Image - faces of panelists

Past Event

Reflections Town Hall

Reflections Town Hall convenes a panel of thought leaders to address the role of arts organizations in combating systemic racism.

Meet the panelists:

Deborah L. Gould, M.D. practiced medicine for 38 years, spending the majority of her career as a leader in medical care delivery, compliance, ethics, and diversity and inclusion with The Permanente Medical Group (TPMG) Northern California. In addition to serving her community as a board-certified pediatrician, she chaired various committees and advisory boards focused on bioethics, quality assurance, risk management and diversity. Dr. Gould is a servant leader at her core, and her dedication to community outreach and diversity engagement is the thread that connects professional aptitude to social responsibility.

Charles Chip McNeal is an award-winning international educator, researcher, civic leader and activist—engaging in transdisciplinary practice across art forms and genres, with a focus on arts, educational equity, social justice, community engagement and cultural competency. He is the first-ever director of diversity, equity and community for the San Francisco Opera. A pioneering leader in the field of arts, McNeal is ostensibly the first director of diversity for an opera company in the United States.

S. Shariq Yosufzai spent more than 30 years in global leadership positions at Chevron, Texaco and Caltex, including vice president of global diversity at Chevron Corporation, where he was responsible for Chevron’s diversity and inclusion (D&I) and ombuds functions, and oversaw the company’s strategic partnerships with universities and professional societies. Mr. Yosufzai was selected as one of the 2015 “Top 50 Diversity Professionals in Industry” worldwide by The Economist’s Global Diversity List. In addition to holding the position as board president of Berkeley Symphony, Mr. Yosufzai serves on the boards of the San Francisco Opera and Cal Performances.

Praised for his suavely adventurous programming, Joseph Young is increasingly recognized as "one of the most gifted conductors of his generation." Joseph is music director of Berkeley Symphony, artistic director of ensembles for the Peabody Conservatory, and resident conductor of the National Youth Orchestra–USA at Carnegie Hall. In recent years, he has made appearances with the Saint Louis Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Colorado Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Bamberger Symphoniker, New World Symphony Orchestra, Spoleto Festival Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfonica do Porto Casa da Musica, and the Orquesta Sinfonica y Coro de RTVE (Madrid), among others in the United States and Europe.

Michael Morgan was born in Washington, D.C., where he attended public schools and began conducting at the age of 12. He has been music director of the Oakland Symphony since 1991, and has appeared as a guest conductor with most of America’s major orchestras, as well as the New York City Opera, St. Louis Opera Theater, and Washington National Opera. In addition to his duties with the Oakland Symphony, Maestro Morgan serves as artistic director of the Oakland Symphony Youth Orchestra, music director at Bear Valley Music Festival and music director of Gateways Music Festival.

Jeremy Geffen joined Cal Performances as executive and artistic director in April 2019. Before coming to Cal Performances, Geffen was senior director and artistic adviser of Carnegie Hall. His responsibilities at Carnegie Hall included overall program planning and thematic development for the entirety of the approximately 160 performances comprising the Carnegie Hall concert season, as well as the creation of a wide range of audience education programs. A passionate advocate for emerging talent, he was part of the team that created Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble Connect: a two-year fellowship program for the highest-caliber young artists-advocates.

Jeff Benson is a full-stack top performing career technology sales executive with extensive success driving continuous sales growth and managing profitable trusted partnerships in complex and highly competitive markets. He has an extensive background conducting enterprise B2B and B2C with some of the largest companies in the world, and has worked for Apple Computer, Oracle, SAP, Interwoven, Hewlett-Packard and Canon Solutions America. In addition to currently working as a consultant for a multi-faceted health response solutions provider, Jeff is the executive director, treasurer, and social media marketing professional for SWAG Foundation, a 15-person vocal social justice ensemble.


Co-presented with The Berkeley Symphony

Berkeley Symphony

This is a free, online-only program; to receive access to it, use the link via the "register" button above

June 29, 2020

United States

Image - Deborah L. Gould

Deborah L. Gould

M.D., Leader in Medical Care Delivery, Compliance, Ethics and Diversity and Inclusion, The Permanente Medical Group Northern California

Image - Charles Chip McNeal

Charles Chip McNeal

Director of Diversity, Equity and Community, San Francisco Opera

Image - S. Shariq Yosufzai

S. Shariq Yosufzai

Board President, Berkeley Symphony; Board Member, San Francisco Opera and Cal Performances; Former Vice President of Global Diversity, Chevron Corporation

Image - Joseph Young

Joseph Young

Music Director, Berkeley Symphony; Artistic Director of Ensembles, Peabody Conservatory; Resident Conductor, National Youth Orchestra–USA, Carnegie Hall

Image - Michael Morgan

Michael Morgan

Music Director, Oakland Symphony; Artistic Director, Oakland Symphony Youth Orchestra; Music Director, Bear Valley Music Festival; Music Director, Gateways Music Festival

Image - Jeremy Geffen

Jeremy Geffen

Executive and Artistic Director, Cal Performances; Former Senior Director and Artistic Advisor, Carnegie Hall

Image - Jeff Benson

Jeff Benson

Executive Director, Treasurer and Social Media Marketing Professional, SWAG Foundation


5 p.m. (Pacific Time) program