Answering the Call
After pursuing careers across various fields including police investigation, journalism, law, and politics, Echo discovers her true path in the arts. Echo first becoming a live storyteller with a successful hit show and then a children’s book author, Echo shares lessons from her unusual and unorthodox journey. She reflects on the triumphs and challenges that come with answering the call upon your life.
There Are No Promised Lands
After a lifetime of feeling like she doesn’t belong – not in the impoverished city where she grew up, the Ivy League college she attended, nor in the concrete jungle of New York City where she lived after college – writer and storyteller Echo Brown moved to California with $100 in her bank account and big hopes. Echo imagines California will be an idyllic paradise where she will find racial harmony, like-minded people, and cute boys eager to date her. What actually happens in California is heartbreaking, unexpected, and surprisingly uplifting.
The Story of 2020
2020 was an earth-shattering year for everyone on the planet. Collectively, we faced unprecedented challenges. For Echo, 2020 was the year she almost died. Two months after her youngest brother died of a fentanyl overdose at 30, Echo’s kidneys failed while she was living in Paris, France. She was left with a life in tatters while awaiting a kidney transplant and living on dialysis for over a year. This is a talk about learning to stand again after devastating personal losses with reflections on how to weather the storms that appear unexpectedly in our lives.
Echo Brown has been featured in Esquire, The New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Oakland Tribune, and KQED for her storytelling work and books. A dynamic and prolific writer and speaker, Echo has taught workshops internationally, given two Tedx talks, and been invited to speak at high profile companies like Dropbox, Facebook, Google, and Pixar. She is best known for her one-woman show Black Virgins Are Not for Hipsters, which Alice Walker Praised as “powerful and stunning.” The show ran for almost three years to sold out crowds around the country.
Her first book, the award-winning Black Girl Unlimited: The Remarkable Story of a Teenage Wizard was praised by Esquire as the “arrival of a bold new literary imagination.” Her second book: The Chosen One: A First-Generation Ivy League Odyssey is also lauded as an essential Black story of our time, both powerful and vulnerable.