Speaker Date Topic
Shawn Newton Apr 20, 2021
Chair, Salem's Race Equity Task Force
Chair, Salem's Race Equity Task Force

Shawn Newton is a resident of Salem, MA and is the Associate Dean of Students at Suffolk University in Boston where he oversees, among many other offices, the University’s Center for Student Diversity & Inclusion and chairs the University's Bias Prevention and Advisory Team. Newton is the co-founder of Newton Consultancy Group where he specializes in facilitating conversations and workshops on race & racism. Additionally, Shawn chairs a Race Equity Task Force where he was appointed by Mayor Kim Driscoll to lead race equity efforts for the City of Salem, MA. He also serves on the board of 1Race, a Salem based non-profit that coordinates high school workshops to educate youth and school educators on issues of race and the Plummer Youth Promise, a non-profit that strives towards permanency for foster youth in their care.

Shawn Newton has previously served as the Assistant Dean of Students at Salem State University and adjunct professor where he taught courses including Undoing Racism and Human Diversity & Social Work Practice. Newton earned a BS in Criminal Justice from Salem State University, a MS in Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University and is currently enrolled at the University of Southern California where he is working on his doctorate in Organizational Change and Leadership in the Rossier School of Education.

Shawn has over 25 years of experience educating people of all ages on diversity, race and inclusion.

John D. Keenan Apr 27, 2021
President, Salem State University
President, Salem State University

John D. Keenan, JD is a former Salem Rotarian and the 14th president of Salem State University (SSU).

Prior to being named president, John served as general counsel and vice president for administration at SSU, overseeing the university’s day-to-day operations in support of its academic mission, including human resources and equal opportunity, capital planning and facilities, information technology, risk and asset management, and university police.

Prior to his arrival on campus, John represented the Seventh Essex District in the Massachusetts State Legislature from 2005 to 2014. He was a leading proponent of gaining university status for Salem State in 2010 and moved a number of significant public projects forward, including the building of the J. Michael Ruane Judicial Center, the Salem MBTA Station, and the Thaddeus Buczko Probate Court. He was the leading proponent of the $1 billion Footprint Power redevelopment of Salem Harbor Station, the largest project in Salem’s almost 400-year history.

John’s time in the state legislature allowed him to lead on issues of social justice: voting to preserve marriage equality, address schoolyard bullying, and protect transgendered employees in the workplace. While the bill ultimately did not pass, one of his proudest votes was in support of the DREAM Act, to provide in-state tuition for undocumented students.

Before his election to office, John was an assistant district attorney in Essex County and a member of that office’s first ever Domestic Violence Unit. He also served in the administrations of Mayor Neil Harrington and Mayor Stanley Usovicz as Salem city solicitor.

A lifelong Salem resident, John is a proud product of Salem Public Schools. He received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and his JD from Suffolk University. John resides in Salem with his wife, Kara McLaughlin, and their two children, Aidan and Erin.

Friends Forever May 04, 2021
Karen Andreas May 11, 2021
President and CEO, North Shore Chamber of Commerce
Nate Bryant May 18, 2021
Interim President, North Shore Community College
Interim President, North Shore Community College

Dr. Nate Bryant is currently serving as the Interim President at North Shore Community College until June 30, 2021.  After June 30, Dr. Bryant will return to his role at Salem State University as the Vice President and Chief of Staff to the President.  As vice president and chief of staff, Dr. Bryant was responsible for the oversight of the president’s office including the day-to-day activities of the President's Office, coordinating the work of the president’s senior leadership team, and coordinating the University’s strategic planning efforts. Additionally, Dr. Bryant oversaw the areas of athletics, enrollment management, marketing and communications, public relations, center for civic engagement, external affairs, and grants.

Dr. Bryant holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s in education from SSU. He holds a doctorate in higher education from the University of Massachusetts Boston.  Additionally, Dr. Bryant attended Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, Institute for Educational Management, an institute focused on leadership for senior level administrators in higher education.

A resident of Salem, Dr. Bryant has served his community in various capacities, including a former role on the Salem School Committee for eight years. He currently sits on the boards of North Shore Medical Center, North Shore Chamber of Commerce, North Shore Workforce Board, Essex National Heritage Commission, Salem Partnership, Corporator of Marblehead Bank, and the Race and Equity Task Force for the cities of Salem and Beverly.

Merjam Frey & Philipp Haesler May 25, 2021
Sen. Joan Lovely & Rep. Paul Tucker Jun 08, 2021

Senator Joan Lovely is in her fifth term in the Massachusetts State Senate representing the Second Essex District communities of Beverly, Danvers, Peabody, Salem, and Topsfield. Senator Lovely serves in Leadership as an Assistant Majority Leader, Chair of the Joint and Senate Committees on Rules, and as the Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Bills in the Third Reading. Senator Lovely also sits on the Senate Committee on Reimagining Massachusetts: Post-Pandemic Resiliency, the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change, the Senate Committee on Steering and Policy, and the Joint Committee on Housing. In addition to her committee work, Senator Lovely is the Senate Chair of the Ellen Story Commission on Postpartum Depression, Senate Co-Chair of the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators and the Vice Chair of the Public Records Commission. She also chaired the Special Senate Committee to Review Sexual Harassment Policies and Procedures. Senator Lovely became personally engaged with government when she collaborated with neighbors and volunteers to rebuild a neighborhood playground in Salem, where she subsequently served on the Salem City Council from 1998-2012. She and her husband Stephen make their home in Salem and are the proud parents of three adult children and ecstatic grandparents to a new granddaughter. In her spare time, Senator Lovely enjoys boating and gardening. She and her family also enjoy their 4 Labrador Retrievers, 5 ducks, 2 chickens and 1 cat. She also enjoys showing her ducks at the Topsfield Fair.

Representative Paul Tucker has served the general public and the Commonwealth for over 30 years with a distinguished career as a police officer, a Police Chief, and later the State Representative in the city of Salem. During his service as a law enforcement officer, Representative Tucker, held leadership positions on the executive board of the Massachusetts Major City Chiefs Association and the North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council. Representative Tucker utilized his expertise as a former police Chief, in his service in the House of Representatives and was able to successfully help reform fentanyl and carfentanil trafficking laws. Additionally, Representative Tucker championed the rights and protections for transgendered individuals and has advocated for police education and training reforms. In 2021 State Representative Paul Tucker was appointed by Speaker of the House, Ronald Mariano to serve as the Vice-Chair of the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government for the 192nd Session. In addition to serving in this new leadership role in the House Representatives, Representative Tucker will continue to serve on the joint committees on Ways and Means, Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery, and joint committee on Transportation.