, a public speaker, a social innovator, an ethical fashion designer, a mindfulness, innovation, and creativity teacher, a social justice activist, a former competitive athlete, and a founder and CEO. She has taught at The New School, Parsons School of Design and was also the founding fellow at the Grunin Center for Law and Social Entrepreneurship at NYU School of Law.
She has worked with the United Nations, the United States federal government, and international corporations and human rights organizations around the world. Flynn has written extensively on issues of global citizenship, the future of work and purpose, emerging technologies, political reconciliation, war crimes, genocide, human and civil rights, humanitarian issues, innovation and design for social impact, and improving access to justice and education.
 Her forthcoming book on the future of human rights, technology, AI, and humanity, A Human Algorithm, will be published in fall 2019.
She holds a BSFS from Georgetown University, a JD from UC Berkeley School of Law, and an LLM from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She has also studied at La Sorbonne, the University of Cambridge, Trinity College Dublin, La Universidad de Chile, Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar, Senegal, and Université de Genève.
A native of Los Angeles, Flynn has lived in France, Switzerland, England, Ireland, Italy, Hong Kong, Fiji, Cambodia, Senegal, the Netherlands, and Chile. She currently calls New York home. She speaks five languages, and her wanderings have taken her from rebuilding homes and schools in New Orleans and Fiji, to distributing gifts to children in Haiti and school supplies in Guatemala and Ethiopia, to teaching How to Make a Difference in a Mongolian yurt in the English countryside, to huffing up Mount Kilimanjaro with her dad, to zodiac boating in Alaska with her mom.









Robin Pendoley

Born and raised near San Francisco, he discovered at an early age that youth can affect the disparities and challenges of our world. Robin also learned the need to truly understand a problem and oneself before proactive changes can be made. He sees Thinking Beyond Borders as the actualization of those lessons.

Robin equipped himself by earning a B.A. in International Development Studies from UCLA and a Masters in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He has lived and worked abroad extensively, both as a student and educator. Robin committed eight years to public schools in Los Angeles and Boston. He served as a teacher, administrator, coach, and college access program administrator.