1175 Erie Street
Marquette, MI 49855



Diversity Speakers Bureau

To become a member of the Diversity Speakers Bureau, please SIGN UP here. If you'd rather mail or fax the information, a printable version of the form is available.

As a resource to school teachers who are interested in enhancing cultural literacy among their students, the Cultural Competence Committee of the Great Lakes Center for Youth Development has created a Speakers Bureau. The individuals listed are willing to volunteer to come to your classroom to provide dynamic, interactive, positive presentations for your students. To arrange one of these individuals to speak in your class - please contact the person directly. If you have any questions or comments, contact Paul Olson at (906)228-8919 extension 29 or

Barbara Michael


Negaunee, MI


area of knowledge/expertise: Civil rights

type of experience: Barb was in Germany when the Berlin Wall came down and has given talks on this topic (includes slides). She has previously coordinated youth cultural competence projects such as the "Global Workplace Project" and "It's Your Move". She has participated in the annual Martin Luther King Reading Project for the last 6 years.

program offered: All ages

Bill Hill


Gwinn, MI


area of knowledge/expertise: "History of Hate, Race and Diversity in America," bullying, teacher preparation

program offered: All ages

why it's important to understand this culture: Teachers and students must be prepared to live in an increasingly global universe.

Damaris Garcia-Thompson


Marquette, MI


area of knowledge/expertise: Damaris was born and raised in Puerto Rico. She is a native Spanish speaker and is currently a graduate student at Northern Michigan University in the Dept. of Education. She also has life experience in Spain as part of her family still live there.

program offered: All ages

why it's important to understand this culture: Puerto Rico is part of the United States yet it is linguistally and culturally different from the rest of the mainland. Many people do not realize that Puerto Ricans are born U.S. Citizens.

Jaspal K. Singh


Marquette, MI


area of knowledge/expertise: Culture and literature of Burma, South Asia, and Africa

type of experience: Jaspal has studied at University of Delhi and Agra University in India in addition to universities in the United States. She is an assistant professor at NMU.

program offered: Adult audiences

Judith Puncochar


Marquette, MI


area of knowledge/expertise: The nature of prejudice and bias.

program offered: High school and adult audience

Mohey Mowafy


Marquette, MI


area of knowledge/expertise: Middle East issues

type of experience: Mohey is a nutrition professor at Northern Michigan University.
He is from Egypt. He speaks on Middle East issues.

program offered: Adult audience

Tim J. Derwin


Gwinn, MI


area of knowledge/expertise: Native American Culture

type of experience: Tim is a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, a member of Teal Lake Drum and Singers; 4 Thunders Drum; and American Indian Coordinating Council of Marquette County. Tim has made presentations on Native American Culture to elementary schools and high schools as well as to churches and senior citizens groups
throughout Michigan and Wisconsin.

program offered: All ages

Tomoko Inoue


Marquette, MI


area of knowledge/expertise: Japanese Culture

type of experience: Tomoko is from Japan and works for Great Lakes Center for Youth Development. She has visited schools in Marquette and other areas in the U.P. and shared information about Japan and Japanese culture with children. She started teaching Japanese Cultural Classes at Peter White Public Library in 2007.

program offered: Elementary school

Other Resources:

Opportunities to learn about Diversity through Northern Michigan University are often posted on the Superior Edge "Opportunities" page. Mose of these are open to the general Public. (

Northern Michigan University's Multicultural Education and Resource Center has a web site that lists local resources and multicultural events.

Online streaming video of presentations at the NMU's "UNITED" conference ( are still available online. Some of these might be appropriate for teachers and classrooms to view. ( ) Teachers should note that NMU also has an opportunity for teachers to earn one credit of continuing education through the use of these streaming videos. Details are available at the UNITED website.


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