Finding Common Ground In Uncommon Times
Dr. Omekongo Dibinga
- Dr. Dibinga’s life mission is to inspire all across the globe to take a stand when they witness an injustice, no matter how small or large
- John Maxwell Team “Top 30 speaker,” a trilingual poet, TV talk show host, rapper, and professor of Inter-cultural Communication at American University, where he also serves as a faculty affiliate to the Antiracist Research & Policy Center
- Provides leadership, educational, and diversity empowerment as a consultant and motivational speaker for organizations, associations, and institutions
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Dr. Omékongo Dibinga is the UPstander. His life’s mission is to inspire all across the globe to take a stand when they witness an injustice, no matter how small or large. A John Maxwell Team “Top 30 speaker”, he is an international speaker, trilingual poet, TV talk show host, rapper, and professor of Inter-cultural Communication at American University, where he also serves as a faculty affiliate to the Antiracist Research & Policy Center. His Urban Music Award winning work has best been described by Nikki Giovanni as “outstanding, exciting, and new while being very old.” His book, From the Limbs of My Poetree was described by Essence Magazine as “a remarkable and insightful collection of exquisite poetry that touches sacred places within your spirit.” He was one of 5 international recipients out of 750,000 to win the first ever “CNN iReport Spirit Award.” He has received over 1,000,000 views on CNN.com.
Omékongo’s writings and performances have appeared in O Magazine, as well as on TV and radio from CNN, BET, and the BBC to NPR, Music Choice, and Voice of America in millions of homes in over 150 countries. He has also written songs for major motion pictures as well as organizations such as NASA and the Enough! Project. He has spoken before the United Nations, partners with the State Department to conduct leadership trainings overseas, and speaks to corporate, government, and educational organizations across the country on issues centered on leadership, antiracism, diversity, and inclusion.
Omékongo’s music and writings have appeared alongside artists such as Sheryl Crow, Angelina Jolie, Norah Jones, Damien Rice, Angelique Kidjo, Don Cheadle, and Yassine Bey. He has shared the stage with Jane Fonda, Joaquin Phoenix, Martin Sheen, OutKast, Sonia Sanchez, The Last Poets, and NFL great Aaron Rodgers. Internationally, he has shared his work in over 20 countries on 3 continents.
Omékongo has studied at Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Georgetown, Morehouse, and The Fletcher School, where he earned his M.A. in Law & Diplomacy. He earned his Ph.D. in International Education Policy at The University of Maryland (UMD) where his dissertation centered on the global hip-hop phenomenon and JAY-Z. A book based on the dissertation is in the works. At UMD, he also worked with the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Teaching Diverse Students Initiative.” Across the country he has worked with school districts on culturally relevant instruction including Washington DC, Texas, New York, Ohio, Florida, Massachusetts, and California. He worked for four years as the lead Teaching Assistant to Dr. Michael Eric Dyson at Georgetown University. He provides leadership, educational and diversity empowerment as a consultant and motivational speaker for organizations, associations and institutions.
Omékongo he has featured/lectured nationwide in venues from TEDx and Harvard to Russell Simmons’ Hip-Hop Summit and the Nuyorican Poets Café. His rap mixtape series “Bootleg” promotes positive hip-hop with remixes of songs by Tupac, Notorious BIG, JAY-Z, Nas, 50 Cent, and others. His 1,000,000 Youth Campaign has directly impacted over 750,000 youth across the globe to date. He has also partnered with Intel on its campaign to make their computer processors free of minerals that come from the war in the Congo.
Omékongo has published and produced 7 books, 8-fusion music and motivational CDs, and one independent DVD. His motivational book G.R.O.W. Towards Your Greatness! 10 Steps to Living Your Best Life has received praise from great motivational speakers such as Les Brown and Willie Jolley. His most recent book “The UPstander’s Guide to an Outstanding Life” is a life balance book for students.
Antiracism & YOU!
Antiracism is a term that has been utilized across every strata of American society and even beyond our shores. The goal of this session is to go beyond the articles and books and do a deep dive on two simple questions. The first question is: how antiracist are you really? The goal of this question to conduct a deep on your personal journey of becoming antiracist. The second question is: how antiracist is your school or company? The goal of this question is to analyze the work your organization has conducted on its path to becoming truly antiracist. By the end of this session, participants will be able to understand if their antiracist work personally or professionally is really a moment or a movement and craft out an action plan to continue on the antiracist path regardless of where they currently are in the process.
Finding Common Ground In Uncommon Times
The purpose of this keynote/breakout is for participants to explore what unites them as opposed to what divides them. We live in a society that is becoming increasingly polarized but even in our darkest moments, there are areas where we can all shine. Participants will learn how to have difficult conversations, how to challenge implicit biases, and how to build a community where differences are not just tolerated but celebrated!
Be An UPstander, Not A BYstander!
This keynote/breakout uses spoken word poetry and hip-hop to speak on the importance of how participants can create social change. Participants build their cultural self-confidence and respect for other cultural, religious and racial groups through critical analysis to understand the root causes of misconceptions that exist across different groups. It challenges cultural paradigms in an effort to create greater appreciation for differences. Participants emerge from this keynote/breakout empowered to not only make a change in their own lives but in their communities and throughout the globe.
G.R.OW. Towards Your Greatness!
This keynote/breakout will provide you with the steps needed to bounce back from any setback, be it personal or professional. This is an interactive session where participants will be able to first probe into the circumstances that led to their setback, and then embark on 4-step reinvention road map that will keep them focused and ready to adapt to new challenges. As the saying goes, either you expand or you are expendable so come learn how to expand and G.R.O.W. towards your greatness!
Leveraging and Embracing Diversity in the Workplace
This keynote/breakout explores the importance of achieving true cultural diversity and appreciation in a corporate or governmental environment. Research has shown that companies that value diversity are more productive and profitable. Participants will probe deeply into the challenges that prevent employees and leaders from having a truly inclusive work environment. By acknowledging their truths as it relates to experiences of racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, and more, participants will feel empowered to carry the dialogue back to their colleagues and beyond.