Texas Tech University

Plenary Speakers

Friday, March 6, 2020

Conversation and Dessert with the Honorable Trey Grayson: A Conservative Leader Against Discrimination

Welcoming remarks provided by Carol A. Sumner (she/her/hers), Ed.D., Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, Texas Tech University.

Joining Sec. Grayson on stage will be Matt Gregory (he/him/his), Ph.D., Dean of Students for Texas Tech University, Sofia Chapman (she/her/hers), Ph.D., Associate Academic Dean for Student Life at the Texas Tech School of Law, and Derek Mergele-Rust (he/him/his), J.D., alumnus of Texas Tech School of Law and partner at DebnamRust (Dallas)

Trey Grayson (he/him/his) is known as a problem solver and collaborative leader who works with his clients to successfully navigate their government, legal, political, public relations, regulatory, and tax challenges. In addition to his work as a member of Frost Brown Todd (FBT) Attorneys LLC, Trey is a principal in the firm's public affairs affiliate, CivicPoint. Prior to joining FBT, Trey served as the president & CEO of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce for three years. From 2011 to June 2014, he served as the director of the Institute of Politics (IOP) at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. Prior to his time at Harvard, Trey served as a two-term Secretary of State for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The youngest secretary of state in the country at the time of his election, Trey was recognized as a national leader in government innovation, business services, election modernization, and civic education and served as served as chair of the Republican Association of Secretaries of States and as president of the National Association of Secretaries of State, the first Kentuckian to hold either position. 

Trey serves as a founding board member of Democracy Works, best known for its innovative voter registration service, TurboVote.

Today, Trey serves as national co-chair of Conservatives Against Discrimination, a program through Freedom for All Americans, alongside former Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida. Conservatives Against Discrimination is a coalition of conservative Americans who believe LGBTQ Americans should be free from discrimination. This coalition provides resources and opportunities for conservative Americans from all walks of life who support protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination.

Trey received his Doctor of Juris Prudence from the University of Kentucky. He resides in Boone County, Kentucky, with his wife, Nancy, and their daughters, Alex and Kate.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Jennifer Nez Denetdale (she/her/hers), Ph.D.
Associate Professor of American Studies
University of New Mexico

Introduction provided by Jade Silva Tovar (she/her/hers), M.Ed., Senior Director, Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Texas Tech University.

jennifer denetdale

As the first-ever Diné/Navajo to earn a Ph.D. in history, Dr. Jennifer Nez Denetdale is a strong advocate for Native peoples and strives to foster academic excellence in the next generation of students interested in Indigenous Studies. Denetdale is an Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of New Mexico and teaches courses in Critical Indigenous Studies, Indigenous gender and sexuality, Indigenous feminisms and gender, and Navajo Studies. Her book, Reclaiming Diné History: The Legacies of Navajo Chief Manuelito and Juanita, was published by the University of Arizona Press in 2007 and has received positive reviews. Her book for young adults, The Long Walk: The Forced Exile of the Navajo, was published by Chelsea House in 2007. Professor Denetdale is the author of numerous essays, articles, and book chapters. She has expertise as a consultant for Native museum exhibits and was an expert witness on behalf of the Navajo Nation. She is the director of UNM's Institute for American Indian Research (IfAIR) and the chair of the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission. As a commissioner on the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission, she has advocated for Navajo women and the LGBTQI community.

She has been recognized for her scholarship and service to her nation and community with several awards, including the Rainbow Naatsiilid True Colors for her support and advocacy on behalf of the Navajo LGBTQI and the UNM Faculty of Color Award for her teaching, research and service in the academy. In 2013, she was awarded the UNM Sarah Brown Belle award for service to her community. In the spring of 2015, she was recognized for Excellence in Diné Studies by the Navajo Studies Conference, Inc. She is also very proud to have been selected to deliver the inaugural address before the 23rd Navajo Nation Council upon their inauguration in January 2015. In 2017, she was awarded the UNM Presidential Award of Distinction.

Poetry Slam with Regie Cabico (he/him/his), B.F.A.

Regie Cabico

Regie Cabico is one of the country's leading innovators and pioneers of The Poetry Slam having won 3 National Top Prizes including the Nuyorican Poets Cafe Grand Slam. He produces Capturing Fire: An International Queer Poetry Slam. In August, he participated in the 2019 Asian American Literature Festival hosted by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. Mr. Cabico holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Claire Bow (she/her/hers), J.D.

Introduction provided by Randall Gentry (he/him/his), M.A., President, Pride Network, Texas Tech Alumni Association.

claire bow

Claire Bow is a transgender attorney living in Austin, Texas. Ms. Bow earned her J.D. from the Texas Tech School of Law in 1983 and served as an Assistant Attorney General for 11 years, as a litigator and an Administrative Law Judge.

In 1998 she was hired as the General Counsel for the State Office of Risk Management and in 2004 became the Executive Director for the agency. In that position she directed several large state insurance programs including the Texas self-insured workers? compensation fund where she was also responsible for promoting the safety of state workers. She served as President of the State Risk and Insurance Management Association (a national organization of State Risk Managers) from 2012-13. Ms. Bow has extensive legislative experience including drafting legislation, and testifying before legislative committees.

In 2014 Ms. Bow retired after a 26-year career in public service to devote herself to advocacy for Transgender Rights. She is a moderator for the Facebook Transgender Alliance page, serving over 20,000 transgender members and allies. She participated in the 2014 National Transgender Lobby Day hosted by the National Center for Transgender Equality in Washington, DC. Ms. Bow actively volunteers with a number of local transgender groups in Austin, TX working to educate the public and promote unity and participation in the transgender community.