Keynote Speakers


Kick-off Speaker:

Lucca Petrucci

Leading Yourself and Others with Confidence by Owning Your Authenticity

Monday, November 8, 2021 at 5:00 PM (Pacific)

Photo of Lucca Petrucci with a large smile on his face, wearing headphones and sitting in front of a microphone.

Lucca Petrucci is a Broadcast Coach, Business Consultant and Speaker who helps people discover, amplify and broadcast their authentic voice, message and expression so they can make the difference they are here to make in this lifetime. 

He helps leaders, entrepreneurs and brands create, market and launch their creative projects, businesses and ideas. Whether they want to launch a podcast, business, brand, book, speaking career, YouTube channel, blog or social media presence, he supports them in gaining full confidence in their unique voice and message; and then assists them in creating a platform for their voice and brand so they can make a global impact. 

Lucca has a passion for uplifting others through the spoken word, especially the youth and young adults. Since March of 2018, he’s hosted his podcast Living in Your Passion Place, which is downloaded over 12,000 times in 55+ countries. He’s facilitated talks and workshops throughout California for brands and universities including lululemon and the University of California, Merced.

One thing that is consistent no matter who Lucca is serving — he always celebrates and empowers those around him, enabling them to take a confident step in the direction of their authenticity, their desires and dreams.

He grew up in Madera, CA; graduated from Fresno State with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a Marketing option; and currently resides in Los Angeles, CA. 

You can learn more about Lucca’s coaching and consulting programs and listen to his podcast at

Closing Speaker:

Dr. Janine Nkosi

Session Title Forthcoming

Friday, November 19, 2021 at 5:00 PM (Pacific)

Dr. Janine Nkosi stands facing the camera flanked by her spouse and two adult children.
Dr. Janine Nkosi (second from left) with her family.

Greetings students and colleagues! My name is Janine Nkosi and I’m a dedicated and passionate sociologist, activist-educator, and community organizer. I’m firmly committed to working alongside my students to develop and deepen their sociological imagination through critical community-based research and organizing. I started teaching sociology at Fresno State in 2011 and was blessed to join the Merritt College Sociology Department in Spring 2020! I’m a proud first-generation college graduate. I began my higher ed journey at Fresno City College as a single mom of two beautiful children, Asante and Beautiful. My children are my strength, courage, inspiration and determination. I did not achieve a high school diploma or GED, but I did earn an associate degree in Liberal Studies and five additional degrees– a bachelor’s in Sociology, master’s in Counseling, and doctorate in Educational Leadership from Fresno State (Bulldog pride!), and dual master’s in Sociology, and Chicana and Chicano Studies from my hometown college San José State University (go Spartans!).
I strive every day to put my sociological knowledge, skills, and passion into action as a regional community organizer with Faith in the Valley– a multiracial, multiethnic, and multifaith grassroots community organization dedicated to working alongside residents to advance racial justice across the Central Valley. My teaching, research, and organizing philosophy is rooted in Critical Race Theory and methodologies, Critical Pedagogy, Community Cultural Wealth and Funds of Knowledge. Collectively, this model centers students’ lived experience, fosters critical consciousness and praxis, is inspiring, loving, joyful, academically rigorous, and aims to advance racial and economic justice. I care very deeply about my family, my students and my community. I’m passionate about connecting classroom learning to meaningful community change. If you’d like to know more about me, check out my ePortfolio: and connect with me on Twitter @JanineNkosi. 
I look forward to working alongside you in the classroom, on campus, and/or in the community!