2019 Inspirational Keynotes

Opening Celebrations with Rev. Sharon Ketchum

Monday, June 17, 2019, 7:30 p.m.

Sharon is an ordained Unity minister (1999) serving at Unity of Greater Lansing, Michigan. “As Chair of UWM's Board of Trustees, one of my privileged duties is to serve on the convention team. What a great group of people to work with! I have attended all but one convention over the last 20 years, and it truly is a privilege to be part of the co-creating process.”

Kai Skye (also known as Brian Andreas)

Tuesday, June 18, 2019, 10:30 a.m.

Brian Andreas is the pen name of Kai Andreas Skye, an American writer, artist, publisher and speaker widely known for his simple and poetic short stories of 50 to 100 words, often accompanied by distinctive color drawings. The stories range from wry comic commentary to elegant and direct meditations on themes of love, relationships, and being alive now. His latest work is published exclusively for both national and international audiences by Flying Edna/brian andreas studio.
While StoryPeople, the company he founded in 1994 and left in 2019, is often associated with his name, he has founded other companies focused on storytelling and creativity throughout his career. In 2012 he founded, a collaborative digital storytelling platform. In 2014, he formed as a platform for his original art and other creative projects. In 2015, he was a key collaborator in the formation of A Hundred Ways North, a company focused on using stories and workshops to transform the ways people find and sustain community. His latest writings and art can be found and on Instagram: @brianandreas.

Walden Award Winner David Lewis-Peart

Wednesday, June 19, 2019, 10:30 a.m.

David is a writer, speaker, educator, and former minister. He was co-founder and former coordinator of the spiritual-arts community Sunset Service Toronto Fellowship; a nonprofit that since 2012 committed to building bridges, initiating dialogues, and creating spaces for people of all faith, and no faith, through the arts. He has contributed as a TEDX speaker for OCAD University, where he spoke to his graduate research on Black, sexual minority youth, and his concept of the “prophetic performance” for those moved to the margins. In 2017 David was appointed by the Chicago-based Parliament of the World's Religions as their Co-Chair of the Next Generation Task Force; made responsible for the youth and young adult programs for the 2018 Parliament hosted in Toronto. David is a recipient of the inaugural Walden New Thought Awards, which recognizes socially conscious leaders making change. David was recipient of the Christopher Hewitt Award for poetry, Honorable Mention, and was included as a community curator for the 3rd Annual Lambda Literary Festival in Los Angeles.



Magie Cook

Friday, June 21, 2019, 10:30 a.m.

Magie, is an immigrant who was born in an orphanage in Mexico. She grew up in poverty along with 68 brothers and sisters. She immigrated to the US on a basketball scholarship at the University of Charleston. After obtaining her college degree, and not being able to find a job, Magie became homeless and lived on the streets during a snowy winter. When someone recognized her on the street, she was given a place to stay. A few weeks later, she entered a Fresh Salsa competition for the State of West Virginia and won unanimously. At this event, a man gave her $800 to start her business. Not knowing anything about business and with perseverance, she created Maggie's All Natural Fresh Salsa's & Dips, a company that grew into a multi-million dollar business within 4 years and distributed products across 38 states to major supermarkets such as Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, Whole Foods, and many more. At the height of its success in 2015, Maggie's Salsa sold to Campbell's Soup. Then she went back to Mexico and rescued 31 orphaned children from a Drug Cartel.