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Facing Adversity:

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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Grace (Gealey) Byers
Grace (Gealey) Byers

Actress on Hit TV Show Empire

As a bi-racial, multicultural daughter of deaf parents raised in the Cayman Islands, Byers lends insights into challenging social, racial and cultural experiences, reminding us to have compassion and show grace for each other because we are enough.

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Mickey  Rowe
Mickey Rowe

Founder & Artistic Director of National Disability Theatre

Mickey Rowe is on the autism spectrum. He was the epicenter of significant publicity when he became the first autistic actor to play Christopher Boone, the lead role in the Tony Award winning play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

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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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Steve  Pemberton
Steve Pemberton

Author & Chief HR Officer, Workhuman

Considered one of America’s most inspiring business and HR leaders, Steve Pemberton’s triumphant life story is about defying seemingly insurmountable beginnings as a child orphaned into foster care.

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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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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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Erin  Gruwell
Erin Gruwell

Inspirational Educator & Author

Erin Gruwell helped students "written off" by the system harness the power of education to graduate high school. Her dedication to her students resulted in the publication of The Freedom Writers Diary.

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