Safe Space Speaker Series

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Dec. 8, 2022 from 1 to 2:00 p.m.

Monte Yazzie



Safe Messages with Meaning: Culturally Appropriate Digital Storytelling for Public Health Intervention in Indigenous Communities

Monte Yazzie, MA

Monte Yazzie, MA, is the Injury Prevention Program Coordinator for the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. Monte is working to increase the health status and decrease unintentional injuries within the Community in Salt River. Mr. Yazzie is a Child Passenger Safety Instructor and Yoga Instructor and provides public health guidance as an administrative leader for the Community Health and Wellness Committee. Monte is working to build an injury prevention program that promotes data-driven, culturally appropriate interventions that strive for effectiveness and efficacy to provide immediate prevention measures that will benefit the present and future client needs.

In Mr. Yazzie's spare time, he serves as the Festival Director for the Phoenix Film Festival and Vice-President of the Phoenix Film Critics Circle. Monte supports the educational efforts of young filmmakers, teaching film and media production at youth film camps while supporting local filmmakers' creative efforts in Arizona, assisting on film sets, and producing a variety of films.



March 9, 2023 from 1 to 2:00 p.m.

Save the Date

Sept. 8, 2022 from 1 to 2:00 p.m.

Erica Maxwell



Equity Begins With Firsts, Frustrations, and Faith OR The Fs of Equity: Firsts, Frustrations, Faith

Erica Maxwell, Founder, AHA Alliance

As the former first associate superintendent of equity, diversity, and inclusion at the Arizona Department of Education, and now a consultant and founder of AHA Alliance, LLC, Erica Maxwell represents more than 25 years of experience as a certified educator. In 2022, she published her first children's book, "Beauty With A Birthmark". Over her career, Maxwell served as a school administrator, an adjunct faculty member at Chandler-Gilbert Community College, and as a faculty associate at Arizona State University. She is a co-founder of the annual Arizona Multicultural Education Conference, and she facilitated a series of community book discussions for Arizona State University’s Center for the Study of Race and Democracy. Her expertise and experiences have been highlighted in presentations throughout the state. 

Maxwell currently serves on the Arizona Juvenile Justice Commission, Children’s Action Alliance, Children’s Museum of Phoenix, and the Human Relations Commission for the City of Chandler. She has served on the Board of Trustees for Childsplay and was the school administrator representative for Southeast Maricopa County’s First Things First Regional Council.

Recognized for her community involvement and excellence in education, Maxwell was a 2020 Diversity Leadership Alliance Diversity and Inclusion Nominee. She received the 2016 Outstanding Adjunct Award from Chandler-Gilbert Community College, and the 2015 East Valley NAACP Education Advocacy Award.

In her free time, Erica enjoys watching movies, reading, traveling, hiking, and exploring the amazing beauty unique to Arizona. She cherishes time with her children, friends, and relatives. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, she has two children and resides in Chandler.


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June 9, 2022 from 1 to 2:00 p.m.

Lewis Andrea Brownlee, PhD

Why Isn't my Income a "Safe" Space: Addressing Economic Injustice in STEAM Careers

Lewis Andrea Brownlee, PhD
Education Faculty, Education Studies, Mesa Community College

Lewis Andrea Brownlee, PhD is an educator who has taught in K-12 schools, Community College, and a University for over a decade. He worked as an engineer for over seven years. Dr. Brownlee started his early career as a Civil Engineer designing and building infrastructure projects and systems. Being an educator is actually his second career. Currently, at Mesa Community College, he teaches courses in Education studies and at Estrella Mountain Community College, as adjunct faculty, he teaches courses in African American studies and Ethnic studies. He has attended and graduated from all three State schools, finally completing his Doctorate from the University of Arizona. His passion is educating teachers in the art of meeting the holistic needs of students-of-color and other marginalized populations through critical reflection and challenging deep rooted dispositions of inequities. An avid coffee drinker originally from Atlanta Georgia, he is the father of two beautiful children, Athelyn Asenath Brownlee and Phoenix Lewis Brownlee.

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