2021 Featured Speakers

Carvana Cloud

Carvana Cloud is an attorney, community advocate, and social entrepreneur.  In 2020, Carvana founded The Empowered Survivor Inc., a crisis intervention and violence prevention agency designed to reduce domestic violence and related homicides in communities of color. The Empowered Survivor exists to identify and remove the barriers that have historically prevented countless survivors of color from requesting help to escape abusive relationships. As a black child exposed to domestic violence while growing up in Houston’s Acres Homes community, Carvana was drawn to the career of prosecution and has leveraged her law enforcement experience to address the systemic deficiencies that exacerbate interpersonal violence in underserved communities by addressing the five social determinants of health that impact people’s ability to be safe and healthy where they live, work, and play.  Carvana frequently trains on best practice models and trends regarding culturally specific advocacy, risk-based lethality models, and developing evidence-based investigations and prosecutions of domestic violence crimes.   

Brandon Wolf

On June 12, Brandon Wolf escaped Pulse Nightclub when a gunman opened fire, killing his best friends, Drew Leinonen & Juan Guerrero, and 47 others. Since, Brandon has set out to honor the victims’ legacies with action. 

In the aftermath of the shooting, Brandon co-founded and has since served as the Vice President of The Dru Project, a nonprofit organization that supports LGBTQ student groups, provides funding for higher education, and enables future leaders in the LGBTQ community.

Brandon is the current Media Relations Manager for Equality Florida, the state’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization, and a board member for the Ban Assault Weapons Now campaign. He has served as a surrogate for multiple political campaigns, including his most recent role as a national surrogate for Senator Elizabeth Warren’s presidential bid.  He has become a national voice for LGBTQ civil rights, gun violence prevention, and justice for marginalized communities. 

Dan Nevins

Dan Nevins is a professional speaker who has been inspiring audiences around the world with his message of perseverance, resiliency and hope for more than a decade, and has been featured on the Steve Harvey Show, Good Morning America, BuzzFeed, Fox News, CBS News and ABC News among others.

A highly decorated soldier, Dan was severely injured during combat in Iraq in 2004 after an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated beneath his vehicle. He lost both legs below the knee, and lives with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and the emotional wounds of war.

Dan credits Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) with his successful rehabilitation, which instilled a “can-do” attitude, positive outlook and passion for helping his fellow wounded warriors in him. He quickly became an advocate for the organization, inspiring both his peers and the public to create positive change for themselves and those around them, simply by sharing his powerful story. Dan’s charismatic personality and relatable, lively approach resonated with audiences of all shapes and sizes, and he soon found himself sharing his story with hundreds of thousands of people around the world.

In 2008, Dan received WWP’s highest honor, the George C. Lang Award for Courage, for his efforts on behalf of the organization. He went on to become the director of WWP’s Warriors Speak program, where he taught other wounded warriors and their caregivers how to share their stories with the public and serve as spokespeople for the organization, much like he had.

In 2014, Dan discovered the life-changing power of yoga and meditation, which has enabled him to heal from the invisible wounds of war in a way that nothing else could. He quickly realized that other wounded warriors could benefit from yoga in the same way and knew he had to become an instructor. Dan began teaching yoga in 2015, and is now a Tier 3 Certified Baptiste Yoga Influencer. Dan incorporates the notion of “yoga for every-body” into his speeches and classes, encouraging people from all walks of life – and veterans in particular – to take up the practice.

Word of Dan’s efforts spread quickly, and he has been invited to teach yoga throughout the world, from the White House in Washington, DC to deployed servicemembers in the Middle East as well as Africa Yoga Project in Nairobi, Kenya. Nowadays, when he’s not leading classes for hundreds of participants, Dan can usually be found sharing his passion for life, WWP, yoga and his fellow wounded warriors with the attendees of major events ranging from the Bank of America 500 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway and Stadium of Fire at BYU Stadium to the Wisdom 2.0 Summit in San Francisco.

Dan is continuously searching for new ways to help other veterans. He is passionate about his work with Wounded Warrior Project and Warrior Spirit Retreat, a non-profit that he founded, which empowers warriors to greater possibilities by providing them with new tools for healing from the invisible wounds of war. The holistic retreats offer a curriculum centered on yoga, mindfulness and meditation, and are free of charge to veterans.

Dan is an incredible storyteller who integrates his own powerful and impactful story into a customized keynote or workshop that will inspire your organization with his message of perseverance, resiliency and hope.

Survivor Testimonies Plenary

Lavinia Masters

Victim Advocate, Lavinia B. Masters, a native of Waco, Texas is a loving wife, mother & grandmother, writer & author, life coach, moderator, inspirational & public speaker and entrepreneur.

Lavinia B. Masters struggled for many years emotionally, mentally and psychologically after childhood sexual abuse and a brutal rape at the age of 13 years old before discovering and implementing seven steps to her true empowerment after sexual trauma through prayer and supplications.  No matter the audience or venue, her public voice as a survivor of rape always acknowledges her faith, i.e. the trust she have in God who transformed her from a girl of misery into a woman of ministry. This transformation rescued her from the debilitating emotional, mental and behavioral issues that defined her existence for decades following the childhood sexual abuse and rape at 13 years old. Today, she no longer just “exist;” rather, her life as a survivor-turned-advocate has brought her to the floor of the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Department of Justice and the White House Task Force on Rape.

Nathan Ross

Nathan is the Vice President of Children and Youth Programs at FosterAdopt Connect. As an adopted person, Nathan has spent the last 12 years sharing his story with child welfare workers and policy makers around the country, and has spent the last 8 years working with youth in foster care. In addition to being able to use his personal experiences to impact child welfare, Nathan holds a bachelor’s degree in social psychology, and is working on completing his master’s degree in social work. In his role at FosterAdopt Connect, Nathan oversees the development, implementation, and execution of programming intended to directly serve children and youth affected by the child welfare system across all of FosterAdopt Connect’s branches.

Jennifer Schuett

This survivor plenary will detail the case of the presenter, Jennifer Schuett, who was kidnapped as an eight-year-old, brutally raped, had her throat cut and was left in a field for dead. Jennifer will detail her experience, becoming the survivor she is today, and her desire to motivate other survivors and professionals who work within the system. Advances in technology will be discussed, and eventually how DNA identified a possible suspect and the steps taken to connect him to the crime. Jennifer is a proud victim advocate and survivor and has shared her journey for justice on the Today Show, America’s Most Wanted, CNN & Investigation Discovery, among many other places. Jennifer is a co-recipient of TAASA’s 2010 “Champions For Social Change” Award, was named a “Galveston County Champion” in 2012, and was also named Girl ExtraOrdinaire 2012 by Girl ExtraOrdinaire in California.