Diversity Presentations

As part of our heritage events, diversity conference and other programs we often bring into Northrop Grumman prominent speakers. Examples of some of these speakers include:

February — Black History Month

Devon Harris
Member of Jamaica’s first Olympic bobsled team

Devon HarrisFrom the slums of Kingston, Jamaica to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, England; from a barefoot boy’s dream of winning a track race to a young man’s membership on his country’s first Olympic bobsled team – Devon Harris' inspiring tale of personal triumph over adversity and the uplifting story behind Jamaica’s first Winter Olympic team is captivating.

So engaging was the story of the misfit band of athletes from the tropical island of Jamaica at the 1988 Winter Olympic Games that it served as the basis for the hit Disney movie, “Cool Runnings.” While the movie captured the heart and soul of a team that didn’t know the meaning of the word “impossible,” the personal story of Devon Harris is a testament of one man’s refusal to accept the limitations placed on him by birth or society.

Devon Harris was born on Christmas Day, 1964. The greatest gift he ever received was the belief that a positive attitude and a never say die philosophy would carry him farther than a sense of injustice and a heart filled with anger. Devon also learned at an early age that one can either spill tears of laughter or tears of rage when faced with life’s many obstacles.

When not bringing his captivating message of inspiration and hope to audiences across the globe, Devon serves as an ambassador for Right to Play – an athlete-driven, humanitarian non-profit organization using sport and play to enhance child development and build community capacity for youth in refugee camps and disadvantaged communities throughout the world.

March — Women’s History Month

Cathy Salser
Executive Director and Founder of A Window Between Worlds

Cathy SalserA Window Between Words is a non-profit organization that has provided art as a resource of healing and empowerment for battered women and their children over the past sixteen years. Working with over 80 domestic violence agencies in 23 states, A Window Between Worlds reaches over 30,000 participants annually.

Cathy earned her BA in Studio Art at Williams College where she was valedictorian of her class of 1988. She received the Future Masters Award from the City of Los Angeles and was one of four National Presidential Scholars in the Visual Arts for which she was honored at the White House.

May — Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Antonio ‘Tony’ M. Taguba
Major General (US Army, Retired)

Antonio M. Taguba‘Tony’ Taguba served 34 years on active duty until his retirement on 1 January 2007. He has served in numerous leadership and staff positions most recently as Deputy Commanding General, Combined Forces Land Component Command during Operations Iraqi Freedom in Kuwait and Iraq, as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, and as Deputy Commanding General for Transformation, US Army Reserve Command.

Born in Manila, Philippines in 1950, he graduated from Idaho State University in 1972 with a BA degree in History. He holds MA degrees from Webster University in Public Administration, Salve Regina University in International Relations, and US Naval War College in National Security and Strategic Studies.

He is currently the Vice President, Army and Joint Programs for Serco, Inc of Vienna, Virginia.

He and his wife Debbie currently reside in Alexandria, Virginia. They have two grown children, Lindsay who resides in Anderson, SC and Sean who is serving as a Second Lieutenant in the US Army.

June — Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Month

Alec Mapa
Actor, comedian, writer, journalist, gay rights activist and AIDS fundraiser

Alec MapaOn June 23, 2008, in celebration of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month, Alec Mapa entertained a packed room at the Northrop Grumman corporate office with another 25 sector employees listening in on the telephone from across the country. Alec, who hosts "Transgender Love Story" and who has most recently appeared in TV programs such as "Ugly Betty" and "Desperate Housewives" and the feature film, "Don’t Mess With The Zohan," shared personal and humorous stories of coming out, marriage and his relationship with his partner and family.

Twenty years ago Mapa starred on Broadway in Tony Award winning "M. Butterfly" and then came to Los Angeles. While waiting for his big break in Hollywood, Alec had temporary positions just down the block in a corporate mailroom in Century City. He found that as an Asian man he went almost unnoticed and invisible while delivering the mail and his co-workers would discuss the most intimate details right in front of him perhaps thinking he didn’t understand English.

Within three years of moving to L.A., Mapa became the first gay Asian TV series regular on "Some of My Best Friends." “The truth is,” he said, “I didn’t have a career until I came out.” And that was certainly the case as he landed a co-starring role on UPN’s "Half & Half" for four years after coming out in Hollywood.

Alec described his relationship with his grandmother and family, and with his very conservative Pilipino Catholic background. He spoke of his civil marriage ceremony with his partner, Jamison Hebert. “Declaring their love in front of his family was a wonderful warm feeling” he recalls, “having the ceremony and the vows they proclaimed for each other made him feel more responsible to his partner and their relationship”.

In addition to performing, Alec travels 4-5 months out of the year on behalf of the Human Rights Campaign to help promote legislation to protect GLBT employees.

Mid-September to mid-October — Hispanic Heritage Month

Fernando J. Guera, Ph.D.
Director, Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University

Fernando J. Guera, Ph.D.Dr, Guerra earned his Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Michigan and his B.A. in International Relations with a University Certificate in Latiin American Studies from the University of Southern California. He was born and raised in the Northeast section of Los Angeles where he graduated from Franklin High School.

Currently he is a tenured Associate Professor of Political Science and has served as Chairman of the Chicano Studies Department and Director of the American Cultures Program. In addition, he is the Director of the Summer In Mexico program. He has been with Loyola Marymount University since 1984.

October — National Disability Awareness Month

Dan Miller
Author and Speaker

Dan MillerDan Miller is an author and inspirational speaker who touches audiences with his own life story of overcoming physical adversity, Fifteen years ago, Dan was asked to share some of his experience in overcoming his bout with polio. The response from the audience was overwhelmingly positive. Soon he was asked to share with other groups and the response was the same. Since then he has shared his inspirational story with more than 550,000 audience members in 45 states and Canadian provinces. He has reached millions around the world through his appearances on radio and TV.

A retired educator, Dan received his Masters Degree in Education from Eastern Washington University. He has been an elementary education teacher and principal. He also has been a middle school athletic director, coach and vice principal. Dan received two Washington Distinguished Principal Awards and the Excellence in Education Award from the Governor or Washington State.

Dan and his wife Judy have three terrific children and eight awesome, talented, gifted, fantastic grandchildren!!!

November — Native American Heritage Month

Dan SaSuWeh Jones
Filmmaker, Producer and member of the Ponca Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma

Dan SaSuWeh JonesDan has earned the distinction of being the first American Indian Producer inducted into the Producers Guild of America. Over his twenty-year career as a filmmaker, Dan’s work reflects a personal commitment to advancing Native languages and culture. His efforts have been recognized through many awards. One, which he is most proud, is the MUSE Award given by the National Associations of Museums for his work with the Smithsonian Institutions National Museum of the American Indian.

Dan produced “The World of American Indian Dance” which was shown on NBC and was the first time an American Indian produced a program that was aired on a major network The Hollywood Reporter called it “Fascinating”.

Dan has worked as a writer, producer, director for such notable companies as Walt Disney Imagineering, Kevin Costner’s "500 Nations," the Screen Actors Guild, The Institute of American Indian Art, Native American Telecommunications, NBC, CBS, Fox, PBS, TNT, TBS and Sesame Street. In addition to filmmaking, Dan lectures on the dynamics of storytelling.