Past Events

2008 United States Vice-Presidential Candidate: Journalist, Political Commentator & Scholar- Activist

Rosa Alicia Clemente is an organizer, political commentator and independent journalist. An Afro-Puerto Rican born and raised in the Bronx, NY she has dedicated her life to organizing, scholarship and activism. She is one of the rawest, honest, political, social, and cultural voices
in the country. From Harvard to prisons, Rosa has spent her life dedicated to grassroots organizing and scholar activism. To learn more about Rosa's life, read her bio here.
4 p.m. via Webex

Emmy Award-Winning Journalist: Former ESPN Chief Correspondent

Student Center Ballroom

Emmy Award-winning journalist, Jemele Hill is the co-founder of Lodge Freeway Media and a staff writer for The Atlantic. Hill was previously the chief correspondent and senior columnist for The Undefeated, ESPN’s content initiative exploring the intersections of sports, race and culture. While at the Undefeated, Hill wrote, conducted newsmaker interviews, offered commentary of content for The Undefeated’s digital, television and audio platforms. She also hosts events and other important initiatives, including The Undefeated town halls and television specials. To read Jemele's complete bio, click here.
4 p.m. via Webex

Rapper: Actor & Activist
How many times have you heard someone complain that contemporary rap music lacks its modern-day Public Enemy equivalent? You've probably said it yourself. We all have. But we need to stop. Yeah, Public Enemy is inviolate and irreplaceable, but Killer Mike's R.A.P. Music is the closest we're going to get to an ideal soundtrack for a Do the Right Thing remake.

It's no surprise that the beats come from Brooklyn, courtesy of El-P, a hip-hop artist, producer and entrepreneur who is the borough's resident laureate of urban apocalypse. Snares crash like abandoned buildings being blown up. Synthesizers ooze with a diseased glow of something dying in a toxic water supply. The effect is like a futuristic junkyard come to life. In the midst of the decay of post-industrial New York, Killer Mike, hip-hop inferno, pours fuel on the already inflamed. To read more about Killer Mike, click here.
4 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom

Co-Host of ABC’s The View: GOP Strategist and Political Contributor
Ana Navarro is a well-known Republican strategist, political analyst for CNN, CNN en Español, and Telemundo, and co-host of ABC’s The View. The Miami New Times named her a “Republican power-consultant,” and the Tampa Bay Times called her “a sought-after voice in Republican politics and an adviser for any presidential hopeful,” saying, “with confidants Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio she is poised to play a big role in the GOP response to immigration reform and Hispanic outreach.” Respected on both sides of the aisle for her straight-shooting and candor, Navarro frequently appears in the media, sought after by Meet the Press, Bill Maher’s Real Time, Anderson Cooper 360, and The View, to name a few. “Ana speaks the truth, and she is willing to speak the truth to power without reservation…She has the ear of lots of elected officials,” said Republican consultant Brett O’Donnell. She is in touch with the political issues people are talking about, and in presentations, she discusses the latest hot button issues in politics, giving audiences an insider’s view of the upcoming elections and a roadmap for where the country is headed. To read Ana's complete bio, click here.
4 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom
Record-Breaking: My Life and Career with NASA
Peggy Whitson is in a league of her own as one of the few human beings who's been lucky enough to travel to space. The veteran astronaut has an incredible list of record-breaking accomplishments to her name: the first woman to command the International Space Station(twice! 2008 & 2013); first non-military Chief Astronaut with the most spacewalks (10) of any female astronaut, the most spacewalk hours completed by a woman (60 hours, 21 minutes total) and third most of any spacefarer; and totaling 665 days, Dr. Whitson has spent more time in space than any other American.
4 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom
Media & Politics
Don Lemon is a veteran TV journalist and trusted source of information from CNN, NBC and MSNBC. Relatable and charismatic, Lemon’s award-winning work defies genre, candidly exposing injustice and the resiliency of the human spirit. A true product of the modern news age, Lemon discusses how he has embraced social media’s power to reach viewers. An inspiration to diverse audiences, he shares his hard-fought rise to primetime as one of the most prominent African-American and gay men in TV news today. Don Lemon anchors CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, which airs weeknights at 10 pm. He also serves as a CNN U.S. correspondent.
4 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom
MLK Jr. Commemoration Keynote: Where Do We Go From Here?
Angela Rye is Principal and CEO of IMPACT Strategies, a political advocacy firm in the nation's capital. She is a CNN Political Commentator and NPR Political Analyst. She has been featured as an influential politico, lawyer, and advocate by several publications and outlets from Marie Claire to Ebony and the Washington Post. Rye has an unwavering commitment to ensuring positive change in the political process. Rye is a prominent strategist who has offered on-air commentary for several media outlets including BET, CNN, NBC, HBO, ABC, MSNBC, and TV One.
4 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom
A Conversation with Tech Entrepreneur Nathalie Molina Niño hosted by Dr. Isabelle Monlouis:
Nathalie Molina Niño is the author of LEAPFROG, The New Revolution for Women Entrepreneurs (Penguin Random House, Tarcher Perigee), and an impact investor targeting high-growth businesses that benefit women and the planet. A proud daughter of Latinx immigrants confessed but recovering serial entrepreneur, Molina Niño launched her first tech startup at the age of twenty. She's the co-founder of Entrepreneurs@Athena at the Athena Center for Leadership Studies of Barnard College at Columbia University.
4 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom and CN 2130-Clarkston campus
#metoo
Tarana Burke shares the story behind the genesis of the viral 2017 TIME Person Of The Year-winning ‘me too.’ Movement, and gives strength and healing to those who have experienced sexual trauma or harassment.

The simple yet courageous ‘me too.’ hashtag campaign has emerged as a rallying cry for people everywhere who have survived sexual assault and sexual harassment – and Tarana’s powerful, poignant story as creator of what is now an international movement that supports survivors will move, uplift, and inspire you.
4 p.m.
• Atlanta | Student Center Ballroom
• Alpharetta | AA1140
• Clarkston | JCLRC Auditorium
• Dunwoody | NB 2000
• Newton | 2N 2260

Nelson Mandela had a “long walk to freedom”, yet his footprints still remain. Following in the footsteps of his beloved and iconic grandfather, Ndaba Mandela has taken the torch – and run with it. Today, Nelson Mandela’s legacy lives on as Ndaba continues to keep its beacon of hope bright, fueling its fiery message that one person can make a difference. Thankfully for all, the legacy lives, as Ndaba was recently named one of the “28 Men of Change” by BET. Today, Ndaba is showing the world, through his actions and orations, that Nelson Mandela’s voice and message of freedom still carries and rings true – sounded by a child that became a man under the warm embrace and expert tutelage of one of history’s greatest teachers. Currently, Ndaba is organizing the 95th celebration of Nelson Mandela Day and was also instrumental in creating the International Day of Happiness at the United Nations. He continues to keep Mandela on the world’s mind.
4 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom
Alex Sheen is the Founder of because I said I would, the international social movement and nonprofit dedicated to the betterment of humanity through promises made and kept. He will be discussing the topic “The Life of a Promise”.

Sparked by the loss of his father, Alex began sending promise cards to anyone who requested them at no cost. Since his father’s passing on September 4, 2012, because I said I would have sent over 6.64M promise cards to over 150 countries. Alex’s commitment to the betterment of humanity has inspired millions around the world. The story of his promises has been shared virally throughout social media and international news.
4 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom

Ken E. Nwadike Jr is a peace activist, video journalist, and YouTube personality best known as the Free Hugs Guy online. Nwadike Jr is the founder of the Free Hugs Project, which produces motivational videos to spread love, inspire change, and raise awareness of social issues. His ‘Free Hugs’ videos have reached hundreds of millions of views on Facebook and YouTube. As a former homeless student-athlete, Nwadike overcame many challenges to now own Superhero Events – an event production company that raises funds and awareness for homeless teens.
4 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom
Roland Martin was the host and managing editor of TV One’s NewsOne Now, the first daily morning news program in history to focus on news and analysis of politics, entertainment, sports, and culture from an explicitly African American perspective. Martin is also a nationally syndicated columnist with Creators Syndicate and is a senior analyst for the Tom Joyner Morning Show, where his daily segment is heard on more than 100 stations and 8 million people daily. He is the author of three books: Listening to the Spirit Within: 50 Perspectives on Faith; Speak, Brother! A Black Man’s View of America; and The First: President Barack Obama’s Road to the White House as originally reported by Roland S. Martin.
MLK Commemoration Event
4 p.m.
Student Center East Speaker's Auditorium
An American businessman, investor, television personality, author, and motivational speaker. He is best known as the founder, president, and CEO of FUBU, and appears as an investor on the ABC reality television series Shark Tank. When Daymond John first had the idea for a clothing company for young men, his mother taught him how to sew and supported him by allowing her house to be taken over to grow the business.
To make ends meet, John held a full-time job at Red Lobster, working on the FUBU business in between shifts.
4 p.m.
Student Center East Ballroom
An American businesswoman. She is the former Director of Market Development and spokesperson for Facebook, and a sister of the company's co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Prior to working at Facebook, she was a panelist on Forbes on Fox. As of May 2014, she is founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media, editor-in-chief (EIC) of Dot Complicated, a digital lifestyle website,[5] and creator of Dot., an animated television show about a young girl (the eponymous Dot) who uses technology to enhance both her educational experiences and recreational activities, which airs on Sprout.
4 p.m.
Student Center East Ballroom
As chronicled in the hit film Concussion (starring Will Smith), Dr. Bennet Omalu’s story is one of great triumphs in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. Born in 1968 in Eastern Nigeria during the civil war, his family lived as refugees, his town under constant fire by the Nigerian Air Force. Despite suffering war-related under-nutrition in the first two years of his life, Omalu would go on to attend medical school at age 15 and become a physician by age 21.

In 2002, Dr. Omalu made a career breakthrough when he became the first doctor to discover and identify chronic brain damage as a major factor in the deaths of some professional athletes. He called the disease Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), which he first discovered as the result of an autopsy he performed on Mike Webster—one of the best Centers in NFL history. “Iron Mike”, the legendary Pittsburgh Steeler and Hall of Famer, died at age 50, his brain revealing something doctors had never seen before. Within five years of reporting on Webster’s case, Dr. Omalu went on to identify CTE in eight more deceased NFL players. He was also the first to discover CTE in military veterans diagnosed with PTSD, as well as professional wrestlers. But his findings were summarily dismissed—and even ridiculed—by his professional peers, the NFL, and the sports industry. The NFL even made a concerted effort to retract Dr. Omalu’s published papers. But he stood his ground in search of the truth.

Today, CTE has become generally accepted and Dr. Omalu’s findings have revolutionized neuroscience, sports medicine and safety, the study of all types of brain trauma, and the entire sports industry. In 2015, Omalu’s life and work were chronicled in a book and film, both titled Concussion. The book was released in November 2015 and Will Smith portrayed Dr. Bennet Omalu in the film, which was released Christmas Day, 2015.

Dr. Omalu was awarded a WebMD Health Heroes 2015 award for his discovery of CTE and raising awareness to the disease. Health Heroes awards are given to those who do great things to help others live healthier, better lives.

3 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom

Veteran Democratic political strategist Donna Brazile is an adjunct professor, author, syndicated columnist, and the Interim Chair and Vice-Chair of Voter Registration and Participation at the Democratic National Committee.

Ms. Brazile began her political career at the age of nine when she worked to support the campaign of a city council candidate who promised to build a playground in her neighborhood. Four decades and innumerable state and local campaigns later, she has worked on every presidential campaign from 1976 through 2000, when she served as presidential campaign manager for former Vice President Al Gore.

Margaret Hoover is a best-selling author and host of SiriusXM’s daily show Get It Right with Margaret Hoover which features pop culture, entertainment and politics.  A CNN political contributor, LGBT activist, and veteran of the Bush Administration White House, Margaret is passionate about modernizing the Republican Party.  In her bestselling book, American Individualism: How A New Generation of Conservatives Can Save the Republican Party (Crown Forum, July 2011), Ms. Hoover challenges the GOP to modernize in order to connect with the millennial generation.

3 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield are the men behind one of the most talked-about and least conventional success stories in American business. Founders of Ben and Jerry’s Homemade, Inc., built a store-front venture into an ice cream and business phenomenon by harnessing the power of social responsibility and creative management.

With their best-selling Ben & Jerry’s Double-Dip: How to Run a Values Led Business and Make Money Too, they created a nuts-and-bolts guidebook to the promise and pitfalls of “values-led” business, as well as an inspiring wake-up call about the growing international influence of the “socially conscious” or “mission-driven” corporation.

Free Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream will be provided (while supplies last).

3 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom

Nobody gets results like Judge Glenda Hatchett. A visionary on the bench, she is renowned for her unique way of determining justice in an innovative, authoritative manner.

Well known for her award-winning show, Judge Hatchett, she was lauded for her creative sentencing and powerful administration of justice. With a groundbreaking approach to courtroom television, she delivered revolutionary interventions where litigants "do time" with successful community leaders and professionals from the workforce, the arts, social activism, public service, and athletics.

Glenda Hatchett and the Hatchett Law Firm announced Monday they will be representing the family of Philando Castile in all civil legal matters related to his death after a traffic stop in suburban St. Paul, Minnesota last week.

34th Annual MLK Commemoration
4 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom

With a career spanning five decades, George Takei is known around the world for his founding role in the acclaimed television series Star Trek, in which he played Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the Starship Enterprise. But Takei’s story goes where few stories have gone before. From a childhood spent in a Japanese internment camp during WWII to becoming one of the country’s leading figures in the fight for social justice,  LGBTQ rights, and marriage equality, George Takei is a powerful voice on issues ranging from politics to pop culture.

In 2012, Mashable.com named Takei the #1 most influential person on Facebook. He currently boasts nearly 10 million Facebook likes and more than 1.81 million Twitter followers – and he uses these platforms to share humor, news, and his take on current events.

Currently, Takei hosts the AARP-produced YouTube series Takei’s Take and is the subject of To Be Takei (2014), a documentary on his life and career. On his own YouTube channel, Takei and his husband Brad give viewers a peek into their personal lives in the “heightened reality” web series It Takeis Two.

In 2015, Takei made his Broadway debut in the musical Allegiance. Inspired by Takei’s own childhood experiences, Allegiance follows one family’s extraordinary journey in an untold American story of forgiveness, joy, and the redemptive power of love

3 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom

Tierra Benton is a runway model originally from the sun-kissed shores of Oahu, Hawaii. Tierra Benton is an internationally recognized supermodel based in N.Y. Her career grew roots in Atlanta, Ga with fashion editorial, commercial print and runway modeling experience. Tierra has been featured worldwide in TV productions, motion pictures, commercials and billboard campaigns. Her work has been published in countless magazines including Marie Claire, Seventeen and Essence. Tierra has vast experience with promotional modeling, fashion runway, commercial print, and digital productions. On and off the runway, the Georgia State Alumni is a champion for higher education and an advocate for holistic wellness. In fact, nature is Tierra's biggest inspiration and the driving force behind her very own wellness technology and lifestyle brand Verra Life.
4 p.m.
Student Center Speaker Auditorium
Jamie Tworkowski founded To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA), a non-profit group dedicated to helping those who suffer from depression, addiction, self-injury and suicidal tendencies find hope, support and love. TWLOHA began as a simple attempt to tell the story of a friend in need of treatment, and soon became an internet phenomenon and global movement. In 2010, Mashable named TWLOHA the Must-Follow Non-Profit and in 2011, TWLOHA was awarded $1 million from the American Giving Awards. In 2015, a film based on TWLOHA was released, as was Tworkowski’s New York Times bestselling book, If You Feel Too Much, which was also one of 15 books nominated in Goodreads’ Choice Awards 2015 in the Best Memoir/Autobiography category.
3 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom
With over 17.4 million followers on Facebook and 5.1 million on Instagram, it's no surprise that Brandon Stanton, the photographer and writer behind "Humans of New York," has been called an Internet phenomenon. Named on Crain's New York's 2015 "40 Under 40" list, Stanton is one of today's most unique and influential storytellers, whose own story illustrates the power of the internet, the value of storytelling and our desire to remain connected with real people in our increasingly technology-driven world.

3:30 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom

Jackie Cruz has been singing and acting her whole life and has entertained thousands with her unique sound and artistic skills. Cruz recently vaulted to stardom with her role as Flaca on Netflix's number one rated series, "Orange is The New Black". Born in New York City, Cruz spent her childhood shuttling between New York, Los Angeles, the Dominican Republic and Miami, and often says that she carries a little piece of each city with her. Raised by her mother and her aunts, Cruz draws from the strength that allowed her to survive a near-fatal car accident that almost left her paralyzed. Cruz overcame brain surgery, a coma and collapsed lung, but remained resolute in her determination not to let anything stand in the way of her dream to become a musician.

3:30 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom

Award winning journalist, Soledad O’Brien has established herself as one of the most recognized names in broadcasting, bringing wider exposure as a storyteller to some of the most important issues and stories in the world through her coverage of breaking news, and critically-acclaimed documentary series, "Black in America" and "Latino in America".

In 2005 O’Brien and her husband started Starfish Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps bridge the gap of opportunities for young minority women from low-income families to attend college.

Soledad's memoir "The Next Big Story: My Journey through the Land of Possibilities" chronicles her biggest reporting moments and how her upbringing and background have influenced these experiences and was published in 2010.

3 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom

Hill is one of the leading intellectual voices in the country. He is host of BET News and a political contributor for CNN. He is the former host of the nationally syndicated television show "Our World with Black Enterprise" and the inaugural host of "Huff Post Live", as well as a  former political contributor to Fox News Channel. An award-winning journalist, Hill has received numerous prestigious awards from the National Association of Black Journalists, GLAAD and the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.

33rd Annual MLK Commemoration
4 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom

Dr. David Satcher M.D. is director of The Satcher Health Leadership Institute, which was established in 2006, at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. Currently, he serves on the Board of Directors of Johnson and Johnson, MetLife and the CDC Foundation. He also serves locally on the board of United Way of Greater Atlanta and The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta.

In 1998, Satcher was sworn in as the 16th Surgeon General of the United States. He also served as assistant secretary for health in the Department of Health and Human Services from February 1998 to January 2001, making him only the second person in history to have held both positions simultaneously.

Dolvett Quince is a force of nature. As a veteran health and fitness expert and one of the star trainers on "The Biggest Loser," Quince has dedicated himself to “helping people change their lives, one rep at a time.”  During his early years working as a trainer at the YMCA, he noticed that by helping his clients shape their bodies, he was also improving their self-esteem, creating an overall desire for better health. Believing in the importance of reshaping one’s self mentally to transform physically is central to Quince’s philosophy.

3:30 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom

Challenging himself creatively and testing musical boundaries are characteristics that have defined Usher's career since he was first discovered twenty years ago. Usher has been ranked by the Recording Industry Association of America as one of the best-selling artists in American music history, having sold over 65 million albums worldwide. He has won numerous awards, including eight Grammy Awards, and was named the number one Hot 100 artist of the 2000s decade. Billboard named him the second most successful artist of the 2000s decade, with his career-propelling 2004 album “Confessions” being ranked as the top solo album of the 2000s decade. Usher has attained nine Hot 100 number-one hits (all as a lead artist) and 18 Hot 100 top-10 singles.

3 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom

Reddit, co-founded by Alexis Ohanian and friend Steve Huffman, has become one of the World Wide Web’s most striking examples of democracy in action. Founded in 2005, it quickly grew a user base of tens of thousands and attracted the attention of publisher Condé Nast, which acquired it in 2006. Unlike social bookmarking sites Reddit fashions itself a platform for social news, where the readers themselves control the front page by voting stories up above and down below the fold. Ohanian left Reddit in his official capacity in 2009 but continues to be involved with the site’s direction as a sort of godfather, dispensing friendly wisdom (and t-shirts) from his user account, kn0thing. In early 2010, Ohanian spent three months in Armenia as a Kiva Fellow.

3:30 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom

Sonia Nazario has spent more than 20 years reporting and writing about social issues, most recently as a projects reporter for the Los Angeles Times. Her stories have tackled some of this country’s most intractable problems: hunger, drug addiction, immigration. In 2003, her story of a Honduran boy’s struggle to find his mother in the United States, titled Enrique’s Journey, won more than a dozen awards, among them the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. Expanded into a book, "Enrique’s Journey" became a national best-seller, won three book awards and became required reading for incoming freshmen at more than 50 colleges and scores of high schools across the U.S. Nazario, who grew up in Kansas and Argentina, has written extensively from Latin America and about Latinos in the United States. She has been named among the most influential Latinos by Hispanic Business Magazine and a trendsetter by Hispanic Magazine. In 2012, Columbia Journalism Review listed Nazario among 40 women who changed the media business in the past 40 years.

3:30 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom

Laura Ling is an award-winning journalist and author. She is the host and reporter on "E! Investigates," a documentary series on the E! Network that explores topics such as teen suicide and the challenges faced by military spouses. In March 2009, while reporting on the trafficking of North Korean women, Ling was detained by North Korean soldiers along the Chinese-North Korean border. She and her colleague Euna Lee were arrested and held captive in North Korea for 140 days before being granted a special pardon and returning to the United States. She has since sought to shine a light on the issue of trafficked women as well as to bring greater attention to the plight of other imprisoned journalists around the world. Ling is co-author of "Somewhere Inside: One Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and the Other’s Fight to Bring Her Home," which she penned with her sister, Lisa Ling.

3:30 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom

Eric Alva was born in San Antonio, Texas, in 1970. Following high school, he decided to join the United States Marine Corps. In January 2003, in the build-up to the war, Alva’s unit was deployed to the Middle East. His unit was among the first to cross the border of Kuwait into Iraq for the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Three hours into the ground war his unit stopped to rest. While stepping out of his vehicle, Alva triggered a landmine. The violent explosion threw him 15 feet from the vehicle and left him with multiple injuries, one of which led to an amputation. He became the first American wounded in the war and the war’s first Purple Heart recipient. On February 28, 2007, he joined Congressman Martin Meehan in introducing the Military Readiness Enhancement Act, a bill designed to repeal the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. Alva took a courageous step toward fighting for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans and, in particular, for those who have served and are serving in the military but are unable to be true to themselves. His goal is to help achieve civil rights for all U.S. citizens.

3:30 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom

Dick Gregory is a brilliant comedian, leading civil and human rights activist, well-received author of 15 books, recording artist with seven records, television and film personality, a leading nutritionist, veteran, of over 100 fasts, and a man totally committed to non-violent social change. Mr. Gregory's contemporaries included Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, President John F. Kennedy, and Bobby Kennedy. Being one of the few Movement leaders from the 1960s still alive, Mr. Gregory is literally a walking history book. In the spirit of the African oral tradition, brought to America in 1619 when the first enslaved Africans arrived in the colonies, Mr. Gregory speaks the truth about racism, sexism, and violence in America.

32nd Annual MLK Commemoration
4 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom

An outspoken transgender advocate, Cox is the first trans-woman to produce and star in her own television show, "TRANSForm Me," appear on the cover of TIME Magazine and be nominated for an Emmy. She is also the first trans woman of color to have a leading role on a mainstream scripted television show, "Orange is the New Black." She received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for the role of Sophia Burset, an incarcerated African American transgender woman. A renowned, in-demand speaker, Cox has taken her empowering message of moving beyond gender expectations to live more authentically all over the country. Laverne's other acting credits include “Law and Order,” “Law and Order: SVU,” HBO's “Bored to Death” and the independent films “Carla” and “The Exhibitionists.” Cox was also the first trans woman of color to appear on an American reality television program, VH1's "I Wanna Work for Diddy," for which she accepted the GLAAD Award for Outstanding Reality Program. Laverne was named one of Outmagazine's "Out 100," one of the country's top 50 trans icons by The Huffington Post, and one of Metro Source magazine's "55 People We Love."

3:30 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom

Dr. Michio Kaku is an internationally recognized authority in two areas. The first is Einstein’s unified field theory, which Dr. Kaku is attempting to complete, and the other is to predict trends affecting business, commerce, and finance based on the latest research in science. His goal is the complete Einstein’s dream of a theory of everything, to derive an equation that will summarize all the physical laws of the universe. He is the co-founder of string theory, which is the leading candidate today for the theory of everything. His Ph.D.-level textbooks are required reading at many of the world’s leading physics laboratories. He is the author of several international bestsellers as well as two New York Times best-sellers, “Physics of the Future” and “Physics of the Impossible.” For "Physics of the Future," he interviewed 300 of the world’s top scientists, many of them Nobel Laureates and directors of the largest scientific laboratories, about their vision for the next 20 to 100 years in computers, robotics, biotechnology, space travel, etc. These are the scientists who are inventing the future in their laboratories.

3:30 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom

Judy Smith, crisis management expert and founder and president of Smith & Co., is the real-life inspiration for the hit ABC drama "Scandal," which revolves around the life and work of a professional fixer. Smith has honed her skills for 25 years working such crises as the Iran Contra investigation, the Los Angeles riots, the President Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky scandal and the recent CIA scandal involving General David Petraeus. She is also the author of the book "Good Self, Bad Self."

3 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom

Nev Schulman, producer, actor and photographer, is most notable for his role in "Catfish," Rogue Pictures' and Relativity Media's critically acclaimed 2010 documentary thriller. Now as a host of MTV's "Catfish: The TV Show," Schulman tells the stories of young people as their online-only romantic relationships collide with first-time, real-life encounters. He will lead a discussion about the murky world of online personas, online dating, social networking and the triumphs and tribulations of 21st-century communication when everyone is constantly connected digitally.

3 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom

Multifaceted entertainer Steve Harvey believes that dreaming pays off with hard work and perseverance. The acclaimed actor, TV and radio personality, best-selling author and fashion entrepreneur inspires audiences with his savvy business sense and genuine passion for family and helping others. Named one of Reader’s Digest’s "100 Most Trusted People in America" in 2013, Harvey also remains dedicated to philanthropic initiatives that create uplifting educational opportunities for young men and women. He is currently the popular host of the TV shows “Family Feud” and “Steve Harvey,” as well as the top-rated radio host of the "Steve Harvey Morning Show."
3 p.m.
Georgia State University Sports Arena
Acclaimed poet Richard Blanco joined the ranks of Robert Frost, Maya Angelou, Miller Williams and Elizabeth Alexander when he was selected by President Obama as the fifth inaugural poet laureate at his second inauguration. The Cuban-American author of three books of poetry, including two award winners, will read some of his poetry and share the stories that inspired his work, which explores themes of cultural, gender and sexual identity. Blanco has been published in several anthologies and top literary journals and featured on National Public Radio.

Thirty-first Annual MLK Convocation
3 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom

Award-winning journalist Michele Norris is the first African-American female host of National Public Radio and a former correspondent for ABC News from 1993 to 2002. Norris has received numerous awards for her work, including an Emmy Award and a Peabody Award for her contributions to ABC’s coverage of 9/11. She has also reported for the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times. Her best-selling book, "The Grace of Silence: A Memoir," was praised as one of the best books of 2010 by The Christian Science Monitor.
3 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom
Jack Hanna, host of the hit TV series "Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures," is one of America’s most beloved naturalists and adventurers. He is the author of four popular books and a regular guest on shows such as “Good Morning America,” “Larry King Live” and “The Late Show With David Letterman.” Hanna first gained national attention for transforming Ohio’s rundown Columbus Zoo into a household name, and he is now its director emeritus. He and his team will bring live animals to this event.
3 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom
Dr. Steve Perry, CNN education contributor and best-selling author, believes that success is determined by where you end, not where you start. This philosophy has inspired him to found two programs that provide poor and minority children with access to a college education.

Perry is a CNN education contributor and an Essence best-selling author for his book, "Man Up! Nobody is Coming to Save Us." His fifth and latest book, "Push Has Come to Shove: Getting Our Kids the Education They Deserve (Even if it Means Picking a Fight)," addresses the public school system and the challenge it poses to parents whose children are immersed in it. Perry is also the host of his own television show, "Save My Son," on TV1.

Steve Wozniak shaped the computing industry with his design of Apple’s first line of products, the Apple I and II, and influenced the popular Macintosh. In 1976, Wozniak and Steve Jobs founded Apple Computer Inc. with Wozniak’s Apple I personal computer. The following year, he introduced his Apple II personal computer, which was integral in launching the personal computer industry.

For his achievements at Apple Computer, Wozniak was awarded the National Medal of Technology by the President of the United States in 1985, the highest honor bestowed on America’s leading innovators. In 2000, he was inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame and was awarded the prestigious Heinz Award for Technology, the Economy and Employment. Wozniak currently serves as chief scientist for Fusion-IO and is a published author with the release of his New York Times best-selling autobiography, "iWoz: From Computer Geek to Cult Icon," in September 2006 by Norton Publishing.

This event is free, no ticket required, and open to all students, faculty, staff and the public. All guests are encouraged to arrive early for seats. Once the Ballroom is full, guests will be directed to the Speaker’s Auditorium for viewing via live feed.

Supported by Student Activity Fees.
Steve Wozniak
Co-Founder of Apple Computer and Philanthropist
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
3 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom
Followed by Meet & Greet or Book Signing

Dr. Drew Pinsky is a practicing physician, board-certified in internal medicine and in addiction medicine and a member of the staff at Huntington Memorial Hospital. Pinsky is also an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine.

Pinsky stars in the hit reality series "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew," which chronicles the struggle for sobriety and the cycle of addictive disorders in a group of celebrities. The sixth installment of the series, "Rehab with Dr. Drew," follows the real-life experiences of everyday people who are struggling with addiction as they undergo detoxification and treatment.

In December of 2010 Dr. Drew Pinsky joined HLN as the host of his own show, "Dr. Drew On Call," where he continues to attract audiences and explores the motivations behind people's actions and behaviors. Dr. Drew is also the host of the nationally syndicated radio show "Loveline" where he has been taking calls from listeners about love, sex and relationships for over 25 years.

America Ferrera is perhaps best known for her fearless portrayal of Betty Suarez on ABC's hit comedy "Ugly Betty." This breakthrough role has earned Ferrera an Emmy, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award, as well as ALMA and Imagen Awards.

Ferrera first secured her place as one of Hollywood's most vibrant young talents with her starring role in the Patricia Cardoso film "Real Women Have Curves." Her performance earned her a Sundance Jury Award for Best Actress, an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Debut Performance and a Young Artist Award nomination for Best Performance for a Leading Young Actress.

Time Magazine heralds Deepak Chopra as one of the top 100 heroes and icons of the century and credits him as the poet-prophet of alternative medicine.

Chopra will discuss practical ways to experience higher consciousness, transformation and healing. He will also address such questions as: Are we in the midst of a major paradigm shift in science? Is there an ultimate reality? How does our understanding of consciousness as pure potentiality enhance our capacity for intuition, creativity, conscious choice making, healing and the awakening of dormant potentialities such as nonlocal communication and non-local sensory experience?

Chopra appears in conjunction with the Counseling and Testing Center’s 5th Biennial Cultural Competency Conference.

Supported by Student Activity Fees.
Download Deepak Chopra’s Biography

The hit MTV show "The Buried Life" originated in 2006 when four now 20-somethings, Ben Nemtin, Dave Lingwood, Duncan Penn and Jonnie Penn, set out in an old RV to complete a list of "100 Things We Want To Do Before We Die" and help strangers along the way to accomplish something on their own lists.

Today, "The Buried Life" has over 1 million Facebook fans and more than 130,000 Twitter followers. Despite their success, the four stars work to keep the show authentic to their original vision: “Simple and practical things demonstrate that, with creativity and the help of others, a person can accomplish anything — anything is possible.”

Free event! No ticket required. Open to all students, faculty, staff and the public.

The Buried Life: Ben Nemtin, Dave Lingwood, Duncan Penn and Jonnie Penn
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
3 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom
Supported by Student Activity Fees.

Bill Nye is a scientist, engineer, comedian, author and inventor. He is also a man with a mission: to help foster a scientifically literate society and to help people everywhere understand and appreciate the science that makes our world work.

Free event! No ticket required. Open to all students, faculty, staff and the public.

Bill Nye
The Earth is a Great Home, But We Have to Make Some Changes
Monday, November 14, 2011
3 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom
Supported by Student Activity Fees.

Download Bill Nye’s Biography

Lisa Ling uses her role as a journalist to focus on positive social change. Currently the co-executive producer and host of "Our America" on the Oprah Winfrey Network and the field correspondent for "The Oprah Show," Ling has reported from dozens of countries. She has covered stories about gang rape in the Congo, bride burning in India and the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda, among other issues that are too often ignored.

She will discuss her own career path as she explains how journalism can be a force for propelling the world forward in new and positive ways. Lisa Ling appears in conjunction with the 29th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation.

Free event! No ticket required. Open to all students, faculty, staff and the public.

Lisa Ling
Open Heart, Open Mind
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
3 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom
Supported by Student Activity Fees.

Download Lisa Ling's Biography

Captain Mark Kelly faced the toughest challenge of his life in January 2011, when an assassination attempt was made on his wife, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. His dedication to family and her road to recovery captivated the nation. For Kelly, focus equals success, even in the face of adversity. A combat pilot in Iraq, an astronaut on four space shuttle missions and commander of the final flight of Space Shuttle Endeavour, Kelly shows audiences how to accomplish their mission while maintaining the love and devotion to family that is the foundation of true success.

Free event! No ticket required. Open to all students, faculty, staff and the public.

Mark Kelly
Endeavor to Succeed
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
3 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom
Supported by Student Activity Fees.

Download Mark Kelly's Biography

John Legend is a nine-time Grammy Award-winning recording artist, critically acclaimed concert performer, philanthropist and social activist, and was named one of TIME magazine’s "100 Most Influential People."

Legend launched the Show Me Campaign, a nonprofit organization fighting poverty. John also sits on the boards of The Education Equality Project, Teach for America, and the Harlem Village Academies. Among John Legend’s honors received are: the 2010 BET Humanitarian of the Year award, the 2009 CARE Humanitarian Award for Global Change, and the 2009 Africare’s Bishop John T. Walker Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award.

Free event! No ticket required. Open to all students, faculty, staff and the public.

An Afternoon with John Legend
Monday, February 20, 2012
3 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom
Supported by Student Activity Fees.

Download John Legend's Biography

Join the best-selling author of the acclaimed novel, “The Help,” as she shares her experiences with writing the novel, her challenges getting it published and how the book became a hit movie from DreamWorks.

Kathryn Stockett was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. After studying English and creative writing at the University of Alabama, she moved to New York City, where she worked in magazine publishing and marketing for nine years. It was there that she wrote "The Help," her first novel. Printed after rejection by close to 50 literary agents, "The Help" quickly climbed onto the New York Times’ bestseller list, where it has remained for more than 100 weeks.

Free event! No ticket required. Open to all students, faculty, staff and the public.

An Afternoon with Kathryn Stockett
Thursday, March 29, 2012
3 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom
Supported by Student Activity Fees.

Download Kathryn Stockett’s Biography

Healing, Transformation and Higher Consciousness
Thursday, April 12, 2012
6 p.m.
Georgia State University Sports Arena

This event is free for all Georgia State University students, faculty and staff with PantherCard ID at the door. All others are $10 at the door.

Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace, will bring her audience into the world of the chimpanzees and share information about the work of environmental and humanitarian programs and the Institute, a global leader in innovative conservation. She will also discuss the current threats facing the planet and her reasons for hope in these troubling times.

In July of 1960, Jane Goodall began her landmark study of chimpanzee behavior in what is now Tanzania. Her work at Gombe Stream would become the foundation of future primatological research and redefine the relationship between humans and animals. The Jane Goodall Institute continues the Gombe research and is a global leader in the effort to protect chimpanzees and their habitats. The Institute is widely recognized for innovative, community-centered conservation and development programs in Africa, and Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, the global environmental and humanitarian youth program.

This event is free, no ticket required, and open to all students, faculty, staff and the public. All guests are encouraged to arrive early for seats. Once the Ballroom is full, guests will be directed to the Speaker’s Auditorium for viewing via live feed.

Photo by Michael Neugebauer. Please note: Dr. Goodall does not handle wild chimpanzees. This orphan chimp lives at a sanctuary.

Supported by Student Activity Fees.
An Afternoon with Jane Goodall
Monday, October 8, 2012
3 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom
Followed by Book Signing

For more information about Jane Goodall, please visit her website.

Co hosts of the Emmy nominated show "Mythbusters," a science entertainment television program on the Discovery Channel. The show's hosts, special effects experts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, use elements of the scientific method to test the validity of rumors, myths, movie scenes, adages, internet videos and news stories. The show is one of the oldest and most popular series on the Discovery Channel.

Free event! No ticket required. Open to all students, faculty, staff and the public.

Monday, September 20, 2010
3 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom
Supported by Student Activity Fees.

Bartz is an American business executive, the former president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the internet services company Yahoo!, and former chairman, president, and CEO at architectural and engineering design software company Autodesk. She will be interviewed by David Lieberman, senior media reporter at USA Today.

Free event! No ticket required. Open to all students, faculty, staff and the public.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010
3 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom
Supported by Student Activity Fees.

Zanny Minton Beddoes is the editor-in-chief of The Economist. Previously, she was responsible for the newspaper’s coverage of business, finance and science. She has written extensively about international financial issues including enlargement of the European Union, the future of the International Monetary Fund and economic reform in emerging economies. In May 1998, she testified before Congress on the introduction of the Euro.

Free event! No ticket required. Open to all students, faculty, staff and the public.

Monday, October 18, 2010
3 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom
Supported by Student Activity Fees.

Download Zanny Minton Beddoes Biography

Dr. Carson is a renowned pediatric surgeon and author of the book “Gifted Hands.” In 2001, Dr. Carson was named by CNN and TIME Magazine as one of the nation’s 20 foremost physicians and scientists. That same year, he was selected by the Library of Congress as one of 89 Living Legends. In June 2008, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which is the highest civilian honor in the land. Some of his career highlights include the first and only successful separation of craniopagus (Siamese) twins joined at the back of the head in 1987 and the first completely successful separation of type-2 vertical craniopagus twins in 1997 in South Africa.

Free event! No ticket required. Open to all students, faculty, staff and the public.

Monday, November 1, 2010
3 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom
Supported by Student Activity Fees.

In his entertaining lecture, Where the Heck Am I and How Did I Get Here?, Alton Brown relates how he got his start and how he creates "Good Eats," an offbeat food show that blends wit with wisdom, history with pop culture and science with common cooking sense. The creator and host of the Peabody Award winning Food Network show will discuss the ideas behind it and the new popularity of food and lifestyle shows. Also the food historian, scientist and commentator for Food Network’s new series "Iron Chef America," Brown tells audiences to follow their passion because doing what you love is always a hit.

Free event! No ticket required. Open to all students, faculty, staff and the public.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011
3 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom
Supported by Student Activity Fees.

President F.W. de Klerk is a former South African president and Nobel Peace Prize winner who led the dismantling of apartheid and release of Nelson Mandela. He will discuss the globalization and the persistence of ethnic and religious conflict and calls upon wealthy nations to aid the underdeveloped world.

Free event! No ticket required. Open to all students, faculty, staff and the public.

Thursday, February 17, 2011
3 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom
Supported by Student Activity Fees.

Download F.W. de Klerk's Biography

The author of more than 15 national and international bestselling novels, an accomplished trial and corporate lawyer and a tireless literacy advocate, David Baldacci discusses his life as an author, the writer’s routine and humorous stories from the road.

Free event! No ticket required. Open to all students, faculty, staff and the public.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011
3 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom
Supported by Student Activity Fees.

Download David Baldacci’s Biography