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Great Programming Ideas for MLK Day and Black History Month

As a civil rights activist, U.N. ambassador and U.S. congressman, Andrew Young has been shaping the landscape of the country and the world for over half a century. A friend and aide to civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., Young bore witness to—and was at the frontlines of—many of the historic events that defined the 20th century in America. Today, he inspires and challenges audiences to continue to push toward peace and justice throughout the world.

"There are no words to describe Ambassador Young and what he provided as a guest speaker. He left such a lasting impression on all of us. The emails that I continue to receive from the attendees, the law students and the members of the committee have been incredible. No one left the room until Ambassador Young finished his speech. That is how awesome he was as a presenter. Thank you for suggesting him. He truly gave more than we ever could have expected."

-King County Bar Association and the Seattle University School of Law

As the oldest son of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mrs. Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King III has seized the torch lit by his parents and is continuing their quest for equality and justice for all people. 

"The weekend with Mr. King was truly memorable. We achieved everything we could ever have hoped for. The citywide public crescendo was so successful; numbers attending were 5,000-7,000 people. Moreover, the involvement of 62 schools and colleges introduced an inspirational youthful dimension, which furnishes us with much hope for a better shared future ... Sincere thanks for your careful and thoughtful guidance, which facilitated what can only be described as a hugely successful visit."

-Monreagh and First Derry Presbyterian Church

The first African-American woman in space and founder/president of two medical technology companiesMae Jemison inspires audiences all over the country.

"The program went extremely well. The students loved having the opportunity to have dinner with Dr. Jemison and they had a great conversation. Dr. Jemison was extremely genuine and generous in her interactions with students, staff, and community members, many of whom reported being energized by her presence. Her presentation and subsequent Q&A was inspirational and insightful and was a very appropriate tribute to Dr. King."

-The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Award-winning Harvard economist, education activist and collaborator on the bestselling book Freakonomics, Roland Fryer is a superstar. He has concrete solutions for fixing failing schools in America, and is on a mission to make a difference. Roland Fryer's presentations are delivered with insight, passion, and energy as he shares solutions for fixing education in America.

“Roland did an OUTSTANDING job on his presentation -- he gave it his ‘all.’ He really hit a nerve with our audience and rocked it! Roland is such a fantastic person. We are extremely pleased. Our conference attendees are still talking about it … unforgettable.”

-Association of College & University Housing Officers

Judith Jamison is a legendary icon in the world of the performing arts. Ms. Jamison, who as a dancer with the troupe became the most stellar of modern dance's female performers, was appointed Artistic Director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in December 1989 at the request of her mentor, Alvin Ailey, who personally chose her to succeed him before his untimely death. In her decades at the helm of one of the most respected dance companies in America, Ms. Jamison has successfully kept the Alvin Ailey brand alive.

"Everything was wonderful. We were so happy to have such a successful event. I have had students and faculty approach me all week long saying they were inspired by Ms. Jamison's speech. I was really nice to have someone to speak on diversity and growth in the arts."

-Hamilton College

Few individuals ever become iconic enough to be known by one name–Shaq. A revered cultural icon, Shaquille O’Neal is best known for an NBA career that spanned nearly two decades and earned him the sport’s highest honors. Now, he's busy engaging audiences with his dynamic speeches.

 "Shaq was a fun, energetic and motivating speaker that exceeded our expectations. He did an exceptional job at engaging our audience and delivering a message that applied to our business."


During his 18-year career as an op-ed columnist at the New York Times, Bob Herbert covered the latest in politics, urban affairs and social trends in a twice-weekly column. He is currently the Distinguished Senior Fellow at Demos, a public policy organization dedicated to economic and political equality.

"Our event went very well and we received fantastic feedback from our library board members and the audience—they were very moved by Mr. Herbert's lecture."

-Georgetown University

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