2024 Keynote SpeakersChildhood Poverty: Uniting Voices to Empower Tomorrow


Tonya Lippert (she/her) 

Tonya Lippert, PhD, LCSW runs mental health therapy groups at Kaiser Permanente and is the co-author of a book on ADHD as well as the author of the children's books Home and Goodbye, School. She previously worked as a visiting professor at Reed College and finished law school on December 13, 2023, only to face a grueling study schedule for the Uniform Bar Exam. However much her life changes, she remembers her beginnings and strives to help others see their possibilities.


Mel Moore (They/Them)

Mel currently serves as Director of Organizing for Women’s Rights and Empowerment Network, a South Carolina based nonprofit organization that advances the health, economic dignity, and rights of women, girls, gender expansive people, and their families. Mel has dedicated a large part of their professional life to helping young people find pathways out of poverty and houselessness. In 2018, they launched a Resource Center for the unhoused community of Charleston on a budget of $0. They co-created the Charleston YOUth Count, the first study focused on housing instability and food insecurity for youth ages 25 and under in Charleston County. They served as Executive Director of We Are Family, a Southern Grassroots non-profit organization that provides affirming spaces for LGBTQI+ youth. Through that role, they Launched Closet Case, SC’s first queer thrift store. Mel grew up in the small town of Mount Pleasant, SC and earned a bachelor's degree in Sociology from the College of Charleston. They are a SC-grown GRITS (Genderqueer Raised In The South).