Keynote Plenaries

Laura Van Dernoot Lipsky

Monday, October 4th - 1:00 pm - 1:45 pm

Laura Van Dernoot Lipsky is the founder and director of The Trauma Stewardship Institute and author of Trauma Stewardship and The Age of Overwhelm. Widely recognized as a pioneer in the field of trauma exposure, she has worked locally, nationally, and internationally for more than three decades. Much of her work is being invited to assist in the aftermath of community catastrophes - whether they are fatal storms or mass shootings. Simultaneously, she has long been active in community organizing and movements for social and environmental justice and has taught on issues surrounding systematic oppression, structural supremacy, and liberation theory. Laura is on the advisory board of ZGiRLS, an organization that supports young girls in sports. She is a founding member of the International Transformational Resilience Network, which supports the development of capacity to address climate change. Laura also served as an associate producer of the award-winning film A Lot Like You, and was given a Yo! Mama award in recognition of her work as a community-activist mother.

Robyn Henderson-Espinoza

Tuesday, October 5th - 10:00 am - 10:45 am

Robyn Henderson-Espinoza, PhD, is a non-binary Transgender and queer Latinx activist scholar. Their dynamic and inspiring presentations explore the Intersections of queer justice and anti-racism, working to dismantle supremacy cultures and displace the toxic culture of whiteness. They are passionate about gender justice as human rights work, and bridging differences within our communities, campuses, and churches.

Whether speaking to universities, communities, writing for HuffPost, Sojourners, or Religion Dispatches, Dr. Robyn uses tools learned in both the academy and activism to stand in the hybrid space of higher education, communities, and movements for justice, curating activist scholarship with deep intention of bridging with difference. When we bridge with our deepest differences and lean into new folds of relationality, we learn better how to build the kind of world we long to inhabit.

Dr. Robyn is the author of Activist Theology, published by Fortress Press (2019), in its second printing, and is also available on Audible. This searing and personal book  bridges the gap between academia and activism, bringing the wisdom of the streets to the work of scholarship, all for the sake of political liberation and social change for marginalized communities. Robyn is currently at work on their second book, Becoming Embodied: a Vision for Democracy.

Dr. Robyn takes seriously their call as an activist scholar, theologian, and ethicist to bridge together theories and practices that result in communities responding to pressing social concerns. Robyn sees this work as a life-orienting vocation, deeply committed to translating theory to practice, and work that is embedded in re-imagining our moral horizon to one which privileges a politics of radical difference.

Knowing intimately that the borderlands are a place of learning and growth, Dr. Robyn draws on their identity and heritage in everything that they do. From doubt to divine and everywhere in between, their call as an activist scholar demands the vision to disrupt hegemony and colonialist structures of multi-layered oppressions. This work is important to Dr. Robyn because their own life has been lived with the ongoing challenge to be grounded in the center of their own difference as a non-binary Trans mixed-raced Latinx. This has required the thoughtful intention of bridging with their white ancestors and Mexican ancestors and with those in the queer community. As a result, their life’s vocation is one that is committed to the deep relationality of bridging with difference to help launch a new vision for humanity.

Trained as an interdisciplinary scholar, they are the founder of the Activist Theology Project, a collaborative project based in Nashville, TN, working to incubate sustainable change for social healing. They are also a Visiting Scholar at the Vanderbilt University Divinity School and Visiting Professor at Duke University Divinity School. Robyn was named one of 10 Faith Leaders to Watch in 2018 by the Center for American Progress.

Keynote speaker Brooklyn Owen is no longer able to present on Tuesday, October 5th.

HUD Compliance Monitoring for CoCs: A Refresher

Tuesday, October 5th - 1:00 pm - 1:45 pm



This session will be tailored to address the most common monitoring findings issued by the HUD Detroit Field Office during FY 2021.  The session will address related findings covered in the HUD Exhibits for CoC program areas, environmental requirements, and financial management. 
Q&A to follow.

Debra Hendren

Job Title
HUD Detroit CPD
Speaker Bio
Debra Hendren graduated from Wayne State University with a BFA in metalsmithing and an M.Ed. specializing in art therapy. She began her professional career in nonprofit organizations, soon finding her passion working in programs that focused on ending and preventing homelessness. Debra became involved in community wide initiatives, working at the CoC and state level to identify ways to streamline and reduce barriers to accessing services. Debra joined the HUD Detroit Field Office in July of 2020 as a CPD Representative and is passionate in continuing to work in building communities and homeless services from this new perspective.

In her spare time, Debra enjoys off-roading in her Jeep, photography, and bike riding. She shares her home with her husband, two young adults, two dogs and a cat.
Debra Hendren

Margaret Momon

Job Title
Senior Financial Analyst
Detroit’s Office of Community Planning & Development; U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development
Speaker Bio
Margaret A. Momon is a Senior Financial Analyst in the HUD-Detroit Field Office. She began her career with HUD in April 2008. Currently, she oversees and manages all new and renewal grants for the 110 nonprofit organizations that receive annual funding to the CoC Homeless program throughout the state of Michigan. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Davenport University and a Masters’ degree in Public Administration (MPA) from Central Michigan University. She is married with three adult children and in her spare time, she enjoys image consulting/fashion, interior design, creative writing, and spending time with her family.
Margaret A Momon