Symposium Staff

Jennifer Harvey – Baum Chair of Ethics and the Professions

Dr. Jennifer Harvey is Professor of Religion and Faculty Director of the Crew Scholars Program at Drake University. Her teaching, writing and public speaking focus on the encounters of religion and ethics with race, gender, politics, justice and other aspects of social life in which religion decides to “show up.” Dr. Harvey’s books include Dear White Christians: For Those Still Longing for Racial Reconciliation (Wm. B. Eerdmans) and her forthcoming Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America (Abingdon Press). She has published in a variety of academic and public venues including The New York Times and the Huffington Post.


Bakari Caldwell – Intern, Baum Symposium

Bakari Caldwell is currently a junior at Drake University. He is double majoring in Secondary Education and English and will also graduate with a music minor. As a Resident Assistant in an upper-class hall on campus, a Senator-at-Large for the 31st Student Senate session, and a  member of the Crew Scholars Program, Bakari always finds himself quite busy. He finds his passions in education and social justice work, always looking towards a more progressive, inclusive and equitable future. He is currently working on a project entitled This is for You, a compilation of various poetic texts highlighting the beauty and the struggle of identities that historically have been forgotten and marginalized.



Brenda Vasquez – Intern, Baum Symposium 

Brenda Vasquez is currently a junior at Drake University. She is majoring in Secondary Education with an endorsement in all Social Studies and concentrations in Social Justice in Urban Education as well as Women’s & Gender Studies. She is also a current Crew Scholar, and active in La Fuerza Latina. After graduation she hopes to seek employment in Des Moines Public Schools as she is an alumna of the district. Her passion is to create change within the system and help students find their voice in order to do the same. She enjoys writing and performing poetry and is working on a collection of her work entitled, Timeline. Brenda is an involved member of the Des Moines community and fights to end the divide that exists between Drake and the surrounding community.