2013 Keynote Speakers
Dallas Jessup may be only 21 years old, but she knows how to change the world. She is an accomplished filmmaker, author, speaker and trainer, and grew a local community service project into the international nonprofit Just Yell Fire — now a million-girl revolution across 45 countries.
As a 13-year-old black belt martial artist, Jessup learned the frightening statistics that 1 in 4 girls will be sexually assaulted, and that there are 114,000 attempted abductions each year in the U.S. alone. She set out to create a home movie to teach her schoolmates at Portland's St. Mary's Academy High School some street-fighting techniques to defend themselves. The word spread that a young girl was putting together an important film, and in 60 days Jessup had a 30-member volunteer professional crew, 100 volunteer extras, celebrity cameos by Josh Holloway and Evangeline Lilly, and $600,000 in donated resources. These efforts culminated in the 46-minute film, Just Yell Fire. It teaches girls how to literally fight back against predators and sexual assault.
Jessup posted the film online for free download, and raised funds to produce and ship free DVDs to girls without Internet access. The film received nearly one million downloads in two years and multiple awards, including the American Library Association’s Most Notable Video designation. Jessup now travels an average of 10,000 miles a month, and her nonprofit provides teen safety programs, trainings and presentations for high schools, colleges, camps, women’s events, crisis shelters and elsewhere throughout the U.S. The original film is still available for free download or free DVD for any girl, worldwide.
Awards: CNN Hero, Hall of Fame for Caring Americans, President’s Youth Service Award, Points of Light Award, Elle Girl Teen Hero, Do Something Winner, Prudential Washington State Volunteer of the Year, Caring Award, Huggable Hero, Jefferson Award, Kohl's Kids Who Care, and others.
Media Appearances: Good Morning America, ABC News, MSNBC, Montel Williams Show, CNN, Today, FoxNews Live, People Magazine, USA Today, Teen Magazine, Seventeen Magazine, and local radio and television stations across the country.
Books: Young Revolutionaries Who Rock: An Insider's Guide to Saving the World One Revolution at a Time
Senator Katrina Shealy is a lifelong conservative leader and business manager with a proven record of creating jobs, managing businesses, and promoting good government in South Carolina. Elected in November 2012, Shealy serves as the only female in the South Carolina Senate. As Vice President of Production for Tower Street Insurance Advisors in Columbia, Shealy helps other job-creating individuals and businesses overcome government red tape.
She is one of the most active Republican leaders in our area, and has worked tirelessly to elect real conservatives to office. As former Chairman of the Lexington County Republican Party, Shealy led the area’s GOP Victory efforts in 2004 and 2006, and raised funds to advance reforms at all levels of government. Seeking to get more neighbors involved in the political process, she helped start the West Metro Republican Women’s group and has served as president for multiple years. Her desire to get more citizens involved in the cause of smaller government and fiscal responsibility has led to her active participation in the TEA Party movement to help fix our nation's debt problem.]
She is an active board member and former Chairman of the Board of the S.C. Friends of Juvenile Justice, serves on the Advisory Board of the Women of Hope (an outreach of the Lexington Medical Center Foundation), and a regular contributor to the American Cancer Society. Recent awards include the 2013 Lexington County Female Statesmen of the Year Award, the 2013 S.C. Republican Party Terry Haskins Award, one of Glamour Magazine’s 15 Political Women of the Year for 2012, and one of the Midlands’ Top 50 Most Influential People for 2012.
2013 Speaker Bios
Susan Alford is Director of The Girls Center at Clemson University. She has over 30 years of experience in development of youth programming, 18 of those in the juvenile justice field. She holds a M.Phil. degree in Criminology from the University of Cambridge, England, and a B.S. Degree in Sociology from the University of South Carolina. Prior to joining The Girls Center, she served as chair of the DJJ-Clemson Girls Task Force and championed DJJ’s efforts to address the needs of girls in confinement. She is a nationally certified trainer for the One Circle Foundation and AAUW’s GetSmart program, a consultant with OJJDP’s National Girls Institute, an active board member on the President’s Commission on Women at Clemson University, and holds numerous awards for her work with youth in South Carolina, including the SCCA Distinguished Service Award for lifetime achievement in the juvenile justice field. In 2010, the President’s Commission on Women at Clemson University honored Alford as a distinguished contributor to the advancement of the status of women and girls in South Carolina.
Nadia Rachelle Anderson is a senior at Columbia College, majoring in communication studies with minors in political science and leadership. She conducts a mentoring program at William J. Clark Middle School in Orangeburg, sponsored by the Leadership Institute at Columbia College. She is also a member of Clemson University’s Girls Center Advisory Board.
Chauncey Beaty is an award-winning performance poet, speaker, trainer, and certified life coach. She is currently the Greenville and Pickens Counties Educator for Safe Harbor’s Relationship Education Project (REP), teaching teens healthy relationship practices and how to prevent dating violence. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from Winthrop University in Psychology and a Master of Arts in African American and African Studies from The Ohio State University.
Vicki Bourus is the Co-Executive Director of the Family Justice Center of Georgetown County. She is a licensed, master level social worker with extensive organizational leadership in the areas of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse. A formidable advocate and expert witness, Bourus consults with and trains a broad base of professionals including law enforcement, medical and legal professionals, counselors, therapists, faith leaders and social workers. Both the South Carolina House of Representatives and the South Carolina Senate recognized her in 2011 for meritorious and outstanding service on behalf of domestic violence and sexual assault victims. Prior to retiring and joining the Family Justice Center, Bourus served as Executive Director of the SC Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.
LaSonya Brown has over 15 years of counseling experience to help people find their voice in life. She has worked on several grant projects and conducted presentations on suicide prevention, HIV/AIDS, alcohol prevention and violence against women. As the owner of Brown’s Counseling and Consulting Services, PLLC, she sponsors empowerment workshops called TrueGirls Unlimited—designed to empower young girls to accept, embrace and celebrate their identity. Brown earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Speech Communication and a Masters of Education in Counseling and Development from Winthrop University. She has worked as a counselor in the public school system, residential facilities, and various outpatient mental health programs.
Joe Burton has worked with youth since 2007 as a juvenile probation officer and program facilitator. After graduating from Winthrop University with a degree in Psychology, he began working with youth and has ultimately found a calling in the classroom. As a G.R.E.A.T. instructor (Gang Resistance Education and Training), he works with elementary and middle school students to avoid bullying and the gang lifestyle and conducts classes on family communication, drug and alcohol education, and Internet safety.
Liz Morris is the Director of the Girls Program at Clemson’s Youth Development Center in Aiken,S.C. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South Carolina at Aiken and a Master of Science degree in Administration from Central Michigan University. Liz was also a commissioned officer in the United States Army Reserve. She has worked with at risk youth throughout her career. Liz has been employed by South Carolina Department of Corrections, South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice, and South Carolina Mentor. Currently, she is the Director of the Girls Program at the Youth Development Center in Aiken, SC. She has successfully completed Girls Circle training, Advanced Girls Circle training, and is a nationally-certified trainer in Girls Circle. Mrs. Morris is very active in her community where she serves on the Board of Directors for Christ Central Mission Station, Aiken Family Y and Imani Group. Liz is also the Children’s and Youth Ministry Leader at Second Baptist Church and an executive member of the Aiken Branch of the NAACP. Liz lives in Aiken, South Carolina with her husband, Daniel and their three children.
Catherine Renfro is the Assistant to the Executive Director of the S.C. Baptist Convention. Although she originally intended to pursue a career as a television news anchor, she was called into the ministry after acting as a student ministry intern and enrolled in Southeastern Baptist Seminary in 2008. During her first year her brother committed suicide, and this tragedy strengthened her resolve to pursue a teaching and speaking ministry. In her outreach work to young women and girls, Renfro shares the healing power of spiritual connection and the love, hope, joy and encouragement she has found through her own spiritual growth.
Katrina Spigner is an author, speaker and certified personal and executive coach who guides those who seek to walk a purposeful path towards a more authentic and fulfilling life. Through the good, the bad, and the ugly of her own life, she has learned some powerful lessons which she uses to challenge others to discover, explore, and maximize New Opportunities Within (N.O.W). She has authored two books, and her weekly e-inspirational messages encourage subscribers from across the country and around the world. Spigner is founder and CEO of Re-Source Solutions, LLC, and an adjunct instructor at Columbia College.
Kayla Spigner has been described as a funny, charismatic, and engaging person. Although born in Hinesville, GA, Kayla has spent most of her life in Columbia, SC. She is a 2010 graduate of Ridgeview High School and is a current student at Midlands Technical College where she is earning an associate's degree in Human Services. Kayla was recently inducted into Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society for her academic excellence as a college student. Her long-term goal is to earn her Juris Doctorate and practice criminal law. Kayla has an intriguing story to tell and at the center of it all are her two sons, Jeremiah and Jacob. Kayla is committed to embracing her journey and learning from the ride.