D&I Summit Speakers
Senator Tony Vargas
Senator Tony Vargas has devoted his career to public service and advocacy. Tony earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Rochester and a Master’s in Education at Pace University. Tony began his career as a public school teacher in New York City with Teach for America. Elected to the Nebraska Legislature in 2016, Vargas has spent the last two years successfully working on a variety of policy issues, including equity in education, encouraging technology and innovation, juvenile justice, and healthcare access. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, he has led efforts to prioritize state funding to benefit the most vulnerable in our communities, especially children and families from low-income backgrounds. Previous to his election to the Nebraska Legislature, Vargas was a member of the Omaha Public Schools Board of Education, serving more than 52,000 students and 86 schools across the city. Tony’s most recent title was earned in February of this year when him and his wife Lauren became parents and welcomed their daughter, Ava Kaye, into the world.
Ashlei Spivey has a passion for empowering her community, advocating for justice, and creating sustainable systems change. She is a proud graduate of North High School- V-Up!- and attended THEE best HBCU Jackson State University- GO TIGERS! She boomeranged back to Omaha eight years ago, after losing her mom, to care for her sister, Yaasmyn. Since moving back, Ashlei has worked to bring racial equity to the work happening in the city where she was born and raised. She has spent the last decade of her professional career working in spaces from workforce development to equity & liberation.
She is the creator of I Be Black Girl, Young Black & Influential Omaha and currently works as a program officer at Peter Kiewit Foundation. She is the first black woman and person to hold this role. Ashlei also proudly serves on the ACLU of Nebraska board of directors.
Ashlei has been recognized as a 2018 Midlands Business Journal 40 Under 40 recipient, The Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce 2018 YP Changemaker, and 2019 Ten Outstanding Young Omahan. Most importantly, Ashlei is a mom, daughter, friend, neighbor and activist.
Dominique Morgan is an award-winning artist, activist, and speaker. As the Executive Director of Black and Pink, the largest prison abolitionist organization in the United States, Mr. Morgan works daily to dismantle the systems that perpetuate violence on LGBTQ/GNC people and individuals living with HIV and AIDS. Partnering his lived experience of incarceration as a youth (which included 18 months in solitary confinement), a decade of change-making artistry, advocacy, and an extensive background in public health, he continues to work in spaces of sex education, radical self-care, and youth development with intentions of dismantling the prison industrial complex and the impact it has on our community. Mr. Morgan is an NAACP Freedom Fighter Award recipient, Young, Black, and Influential Award recipient for Advocacy and 2020 Ten Outstanding Young Omahan Award recipient. In addition to completing his capstone project for his studies in the Georgetown University – System Involved LGBTQ Youth Scholar Program, Mr. Morgan is a 2019- 2020 National Juvenile Justice Network Youth Leadership Fellow, 2020 Martin Luther King “Living The Dream” Award Recipient and 2020 JM Kaplan Innovation Prize Recipient. His first book “An Introduction to Sexuality Education: A Handbook for Youth System Facing Professionals” will be released in October 2020. Find out more about Dominique Morgan at www.dominiquemorgan.com. Check out his TEDxTalk on Resilience as well.