Oct. 2 Opening Keynote: Benjamin Jealous
Renowned activist, civil rights leader, community organizer and 2018 Maryland gubernatorial candidate Benjamin Jealous outlines what it will take to secure true equality for all Americans and to empower the next generation to lead toward a better future.
The former president and CEO of the NAACP, Benjamin served as the youngest president in its history. During Jealous’ tenure, the NAACP became the largest door-to-door voter registration operation nationwide. Recently, after a half decade as a partner at Kapor Capital, Jealous has returned to organizing as the newly elected president of People for the American Way (PFAW.org) – a 40 year old multi-racial coalition focused on advancing justice, equality, democracy and opportunity in the US.
During his dynamic and rousing speeches, Benjamin exposes the ways in which our country’s history of racial inequality continues, offering a powerful and empowering narrative that encourages individuals to contribute to making lasting change. Drawing from real-life stories from his efforts and the struggles of others, he rallies audiences to continue working for progress.
Oct. 9 Opening Keynote: Dr. Marc Lamont Hill
Dr. Marc Lamont Hill shares a bold vision of the future, where social progress and the pursuit of equality depend on listening to each other while adopting a fearless attitude toward change.
As a scholar and award-winning author, Dr. Hill expertly dissects political and social moments as a way to initiate frank discussions on culture, politics and race. By identifying key issues, challenges, controversies and trends in the news, he spotlights the work that must be done to sustain the ongoing struggle for equality and freedom.
Dr. Hill’s message emphasizes the importance of working across generations to promote America’s youth and even rely on them to inspire future progress. He provides concrete solutions for bringing communities together, along with anecdotes and examples to inspire hope and courage.
On stage, Dr. Hill displays the charismatic and provocative style that has made him a popular host of HuffPost Live, BET News and VH1 Live, as well as a former political contributor for CNN. Audiences are drawn to his passion and intellect while responding positively to his call to continuously reimagine the world they want to live in.
Oct. 4 & Oct. 11 Closing Keynote: Derreck Kayongo
With his trademark panache, Derreck Kayongo tells his courageous story of survival, social entrepreneurship, and humanitarianism, and the life lessons he learned along the way.
From Ugandan refugee to successful entrepreneur, CEO, and renowned human rights activist, Derreck’s journey inspires audiences to dream big. Through personable and articulate storytelling, he shares his visionary ideas for harnessing the power of observation and creative problem solving, applicable to any organization or community. It’s all about taking responsibility while looking for opportunities to improve.
Derreck is the founder of the Global Soap Project: a humanitarian aid organization that collects discarded and unused soap from thousands of hotels worldwide, reprocesses it, then distributes it to in-need populations around the world. The project was born from his simple observation about how much soap is available in hotels, and how much is thrown away when hotel rooms are turned. This simple observation became an innovative idea that is now battling global health issues in 90 countries. Hygiene-related diseases, and the resulting deaths, have dissipated in many at-risk communities, thanks in part to Derreck’s creative problem solving.
His energy and enthusiasm are unmatched as he brings his stories and principles to life. Key factors of his personal and professional success are identified with the memorable acronym S.E.L.F.: Service, Education, Leadership and Faith. He calls upon his dynamic experiences to empower audiences, inspiring an entrepreneur spirit made possible only through creative problem solving. Derreck’s emotionally-packed presentations linger long after his speech, empowering audiences to invent their own self-made motto of success so they can create tangible change in the world.
Derreck’s passion for helping others and commitment to innovative thinking led him to the role of CEO of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. During his time as CEO, he elevated the global visibility of the Center, showcasing stories of victims of civil rights abuse and the heroic actions that changed the course of history.
Derreck Kayongo is an internationally recognized visionary and humanitarian. The Global Soap Project demonstrates his creativity and innovation, making him a leader in both global health and environmental sustainability.