Celebrating Leadership 2024

This benefit for the Forum celebrates Leadership Anchorage graduates and uplifts the importance of investing in leadership to strengthen communities.


Friday, May 17, 2024

Starting At: 6:30 PM

3 hours


Anchorage Museum

625 C St | Anchorage, AK 99501


Martha Keele

mkeele@akhf.org  •  907-770-8400

2024 Keynote Speaker

Ayyu Qassataq

Ayyu (Iñupiaq/Yup’ik) grew up between Anchorage and Uŋalaqłiq (Unalakleet) and was adopted into the Raven Kaach.adi clan of Ḵéex̱ʼ Kwáan (Kake) by the Jackson family and given the Lingít name S’ikshaldeen. She is the proud granddaughter of Stanton and Irene Katchatag, daughter of Doug and Vernita Herdman, and mother to Kutuukhuq, Talialuk, Qanigluk and Inuaałuuraq. She attributes her passion and work for Alaska Native and Indigenous communities to her family.

Ayyu served in nonprofit leadership and management for nearly 24 years, most recently as Chief Administrative Officer for First Alaskans Institute where she worked from 2010-2024. While at FAI, she helped grow a team and body of work that advanced racial equity and culturally-centered advocacy to protect our ways of life in all sectors throughout Alaska.

With expertise in building community-based solutions that elevate healing, awareness, and advocacy around the social and cultural issues that impact our communities, she has recently started Qulliq Munaqtuġuut, a consultancy focused on supporting the self-determination and wellbeing of Alaska Native and Indigenous peoples and all who serve them.

Ayyu earned an MA in Rural Development from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and a BA in Organizational Management with Nonprofit Emphasis from Alaska Pacific University. She currently serves as a board member for Alaska Public Media, Philanthropy Northwest, University of Alaska Fairbanks and Anchorage, and Caleb Pungowiyi Scholars Steering Committee (under Kawerak). Ayyu’s extended professional history can be found here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ayyu210




After the overwhelming support after what was supposed to be a one time show the five friends decided to officially form the groovy, diverse band that is now known as Sazón. Bringing old school funk to new school alternative rnb, they bring their own fun and unique flavor to the already booming Anchorage music scene. Their sound is made up by Garret Monroe on bass, Josh Antonio on sax, Denali Romero on vocals, Kengo Nagaoka on drums, and Levi Bets on guitar.

About Celebrating Leadership

This benefit for the Alaska Humanities Forum celebrates our Leadership Anchorage graduates and uplifts the importance of investing in leaders toward strengthening communities. The event honors the more than 400 graduates of our Leadership Anchorage program and funds generated through this event provide critical support for Leadership Anchorage and other Forum programs. The night promises to be filled with a captivating program, commencement recognition of the LA27 cohort, music by local band Sazón, and delicious food and drink provided by Crush. Mark your calendars and join us for a memorable evening celebrating leadership across Alaska!

Make A Difference

To reserve your sponsorship or for additional information, email us at mkeele@akhf.org or call 907-770-8400

LA 26 Graduation
Alaska Humanities Forum

The Alaska Humanities Forum is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that designs and facilitates experiences to bridge distance and difference – programming that shares and preserves the stories of people and places across our vast state, and explores what it means to be Alaskan.

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