Keynote Speakers

16th Annual Diversity Leadership Conference

Opening Night Keynote Speaker

Friday, February 21, 2020

Tarana Burke

Tarana Burke Hi-Res

Founder of the ‘me too.’ Movement and advocate for survivors of sexual violence

Tarana Burke shares the story behind the genesis of the viral 2017 TIME Person Of The Year-winning ‘me too.’ Movement, and gives strength and healing to those who have experienced sexual trauma or harassment.

The simple yet courageous ‘me too.’ hashtag campaign has emerged as a rallying cry for people everywhere who have survived sexual assault and sexual harassment – and Tarana’s powerful, poignant story as creator of what is now an international movement that supports survivors will move, uplift, and inspire you.

#MeToo is not just an overnight hashtag sensation; Tarana has dedicated more than 25 years of her life to social justice and to laying the groundwork for a movement that was initially created to help young women of color who survived sexual abuse and assault. The movement now inspires solidarity, amplifies the voices of thousands of victims of sexual abuse, and puts the focus back on survivors. In her upcoming book, Where the Light Enters, Tarana discusses the importance of the ‘me too.’ Movement as well as her personal journey from "victim to survivor to thriver."  Tarana's continued work with the 'me too.' movement has earned her the honor of being named The Root 100's most influential person of 2018.

A sexual assault survivor herself, Tarana is now working under the banner of the ‘me too’ Movement to assist other survivors and those who work to end sexual violence. She is now Executive Director of the 'me too.' organization. On stage, she provides words of empowerment that lift up marginalized voices, enables survivors across all races, genders, or classes to know that they are not alone, and creates a place for comfort and healing to those who have experienced trauma.

Day 2 Keynote Speaker

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Aisha Fukushima

Aisha Fukushima Program Book

Founder of RAPTIVISM. Performance Lecturer. Cultural Strategist. Vocalist

Aisha Fukushima is a Singer, Speaker, Educator, and ‘RAPtivist’ (rap activist). Fukushima founded RAPtivism (Rap Activism), a hip hop project spanning 20 countries and four continents, amplifying universal efforts for freedom and justice. She is a multilingual, multiracial African American Japanese woman who has done lectures and performances everywhere from the United States to France, Morocco, Japan, Germany, England, South Africa, Senegal, India, Denmark and beyond. Fukushima’s ‘RAPtivism’ work has been featured on Oprah Magazine, TEDx, KQED Public Television, The Seattle Times, TV 2M Morocco, The Bangalore Mirror, HYPE, South Africa’s #1 Hip Hop Magazine, and others.

As a public speaker, Fukushima combines the art of performance and lecture. In her speeches she links themes such as hip hop, global citizenship, empowerment, feminism and cultural activism with live musical performance. She was the first non-Native person to deliver a keynote address at Montana’s 2012 Schools of Promise Conference for Indigenous youth and has presented at such diverse venues as Stanford University, Yale Law School, Duke University, the National Conference On Race and Ethnicity (NCORE), People of Color in Independent Schools (POCIS) conferences, UMass Amherst, TEDxSitka, TEDxBend, TEDxWhitman, TEDxUWCCR, Rock The School Bells, Osaka University, among others.

Previous Keynote Speakers

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