Keynote Speaker: March 3, 2018
Natalia Lafourcade is a Mexican pop-rock singer and songwriter who, since her debut in 2003, has been one of the most successful singers in the pop rock scene in Latin America. Natalia was born in Mexico City, Mexico, to musician parents. Her father is the Chilean musician Gastón Lafourcade, and her uncle is writer Enrique Lafourcade. She grew up in Coatepec, Veracruz, Mexico, where she studied music with her mother, María del Carmen Silva Contreras.
In 2003, she was nominated for a Latin Grammy in the Best New Artist category for her debut album. Natalia has captured hearts all over Mexico and in countries across the world—Peru, Chile, Guatemala, Canada, Japan, the United States, Venezuela, Argentina, Spain, Italy, Dominican Republic, Colombia, and Denmark. Throughout her career, Natalia has received numerous honors and awards, including Grammy Awards and MTV Latino awards. Her undeniable talent and success are recognized from the Americas to Europe to Asia. She is an artist with charisma, a creator of contemporary music with immense appeal, and loyal to her musical heritage. Her audiences in all corners of the globe appreciate the simplicity and beauty of her interpretation. She is without a doubt an outstanding representative of the music of Mexico.
Keynote Speaker: March 3, 2018
Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Henry Louis Gates, Jr., is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, literary scholar, journalist, cultural critic, and institution builder, Professor Gates has authored or co-authored 22 books and created 18 documentary films, including Wonders of the African World, African American Lives, Faces of America, Black in Latin America, Black America since MLK: And Still I Rise, Africa’s Great Civilizations, and Finding Your Roots, his groundbreaking genealogy series now in its fourth season on PBS. His six-part PBS documentary series, The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross (2013), which he wrote, executive produced, and hosted, earned the Emmy Award for Outstanding Historical Program—Long Form, as well as the Peabody Award, Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award, and NAACP Image Award.
Keynote Speaker: March 1, 2018
Brandon Stanton studied at the University of Georgia and worked as a bond trader in Chicago before starting “Humans of New York”—a photography and storytelling blog—in the Summer of 2010. Over the course of seven years, HONY has built a devoted following of over 20 million fans on several social media platforms. He has appeared on Ellen, Good Morning America, Nightline, MSNBC, and CNN, and he has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, Mashable, and dozens of other media venues. He has also been named a "person of the week" on the ABC Evening News with Diane Sawyer, and a Time Magazine “30 Under 30 Who Are Changing the World,” and has photographed President Obama in the Oval Office. He has taken his work to some of the world's most remote and troubled regions, and he has used the storytelling power of his site to raise money for several life-changing altruistic purposes. He is the author of two #1 New York Times bestsellers, Humans of New York (2013) and Humans of New York: Stories (2015) and the children’s book bestseller Little Humans (2014).
Keynote Speaker: March 2, 2018
Scott Hamilton is the living example that good guys CAN finish first! He is an Olympic champion, cancer survivor, television broadcaster, motivational speaker, author, husband/father, and eternal optimist! During his figure skating career, Hamilton’s list of achievements include his Olympic gold medal, over 70 titles, awards, and honors. In 1990, Hamilton was inducted into the United States Olympic Hall of Fame, and in that same year he became a member of the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame. Following his mother’s passing from and his own survival of cancer, Hamilton launched the Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation (Cancer Alliance for Research, Education and Survivorship) in 2014, with a mission to improve cancer patient survivorship by supporting world class cancer research and the highest quality patient treatment and care. The same year, he founded the Scott Hamilton Skating Academy, in partnership with the NHL’s Nashville Predators, at Ford Ice Center in Antioch, TN, to offer students programs to help them fall in love with ice skating.