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Speaker Information

 Keynote speaker


Katie Sorey (she/they) is a Jackson native who currently serves as the Student Life Coordinator for Inclusion and Involvement at Millsaps College. 

Katie’s work in Student Life allows her to wear a lot of different hats while serving students from across Mississippi and around the world. She advises international undergraduate students, identity-based student organizations like Millsaps PRIDE and Pan-African Student Alliance, and the Programming and Activities Council. She is also a member of the College's CARE Team and Title IX Team. 

Katie holds a Master of Divinity from Duke University and a B.A. in Religious Studies from Millsaps College. She is a member of the Junior League of Jackson, a volunteer group facilitator for the McClean Fletcher Center, a member of the Board of Directors for the Millsaps College Alumni Association, and a choir member of St. Philip's Episcopal Church. 

In her free time, Katie is finally learning to play the guitar she bought during lock down, and enjoys spending time with her friends and family.




Julianne Bailey (she/her) is a senior attorney with the Mississippi Department of Human Services. She graduated from the University of Mississippi in 2007 with degrees in German and International Studies. In college, she was active in, and graduated from, the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College and the Croft Institute for International Studies. She earned her law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 2010.


After law school, she clerked at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in the Rocket Launch Services Division and then practiced appellate law in Florida before moving back to Mississippi and joining the Child Support Division at the Mississippi Department of Human Services. 

Julianne currently serves as the president of the Young Lawyers Division of the Mississippi Bar, and she has facilitated the implementation of a shadowing program for law students as well as a series of continuing legal education seminars for solo and small firm attorneys. She has also represented the division as a delegate to the meetings of the Assembly of the Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association. 


Julianne lives in Cleveland with her husband, Chris, and their children, Faulkner and Beau. They are active members of St. Luke United Methodist Church.



Greta Kemp Martin (she/her) is the Litigation Director for Disability Rights Mississippi, the protection and advocacy agency for the state of Mississippi, tasked with legal representation and advocacy for individuals with disabilities.

Born, raised, and educated in Mississippi, Greta is a 2007 graduate of the University of Mississippi and a 2010 graduate of Mississippi College School of Law. She is an active member of the Mississippi Bar and has served on various bar committees. She is a 2015 graduate of the Mississippi Bar Leadership Forum.

Since law school, Greta is the current President for the Mississippi Association for Justice (formerly the Mississippi Trial Lawyers Association). She has been an active member of MAJ, having served in various leadership roles for the association, including New Lawyer’s Division Chair and Women’s Caucus Chair. She is a past recipient of the Margaret P. Ellis Legacy of Leadership as well as MAJ’s Woman of Achievement Award. Similarly, Greta is active with the American Association for Justice and previously served on the Board of Governors.

Greta is a former President of the Mississippi Women Lawyers’ Association (2014-15). She also serves on the Mississippi Access to Justice Commission – a task force that focuses on bringing legal services to underserved communities in Mississippi. Greta sits on the Advisory Council for Planned Parenthood and is a 2019-2020 graduate of the Public Policy Institute through the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi. 

Greta lives in Jackson, Mississippi with her husband, Drew, and her three step-children – Turner, McNeil, and Harrison – and their dogs Arya & Biden.



Jamie Beatty (she/her) is the Central Mississippi Volunteer Hub Director for the Mississippi Nonprofit Alliance. Jamie is a native of Itawamba County in Northeast Mississippi. She graduated from Itawamba Community College and graduated from Mississippi State University with a bachelor’s degree in human development and Family Science with a focus in Adolescent Development. She is a member of Kappa Omicron Nu Honor Society. 


Jamie is actively involved in the Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church and serves as the Director of The Gathering Internship for Undergraduate and Graduate Students. Jamie serves on the board for Keep The Reservoir Beautiful and is an active member of The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary. She is a proud mom to a beautiful little girl, Jane Esther. 


Jamie and her family enjoy spending time in nature across the Jackson area, especially along The Natchez Trace Parkway and around the Reservoir Nature Areas. 



Von Gordon (he/him) is a native of Moorhead, Mississippi, in Sunflower County. He joined the Institute to develop and coordinate youth programs as Youth Engagement Coordinator. He attended the University of Mississippi, where he was a student leader and helped organize the first Statewide Student Summit on Race. He served as a founding board member of the Winter Institute and the only student representative. 

Von believes in building deep relationships and creating transformation and movement towards belonging and justice for communities, organizations, and individuals. He is a member of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Community Leadership Network. He serves on the board of directors of Operation Shoestring and supports the work of the Mississippi Afterschool Network. He also serves on the Community Advisory Councils of the University of Mississippi Medical Center and the Junior League of Jackson. 

Von previously worked in leadership and business development in the food and beverage industries. He and his family now reside in Jackson, Mississippi, stewards of Choctaw land.


Dr. Avani Patel (she/her) is currently in her second year of residency training at the Department of Psychiatry & Human Behavior at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. She earned her Doctor of Medicine at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine in May 2020 and Master’s in Healthcare Administration with an emphasis on executive level leadership at Oklahoma State University Graduate College in May 2020. 

Dr. Patel was recently selected to serve as the American Psychiatric Association Leadership Fellow, a 2-year fellowship. She was also recently named American Cancer Society 2022 Best Dressed Jackson Honoree and will be Chair of the 2023 committee. Dr. Patel is currently a Medical Justice in Advocacy Fellow through the American Medical Association and Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine. She also serves on the Committee on Business and Economics and sectional delegate in the American Medical Association. 

She is currently serving her second term as Resident Trustee on the Board of Trustees for Mississippi State Medical Association (MSMA) and has served two terms on the MSMA Board of Trustees in the past as a medical student. She was also awarded three different awards for her involvement in advocacy and policy in addition to the physician social media movement on a state level. 

Outside of residency and extracurricular involvement, Dr. Patel recharges by spending quality time with her family and friends and through nurturing her passion for the arts, food, beauty, and fashion. She also loves to write and has been blogging for Merck Manuals the last 6 years having published 180+ articles.




Will Graves (he/him) is an attorney with Morgan & Morgan in Jackson, Mississippi. He is a sixth-generation Mississippian, born and raised in Laurel, Mississippi. He graduated magna cum laude from Mississippi State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history before earning his juris doctor from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 2018. Will is admitted to practice in Mississippi, as well as the United States District Court for the Northern and Southern District of Mississippi.


Will is a 2008 alumnus of Mississippi HOBY, and he regularly returns as a guest speaker for the annual seminar.

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