The Shades of Race – Guest Panel Speakers

A- A A+

The Shades of Race – Guest Panel Speakers

About the Speakers

Nena Todd

Historic Sites Supervisor, Old State House Museum

Nena Todd has worked in the field of Cultural Resource Management, for nearly 35 years, with the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs. She started as an Archaeological Interpreter at the Island field Site, a Native American burial site, sharing archaeological information and Native American culture with the public. Today, Nena serves as the Historic Site Supervisor for the Old State House Museum, where she oversees the daily operations. In the 1990s, Ms. Todd  revived the Kent County chapter of the Archaeological Society of Delaware after decades of being defunct. She enjoys partnering with many cultural institutions, museums, universities, and historical organizations in sharing history and culture.

Pei-Jen Hickey

Coordinator of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, YMCA of Delaware

Mrs. Hickey is responsible for  developing and integrating of the YMCA of Delaware’s workforce diversity strategy for hiring and developing diverse talent, fostering an inclusive work environment, and ensuring management accountability. Mrs. Hickey’s ambition is to help the YMCA of the Delaware expand conversations and understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion for the wider community. Before joining the YMCA, Mrs. Hickey participated in the Public Ally Program – AmeriCorps at the University of Delaware. She started her career in business development and marketing, working internationally for multinational companies, including IBM and Mercedes Benz. Mrs. Hickey was born and raised in Taiwan and received her bachelor’s degree in International Relations from National Taiwan University. She continued her education at the University of California, Berkley, and Indiana University. She currently lives with her husband and two teenage children in Garnet Valley, Pennsylvania.

Iz Balleto
Community Engagement Specialist, Delaware Art Museum
You’ve probably seen him wearing fatigues and a bandana around Wilmington’s music scene or may have even heard him on the radio, talking about how hip hop and cultural events can heal communities. For over two decades, he’s been instrumental in organizing music festivals, breakdancing competitions, and public graffiti art for organizations like 302GunsDown and Guerrilla Republik. You can find him on stage at rallies and protests or in parks speaking to youth, always spreading a message of peace, love, and respect. What you might not know is that he also works at the Delaware Art Museum as the Community Engagement Specialist. Part of his work has helped this institution develop community partnerships with people and organizations that many, if not most, museums have neglected to engage in the past, communities that are increasingly younger and more diverse.

Iz Balleto, Peruvian native-born and New York raised, now resides in Wilmington, Delaware. As a hip-hop activist and community organizer, Brother IZ raises social awareness through Grassroots Cultural events in the tri-state area and worldwide. Iz has been awarded the 2014 Humanitarian of Year at the Black National Theater in New York for his activism in the inner city. He is also the recipient of the 2022 News Journal Most Influential People of Activism and Social Justice. Iz Balleto co-founded Guerrilla Republik, an international hip-hop organization of over 20 chapters worldwide. He is also an active member of 302gunsdown and the council for the Delaware Art Museum. He serves as vice president of Roberto Clemente Baseball League and has been instrumental in bringing the proclamation and recognition of Indigenous people day to New Castle County.