Paul Beatty

Paul Beatty

Topics

Creativity Novelist Poet Race

The poet and novelist is author of The Sellout, a scorching satire that wrenches humor out of painful subjects like slavery, police violence and segregation.  In November 2016, The Sellout received the prestigious Man Booker Prize making Beatty the first American to win the prestigious Award, among others.  NYT’s book critic Dwight Garner wrote “…. I gave up underlining the killer bits because my arm began to hurt . . . [They] read like the most concussive monologues and interviews of Chris Rock, Richard Pryor and Dave Chappelle wrapped in a satirical yet surprisingly delicate literary and historical sensibility….”

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Buzz Bissinger

Buzz Bissinger

Topics

Disability Journalism Leadership LGBT Sports

Over the course of his illustrious career, Pulitzer Prize winner, bestselling author and journalist Buzz Bissinger has talked at length with some of the world’s greatest athletes to define the singular qualities that makes them so great. His books include Friday Night Lights, the #1 New York Times bestseller.  Bissinger's July 2015 Vanity Fair cover story “Caitlyn Jenner: The Full Story,” was a groundbreaking force for transgender visibility worldwide. His Vanity Fair cover story on Serena Williams was published in June, 2017. Bissinger’s talk, What it Takes to Be Great: A Unique Journey into the Hearts and Minds of the World’s Greatest Athletes and Remarkable Others, is both inspirational and a life-changing lesson for what all of us yearn to pinpoint. Inquire about other topics.

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Todd Brewster

Todd Brewster

Topics

Civil Liberties Journalism Media Politics

Renowned journalist & #1 New York Times bestselling co-author of The Century (with Peter Jennings), In Search of America (with Peter Jennings) & Lincoln's Gamble, Todd Brewster speaks on "THE PRESS AND THE PRESIDENCY: The Risk to Truth Telling in the Age of Twitter & Trump." Brewster is a Visiting Professor at Temple University where he teaches courses on "The Press & the Presidency," "New Media Law and Ethics," and "The Law of the First Amendment"

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The highest ranking officer to challenge the military’s anti-gay regulation in Federal Court winning a historic decision which sparked a national dialogue and the implementation of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.  She presents a unique illustrated "living history" of LGBT rights as she interweaves her own life experiences with the legal and political struggles which contributed to social justice for homosexuals serving in the military and same sex couples to marry. Her autobiography Serving in Silence was made into an NBC Emmy Award-winning television movie in which she was portrayed by Glenn Close.

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Clay Cane is an award-winning journalist, author, television personality and documentary filmmaker. He is the creator and director of the BET.com original documentary Holler If You Hear Me: Black and Gay in the Church” (2016 GLAAD Media Award nominee).  He is recipient of the 2016 Gay Men of African Descent (GMAD) “James Baldwin Revolutionary Award.” Clay's new book Live Through This: Surviving the Intersections of Sexuality, God, and Race (Cleis Press, June 2017) couldn’t come at a more timely juncture. With our deep misunderstanding of racial identity, the murder of transgender women increasing at an alarming rate and the battle of faith and sexual orientation at churches across the country, we are in a cultural war of ideologies. Overwhelming prejudices have constricted our basic capacity for compassion and understanding. Clay's powerful talk on intersectionality addresses these issues. A screening may also be scheduled.

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Dr. Sanjiv Chopra, the author of eight books, is a world-renowned healer and teacher is a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. He immigrated to America with his brother Deepak with whom he co-authored the bestselling double memoir Brotherhood: Dharma, Destiny and the American Dream. He has spoken in more than 25 countries on topics relating to medicine, leadership, happiness and living with purpose.

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Barbara Corcoran’s credits include straight D’s in high school and college and 20 jobs by the time she turned 23. It was her next job that would make her one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the country: She borrowed $1,000 and quit her job as a waitress to start a tiny real estate company in New York City. Over the next 25 years Barbara would parlay that $1,000 loan into a $5 billion real estate business building the largest and best known brand in the business. The Star on ABC’s reality hit Shark Tank is author of the best seller Shark Tales, how I turned $1000 into a billion dollar business!  As a speaker, Barbara brings her front-line experience and infectious energy to every group she addresses.  Motivational, inspirational, and sometimes outrageous, Barbara Corcoran’s tell-it-like-it-is attitude is a refreshing approach to success.


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Reema Datta is an Indian-American teacher, humanitarian, mother, author and musician who has dedicated her life to offering yoga as holistic practice leading to healing and lasting peace. Her students range from singer songwriter Sting, Paul Simon and Edie Brickell to humanitarian, Zainab Salbi, the Princess of Rajasthan and students across the globe. She presents an inspirational interactive event seasoned with music and movement.

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Artist, writer and a New Yorker Cartoonist since 1999, Matthew Diffee presents "How to Be An Idea Factory," a laugh filled multimedia journey into the creative process.  He is the editor of three volumes of The Rejection Collection: Cartoons You Never Saw and Never Will See in The New Yorker (Simon & Schuster) and Hand Drawn Jokes for Smart Attractive People (Scribner). His work has appeared in TimeThe Huffington PostThe Believer and Texas Monthly magazines. He has done illustration work for bands like the Punch Brothers and for a special collector’s edition of Stephen King’s novel Under the Dome

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John Donvan & Caren Zucker

John Donvan & Caren Zucker

Topics

Activism Autism Journalism

Best-selling authors and Emmy Award Winners John Donvan and Caren Zucker bring to life, in an engaging and entertaining presentation, the turbulent history of autism – still the most controversial diagnosis of our time. Their 17 years of research yield fascinating nuggets of insight on psychology, medicine, and the practical challenges of being different. John and Caren unfold a series of stories demonstrating how the struggle to find a place in the world for those on the autism spectrum represents one of the great unheralded civil rights battles of our lifetimes.

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A survivor of FGM and forced child marriage, Jaha Dukureh was named one of the 2016 Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential people in the world. Confronting her past, her family, her culture, her religion, country and its leaders, Jaha became a lightning-rod for change in Gambia, her work contributing to the eventual government ban on FGM and child marriage.  In the United States where she lives, the founder of the non-profit organization Safe Hands for Girls, also gathered national grassroots support to call for the first national survey in the US to determine the prevalence rate of Female Genital Mutilation in the US.  Her campaign received backing from former UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon and Members of Congress. She is the subject of The Guardian and Accidental Pictures' feature documentary 'Jaha's Promise' that premiered with a screening followed by a panel with Jaha at the United Nations in June, 2017 where she received a standing ovation.

The first person in America to ever be arrested for leaking top secret documents which became known as "The Pentagon Papers,"  did so with the intent of revealing these secrets to Congress and the American public. He set in motion actions that led to the end of the Vietnam War and the resignation of President Richard Nixon.  He is the author of three books including Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers (2002) and is the subject of the 2010 Academy Award nominated feature length documentary film "The Most Dangerous Man in the World." In his lecture "SECRETS: From the Pentagon Papers to WikiLeaks," Dr. Ellsberg  shares how and why he revealed the Pentagon Papers, how his actions helped alter the course of U.S. history while also discussing the future of whistle-blowing, to what extent WikiLeaks should be a part of that and the necessity, ethics, perils of whistle-blowing.

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The most accomplished and well-known adult with autism in the world is The New York Times bestselling author of Thinking in Pictures: My Life with AutismAnimals in Translation and Animals Make Us Human, among others. An innovator and animal scientist, her remarkable life story, with all its challenges and successes, was made into an HBO feature film starring Claire Danes. 

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The president and CEO of Fair Food Network (www.fairfoodnetwork.org) is a national leader in sustainable agriculture and food systems and a respected partner for policymakers, philanthropic leaders, and advocates nationwide. He is the author of Fair Food: Growing a Health Sustainable Food System for All, is an inspiring guide to changing not only what we eat, but how food is grown, packaged, delivered, and sold. The book is required reading at more than 25 colleges and universities. For fifteen years he co-led the Integrated Farming Systems and Food and Society Programs for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

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John Hockenberry

John Hockenberry

Topics

Activism Journalism

Three-time Peabody Award winner, four-time Emmy winner and "Dateline NBC" correspondent, John Hockenberry has broad experience as a journalist and commentator for more than two decades. He is the anchor of the new public radio morning show The Takeaway on WNYC and PRI. He has reported from all over the world, in virtually every medium, having anchored programs for network, cable and radio. He is the author of Moving Violations: War Zones, Wheelchairs and Declarations of Independence, a memoir of life as a foreign correspondent and A River Out Of Eden, a novel.

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The founder of The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project and author of The Price of Stones: Building a School for My Village (Viking Penguin) is working on behalf of HIV/AIDS orphans in rural Uganda to end systemic deprivation, poverty, and hunger through a holistic approach to community development, education, and healthcare. Showing how one person can make a difference in the world, he was recognized as a CNN Hero.

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Dr. Mukesh Kapila:  The author of Against A Tide of Evil: How One Man Became the Whistleblower to the First Mass Murder of the Twenty-First Century, is a medical doctor and veteran of humanitarian crises and ethnic cleansing in Iraq, Rwanda, Srebrenica, Afghanistan and Sierra Leone. In March 2003, he arrived in Sudan to head all UN Operations. Facing global indifference to stop the mass murder he documented he “blew the whistle,” bringing worldwide attention to the atrocities in Darfur. Presently the Special Representative for the Prevention of Crimes Against Humanity for the Aegis Trust and is based in Geneva, he remains one of the world's leading activists bringing awareness to and trying to stop the continuing mass murders in the Sudan.

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Ed Kashi is an award-winning photojournalist, filmmaker and educator dedicated to documenting the social and political issues that define our times. A sensitive eye and an intimate relationship to his subjects are signatures of his work. He presents an intimate visual tour of critical global issues he has documented for almost 40 years while on assignment for publications, media and organizations including National Geographic, TIME, New York Times Magazine, NBC.com and Human Rights Watch, among others.  A member of VII Photo Agency since 2010, Kashi has been widely recognized for his complex imagery and its compelling rendering of the human condition. He as published seven books.

 

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Paul Rogat Loeb has spent forty years researching and writing about citizen responsibility and empowerment--asking what makes some people choose lives of social commitment, while others abstain. His five widely praised books include Soul of the Citizen: Living with Conviction in Challenging Times and The Impossible Will Take A Little While. He has lectured at over 400 colleges and universities --including Harvard, Stanford, Dartmouth, Chicago, Michigan, MIT, Yale, Duke and presented keynote address at numerous conferences. He founded the Campus Election Engagement Project, a national nonpartisan effort to help colleges and universities engage students in elections.

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Rebecca MacKinnon

Rebecca MacKinnon

Topics

Activism Internet Freedom Journalism

Rebecca MacKinnon is director at New America of the Ranking Digital Rights project whose Corporate Accountability Index evaluates the world’s most powerful Internet, telecommunications, and other ICT sector companies on free expression and privacy criteria. She is author of Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle For Internet Freedom (Basic Books, 2012) and co-founder of the citizen media network Global Voices Online.

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WYNTON MARSALIS, a New Orleans native, is an internationally acclaimed musician, composer, bandleader, educator and a leading advocate of American culture. He has recorded more than 80 jazz and classical recordings, which have won him nine GRAMMY® awards and sold over 7 million copies worldwide. Marsalis made history in 1997, when he became the first jazz musician ever to win the Pulitzer Prize for his oratorio Blood on the Fields. His lifetime commitment to inspiring and uplifting people though artistic excellence in jazz, has had an unparalleled impact both in the United States and around the world. Wynton Marsalis serves as the Managing and Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Director of Jazz Studies at the Juilliard School in New York City.


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Described by Rolling Stone as "the point man" for drug policy reform efforts and “the real drug czar,” Ethan Nadelmann is widely regarded as the outstanding proponent of drug policy reform both in the United States and abroad.  He founded and directed (from 2000 to 2017) the Drug Policy Alliance.   He is interviewed frequently by media, including The Colbert Report, The O’Reilly Factor, Real Time with Bill Maher, and news programs on all the major U.S. networks as well as dozens of networks elsewhere. His TED Talk, delivered at TEDGlobal in Rio de Janeiro in October 2014, has more than 1.5 million views, with translations into 28 languages.

The Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva) are the producers of the James Beard and duPont-Columbia Award-winning series, Hidden Kitchens heard on NPR’s Morning Edition and two Peabody Award-winning NPR series, Lost & Found Sound and The Sonic Memorial Project. Hidden Kitchens is a deeply layered series about the transformative power of food. Their first book, Hidden Kitchens: Stories, Recipes & More, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Their latest NPR Special, "Hidden Kitchens World" was hosted by Frances McDormand. They also produce "The Hidden World of Girls (Girls and the Women They Become)" a series heard on NPR, with a special hosted by Tina Fey. Stories of coming of age, rituals and rights of passage, secret identities.  Women who crossed a line, broke a trail, changed the tide. Their podcast, "The Kitchen Sisters Present…" is part of the Radiotopia network from PRX. They won a 2017 Webby Award for their Radiotopia podcast The Kitchen Sisters Present and on the same day were honored with a 2017 James Beard Foundation Award (the Oscars of food) for their NPR series Hidden Kitchens: War and Peace and Food, heard on Morning Edition.

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Author of the viral Medium piece “Poor and Traumatized at Harvard,” Due Quach ( (pronounced Zway Kwok) is a pioneering social entrepreneur and inspiring speaker who helps people across diverse backgrounds from inner city teenagers to CEO’s become aware of and break free of biases, mindless patterns and self-limiting beliefs to realize their fullest potential. A refugee from Vietnam who grew up in poverty, Due turned to Neuroscience to overcome post-traumatic stress disorder and graduate from Harvard College and the Wharton MBA program. After building a successful international business career, Due decided to pay it forward by developingThe Calm Clarity Program, a neuroscience-based leadership and resilience training that empowers people to realize their full potential. Her book, Finding Calm Clarity will be published by Tarcher/Perigee in 2018.

Attorney Monica Ramirez is Director of Gender Equality and Trabajadoras' Empowerment at Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) and the daughter and granddaughter of migrant farmworkers. A farmworker, anti-sexual violence, women's and immigrant rights activist for nearly two decades, she is recognized as one of the nation's leaders in the movement to end workplace sexual violence and other forms of gender discrimination against farmworker and low-wage immigrant women. She is the Founder of: "Justice 4 Migrant Women;" "Esperanza: The Immigrant Women's Legal Initiative of the Southern Poverty Law Center;" and, "The Bandana Project," an international public awareness campaign about workplace sexual violence against farmworker women.

Founder, The Voices and Faces Project
Author, Lived Through This: Listening to the Stories of Sexual Violence Survivors

Anne K. Ream is founder of The Voices and Faces Project (voicesandfaces.org), an award-winning storytelling initiative created to bring the stories of gender based violence to the public. She is the author of Lived Through This: Listening to the Stories of Sexual Violence Survivors (Beacon Press). The book is part personal history of her own experience rebuilding her life after violence and part memoir of multi-country, multiyear journey during which she documented the stories of over 100 gender-based violence survivors who have been shaped— but refuse to be defined—by what they have lived through.  Her multimedia lecture and conversation challenges audiences to think differently about those who survive gender based violence, explores the role that popular culture and media play in shaping public attitudes about abuse, and inspires greater compassion – and action.

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Zainab Salbi is founder of Women for Women International, a bestselling author and TV host (“The Nida’a Show," a groundbreaking talk show in the Middle East and “The Zainab Salbi Project”) who has dedicated herself to women’s rights and marginalized voices. At the age of 23 she founded Women for Women International, which has since helped over 462,000 women survivors of war and distributed more than 100 million dollars to them. Her books include the bestseller Between Two Worlds: Escape From Tyranny – Growing Up in the Shadow of SaddamThe Other Side of War, and If You Knew Me You Would Care .  In 2016, People Magazine named her as one of the 25 Women Changing the World,” Foreign Policy Magazine named her as one of  “100 Leading Global Thinkers”, and Fast Company identified her as one of 100 “The Most Creative People In Business.”

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One of the world’s leading photographers and documentary filmmakers with THE POWER AND THE PASSION TO CREATE, taking audiences on a multimedia journey into the inner dynamics of the creative process and its outer expression.   Steve Jobs, the Rolling Stones, Ray Charles, Steve Martin, wil.i.am, Alicia Keys, and hundreds of other musicians, film directors, writers, actors, comedians, entrepreneurs, scientists (including Nobel Laureates), athletes, politicians and space explorers are among the subjects of Seeff’s 900 photo sessions; 400 of which he filmed. Seeff presents video clips and images from his sessions as he shares what he has learned about creativity from the world's most accomplished people. 

Elif Shafak Turkey's most widely read woman writer, blends Western and Eastern traditions of storytelling, bringing out the voices of women, minorities, subcultures, immigrants, and global souls, creating one of today's most unique voices in literature. The author of 14 books, ten of which are novels shows how listening to stories widens the imagination; telling them lets us leap over cultural walls, embrace different experiences, and feel what others feel. She builds on this simple idea to argue that fiction can overcome identity politics.  Defying cliches and transcending boundaries, her works draw on different cultures and cities, and reflects a strong interest in history, philosophy, culture, mysticism, Sufism and gender equality.  Her nonfiction covers a wide range of topics, including belonging, identity, gender, mental and cultural ghettos, daily life politics, multicultural literature and the art of coexistence.


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The veteran New York Times journalist is the author of seven books covering a range of timely subjects. These include: the New York Times bestseller The Working Poor: Invisible in AmericaArab and Jew, which won the Pulitzer Prize and A Country of Strangers: Blacks and Whites in America. His books Rights at Risk and The Rights of the People address the erosion of liberties from the courtroom to the classroom since 9/11. His book Freedom of Speech: Mightier Than the Sword is a provocative, timely assessment of the state of free speech in America. Colleges & universities may consider a multi-day, multi-topic residency.

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One of the world’s most renowned environmentalists, who through her books Biopiracy, Stolen Harvest, & Water Wars has made visible the social, economic and ecological costs of corporate-led globalization. Her books The Violence of the Green Revolution and Monocultures of the Mind pose essential challenges to the dominant paradigm of non-sustainable, industrial agriculture. In 1991, she founded Navdanya, a national movement in India to protect the diversity and integrity of living resources, especially native seed, the promotion of organic farming and fair trade. It has since served over 2,000,000 men and women farmers. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the 1993 "Right Livelihood Award," the Alternative Nobel Prize. Forbes magazine identified Dr. Shiva as one of the top Seven most Powerful Women on the Globe (2010).

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It's the age-old question: Is there life on Mars?  Steve Squyres, lead scientist of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover mission, sets out to answer that question and relates his findings. Squyres dreamed up the mission in 1987, saw it through from conception in 1995 to a successful landing in 2004. He serves as the principal scientist of its $400 million payload and continues to be a key member of the scientific team directing the Rovers day-to-day movement on Mars and alyzing the Rovers' findings.  He is the author of Roving Mars: Spirit, Opportunity, and the Exploration of the Red Planet.

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George Steinmetz

George Steinmetz

Topics

Photojournalism & Photography

One of the worlds most recognized aerial photographers, George Steinmetz has spent much of the last 12 years motoring above the earth’s deserts in an experimental gas powered paraglider. The award-winning National Geographic photographer's multimedia lecture takes you with him as he sets out to discover the few remaining secrets in our world today: remote deserts, obscure cultures & the mysteries of science and technology. 

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A child survivor of the Cambodian genocide, a human rights activist, and the author of three books including her bestselling memoir First They Killed My Father, A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers. The feature film adaptation is being produced and directed by Angelina Jolie for a fall 2017 release by Netflix. The book is recipient of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature. Loung was a contributing writer to the award-winning documentary film “Girl Rising.”

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The Iraq War veteran and former sergeant in the U.S. Army is author of Love My Rifle More Than You & Plenty of Time When We Get Home. She is and Advocate on behalf of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Military Sexual Trauma survivors and, and authority on women in the military and gender integration.

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David A. Wilson is a journalist and the founder and Executive Editor of theGrio.com, one of the largest and most influential African-American news portals. He wrote, co-directed and was the subject of the award-winning MSNBC documentary film "Meeting David Wilson," which chronicled his journey through his family's past to find answers to America's racial divide. In his program, How to Talk About Race Without Starting A Riot, a lecture, film screening and conversation with the audience, he uses the conversation featured in the film with a 62-year-old white man -- also named David Wilson -- who is a direct descendant of his family's former enslavers and owns the plantation today, as blueprint for how Americans can engage each other with civility and respect and find common ground when discussing of the nations most divisive topics.  The discussion includes the state of race relations today, how we got here -- both literally and figuratively, where we're headed and, more importantly, how we can al] play a part in the solution.

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Emmanuel is the subject of the documentary film Emmanuel's Gift (narrated by Oprah Winfrey), directed by Lisa Lax and Nancy Stern. Emmanuel has dedicated his life to changing the perception and treatment of the disabled in his homeland. To focus the attention of his countrymen on this issue, Emmanuel decided to ride a bike across Ghana. Though he'd mastered pedaling with only one leg, there was another obstacle: he didn't own a bike. He sought out the Challenged Athlete Foundation in the United States. In July 2002, on a bicycle provided by the CAF, Emmanuel embarked on his journey, which was documented in newspapers and on the radio. By the time he reached his destination, Emmanuel was a national hero. He is the recipient of the ESPY Arthur Ashe Courage Award.

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Stephen Young

Stephen Young

Topics

Diversity/Race Leadership

Stephen Young's widely acclaimed lecture and seminar MicroInequities: The Power of Small™ has been embraced by over 20% of Fortune 500 corporations in 35 countries, in every region of the world and is being touted by corporate America as the new paradigm for diversity and leadership. McGraw-Hill published his top-selling book, Micromessaging: Why Great Leadership is Beyond Words. For more than a decade, Steve has been a featured speaker at business conferences worldwide.

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