Saadia Z. Yunus
MA, LMFT, is a licensed marriage and family therapist, motivational speaker, and community leader. She earned a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy summa cum laude from Hofstra University in New York. She has years of experience working with individuals, couples, families, and groups. She is skilled in the modalities of structural family therapy, solution-focused therapy, and cognitive-behavioral therapy. She has extensive training in the area of trauma and has also completed Level 1 Training of the Gottman Method Couples Therapy. Her passion is to engage with people on a personal level to uplift them into discovering the best version of themselves and living a life based on their principles and values. In addition to therapy, she achieves this through motivational and trauma-informed presentations and workshops throughout the country.
Saadia Z. Yunus is a graduate of the Institute of Islamic Sciences, a mental health columnist, and the cofounder of Muslimahs of Long Island. She owns a private practice on Long Island, NY, and offers online therapy and coaching. Born and raised in Florida, she resides on Long Island with her husband and four children.
Michele Baptiste, Esq.
Michele Baptiste has worked for 20 years in the Labor and Employment Law field conducting HR Investigations, labor contract interpretation, and arbitration. Michele strives to conduct investigations in a fair and balanced manner and maintain confidentiality. Michele has also prepared affirmative action plans and advocated for the recruitment of qualified candidates based on the analysis of underutilization.
Michele worked as the inaugural Dean of Diversity, Compliance, and Faculty Relations at City College of New York (CCNY) and Chief Diversity Officer and Title IX Coordinator at SUNY Purchase College. Additionally, she was an Administrative Law Judge for the NYC Department of Finance (also known as the Parking Violations Bureau) and a Commissioner for the Nassau County Human Rights Commission.
Michele earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Boston University and a Juris Doctor from Albany Law School. She is President of her civic association and Counsel to the Cedarmore Corporation.
Darryl Aiken-Afam is a martial artist and a practitioner of the Taoist healing and meditation arts, Meridian Cleansing Qigong, Zen Shiatsu, and Taoist psychology. Darryl created his own system of Chi energy-based yoga called Meridian Touch back in 2000, derived from Chinese Tao-In exercises and blended with Zen Shiatsu, athletic training, and martial arts philosophy.He has taught this unique and effortless form of healing yoga to collegiate, professional, and Olympic athletes and has had notable clients such as Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Curtis Granderson of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Craig Robinson (brother of former first lady Michelle Obama). Darryl is also very active in the world of social justice. His Contact & Conversation events, designed to help everyday people converse deeply and successfully about race, use mindfulness meditation, yoga, human touch, and social psychology to bridge the gulf of pain and emotion associated with discussing this sensitive topic.Darryl is also an ACE certified personal trainer, holds a Master in Leadership Psychology from Penn State University, and played keyboards on tour for the funk group Cameo back in the ’90s!
Carmen L. Bonilla earned her MBA from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business and her Big Leap coach certificate in 2014 from Gay and Katie Hendricks of the Hendricks Institute in California.
Foundational concepts in her formation as a Big Leap coach include appreciation, authenticity, connection, deep presence, integrity, and responsibility.
Now on her twentieth year of professional experience teaching in higher education and delivering training in corporate settings, Carmen is interested in bringing these tools to groups who want to explore items or potential and spark aliveness in their work environments.
La Wanda Israel, Esq.
La Wanda Isreal has been a trial lawyer for over 19 years. She applies a comprehensive approach to advocacy that advances the needs of her clients. La Wanda is General Counsel for a number of non-profit organizations as well as a public library. She zealously represents clients in matters ranging from contract review, contract negotiations, employment law, and state audits. La Wanda is also a certified mediator and therefore, is effective at resolving matters through alternative dispute resolution in a manner that pleases her clients. La Wanda’s work goes beyond the courtroom into the world of corporate training. She has provided training on Cultural Sensitivity, the Prevention of Sexual Harassment and Conflict Management. She endeavors to ensure that her sessions are informative and transformative for all in attendance. Moreover, as an attorney for various institutions, La Wanda is equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to ensure that employees interact in ways that comply with the law. La Wanda also conducts Title IX Investigations for various organizations.
Kira Nurieli is an organizational psychologist, mediator, conflict coach, facilitator, and speaker. She helps leaders with conflict and communication strategies. Her proprietary training programs and coaching products invite participants to explore new ways of understanding interpersonal relationships, human capital, organizational culture, diversity and inclusion, and related topics. She is a certified mediator who holds a Master of Arts in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University.