2019 Diversity Conference

Presented by the Greater Burlington Multicultural Resource Center

Friday, April 12, 2019
Hilton Hotel
60 Battery Street
Burlington, VT

Register Here

Conference Objective

The Conference will explore the challenges and possibilities that are faced in the workplace today. We will also seek to explore the leadership roles that are exercised as we try to empower ourselves and our communities of color. The speakers will include public intellectuals and scholars who are able to address diversity and inclusion.


Speaker Bios Below

8:00 Registration

9:00 Opening Keynote 

Jim St. Germain, Author of A Stone of Hope

10:00 Break

10:15 Panel Presentation Diversity in the Workplace


Gerald Coleman, M.S., Director of Custodial Services, UVM

Ryan Hargraves, Dir of Admissions, UVM

Denise Bailey, Attorney

Moderator: Mr. Robert Appel, Civil Rights Attorney

11:15 Opioids from a Diverse Perspective

Judge Craig Hannah

Introduction by Chief Brandon del Pozo

12:00 Lunch

1:30 Remarks by

Beth Fastiggi, Vermont Commissioner of Human Resources

Moise St. Louis, Director of Multicultural Affairs, St. Michael’s College

Angela E. Batista, Vice President of Student Affair and Institutional Diversity & Inclusion, Champlain College

More info:

UVM Event Services
The Villa, 220 Colchester Avenue
Burlington, Vermont 05405

Conference info: 657-4219, info@gbmrc.org

Sponsored By

  • Church Street Marketplace
  • United Way of Northwest Vermont
  • KeyBank
  • People’s United Bank
  • Peace & Justice Center
  • Vermont Department of Labor
  • Association of Africans Living in Vermont


The Mission of the Greater Burlington Multicultural Resource Center (GBMRC) is to increase awareness and provide opportunities to celebrate, promote and support cultural diversity within our community. The GBMRC acts as a clearing house for information on multicultural and diversity issues. It provides support and resources for individuals, schools, social service organizations and other Vermont and government supported programs. To learn more about the range of services the GBMRC offers, click here.

Speaker Bios

Jim St. Germain

Jim St. Germain is the co-founder of Preparing Leaders of Tomorrow, Inc. (PLOT), a nonprofit organization that provides mentoring to at-risk and formerly incarcerated youth. Early in his career, St. Germain worked as a Youth Care Counselor at the same Boys Town juvenile detention facility in New York City where he was once a resident. Additionally, he worked as an advocate for young people living with mental health issues at the Mental Health Association. St. Germain served on the Youth Advisory Council of New York State’s Division of Criminal Justice Services, and is currently a board member with The National Juvenile Defender’s Center (NJDC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting justice for all children by ensuring excellence in juvenile defense. In July 2017, St. Germain’s book A Stone of Hope: A Memoir (Harper) will debut.

Born into abject poverty in Haiti, young St. Germain moved to Brooklyn’s Crown Heights, into an overcrowded apartment with his family. He quickly adapted to street life and began stealing, dealing drugs, and growing increasingly indifferent to despair and violence. By the time he was arrested for dealing crack cocaine, he had been handcuffed more than a dozen times. At the age of fifteen the walls of the system were closing around him. But instead of prison, St. Germain was placed in “Boys Town,” a nonsecure detention facility designed for rehabilitation. Surrounded by mentors and positive male authority who enforced a system based on structure and privileges rather than intimidation and punishment, St. Germain slowly found his way, eventually getting his GED and graduating from college. Then he made the bravest decision of his life: to live, as an adult, in the projects where he had lost himself, and to work to reform the way the criminal justice system treats at-risk youth. A Stone of Hope is more than an incredible coming-of-age story; told with a degree of candor that requires the deepest courage, it is also a rallying cry. No one is who they are going to be—or capable of being—at sixteen. St. Germain is living proof of this. He contends that we must work to build a world in which we do not give up on a swath of the next generation. Passionate, eloquent, and timely, illustrated with photographs throughout, A Stone of Hope is an inspiring challenge for every American, and is certain to spark debate nationwide.

St. Germain is a compelling motivational speaker and adviser to several government entities working with at risk youth, including the Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, SAMSHA and the Children’s Defense Fund–NY. He has also appeared in Washington D.C. for President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing and submitted a proposal of recommendations to the Justice Department and the President. St. Germain has worked with Assemblywoman Diana Richardson, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Governor Cuomo on important community matters, including reducing gun violence, close-to-home Initiative, child welfare and Raise the Age. He was a member Vera’s Institute of Justice Juvenile Justice Advisory Board and the NYPD Police Commissioner Bill Bratton’s Reengineering Team, which focuses on collaborative efforts between the NYPD and other city agencies to prevent juvenile crime.  St. Germain has worked with countless local, state and federal officials advising on matters related to juvenile justice, mentoring, mental health, substance abuse, and educational issues. St. Germain has testified in front of the U.S. House of Representative Committee on the Judiciary Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security & Investigations and was appointed by President Barack Obama to Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Through St. Germain’s presentations, audiences can walk away with a new lens on the argument about how young people who commit crimes are treated. His passion for public service comes from his life experiences and his sense of personal responsibility to his community. From juvenile justice to mentoring to race and politics, St. Germain aims to start a conversation.

St. Germain has an Associate Degree in Human Services from the Borough of Manhattan Community College and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, where he is currently pursuing a Masters in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy. Currently he works as a Residential Care Advocate for the City of New York. He speaks three languages: English, French and his native language, Creole.

St. Germain lives in Brooklyn, New York

Judge Craig Hannah

In January 2006, Craig D. Hannah was appointed by Mayor Bryon Brown as a Buffalo City Court Judge to fill the vacancy created by the election of Hon. Diane Devlin to the NYS Supreme Court. In November 2006, Judge Hannah was elected to this seat with close to 80% of the vote. Previously, he was an attorney in private practice with close to 10 years of experience as a trial lawyer in our City, State and Federal Courts. His practice was concentrated primarily in the areas of personal injury and criminal defense litigation. Also, Judge Hannah was an Adjunct Professor at Medaille College where he lectured in Criminal Justice and Criminal Procedure. Recently, Craig has been appointed as an Acting Erie County Family Court Judge.

A graduate of Canisius College and the University at Buffalo Law School, Judge Hannah began his legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in the Erie County District Attorney’s Office. As an ADA, he was assigned to the Buffalo City Court and the Grand Jury Bureaus. Further demonstrating his commitment to public service, Craig joined the City of Buffalo Law Department in 1999. For five years, he served with distinction as one of the City’s chief litigators in the Corporation Counsel’s Office and later served as legal counsel to then New York State Senator Byron Brown.

Judge Hannah’s honors and achievements are numerous. Craig is active in several community organizations and was recognized in Business First Who is Who in Law in 2002 and 2003. In 2004, he was elected to serve a Vice Chairman of the Erie County Democratic Committee. Judge Hannah is a past president of the Minority Bar Association of Western New York and the recipient of its Legal Service Award. He is a board member of the Community Action Organization of Western New York and a past board member of the Ujima Theater Company.

Judge Hannah is a loving husband and enjoys reading and traveling, with his wife Angela, in his spare time. They are proud parents of Taylor Marie Hannah, who was born in November 2005.

Gerald Coleman

Gerald Coleman is the Director of Facility Services at the University of Vermont (UVM) he leads a staff of 225 individuals, most of whom are from underrepresented demographics. He also demonstrates a high level of strategic thinking, integrity and strong decision making skills. During his short tenure at UVM he has led the department through strategic initiatives such as a rebranding effort and organizational culture change while simultaneously improving processes and procedures. His financial acumen has resulted in significantly reducing operating cost in his department.

Denise A. Bailey, Esquire

Denise Bailey was raised in Central Vermont and New Haven, Connecticut.

Denise holds a B.A. in Anthropology from Yale University. She earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of Virginia School of Law: Charlottesville, where she served as Editor of the Virginia Law Review.

Denise focuses on Labor and Employment Law (including harassment, discrimination, breach of employment contract, wrongful termination, and wage and hour), Criminal Defense (assault, burglary, computer crime, disorderly conduct, DUI, drug possession, fraud and financial crimes, theft) and Appellate Advocacy.

She is a member of the Vermont, Connecticut and Pennsylvania bars.

Ms. Bailey comes to private practice from a long history of public service work, having worked for the Burlington School District, Vermont Center for Independent Living, Vermont Office of Child Support, and the Vermont Agency of Administration.

She is a 2015 graduate of the Vermont Leadership Institute, a member of the Board of Directors of the ACLU of Vermont, and a member of the Governor’s Workforce Equity and Diversity Committee.

Ryan Hargraves has joined the University of Vermont as director of the Office of Admissions.

He comes to UVM after more than 15 years at the University of Virginia, where he held a number of posts.
Most recently, he served as senior associate dean of admissions for Virginia. In this role, he directed planning of student visit programs for more than 60,000 visits annually, served as the chief strategist for diversity recruitment, coordinated recruitment and selection for honors programs, and oversaw constituent relations with stakeholders at all levels.

Ryan received his Bachelor of Science in chemistry with specialization in biological chemistry, and Master of Education in the social foundations of education from the University of Virginia. He is currently pursuing a data science specialization certificate from Johns Hopkins.

Dr. Angela E. Batista

Dr. Angela E. Batista currently serves as Vice President of Student Life and Special Assistant to the President for Diversity and Inclusion at Champlain College. Prior to her current position, Dr. Batista served as Interim Chief Diversity Officer and Associate Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Student Life at Oregon State University. She also served as Dean of Students at the University of Southern Indiana and has held various positions at the University of Vermont, Lynn University, and Mills College.

Dr. Batista has also worked as a high school teacher, counselor and administrator, serving as Foreign Language Department Chair and directing a high school English Language Learners’ Program in South Florida. She has received several honors, including being named as Teacher of the Year, the Diversity Awareness Thoughtfulness and Courage Award and the creation of the Dr. Angela E. Batista Social Justice Award — awarded to deserving students at the University of Vermont every spring since 1999. Dr. Batista was the recipient of the 2013 NASPA Latino/a Knowledge Community Administrator of the Year Award. She was also selected by students at the University of Southern Indiana to receive the 2015 Spirit of the Eagle Award in Senior Administration.

Dr. Moise St Louis

Dr. Moise St Louis is an Associate Dean of Students and Director of the Center for Multicultural Affairs and Services, which encompasses ALANA Support Services, Graduate and Undergraduate International Support Services, First Generation Support Services, The Center for Women and Gender, International immersion Housing Initiative, and YOU COUNT- the institutional Educational Initiative at Saint Michael’s College. He also teaches Political Science and Peace & Justice. He has had a 26 year career in Higher Education supporting students and helping institutions craft policies and strategies to address diversity and inclusion, and develop support systems that are outcome-based and sustainable. He holds a Ph.D., Comparative Politics/International Relations from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His research interests are democracy, postcolonial state formation, clientelism and dependency, state capacity, and political legitimacy. He also holds a M.A., Comparative Politics from University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and three Bachelors in Political Science, Afro-American Studies, and Social Thought & Political Economy. He has taught both nationally and internationally, has published various scholarly and periodical articles, and poems. He is currently in the process of publishing a book on Haitian state formation. Dr. St Louis speaks Creole, French and Spanish.