2014 UNITED Speaker "The Cuban Guy"

entrepreneurial panel at UNITED

In conjunction with Hispanic Month, motivational Speaker, Andres Lara, or better known as The Cuban guy, is set to speak at NMU's UNITED conference on Monday, September 29, 2014. National known speaker, Lara's messages have inspired millions by speaking about his escape from Cuba at the age of 16 and within ten years he's turned his life around to become the person he is today. See all videos of the UNITED presentations. If you have ideas for speakers, performers or topics for UNITED 2014, email them here

2014 UNITED Speakers

TC Tolbert is a trans and genderqueer feminist poet and teacher. Works of poetry include Gephyromania, I: Not He: Not I, spirare, and territories of folding. S/he is also co-editor of Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics.www.tctolbert.com.


Jill Doerfler (White Earth Anishinaabe) is an associate professor of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. She is the co-author of The White Earth Nation: Ratification of a Native Democratic Constitution (2012) and the co-editor of Centering Anishinaabeg Studies: Understanding the World Through Stories (2013). In her work, she examines Anishinaabe resistance to racialization and the complex issues surrounding tribal citizenship and identity.


Gayle Tzemach Lemmon is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and the author of The Dressmaker of Khair Khana, a New York Times best seller published in March 2011 by HarperCollins, about a young entrepreneur who supported her community under the Taliban.


Emily Arnold-Fernández, the founder and executive director of Asylum Access, is a social entrepreneur and human rights pioneer.

“For half a century, international law has given refugees the rights to live safely, seek employment, send children to school and rebuild their lives. But those rights are meaningless unless they are respected on the ground,” she says. “Asylum Access provides a rare opportunity to fill a gaping hole in our human rights system – by making refugee rights a reality for real people.”


Mark Wafer is a Toronto business leader and advocate for hiring employees with disabilities. In the past 18 years Mark has hired over 100 people with disabilities in meaningful and competitively paid positions and currently employs 44 people with disabilities in all aspects of the business including entry level positions, logistics, customer service, production, administration and management. http://odenetwork.com/champions-league/mark-wafer-1/

“Get Perfectly Imperfect and Unite to Lead!” 

Maria Pascucci is a former frazzled college perfectionist turned certified professional life coach, author, speaker, leader and change-maker. She is fast becoming the “calm” voice for a new generation of rising women leaders from around the world. Her book Campus Calm University won a gold medal in the 13th Annual International Independent Publisher Book Awards, and has been called, “groundbreaking, refreshing and as calming as a cup of peppermint tea, or an extension on that term paper due tomorrow morning.” She is also the creator of the Campus Lead Her Success Kit, a personal leadership development tool for female college students. 

Past UNITED Conferences

Presentations and performances from the UNITED Conference are filmed for people to experience and enjoy even years after they happen. Click below to view previous UNITED Conferences.

UNITED Submissions
  • If you have ideas for a performance please submit them here
Keynote Speaker

Chaedar-Alwasilah-01_tsmall.jpgPresident Erickson will present the keynote address.

Prior to his tenure at NMU, Dr. Erickson served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Ferris State University in Big Rapids. He holds an interdisciplinary Ed.D. in educational psychology, technology and research methodology and a master’s in curriculum and instruction, both from the University of Northern Colorado, and a bachelor’s in social sciences from Western Michigan University.

Questioning the Notion of ‘Normal’
Vasu Primlani is a professional comedian and corporate trainer.  Called 'funny and defiant' by the BBC, she is one of the leading standup comedians from India. She is an award-winning environmentalist and India’s first openly gay comedian.