SATURDAY, FEB 11, 2023


Check-in & Light Breakfast

Keynote Speakers & Performances

Breakout Session 1 (self-selected)

Breakout Session 2 (self-selected)

Lunch, Art Installations & Music

Women in Entertainment Panel

Song & Closing Remarks


List of 7 items.


    Fenny Adhiambo is a Beneficiary of The Pad Project at Inua Dada Foundation based in Korogocho slums. She is a brilliant 21-year-old who pulled herself out of the slum through her work at the Foundation and her love of music as a flutist. She plays a crucial role as a mental health advocate through talking circle sessions called Tandika Leso held every month at the Foundation's center in Korogocho.


    Melissa McCarthy is an American actress, comedian, producer, writer, and fashion designer. She is the recipient of numerous accolades, including two Primetime Emmy Awards, and nominations for two Academy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards. McCarthy was named by Time as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2016. In 2020, The New York Times ranked her #22 in its list of the 25 Greatest Actors of the 21st Century.

    Filmmaker Nisha Ganatra, known for her singular and authentic vision, was awarded the Cannes Lions Grand Prix for Film Craft: Direction for her film that stormed onto the scene: #wombstories. She directed the Sundance hit film Late Night starring Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling. Late Night sold in a record-breaking deal and garnered the highest streaming numbers of the year for Amazon. She followed Late Night with the Working Title and Focus Features film: The High Note starring Tracee Ellis Ross and Dakota Johnson. Nisha was recently ranked the #1 director globally by Cannes, an honor only one other woman has achieved.

    Nisha’s acclaimed début feature, CHUTNEY POPCORN with Jill Hennessy and Sakina Jaffrey, won Audience Awards at the Berlin International Film Festival, Newport Film Festival, Outfest Los Angeles and many more. Her sophomore feature, COSMOPOLITAN, starring Carol Kane and Roshan Seth, premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival.
    Known for her heartfelt humor and engaging voice, filmmaker Nisha Ganatra is a Golden Globe winner and an Emmy nominated director and writer seamlessly working in television and film. Nisha has directed  GIRLSMR. ROBOTTRANSPARENTDEAR WHITE PEOPLEFUTURE MAN,  SHAMELESSBLACK MONDAYBROOKLYN 9-9 and, LAST MAN ON EARTH.

    Recently, Nisha directed WELCOME TO CHIPPENDALES (HULU) starring Kumail Nanjiai, Murray Bartlett, Juliette Lewis, and Annaleigh Ashford, and the finale of Jason Katims’ DEAR EDWARD (Apple TV+) starring Connie Britton and Taylor Schilling. She is creator of the upcoming RAMAYANA for Sony Pictures Animation & Apple TV+.

    Ganatra, whose work is always in service to giving voice to the underrepresented, is excited about making new films that align with her creative and social impact values.  Nisha has been creating emotional, authentic and humorous stories since her debut feature Chutney Popcorn by infusing her keen sense of comedy and storytelling with her personal life experience and point of view.

    Santigold–born Santi White in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania–is a genre-defying musician, style renegade, and visionary artist across multiple platforms, celebrated for her fearless ability to fuse unexpected elements into bold new work. An artist whose perseverance relies on invention, her singular aesthetic has made her a major muse watched by the inspired world.

    Since her classic self-titled debut in 2008, Santigold has revealed herself to be the most eclectic artist of her generation with a broad influence. Over her expansive career, she has collaborated with fellow icons from Jay Z and the Beastie Boys to Mark Ronson, Pharrell, Julian Casablancas and Tyler The Creator; not to mention, her songs have been sampled by Drake & Lil Wayne, among others. She’s had a #1 record on Billboard’s Dance/Electronic chart, won an ASCAP Pop Music award (Vanguard Award), and has been nominated for a Q Award, MTV Europe Music Award, and BRIT Award. Most recently in September, Santigold released her fourth album Spirituals, which captures the feeling of surviving in the modern world while elevating yourself to new places.

    Santigold has engaged in new ways to express and release her ideas, allowing her greater range to be even truer to her creative intentions on her own terms. She created Spirituals as a multisensory experience that includes not only the music and video vignettes, but a brand new tea line bearing the same brand name, Spirituals. She is also the host of her very own podcast “Noble Champions” in which she interviews other artists and visionaries around some of the same themes explored in her music. And it doesn’t stop there: Santigold has other literary, film and product lines in the works as well.

    Renowned for her iconography, Santigold has collaborated with visual artists including Kehinde Wiley, Wangechi Mutu, Kara Walker, and Sanford Biggers. She has also done various brand collaborations for shoe, accessory, and cosmetics lines, as well as had comedic roles on The Office, and Adult Swim’s NTSF:SD:SUV.

    While taking yourself to new places is core to her outlook at this point in her impressive career, she has always been an artist who has charted new paths in the world of pop music and beyond, breaking down barriers of genre along the way, further cementing her as an essential artist when surveying the last two decades of popular culture at large.

    Cyrus Dunham is a trans writer and organizer. His writing has appeared in the New Yorker, The New York Times, Granta, and the Intercept, among other publications and anthologies. His first book, A Year Without A Name: A Memoir, was a Lambda Literary Award finalist. Cyrus also works with California Coalition of Women Prisoners (CCWP).


    Ruchira Gupta is a social justice activist, feminist campaigner, journalist, Emmy award-winning documentarian, professor, and founder of Apne Aap Worldwide. Ruchira Gupta has dedicated her life to creating a world where no child is bought or sold. She has aided thousands of girls and women in exiting prostitution systems, and now she is ready to tell their stories of bravery, courage, and perseverance against all odds. I Kick and I Fly is her debut novel.


    Janet Mbugua is a Kenyan Media Personality, Author and Women's Rights Activist. She is the Founder of the Inua Dada Foundation, which focuses on restoring dignity and Economic Empowerment through Menstrual Justice. Janet will speak about reproductive rights from a global perspective and about how students can "turn advocacy into agency" through storytelling, policy mainstreaming and integrating intersectional issues.


List of 7 items.

  • AVALON '23

  • BILOXI '27

  • CHARLIE '23


    Hailing from Los Angeles, Josephine Glass is an Oakwood Alum 2019 and currently finishing her last semester at The Boston Conservatory at Berklee School of Music. A founding member of The Pad Project, Josephine is passionate about menstrual equality and an ardent supporter of The Pad Project’s fundamental mission to end period stigma. Josephine is thrilled and honored to be back on campus for Oakwood’s inaugural Gender Justice Summit.

    Lisa Pimentel is a music Teacher/Director, Musician/Songwriter, and Music Producer/Engineer. She has been working as an Educator for over twenty-five years in Los Angeles and Massachusetts. Lisa’s professional music credits are vast and range from NPR to Ghostbusters, from Santa Clarita Diet to Rock Band, and from Billboard to Muppet Puppeteers

    Lisa serves as a co-chair for The Martha’s Vineyard Diversity Coalition, where she works with the community to “lay the groundwork to eradicate racism." She works with  Summer Stars for The Performing Arts where she collaborates with 12-15 year olds from communities all over the USA. Lisa won The John Lennon Songwriting Competition in 2013 and continues to collaborate with young songwriters across the country with her project, LP Collective. Lisa is the founder and director of The Exploratorium, (Oakwood Summer Programs) and can often be seen playing in one of her bands, No Small Children or Drama Dolls.

    Sara Silkin is a French-Tunisian-Jewish artist who holds her BA from UCLA and her MFA from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, where she was awarded The John Houston Directing Scholarship and Kodak Grant. 
    She is currently the Managing and Artistic Director of the Glorya Kaufman Performing Arts Center at Vista Del Mar. She recently choreographed and performed in the Emmy-winning short film JIBARO, part of Netflix’s Love, Death, and Robots series.
    In 2018, she had the opportunity to motion capture and choreograph for Refik Anadol’s live installation projected on Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall for the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s 100th Anniversary. Silkin’s stage work has been presented at LACMA, Diavalo, Electric Lodge Theater, Ford Theater, CONGRESS: Legalize Dance, and The Centre Pompidou Museum in Paris, France.
    She was commissioned by LA Contemporary Dance Company in 2020 to direct and choreograph her short film LOST MIND.
    Sara Silkin is currently at Oakwood teaching: Contemporary, Ballet, Jazz, and Modern dance classes.
  • SYDNE '23