Lauren E. Graham (she/her)
Graham is currently the chief of staff at Hunger Free America, a NYC-based national antihunger advocacy and direct service nonprofit working to end domestic hunger. In this role, she supports the CEO with managing all aspects of the organization, providing leadership for daily operations, managing strategic planning and staff professional development, and overseeing hiring.
She is also the CEO of Velvet Frame, a social impact strategy and communications consultancy, founded in 2015. She works with nonprofits, startups, and other mission-driven organizations across the environmental-social impact spectrum on their capacity-building and change management challenges using an ecosystems approach.
Graham is a part-time adjunct professor teaching a rotation of undergraduate and graduate courses on nonprofit management, leadership, sustainability, and entrepreneurship at Bard College MBA in Sustainability, the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice, Baruch College-Zicklin School of Business at the City University of New York (CUNY), the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), and the Carbonauts.
Graham holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations and a master’s in sociology from Stanford University, a master’s in environmental management from Yale School of the Environment, and a master’s in nonprofit leadership from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice.
Jillian completed her bachelor of arts in flute performance and human rights at the Bard College. Her studies culminated in research about health and institutional ableism in the music world, which was published in Flutist Quarterly. Jillian performs flute and piccolo regularly with The Orchestra Now, and maintains a vibrant studio of flute students.
Masha is passionate about finding ways to challenge oppressive systems through community engagement and sustainable action. With Thrift 2 Fight, they aim to support the global movement for climate justice, mutual aid, and the abolition of police and prisons. Ideally, Masha would also like to contribute to toppling any and all dictatorships in (and around) their home country.
In 2020, Chamber Music America honored her with its Richard J. Bogomolny National Service Award; Musical America chose her to be its 2020 Composer of the Year; in 2019 the League of American Orchestras awarded her its highest honor, the Gold Baton. Tower is the first composer chosen for a Ford Made in America consortium commission of 65 orchestras. Leonard Slatkin and the Nashville Symphony recorded Made in America in 2006 (along with Tambor and Concerto for Orchestra). In 2008 the album collected three Grammy awards: Best Contemporary Classical Composition, Best Classical Album, and Best Orchestral Performance. Nashville’s latest all-Tower recording includes Stroke, which received a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Classical Composition.
In 1990 she became the first woman to win the prestigious Grawemeyer Award for Silver Ladders, a piece she wrote for the St. Louis Symphony where she was composer in residence from 1985–88. Other residencies with orchestras include a 10-year residency with the Orchestra of St. Luke's (1997–2007) and the Pittsburgh Symphony (2010–11). She was the Albany Symphony’s Mentor Composer partner in the 2013–14 season. Tower was cofounder and pianist for the Naumburg Award-winning Da Capo Chamber Players from 1970–85. She has received honorary doctorates from Smith College, the New England Conservatory, and Illinois State University. She is Asher B. Edelman Professor in the Arts at Bard College, where she has taught since 1972.
Goodstein works to help young people build careers as change agents in these three key fields: changing minds (education); changing the rules (policy); and changing the game (sustainable business). Goodstein writes and speaks frequently about just solutions to climate change, arguing that regardless of our pathway, we all need to become “climate repair people”—some of us full-time, everyone part-time.
Professor Goodstein holds a PhD in economics from the University of Michigan, and a BA in geology from Williams College. He is the author of numerous articles and three books: Economics and the Environment, now in its ninth edition; Fighting for Love in the Century of Extinction: How Passion and Politics Can Stop Global Warming, and The Trade-off Myth: Fact and Fiction about Jobs and the Environment. He serves on the editorial board of Sustainability: The Journal of Record, and was a member of the board of directors of the Follett Corporation.
Goodstein has also coordinated global educational events and trainings around climate change, engaging thousands of colleges, universities, and K–12 schools in solutions-based dialogue. The most recent case: the WorldWide Climate and Justice Education Week set for April 2024. At Bard he also directs C2C Fellows, a network of young people who aspire to sustainability leadership in business, NGOs, and government.
Tatjana Myoko von Prittwitz und Gaffron
In her talk Tatjana Myoko will weave her studies of Zen Buddhism together with tales from her personal journey. As a teenager, although coming from a place of privilege, she struggled with depression and eating disorder. Her passionate search for happiness—supported by decades of therapy—was eventually met by the Buddhist teachings of liberation. After studying Zen as a lay practitioner for over 20 years, she took the monastic vows and completed a three year residence in a Soto Zen training monastery in Okayama, Japan. The motivation of sharing her story is rooted in the recognition that this path of transformation is open to everybody, all the time. The process takes courage and determination, but in fact the act of connection is not so difficult—just let go!
Michael has published extensively on the issues affecting LGBTQ+ students, immigrant students, and adolescents more broadly. His 2016 book Safe Is Not Enough was featured by NPR and was cited by GLSEN founder Kevin Jennings as “the most important book written on LGBTQ issues in education in my lifetime.” In his TEDx talk, “Safe Is Still Not Enough,” Michael will discuss how educators, families, and communities can help LGBTQ+ youth thrive even amid the recent wave of oppressive state laws that threaten their education, their well-being, and their very identities.
Michael’s other books include In a Queer Voice: Journeys of Resilience from Adolescence to Adulthood (Temple University Press, 2013), based on a seven-year longitudinal interview study, Portraits of Promise: Voices of Successful Immigrant Students (Harvard Education Press, 2013), and the edited volume Adolescents at School (Harvard Education Press, 2020), now in its third edition and used in teacher education programs around the country and abroad.
In the early 2000s, Michael was editor of the Harvard Education Letter, for which he won a National Press Club Award. He is also a creative nonfiction writer. Michael’s memoir, Men I’ve Never Been, was shortlisted for the William Faulkner–William Wisdom Award for Nonfiction and was named one of the 30 Best Gay and Lesbian Books of All Time by Book Authority.
Driven by her passion for humanitarianism, Ahed actively collaborated with local organizations, lending her support to their efforts in providing essential relief to those affected by the war. Additionally, Ahed undertook the vital responsibility of training responders in hostile environments and equipping them with first aid skills within Aleppo City. Her efforts empowered women to protect themselves and harness their own strength amidst challenging circumstances.
In 2016, Ahed applied for asylum in the United States, and her dedication to aiding displaced individuals remained steadfast. She joined the Multifaith Alliance in 2018, where she played a crucial role in facilitating the delivery of aid to those in need, particularly the Syrian population. Simultaneously, Ahed embarked on a transformative educational journey, pursuing her bachelor's degree as an adult returning student at Bard College, majoring in sociology and politics. Her acceptance into the Bard Baccalaureate program attests to her intellectual prowess and commitment to academic excellence.
Ahed's unusual life experiences and unyielding dedication to humanitarian causes have shaped her into an advocate for peace, justice, and social change. She encourages individuals to recognize their personal strengths and how to overcome challenging circumstances and transform the challenge to empower people to become fearless and active participants in making a difference.