Linda Clyde | Oct 27, 2017

Get to Know RootsTech Keynote Speaker Brandon Stanton

Brandon Stanton, the well-known photojournalist who started the popular Humans of New York blog, is coming to RootsTech! Stanton will be the featured keynote speaker at RootsTech on Thursday, March 1, 2018. Come learn all about his story and what he’s learned from walking the streets of New York City for the last seven years.

From Census to Celebrity

Although he’s not a New York native, Stanton is a current resident of the famous city, and in November of 2010 he took to the streets to capture impromptu photos of and interviews with random New Yorkers.

What began as an objective to collect 10,000 images and create a photographic census of New York City unexpectedly grew into something much larger when Stanton began posting his work on social media and later to his blog. It quickly grew into what is now known as “Humans of New York,” or “HONY.” Stanton’s fascinating work sheds light on the vast diversity and emotion encapsulated within each human experience he records. The trickle of followers he attracted in 2010 has since grown well into the millions. 

Social Media, Books, and a Blog

Stanton’s blog regularly features new faces and stories and has now expanded to include additional subjects from over 20 different countries.

In 2013, his first book, Humans of New York, presold 30,000 copies before being published and remained on the New York Times Nonfiction Best Sellers list for months. His second book, Humans of New York: Stories, is the intriguing culmination of five years of story collecting on the streets of New York. He has also authored the children’s book Little Humans.

Photography and Philanthropy

Since starting his unique work in photography and storytelling, philanthropy and the welfare of others have been a natural outgrowth of Stanton’s work. From raising money to end bonded labor in Pakistan and Iran to helping Syrian refugees start new lives in America, helping others has become a priority for Stanton. His influence has helped raise millions of dollars for a number of causes such as scholarship and summer camp funds for Brooklyn students from underserved neighborhoods, relief funds for victims of Hurricane Sandy, funds for children with cancer and disabilities, and even funds to help a family adopt a second child from an Ethiopian orphanage.

Life on the Streets of NYC

It’s not easy to spend your days approaching complete strangers in one of the biggest cities on earth. Stanton claims that the most difficult part of his work is rejection; people aren’t always kind. He has learned that in order for people to share their personal stories, they have to be willing to be vulnerable, and for many, that doesn’t come easy. Though for Stanton, the rewards of his work have far outweighed the challenges. He has learned volumes from the individuals he has interacted with and continues to express his thanks and gratitude for their willingness to share.

Don’t miss the opportunity to see Brandon Stanton and hear his inspiring story at RootsTech 2018!

Linda Clyde

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