Emancipation Proclamation Speakers

Signed by Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation was an early step to free slaves in the United States. 150 years later, the speakers below will share with you the ramifications of that document and where we must go to ensure equality for all now and forever.

Judy A. Smith         Judy is the Founder and President of Smith & Co, a leading strategic and crisis communications firm with offices in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles. Over the last 25 years, Ms. Smith has brought her unique combination of communication skills, media savvy, legal and political acumen to clients facing a wide array of issues and challenges throughout the United States and abroad. Ms. Smith honed her skills through he...


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Dr. Boyce Watkins         Dr. Boyce is one of the most highly sought after African-American scholars in the world. Specializing in financial psychology, educational motivation, and black social commentary, Dr. Watkins has presented his message to millions, making regular appearances on CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, ABC News, BET, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Black Enterprise Magazine and many more national media outlets. Brilliant, arti...


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Hill Harper          Hill is an award winning actor, bestselling author and philanthropist. Hill is the author of three New York Times bestsellers: Letters to a Young Brother, Letters to a Young Sister, and The Conversation. Letters to a Young Brother was named “Best Book for Young Adults” by the American Library Association in 2007.Hill currently stars on the hit television drama CSI:NY as Dr. Sheldon Hawkes. CSI is the most successfu...


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John Marshall

John Marshall, son of Thurgood Marshall, our nation’s first African-American U.S. Supreme Court Justice, specializes in motivational speeches dealing with his father’s role in our nation’s civil rights movement and his place in American History.

John W. Marshall         John is the younger of two sons of Thurgood Marshall, the lead attorney in Brown v Board of Education, and our nation’s first African-American Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. John specializes in motivational speeches dealing with his father’s role in our nation’s civil rights movement and his place in American history. He has also been the featured speaker for numerous law enforcement and f...


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Donna Brazile         Veteran Democratic political strategist Donna Brazile is an adjunct professor, author, syndicated columnist, television political commentator, Vice Chair of Voter Registration and Participation at the Democratic National Committee, and former interim National Chair of the Democratic National Committee as well as the former chair of the DNC’s Voting Rights Institute.Aside from working for the full recovery of her be...


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Ed Gordon          Hard hitting, inspiring, intelligent, honest, and direct: these are some of the words used to describe the style and approach of Emmy-award winning broadcaster, Ed Gordon.         Known for his stellar interaction with newsmakers from the worlds of politics, entertainment, and sports, his name is synonymous with the “big” interview. Gordon’s knack for landing exclusives and his no-nonsense style make him one of the t...


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Judge Karen Mills-Francis         Judge Karen has a colorful and engaging style that is as distinctive as her bold burgundy robe and her bright blonde hair. As quick to aid the helpless as she is to dismiss the hare-brained, Judge Karen confidently dished out justice to a national television audience with the half-hour syndicated courtroom series, Judge Karen. She is famous for the lines “Stay in your Lane, I know how to Drive”. For fal...


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Kenneth Morris

Direct Descendant of Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington

Kenneth B. Morris, Jr.          Keynote Speaker • Founder & President, Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives “Today I held history in my hands! Your legacy and passion for creating change is an inspiration.” Mr. Morris descends from two of the most important names in American history: he is the great-great-great grandson of Frederick Douglass and the great-great grandson of Booker T. Washington.His life until the year 2007 could be d...


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Farai Chideya         Farai has combined media, technology, and socio-political analysis during her 20-year career as an award-winning author, journalist, professor, and lecturer. She is currently a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. She was also a spring 2012 fellow at Harvard’s Institute of Politics. She frequently appears on public radio and cable television, speaking abo...


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Dr. Gregory Parks

Gregory is a leading scholar, author, and lecturer on Black Greek-letter organizations (“BGLOs”) and the role of unconscious race bias in contemporary society.

Gregory S. Parks, J.D., Ph.D.         Dr. Gregory is an Assistant Professor of Law at Wake Forest University School of Law, where he has taught since the Fall of 2011. He holds an M.A., an M.S., and a Ph.D. (all in Psychology) and a J.D. Professor Parks served as a law clerk on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals to The Honorable Anna Blackburne-Rigsby and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to The Honorable ...


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