Main Stage

Laverne Cox

 Monday, 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM ET

Laverne Cox explores how the intersections of race, class, and gender uniquely affect the lives of trans women of color. Laverne draws from her own personal narrative to share how she has been able to navigate the world and all its challenges.

Cox tells the story of the unique challenges along her journey to womanhood, professional achievement, self-acceptance, and love. She details everything from growing up in Mobile, Alabama, raised by a single mother in a Christian family, to attending college in New York City to pursue a career as an actress and then finally finding the courage to step into the womanhood she always knew in her heart was her destiny.

Laverne Cox 

Award-Winning Actress, Producer, and Equal Rights Advocate

With various "firsts" in her already impressive career, Laverne Cox is a four-time Emmy-nominated actress, Emmy-winning producer, and a prominent equal rights advocate and public speaker. Laverne's groundbreaking role as Sophia Burset in the critically acclaimed Netflix original series Orange is the New Black, brought her to the attention of diverse audiences all over the world. This role led to Laverne becoming the first openly transgender actress to be nominated for a Primetime acting Emmy and made her the first Trans woman of color to have a leading role on a mainstream scripted television series. Laverne is continuing to expand her presence on both the big and small screens with diverse and groundbreaking roles. Global audiences can see Laverne in the Oscar-winning film Promising Young Woman, Shonda Rhimes' 10-episode limited series Inventing Anna for Netflix, Justin Simien's independent film Bad Hair, and the action-comedy Jolt alongside Kate Beckinsale, Bobby Cannavale, and Stanley Tucci, just to name a few. Upcoming projects include UGLIES for Netflix and CLEAN SLATE for Amazon FreeVee.

Laverne is also a successful and award-winning podcaster having launched The Laverne Cox Show, with Shondaland Audio and iHeart Radio. She is currently recording season two.

Laverne is an Emmy-winning producer and her documentary Disclosure, which she executive produced, is currently streaming on Netflix. Named one of the 100 best documentaries of all time by Vogue, Disclosure gives and unprecedented, groundbreaking look at the depiction of transgender characters throughout the history of film and TV. Her other documentaries include the Emmy-winning Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word and Free CeCe. Laverne is the first openly black transgender person to have her own Barbie by Mattel and to appear on the covers of TIME Magazine, British Vogue, Cosmopolitan magazine, and Essence magazine, among others. She also proudly holds two SAG Awards, winning them with her Orange is The New Black castmates for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series.

Other accolades include a Critic's Choice nomination for Best Supporting Actress and consecutive NAACP Image Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.

William J. Doherty, PhD

Therapists in a Divided World: Having Difficult but Necessary Conversation

 Tuesday, 11:45 AM - 1:15 PM ET

As this recent election has shown, the nation is more divided than at any time since the Civil War. Polarization enters the therapy room through emotional triggers, relationship distress, and worries for the future. Many people demonize and hold contempt for the political “other,” even when the “other” is in their families. MFTs are not immune to this toxic political culture, and it can affect how we work with clients facing political stress and divisions in their lives. At a broader level, let’s apply our systemic understanding to the problems of our society instead of just taking a side in the contempt and outrage wars.  

William J. Doherty, PhD

William J. Doherty, PhD, is a professor emeritus and past director of the Minnesota Couples on the Brink Project at the University of Minnesota.

He’s co-founder of Braver Angels, a nonprofit working to depolarize America. His new book (with Tai Mendenhall) is Becoming a CitizenTherapist: Integrating Community Problem-Solving into Your Work as a Healer. 

Jose Szapocznik, PhD

 Wednesday, 11:45 AM - 1:15 PM ET

Jose Szapocznik, PhD

José Szapocznik, PhD is the Developer of Brief Strategic Family Therapy (BSFT) and Director of the Brief Strategic Family Therapy Institute. He is also Professor of Public Health Sciences, Architecture, Psychology and Educational & Psychological Studies, Director of the Center for Family Studies and Chair Emeritus of the Department of Public Health Sciences, all at the University of Miami. 

He is a frequent lecturer on topics related to children, youth and families, evidence- and family-based interventions, family therapy and BSFT. He was the founder of a WHO Center on mental health and substance abuse at the University of Miami, has been a consultant to the UN and the OAS in Latin America, and has held National Advisory Council roles at the U.S. National Institute on Mental Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities as well as the Office of AIDS. He thoroughly enjoys teaching and supervising BSFT in real-world settings.