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Diversity & Inclusion:

Steve  Pemberton
Steve Pemberton

Author & Chief HR Officer, Globoforce

Pemberton’s story is about defying the odds—overcoming abuse and neglect as an orphan in foster care to become a corporate executive, enlightened diversity leader, visionary youth advocate and acclaimed speaker.

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Maria  Hinojosa
Maria Hinojosa

Emmy-Winning Journalist

Anchor and executive producer of NPR’s “Latino USA,” and a panelist on Meet the Press, Hinojosa examines the critical issues that are changing our cultural and political landscape.

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Cleve  Jones
Cleve Jones

Author & LGBTQ Activist

From the early days of AIDs activism to marriage equality, civil rights icon Jones has been a driving force behind the most important gains made by the LGBTQ community over the past four decades.  

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Kim  Crenshaw
Kim Crenshaw

Civil & Women's Rights Activist

Known for coining the term “intersectionality,” Crenshaw offers a critical examination of how social structures interact with gender and race on multiple levels, resulting in social inequality.

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Howard  Ross
Howard Ross

Unconscious Bias & Diversity Expert

A seminal thought leader on addressing unconscious bias, best-selling author Howard Ross is one of the nation’s most influential diversity consultants and workplace experts, specializing in corporate culture change and leadership development.

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John  Quiñones
John Quiñones

ABC News Veteran & Host, What Would You Do?

A lifetime of “never taking no for an answer” took Quiñones from migrant farm work to the anchor desk at 20/20 and Primetime and creating, What Would You Do?, the hit show he hosts. 

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Lt. Colonel Olga   Custodio, USAF (Retired)
Lt. Colonel Olga Custodio, USAF (Retired)

America’s First Latina Fighter Pilot

Turned away from flight school because she was a woman, Custodio went on to break barriers (including the sound barrier) as the first Latina USAF pilot and commercial pilot for American Airlines.

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Wes  Moore
Wes Moore

NYT Best-Selling Author & Motivational Leader

Moore energizes audiences with his remarkable personal story of overcoming adversity through education, embracing personal responsibility and emerging as an inspirational leader.

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James  McBride
James McBride

New York Times Best-Selling Author & Musician

McBride uses music and writing to share powerful stories such as The Color of Water, The Good Lord Bird and Miracle at St. Anna, which was adapted by Spike Lee.

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Gish  Jen
Gish Jen

Award-Winning Author

Hailed as “one of the most insightful writers of our time,” Jen addresses pressing questions of culture, identity, and globalization with analysis, storytelling, brilliance, wit and warmth.

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Kareem  Abdul-Jabbar
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

NBA Legend & NY Times Best Selling Author

A global icon that changed the game of basketball, Kareem is a Presidential Medal of Freedom winner and civil rights advocate working to bring more opportunities to underserved communities.

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Michael  Sorrell
Michael Sorrell

Transformative College President

Ranked by Fortune as one of the world’s greatest leaders, Sorrell’s “urban work college model” transformed struggling HBC Paul Quinn College into one of the most innovative colleges in the U.S.

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Wade  Davis
Wade Davis

Former NFL Player, Equality Advocate & Educator

A thought leader, advocate and writer on gender, race and orientation equality and intersectionality, Davis is the NFL’s first LGBTQ+ consultant and works with numerous pro teams.

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Cornell William Brooks
Cornell William Brooks

Former Head of NAACP

As an activist and former leader of the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots-based civil rights organization, Brooks works to secure political, educational, social, and economic equality for all.

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Ferial  Govashiri
Ferial Govashiri

Chief of Staff to Chief Content Officer, Netflix

As Obama’s personal aide, Ferial Govashiri spent the past 10 years within arm’s length of one of the world’s most powerful leaders. She is now the Chief Of Staff to Chief Content Officer at Netflix. 

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Feminista  Jones
Feminista Jones

Intersectionality Expert & Award-Winning Blogger

Named one of the Top 100 Black Social Influencers and 25 Most Inspiring Women on Twitter, Jones is a feminist thought leader and social media influencer honored for online activism.

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Juan  Williams
Juan Williams

FOX News Commentator

Covering American politics for four decades, Williams has champion civil rights with  Eyes on the Prize and his latest book, What The Hell Do You Have to Lose?: Trump’s War on Civil Rights.

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Nicholas  Kristof
Nicholas Kristof

Pulitzer Prize-Winning NYT Columnist

How good do you really have to be, to be christened the reporter’s reporter…by other reporters? You have to be Nicholas Kristof – good.

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Sonia  Manzano
Sonia Manzano

"Maria" on Sesame Street & Author

Having retired her iconic Sesame Street character “Maria,” Manzano now dedicates her time to speaking and writing on education, communication, and Hispanics in the media.

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Allison  Schroeder
Allison Schroeder

Academy Award Nominee for Hidden Figures

Allison Schroeder is a screenwriter and film producer known for Brooklyn Sound, Side Effects, and Hidden Figures, which earned her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

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Karine  Jean-Pierre
Karine Jean-Pierre

Sr. Advisor & National Spokesperson, MoveOn.org

Progressive activist Jean-Pierre’s professional experience has ranged from presidential campaigns and working in the White House to grassroots activism and local politics.

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Shaun  T
Shaun T

Celebrity Fitness Trainer & Creator, Hip Hop Abs

Best known for his #1 at-home workout “Hip Hop Abs,” author, entrepreneur and “trainer for the people” Shaun T motivates people to transform their lives, bodies, mindsets and businesses.

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Dr. Aprille  Ericsson
Dr. Aprille Ericsson

Aerospace Engineer

Named one of the top 50 minority women in science and engineering, Ericsson is the first African-American woman to receive a Ph.D. in engineering from NASA’s Goddard Flight Center.

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Ilyasah  Shabazz
Ilyasah Shabazz

Daughter of Malcolm X, Professor & Author

Sharing the legacy of her parents, Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz, Ilyasah is an inspirational role model, youth advocate and champion of women and girl empowerment.

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Christopher  Gray
Christopher Gray

Founder & Chief Executive Officer Scholly

Raised in poverty and determined to help others go to college, Gray sparked the biggest fight in Shark Tank history with Scholly, his breakthrough app that helps students find scholarships.

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Fania  Davis
Fania Davis

Leading National Voice on Restorative Justice

A long-time social justice activist, civil rights trial attorney, writer, professor and scholar, Davis speaks on the power of restorative justice and search for healing.

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Jinah  Parker
Jinah Parker

Dancer, Choreographer, Playwright & Educator

A multi-faceted creative force, Jinah is an artistic mirror for our past and present political and social climates. Her “choreoplay” She, examines sexual violence against women and girls.

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Ray  Suarez
Ray Suarez

NPR Senior Correspondent

With more than 30 years covering national and world events, Suarez explores Latino American history, the intersection of faith and politics, journalism in the age of fake news, social media and more.

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I Am the Change World Tour
I Am the Change World Tour

Transformative Presentation

I Am The Change is an exciting program that exemplifies how “the power of one” can transform the world.

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Ice-T
Ice-T

Rapper & Actor, Law & Order: SVU

Hip-hop pioneer Ice-T has risen from a disadvantaged childhood to become a successful entertainer and entrepreneur. A sobering, yet inspirational, role model, he discusses overcoming adversity with education.

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One Race, One People, One Peace
One Race, One People, One Peace

A Theatrical Performance

Informative presentation to help healing in the aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy. "One Race" takes an honest look at prejudice, racism, homophobia and terrorism through poignant monologues and poetic scenes.

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Our Young Black Men are Dying
Our Young Black Men are Dying

A Theatrical Performance

The Off-Broadway hit is back and full of the history, passion, and sheer drama that established the prominence of Flow-Theater Spoken Word. This classic choreopoem is redesigned with music and simple staging.

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The Color Orange
The Color Orange

Cross-Cultural Performance

In The Color Orange, long-time friends Mohammed Bilal and Josh "Boac" Goldstein challenge American notions by offering a vibrant new look at race, racism and how we get along.

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A Conversation with John Marshall & Acclaimed Biographer Wil Haygood

Inspired by the Oscar-nominated picture, MARSHALL, Thurgood Marshall’s son, John and acclaimed Marshall biographer Wil Haygood celebrate America’s first African-American Supreme Court Justice.

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The Meeting
The Meeting

A Play

In this moving and thought-provoking work, playwright Jeff Stetson imagines for us what a clandestine meeting might have been like between Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X.

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Erika  Andiola
Erika Andiola

Political Director, Our Revolution

Erika Andiola is the former Press Secretary for Latino Outreach for Bernie 2016 and current Political Director for the campaign's successor organization, Our Revolution.

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Harry  Belafonte
Harry Belafonte

Civil Rights Icon & Entertainer

Harry Belafonte has been called the consummate entertainer. His distinguished career spans music, film, TV and the stage, and he is a passionate keynote speaker on civil and human rights.

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Howard  Bryant
Howard Bryant

Senior ESPN Writer

The author of eight books on sports and legendary black athletes, Bryant’s latest work examines the intersection of race, sports, politics and patriotism in a divided America.

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Valeisha  Butterfield-Jones
Valeisha Butterfield-Jones

Google’s Head of Black Engagement

Valeisha Butterfield-Jones is an award-winning political strategist, youth and women’s activist and lifestyle expert. Butterfield-Jones is currently Head of Black Engagement at Google as well as the author of the highly acclaimed book The Girlprint.

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Grace (Gealey) Byers
Grace (Gealey) Byers

Actress on Hit TV Show Empire

Born in the Caymans and raised by two deaf parents, Byers lends insights into challenging social and cultural experiences, reminding us all to have compassion and show grace for each other.

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Nick   Cannon
Nick Cannon

Actor, Comedian, Entrepreneur & TV Personality

For over 20 years, the multi-faceted Nick Cannon has entertained audiences on stage, television and film. As a comedian, actor, philanthropist and author, Cannon continues to take the industry by storm. 

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Gwen  Carr
Gwen Carr

Mother of Eric Garner

The matriarch of one of Staten Island's largest African-American families, Gwendolyn Garner earned national recognition as the mother of Eric Garner, a man murdered by the New York Police Department in July 2014.

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Majora  Carter
Majora Carter

Urban Revitalization Strategist

Named among the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company, speaker Majora Carter hosts the Peabody Award-winning public radio series "The Promised Land."

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Juju  Chang
Juju Chang

Television Journalist, Correspondent & Producer

Speaker Juju Chang is an Emmy Award-winning correspondent for 20/20 and Nightline who has covered Haiti's earthquake and the mine disaster in West Virginia.

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Rosa  Clemente
Rosa Clemente

2008 United States Vice-Presidential Candidate

Speaker Rosa Clemente engages communities through her discussions on Afro-Latino identity and politics, sexism within hip-hop culture, and hip-hop activism.

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Johnnetta  Cole
Johnnetta Cole

College President & Diversity Consultant

Speaker Johnnetta B. Cole is President Emerita of both Bennett College and Spelman College. She fights for diversity, justice, health, and safety.

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Malaak  Compton
Malaak Compton

Activist & Philanthropist

Speaker Malaak Compton is founder of the Angel Rock Project dedicated to volunteerism and philanthropy.

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Lee  Daniels
Lee Daniels

Filmmaker

The creative mind behind Monster's Ball, speaker Lee Daniels was the first African American producer of an Academy Award-nominated movie.

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Angela  Davis
Angela Davis

Feminist & Writer

Drawing from her experience on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List and the ensuing “Free Angela Davis” campaign, Davis delivers riveting messages of tolerance.

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Dr. Sampson  Davis
Dr. Sampson Davis

Physician & Inspirational Leader

One of three young men raised in poverty that made a pact to become doctors, NY Times best-selling author Davis told his story in The Pact and wrote Living & Dying in Brick City and The Stuff.

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Manny  Diaz
Manny Diaz

Former Mayor of Miami

As former mayor, speaker Manny Diaz transformed Miami from a poor, crime-ridden, and economically stagnant city to a flourishing metropolis with a hurtling skyline.

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Jeff  Duncan-Andrade
Jeff Duncan-Andrade

Co-Founder of the Teaching Excellence Network

As a classroom teacher in East Oakland for the past 21 years, Jeff Duncan-Andrade's pedagogy has been widely studied and acclaimed for producing uncommon levels of social and academic success for students.

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Marcia  Dyson
Marcia Dyson

Political Strategist, Social Activist & Writer

Marcia L. Dyson has been hailed as one of our nation's foremost religious figures. Using her special brand of wisdom, Rev. Dyson's speeches address issues on race, gender inequality, and other national concerns.

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Michael Eric Dyson
Michael Eric Dyson

Public Intellectual & Best-Selling Author

Featured on NPR and MSNBC, Professor Dyson melds scholarly insight with contemporary culture and examines civil rights and race relations. This thought-provoking talks foster social change.

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Shirin  Ebadi
Shirin Ebadi

Nobel Peace Prize-Winning Activist & Lawyer

Iranian lawyer and activist Shirin Ebadi is the first Muslim to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. She speaks about democracy and the fundamental rights of women, children and every individual.

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Marian Wright Edelman
Marian Wright Edelman

Child Advocate

Founder and Director of the Children's Defense Fund, Marian Wright Edelman achieved victories in mandatory education for children with disabilities and health benefits for uninsured children.

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Christopher  Emdin
Christopher Emdin

Professor of Science Education & Author

Christopher Emdin teaches STEM classes at Columbia where he serves as Director of Secondary School Initiatives at the Urban Science Education Center. He wrote Urban Science Education for the Hip-Hop Generation.

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Marlen  Esparza
Marlen Esparza

US Boxing Champion & Olympian

Marlen Esparza made history as the first US female boxer to win a medal in the first-ever women's boxing games at the Olympics.

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Gloria  Estefan
Gloria Estefan

Grammy Award-Winning Latin Singer

One of the biggest new stars in the '80s, Gloria Estefan predated the Latin pop explosion by a decade, scoring dance hits rooted in rhythms of her native Cuba before shifting her focus to softer ballads.

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Myrlie  Evers-Williams
Myrlie Evers-Williams

Civil Rights Activist

Myrlie Evers-Williams was the first woman to lead and restore the NAACP’s credibility in a time of controversy. She continues to fight for racial and gender equality and co-authored Medgar Evers’ autobiography.

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America  Ferrera
America Ferrera

Emmy Award-Winning Actress & Activist

Best known for her Emmy-winning starring role in Ugly Betty, America Ferrera is an artist ambassador for Save the Children and an activist committed to issues surrounding education and children.

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James  Forman Jr.
James Forman Jr.

Pulitzer Prize Winning Author

James Forman, Jr. started the Maya Angelou Public Charter School and is a Professor of Law at Yale Law School. He also worked as a law clerk for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor of the U.S. Supreme Court and is a Pulitzer Prize Winning Author.

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Vivica A. Fox
Vivica A. Fox

Actress & Producer

Vivica Fox has had a successful career in film, as well as on television. From humble beginnings, Fox has gone on to appear in numerous movies including Independence Day, Batman and Robin, and Kill Bill.

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Kirk  Franklin
Kirk Franklin

Businessman, Gospel Singer & Motivator

The first Gospel artist to go platinum and multi-platinum, Franklin has transformed the genre. He inspires audiences across generations with his touching story and views on faith and culture.

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Sybrina  Fulton
Sybrina Fulton

Mother of Trayvon Martin

After the death of her son made national headlines, Fulton channeled her loss to become a gun control law activist and motivational speaker.

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Arun  Gandhi
Arun Gandhi

Grandson of Mahatma Gandhi

Dr. Arun Gandhi is proof that one can change his ways. Although he is the grandson of Mohandas Gandhi, he overcame great prejudice and anger to become the founder of the Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute.

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Nikki  Giovanni
Nikki Giovanni

Poet, Educator & Best-Selling Author

Named a “living legend” by Oprah Winfrey, Giovanni is an NAACP and Langston Hughes Award winner. Her keynotes on diversity are highlighted with poetry.

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Zonnie  Gorman
Zonnie Gorman

Historian & Lecturer

A recognized historian of the Navajo Code Talkers of World War II, Gorman educates people about the rich history, culture, language, and contributions of the Navajo people.

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F. Gary  Gray
F. Gary Gray

Acclaimed Director of Straight Outta Compton

F Gary Gray is one of the industry’s most prolific directors as the mind behind Straight Outta Compton and The Italian Job. He is known for consistently pushing the envelope and spotting new trends and talent.

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Ernest   Green
Ernest Green

Member of the "Little Rock Nine" / Consultant

One of the nine students that integrated Central High School in 1957, Green speaks out on the vestiges of past injustices, connecting them to present-day issues of race and education.

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Michael  Greyeyes
Michael Greyeyes

Award-Winning Artist, Educator & Leader

Praised for his game-changing portrayal of Sitting Bull in Woman Walks Ahead, Greyeyes is a proud Nehiyawe (Plains Cree) blazing new trails for indigenous people in film.

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Hill  Harper
Hill Harper

Actor & Youth Advocate

Known for his roles on CSI: NY and Covert Affairs, Harper wrote four best-sellers and founded the Manifest Your Destiny Foundation to empower underserved youth through mentorship.

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Leslie  Harris
Leslie Harris

Award-Winning Filmmaker, Screenwriter & Producer

One of the first African-American women to write, direct and produce a feature film, Leslie Harris has inspired filmmakers across the globe with her film Just Another Girl on the I.R.T.

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Judge Glenda Hatchett
Judge Glenda Hatchett

Juvenile Court Judge & Star of Judge Hatchett

Nationally recognized as an expert on juvenile & social issues, Judge Glenda Hatchett garnered national appeal for her award-winning show, Judge Hatchett. She is the author of Dare to Take Charge.

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Wil  Haygood
Wil Haygood

Acclaimed Biographer & Pulitzer Finalist

New York Times best-selling author and cultural historian Haygood tells the story of America through the lens of history, politics, sports, race and the lives of change-making African-Americans.

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Dennis  Haysbert
Dennis Haysbert

Actor & Voice of Allstate Insurance Co.

Best known for his role on 24 and as the voice of Allstate, he also heads the Haysbert Humanitarian Foundation which provides education, food, energy and water to the next generation.

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Susan N. Herman
Susan N. Herman

President of the American Civil Liberties Union

President of the ACLU, Susan Herman helps audiences understand today’s social issues in national security, marriage equality, women’s and voting rights, the criminal justice system and civil liberties.

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Joe  Hernandez-Kolski
Joe Hernandez-Kolski

Actor / Writer / Spoken Word Poet

Joe Hernandez-Kolski’s, aka "Pocho Joe," performances challenge while they entertain.  He combines poetry, comedy and his socio-political "Chicagoan" voice to create a talk that embraces the conundrums of the US.

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Donna  Hicks
Donna Hicks

Internationally Renowned Authority on Dignity

Harvard’s Donna Hicks is the pioneering mind behind the Dignity Model, a signature approach that she has applied to the most divisive and deep-seated conflicts around the world.

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Dr. Karlos K. Hill
Dr. Karlos K. Hill

Expert on Racism & Race Relations

Dr. Karlos K. Hill founded the Distinguished African American History Month Lecture Series at TTU. His research explores how black Americans have resisted racial violence and how black resistance has changed.

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Marc Lamont Hill
Marc Lamont Hill

Social Critic & Intellectual

A professor at Temple University, award-winning journalist, BET News host, social activist, and CNN contributor, Hill speaks on youth, the achievement gap and the intersecting injustices of American racism.

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Jennifer  Holliday
Jennifer Holliday

Broadway Star

One of the greatest voices of the new millennium, Jennifer Holliday gives concerts across the world. Having lived with depression for over ten years, she shares that there is a healing path out of the darkness.

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Ernie  Hudson
Ernie Hudson

Actor & Activist

Appearing in Ghostbusters and The Crow, Ernie Hudson’s journey to Hollywood success was not without difficulties. He shares how he overcame seemingly insurmountable problems and inspires others to persevere.

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Charlayne  Hunter-Gault
Charlayne Hunter-Gault

Award-Winning Journalist

Civil Rights trailblazer Hunter-Gault discusses her historic entry into the University of Georgia as its first black female student and the road she took through the Jim Crow South to get there.

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Star  Jones
Star Jones

Television Personality, Attorney & Author

TV personality, former prosecutor and author Star Jones offers a fresh perspective on the most talked about crime and justice, political, and sociological issues from entertainment, politics, and pop culture.

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Robin D.G. Kelley
Robin D.G. Kelley

Professor of African American Studies & Author

Author and historian, Robin D.G. Kelley is one of the most distinguished experts on African American studies and a celebrated professor who has lectured at some of America’s highest learning institutions.

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Peggy Wallace Kennedy
Peggy Wallace Kennedy

Civil Rights Activist

The daughter of George C. Wallace, one of the 1960's most ardent segregationists, speaker Peggy Wallace Kennedy has broken her family's legacy to become one of the nation's foremost voices on justice and equality.

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Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch
Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch

US Army Lieutenant Colonel / Education Advocate

Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch is the highest-ranking Hispanic woman in the Combat Support Field in the US Army. She is recognized for her work on teen pregnancy, gang violence and parenting education.

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Talib  Kweli
Talib Kweli

Activist / Co-Owner of Blacksmith Music Label

Few hip-hop artists have made as profound an impact in as short a time as Talib Kweli. Recently, he has played a major part in bringing a sense of spirituality, social conscience and moral balance back to hip-hop.

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Yul  Kwon
Yul Kwon

Winner of Survivor: Cook Islands

Defying racial stereotypes about Asian American men in the media, Yul Kwon led a multi-ethnic team to victory in the controversial, racially segregated 2006 season of Survivor.

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Joyce  Ladner
Joyce Ladner

Civil Rights Activist & Sociologist

Sociologist Joyce Ladner is one of the nation’s pre-eminent thought leaders. Her career was shaped by her involvement with the civil rights movement in Mississippi and as an organizer of the March on Washington.

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Winona  LaDuke
Winona LaDuke

Native American Environmentalist

An advocate for frontline native environmental groups and ecological balance, LaDuke was twice Ralph Nader’s vice-presidential candidate for the Green Party.

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Sara  Lawrence-Lightfoot
Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot

Sociologist, Educator & Author

Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, a MacArthur prize-winning sociologist, is the Emily Hargroves Fisher Professor of Education at Harvard University, where she has worked since 1972, and the author of nine books.

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Sandra  Lawson
Sandra Lawson

Rabbi & Sociologist

Rabbi Sandra Lawson received ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in June 2018. She uses her rabbinic training to bring Judaism to where people already are in their lives.

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Spike  Lee
Spike Lee

Filmmaker

An outspoken social critic, Spike Lee has directed critically acclaimed, socially conscious films such as Do The Right Thing, Malcolm X, When The Levees Broke, 4 Little Girls and his latest, BlacKkKlansman.

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Carol  Leifer
Carol Leifer

Award-Winning Comedy Writer

A trailblazing woman in stand-up comedy and a best-selling author, Leifer shares her views on women’s issues, her Jewish roots, human rights, acknowledging that she was gay at 40, and her incredible career.

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Don  Lemon
Don Lemon

CNN Anchor

Based in the network's world headquarters in Atlanta, Don Lemon anchors CNN Newsroom during weekend prime-time and serves as a correspondent across CNN/US programming. He was named one of the Ebony Power 150.

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Nia  Long
Nia Long

Actress

Since her big break as Will Smith's love interest on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Nia Long has delivered outstanding work on both TV and at the box office with such hits as Love Jones, Soul Food, and Boiler Room.

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Trace  Lysette
Trace Lysette

Actress, Transparent & LGBT Advocate

Trace Lysette is an actress and advocate best known for her role of 'Shea' on Amazon's critically acclaimed series, Transparent. She is a strong advocate for transgender rights and representation in Hollywood.

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Michael Patrick MacDonald
Michael Patrick MacDonald

Best-Selling Author & Community Activist

Author of the New York Times best-seller All Souls, Michael Patrick MacDonald shares his remarkable story of survival and redemption while examining the relationship between poverty and class he witnessed growing up in South Boston.

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Julianne  Malveaux
Julianne Malveaux

Racial & Cultural Economics Expert

Provocative and progressive, Dr. Julianne Malveaux, is an economist, author, commentator and the 15th President of Bennett College for Women. She speaks on the economic impact of race, culture, and gender.

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Rose  Mapendo
Rose Mapendo

Activist & Congolese Genocide Survivor

Mapendo, a survivor of the Congolese genocide, is a global activist for peace. She was named United Nations Humanitarian of the Year in 2009 and her story was chronicled in the documentary Pushing The Elephant.

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Rosario  Marin
Rosario Marin

Former Treasurer of the United States

Rosario Marin firmly believes that "of him to whom much is given, much is expected." She served as the highest-ranking Latina in the Bush Administration and the first U.S. Treasurer born outside of the country.

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Tracy  Martin
Tracy Martin

Father of Trayvon Martin & Community Activist

Since the death of his son, Martin has committed his life to transforming tragedy into social change and awakening the nation’s conscience.

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Chris  Mburu
Chris Mburu

Human Rights Activist

Mburu has been doing human rights work for the last 20 years. First as an activist in Kenya, then at Harvard Law School, and then during his time at Amnesty International, Global Rights, and United Nations.

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Aaron  McGruder
Aaron McGruder

Creator of "The Boondocks"

Creator of "The Boondocks" comic strip and animated series, McGruder is a young, fresh, and  outspoken political satirist who dispenses social commentary with subversive humor.

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Terry  McMillan
Terry McMillan

Best-Selling Author

One of America’s most beloved and critically-acclaimed authors, Terry McMillan became the empowering voice of a generation of women with her NYT #1 bestsellers Waiting for Exhale & How Stella Got Her Groove Back.

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Lesley  McSpadden
Lesley McSpadden

Mother of Michael Brown

McSpadden is the mother of Michael Brown, the slain Missouri teen who was killed by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson following an altercation at a convenience store in St. Louis city in August 2014.

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Tatanka  Means
Tatanka Means

Native American Actor / Son of Russell Means

Star of the Emmy-winning miniseries Into the West, Means uniquely uses the history of Hollywood’s portrayal of Native Americans as a backdrop to speak about equality and advancement.

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Kweisi  Mfume
Kweisi Mfume

Political & Business Leader

Former President and CEO of the NAACP, Maryland Congressman, and Chairman of the Black Congressional Caucus, Mfume is credited with rebuilding and revitalizing the NAACP.

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Marilyn  Milian
Marilyn Milian

The People's Court Judge

Judge Milian joined The People's Court in January 2001, with more than 19 years of legal experience on the bench, becoming the first female judge to preside over The People's Court.

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Billy  Mills
Billy Mills

Olympic Gold Medalist & Motivator

A Lakota Sioux raised in one of the poorest communities in America, Mills inspired the film Running Brave. He authored Wokini, a book about finding happiness and satisfaction in life.

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Azadeh  Moaveni
Azadeh Moaveni

Author & Journalist

She lived in two worlds. At home, she was the daughter of the Iranian exile community. Outside, she was a California girl. College magnified this clash, and after graduating, she moved to Iran as a journalist.

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Marc H. Morial
Marc H. Morial

President of National Urban League

In a distinguished professional career that has spanned 25 years, Marc Morial has served as one of the most accomplished servant-leaders in the nation.

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Diane  Nash
Diane Nash

Civil Rights & Peace Activist

A pioneer of the Civil Rights Movement, Nash helped form the Nashville Student Movement and coordinated the Freedom Ride from Birmingham to Mississippi. Her work was featured in the PBS film Freedom Riders.

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Sonia  Nazario
Sonia Nazario

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author & Journalist

Nazario has spent over 20 years writing about social issues including immigration. Her acclaimed book, Enrique’s Journey, recounts a Honduran boy’s struggle to find his mother in the U.S.

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Betty  Nguyen
Betty Nguyen

Award-Winning Journalist & Humanitarian 

A journalist and humanitarian, Betty Nguyen’s work has taken her across the globe. Her striking authenticity and powerful storytelling moves audiences to explore pressing issues that affect us all.

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Jehane  Noujaim
Jehane Noujaim

Academy Award Nominated Director

Noujaim's controversial documentary Control Room, about the Arabic-language news station Al Jazeera, called into question the prevailing images and positions offered up by the US news media about the war in Iraq.

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Blessing  Offor
Blessing Offor

Musician & Reality TV Star

Born blind in his left eye due to congenital glaucoma, standout musician Blessing Offor of The Voice emigrated to the U.S. from Nigeria. With a love of people and energy, Offor is making his dreams come true.

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Krist "KRS-ONE" Parker
Krist "KRS-ONE" Parker

Author, Emcee & Producer

Dubbed "the conscience of rap" by Rolling Stone, KRS-ONE's Temple of Hip-Hop Kulture, is a hip-hop preservation society that promotes hip-hop as a strategy toward health, love, awareness and wealth.

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Lee  Pelton
Lee Pelton

President of Emerson College & Speaker

Lee Pelton is a well-known speaker and writer on the value of a liberal education. He came to Emerson on July 1, 2011, after serving for 13 years as the president of Willamette University in Salem, Oregon.

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Judge Cristina  Perez
Judge Cristina Perez

Lawyer, Judge Cristina’s Court, Activist

Known as the internationally popular judge on Telemundo’s La Corte de la Familia and Cristina's Court, Perez is also a sought after lawyer with a practice specializing in immigration and nationality law.

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Jonathan  Perry
Jonathan Perry

GLBTQ & HIV/AIDS Activist

Jonathan Perry, who is HIV positive, founded Johnson C. Smith University's first official, gay, lesbian bisexual and transgender (GLBT) organization and is actively involved in HIV-education programs on campus.

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Tony  Plana
Tony Plana

Actor, Ugly Betty / Education Advocate

With an acting career in film, television, and theater spanning almost thirty years, starred on the hit series Ugly Betty. A former teacher, he maintains his passion for education.

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Kevin  Powell
Kevin Powell

Writer, Activist, President of BK Nation

A political activist, poet, journalist, essayist, hip-hop historian, and entrepreneur with a compelling life story of overcoming adversity; Powell motivates, builds bridges and inspires civic engagement.

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Jasmine  Rand
Jasmine Rand

Attorney, Trayvon Martin & Michael Brown Family

Known for her representation of the Trayvon Martin family, Jasmine Rand excels in the civil rights arena. Rand is currently scheduled to provide lectures worldwide on her I Am the Change World Tour.

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Victor Rivas Rivers
Victor Rivas Rivers

Domestic Violence Activist, Actor & Author

Born in Cuba, Rivers came to the US at the age of two, endured horrific child abuse and witnessed domestic violence at the hands of his father, which he chronicles in his bestseller, A Private Family Matter.

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Terrence  Roberts
Terrence Roberts

One of the "Little Rock Nine"

Dr. Roberts was one of the first to integrate the Little Rock Public Schools. In his presentations, he guides participants through the lessons to be learned from the chaotic episode at Central High School.

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Matt  Roloff
Matt Roloff

Star of Little People, Big World

The star of TLC's Little People, Big World, Matt Roloff inspires audiences around the country through his determination to succeed in life despite being born with a rare form of physically debilitating dwarfism.

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Anthony  Romero
Anthony Romero

Executive Director of the ACLU

The first Latino and openly gay head of the ACLU, Romero has transformed the ACLU into an organizational powerhouse championing civil liberties, individual freedom and human rights.

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Jalen  Rose
Jalen Rose

ESPN Analyst & Former NBA Player

Current ESPN/ABC studio analyst and former 13-year NBA veteran Jalen Rose is one of the select professional athletes to maintain a high profile post-retirement as a philanthropist and entertainer.

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Tracee Ellis Ross
Tracee Ellis Ross

Actress & Youth Volunteer

A Golden Globe-winning and Emmy-nominated actress, Ross stars in “Black-ish” and starred in Girlfriends. She encourages audiences to tap into their own creativity and inner joy.

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Paul  Rusesabagina
Paul Rusesabagina

Real Life Hero of Hotel Rwanda

Known as the "Rwandan Schindler," speaker Paul Rusesabagina saved countless lives during the Rwandan genocide. His story is chronicled in the film Hotel Rwanda.

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Angela  Rye
Angela Rye

Principal & CEO of IMPACT Strategies

Angela Rye is Principal and CEO of IMPACT Strategies. Featured as an influential politico, lawyer, and advocate by several media outlets, Rye has an unwavering commitment to ensuring positive change in politics.

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Synthia  Saint James
Synthia Saint James

World Renowned Multicultural Visual Artist

Saint James is a multicultural visual artist, an award winning author and/or illustrator of 17 children’s books. She designed the first Kwanzaa Stamp for the USPS and the cover art for the book Waiting to Exhale.

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Amanda  Seales
Amanda Seales

Poet, Spoken Word Artist & Media Personality

With a master's in African American studies & experience in entertainment, Amanda Seales has made a name for herself as a respected voice on pop culture, women's issues & the Black Diaspora.

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Al  Sharpton
Al Sharpton

Political & Social Activist

A leading voice in civil rights, speaker Al Sharpton is founder and president of the National Action Network, which supports community businesses and combats corporate racism.

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Dia  Simms
Dia Simms

President at Combs Enterprises

An entrepreneur, philanthropist and creative force, Simms has worked with Sean “Diddy” Combs since 2005. She oversees business activities across his multiple companies and investments.

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Glenn  Singleton
Glenn Singleton

Founder of Pacific Educational Group, Inc.

A product of public elementary and independent secondary school, Singleton founded Pacific Educational Group, Inc. (PEG) to support families in their transitions within and between K–12 and higher education.

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President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Former Liberian President & Nobel Laureate

Sirleaf, “Africa’s Iron Lady,” is the continent’s first democratically-elected woman leader and a Nobel Peace Prize-winning advocate for freedom, justice, women’s empowerment and democracy.

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Tavis  Smiley
Tavis Smiley

Political Commentator & TV Personality

From his conversations with world figures to his work to inspire the next generation, Tavis Smiley—broadcaster, author, publisher, advocate, and philanthropist—has emerged as an outstanding voice for change.

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Chad "Corntassel" Smith
Chad "Corntassel" Smith

Principal Chief, Cherokee Nation

A force in building self-sufficient Native American nations, Smith speaks passionately about developing leadership, improving education, and preserving cultural values and language.

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Ian  Smith
Ian Smith

Doctor, Author & Media Consultant

A medical expert on Celebrity Fit Club and author of The 4 Day Diet, Ian Smith is a medical correspondent for NBC and a health columnist for Men's Health.

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Kemba  Smith
Kemba Smith

Author & Criminal Justice Advocate

Smith attended the prestigious Hampton University, but what happened at her campus was a nightmare, and led to a 24.5-year sentence in a federal prison. In 2000, after serving 6.5 years, President Clinton commuted her sentence to time served.

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Jurnee  Smollett
Jurnee Smollett

Actress & Singer

Known for her roles in Eve's Bayou and Friday Night Lights, speaker Jurnee Smollett is also a member of ANSA, which combats HIV/AIDS and assists at-risk youth.

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Sister  Souljah
Sister Souljah

Rap Artist & Community Activist

Performer, author, and activist Sister Souljah organizes community youth events that encourage activism. Her best-selling books include No Disrespect.

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Claude  Steele
Claude Steele

Psychologist & Stereotype Expert

Speaker Claude Steele is an expert on "stereotype threat," the notion that students who belong to negatively stereotyped groups are likely to perform less well.

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Ron  Suskind
Ron Suskind

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist, Author

The author of Life, Animated (inspiration for the Academy Award nominated film of the same name) shares his journey of connecting with his son, who has autism, through Disney movies.

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Susan L. Taylor
Susan L. Taylor

Founder & CEO, National CARES Mentoring Movement

The visionary that built the Essence brand, Taylor left the magazine to found an organization devoted to breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty among African-Americans.

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Robert  Townsend
Robert Townsend

Filmmaker & Former CEO, the Black Family Channel

Raised by a single mom on the West Side of Chicago, Townsend transcended his environment to become an actor, writer, director, comedian, producer and ultimately, the President and CEO of the Black Family Channel.

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Tak  Toyoshima
Tak Toyoshima

Creator, "Secret Asian Man" Comic

A self-described product of creativity bred in the midst of multicultural experiences, Toyoshima opens up the dialogue on the challenges that Asian-Americans face in mainstream culture.

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Nontombi Naomi  Tutu
Nontombi Naomi Tutu

Race & Gender Justice Activist

The daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Naomi carries on the family legacy to heal the wounds of racism and promote understanding through truth and reconciliation.

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Blair  Underwood
Blair Underwood

Actor, Activist & Philanthropist

An actor known for his roles on Sex and the City and In Treatment, speaker Blair Underwood is the co-founder of Artists for New South Africa.

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Iyanla  Vanzant
Iyanla Vanzant

Lawyer, Author & TV Personality

From welfare mother to New York Times best-selling author, NAACP Image Award winner Vanzant is one of the most influential and acclaimed spiritual life coaches of our time.

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Michelle  Visage
Michelle Visage

RuPaul’s Drag Race Judge & Author

TV personality, radio show host, artist, and author, Visage has made a name for herself in the entertainment industry. She can be seen as a judge on the award-winning television program RuPaul’s Drag Race.

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Alice  Walker
Alice Walker

Author, The Color Purple

A gifted, prolific novelist and a leading voice among African-American women writers, Walker authored the Pulitizer Prize winning book, The Color Purple.

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Boyce D. Watkins
Boyce D. Watkins

Financial Expert & Social Activist

As the founder of YourBlackWorld.com, speaker Boyce Watkins fights for economic and social justice in America. He is the resident financial expert for AOL Black Voices.

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Faye  Wattleton
Faye Wattleton

Former President, Center for the Advancement of Women

Faye Wattleton's distinguished career has amassed an extraordinary track record for leadership. Wattleton is the former President of the nation's oldest & largest voluntary reproductive health provider, Planned Parenthood.

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Fredricka  Whitfield
Fredricka Whitfield

CNN News Anchor

As an anchors on CNN Newsroom and a network correspondent, speaker Fredricka Whitfield reports on breaking news events worldwide.

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Dr. Gloria  Wilder
Dr. Gloria Wilder

CEO, Core Health & VP, Centene Corporation

Speaker Gloria Wilder is the founder of Core Health, which helps health providers in underserved communities improve their quality of service.

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Dominique  Wilkins
Dominique Wilkins

NBA Hall of Famer & Businessman

Speaker Dominique Wilkins demonstrates the team-building and leadership skills that helped him on the court, in the community, and in his battle with diabetes.

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Patricia J. Williams
Patricia J. Williams

Columnist & Law Professor

The recipient of the MacArthur Foundation "Genius Award," speaker Patricia J. Williams is the author of Seeing a Color-Blind Future.

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Vanessa  Williams
Vanessa Williams

Actress & Recording Artist

A versatile performer, speaker Vanessa Williams has conquered Broadway, film, and TV. She has sold over 4 million albums worldwide and inspires others to seize opportunity.

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Larry  Wilmore
Larry Wilmore

Former Host of the Nightly Show

An Emmy Award winner, Wilmore is a comedic force on and off-screen, speaking out on diversity, politics, current events, culture and beyond.

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Alfre  Woodard
Alfre Woodard

Emmy Award-Winning Actress

Emmy-winning Alfre Woodard has acted in Desperate Housewives and The Practice. She co-founded Artists for New South Africa, a nonprofit promoting AIDS awareness.

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Sheryl  WuDunn
Sheryl WuDunn

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist

Co-author of Half the Sky and A Path Appears, WuDunn presents a compelling examination of current economic, political and social issues, urging us all to make a difference in the world.

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Kristal Brent Zook
Kristal Brent Zook

Investigative Journalist

An award-winning journalist and author, speaker Kristal Brent Zook is known for her original insights on the topics of race, gender, labor and popular culture in America.

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Tukufu  Zuberi
Tukufu Zuberi

Expert on Race Relations

Leading the way as an academic voice on race relations, Dr. Tukufu Zuberi is an inspiring champion for social justice. He hosts PBS's The History Detectives.

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