IGYDP Speakers Bureau

Dr. Sunni Rumsey Amatullah

Dr. Sunni Rumsey Amatullah has been a human, health, and gender rights advocate for over 40 years. She was a regular writter for the progressive magazine, Dialogue, an international Islamic puiblication based in England. Dr. Sunni was the first woman and woman of color to become a NGO UN representative for the internationally based al-Khoei foundation. Dr. Sunni has traveled extensively nationally and internationally speaking on the compex social, educational, and health-related issues impacting Muslim women in the 21st century. Dr. Amatullah received her PhD from the University of Canterbury in International Studies (NZ/UK campius) in 1955. Her MS and BS with honors are from Adelphi University, LI.


Marc Wayshak

Author of Game Plan Selling and Breaking All Barriers, Marc Wayshak has combined his experience, research and years of training organizations with his deep understanding of sports achievement, as an All-American athlete, to create a revolutionary system for sales people, entrepreneurs and companies.

In 90 minutes, Marc reminded the BHU Scholars how powerful they are. He had the girls write down what is keeping them from what they really want in life, then he taught them how to break the boards and break through their fears in order to do what they thought they could not do! All the BHU scholars broke their boards!


We’re Educators — A Touch Of Class

WEATOC is the oldest peer education program in the state of Massachusetts to take youth from the community and train them as health experts, then disburse them back into the community as public health-change agents. WEATOC provides workshop and theatrical presentations on HIV/AIDS, violence, teen pregnancy, suicide and depression, obesity, and substance abuse prevention education.


Poncho Brown

Mr. Poncho Brown, of Codman Square Community Health Center, presented the "Monster Presentation" for Build Her Up scholars which focused on the interconnection of substance abuse and HIV/AIDS. Mr. Brown is a veteran Community Educator and leader, and provided a comprehensive workshop followed by a Real Talk discussion focused on substance abuse and mental health.

Sandra Allonen, RD

Sandra Allonen is a nutritionist at Beth Israel Hospital and Harvard Medical School’s "Family Van". Sandra trained Build Her Up scholars on nutrition, including oral health as a part of overall nutrition health and wellness. Nancy Leung, an IGYDP staff member, coordinated the IGYDP Nutrition Health and Wellness Institute and challenged participants to develop a nutrition workshop that addresses nutritional health, eating disorders, mental health and wellness, and physical fitness.

Dr. Brian Swann, DDS, MPH

Dr. Swann is a clinical instructor in oral health policy and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine and public health dentist Cambridge Health Alliance. Dr. Swann has received numerous awards for his global and community oral health initiatives. He has served as a BHU Program Advisor for three years and conducted free dental screenings for BHU participants and delivered a comprehensive workshop on health disparities focused on oral health. All BHU participants were provided dental gift bags which included dental kits, cleaning supplies (tooth brush, tooth paste, dental floss), and oral health resource literature. Some students were referred for follow up service while others agreed to schedule and maintain regular dental appointments, as well as establish and maintain healthy dental hygiene.

Sara Flint, Lead Organizer of Mothers for Justice and Equality &
Nancy Robinson, Executive Director of Citizens For Safety

Sara Flint shared with BHU scholars how she lost her son, Jimmy Flint, to violence. She also dicussed how joining MJE and advocating with mothers of homicide victims impacted her life. Sara shared two mechanisms to bring awareness through education and share leadership tools to take action and make change. MJE engages the community to get involved through various public actions and campaigns that challenge the normalization of violence through rallies and civic engagement.

Nancy Robison implemented the Traffic Jam Workshop with BHU scholars. Traffic Jam is a multimedia and interactive workshop developed by Citizens for Safety, law enforcement professionals, and community advocates to raise awareness of the "Iron Pipeline" that supplies guns used in crime. Workshops teach scholars how police track crime guns, where they come from, how loopholes in the law protect traffickers, and what we can do right now to make our cities safer. After the presentation, BHU Scholars joined forces with Citizens for Safety to eliminate gun trafficking by supporting the “Where Did the Guns Come From?” Campaign. They placed signs and post cards for the campaign in Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan and the South End.