Dr. Victor Rios is Associate Dean of Social Sciences and Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He received his Ph.D. at the University of California Berkeley in 2005.
Professor Rios has worked with local school districts to develop programs and curricula aimed at improving the quality of interactions between authority figures and youths. Using his personal experience of living on the streets, dropping out of school, and being incarcerated as a juvenile--along with his research findings--he has developed interventions for marginalized students aimed at promoting personal transformation and civic engagement. These programs have been implemented in Los Angeles, California (Watts), juvenile detention facilities, and alternative high schools.
He is the author of six books including My Teacher Believes in Me: The Educator's Guide to At-Promise Students (2019), Street Life: Poverty, Gangs, and a Ph.D. (2011), Buscando Vida, Encontrando Exito: La Fuerza de La Cultura Latina en la Educacion (2016), and Human Targets: Schools, Police, and the Criminalization of Latino Youth (2017).
Dr. Rios has been featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Ted Talks, the Oprah Winfrey Network, Primer Impacto, and National Public Radio. He has had the honor of meeting President Obama and advising his administration on gun violence and policing. His Ted Talk "Help for kids the education system ignores" has garnered over 1.4 Million views. He is the subject of the documentary film The Pushouts.
Chris Singleton is a former professional athlete drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 2017. Following the loss of his mother in a racially motivated mass shooting, Chris has now become an inspirational speaker and best-selling author who has shared his message of unity and racial reconciliation with clients such as: Microsoft, Biogen, Houston Texans, Washington Wizards, etc. He shares with over 50 organizations and over 30,000 students annually and resides with his spouse Mariana and his sons CJ and Caden in Charleston, SC.
Dr. Ruby Payne is the authority on working across economic classes to create sustainable communities where everyone can live well. An engaging and down-to-earth speaker, Payne translates abstract concepts into concrete strategies with a sense of humor that leaves audiences wanting more.
After changing the conversation in education to focus on poverty, Payne's work has expanded into social services, criminal justice, healthcare, the workplace, and more. Payne has written or coauthored more than a dozen books, including Bridges Out of Poverty with Philip DeVol and Terie Dreussi-Smith. Her seminal, award-winning work, A Framework for Understanding Poverty, has sold 1.8 million copies and continues to help individuals of all economic backgrounds achieve academic, professional, and personal success.
Payne's efforts to fight poverty have achieved a global reach, and she has presented her work in Australia, China, Europe, India, North America, and Southeast Asia. Payne holds a Ph.D. from Loyola University Chicago, and she is the founder of aha! Process, a training and consulting firm that has been in business for more than 20 years.
aha! Process has garnered several awards for its publications, and it continues to grow. Payne has also published books with Solution Tree Press and the Association for Middle-Level Education.
Billie Jean Shaw is an Emmy-nominated and award-winning news anchor at WIS- TV, the NBC affiliate in Columbia, South Carolina.
Known for her ability to easily connect with viewers, Billie Jean has landed several exclusives throughout her career which includes coverage of the tragic shooting at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC.
Just hours after the devastating crime, Billie Jean was the first to report the details surrounding the shooting before any local or national network. Months later, in an exclusive interview, Billie Jean sat down with the adult survivors as they gave a chilling account of the horrifying night.
Billie Jean graduated from Winthrop University with a B.A. in Mass Communications with a minor in Marketing. During her time at Winthrop, she worked in Washington, DC covering political news on Capitol Hill and issues in the community.
However, she credits her success to her upbringing and education in her hometown of Manning, South Carolina in Clarendon County. Billie Jean is a graduate of Manning High School. She’s also an alumna of F.E. Dubose Career Center where she was enrolled in the award-winning Culinary Arts program under the leadership of her mother, Chef Jean Shaw.
In 2017, the South Carolina Senate recognized Billie Jean’s work by issuing a proclamation applauding her professionalism and service to the community.
In 2019, Billie Jean was selected by the South Carolina Education Association to receive the prestigious School Bell Award. The award is given to journalists who have made an outstanding impact in the community by reporting positive roles in public education.
She is also a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the National Association of Black Journalists.
Copyright © 2021 SC Education + Business Summit - All Rights Reserved. The South Carolina Department of Education does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, or disability in admission to, treatment in, or employment in its programs and activities. Inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies should be made to the Employee Relations Manager, 1429 Senate Street, Columbia, South Carolina 29201, (803-734-8781). For further information on federal nondiscrimination regulations, including Title IX, contact the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at OCR.DC@ed.gov or call 1-800-421-3481.