Exclusive programs designed to explore leadership, building communities, and the changing landscape of diversity in America.
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Jose Antonio Vargas
Pulitzer Prize Winner & Undocumented Immigrant “This deceit never got easier. The more I did it, the more I felt like an impostor, the more guilt I carried — and the more I worried that I would get caught.” — Jose Antonio Vargas
Jose Antonio Vargas
Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist and Undocumented Immigrant www.greatertalent.com/JoseAntonioVargas
Born and reared in the Philippines, Jose Antonio Vargas’ mother, sent him to live with his grandparents in Silicon Valley. At 16 years old when applying for his Learner’s permit, he discovered his green card was a fake. Vargas realized he needed to continue hiding his true identity to avoid deportation and be able to successfully pursue his American dream – a career in journalism. And succeed he did. Vargas wrote a widely circulated profile of Mark Zuckerberg for The New Yorker. He also served as a senior contributing editor at the Huffington Post. He covered the tech and video game culture, HIV/AIDS, and the 2008 presidential campaign for the Washington Post, and was part of the team that won a Pulitzer Prize for covering the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech. However, despite all his achievements, the dark shadow of Vargas’ lying, avoiding and fleeting persona continued to haunt him. After 18 years, he was finally done running, and exposed his story in “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant,” for the New York Times Magazine. Today Vargas runs Define American, a non-profit organization that seeks to elevate the conversation around immigration.
At the Podium Vargas discusses how despite all his achievements, the dark shadow of his true identity continued to haunt him, as he frequently lied to friends and colleagues, avoided close relationships so no one would ask too many questions, and didn’t travel abroad due to his illegal passport. Finally in the summer of 2011, 18 years after arriving in America he decided he was done running. Vargas exposed his story in his groundbreaking essay, “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant,” for the New York Times Magazine, stunning the media and political circles and attracting world-wide coverage. Vargas will challenge audiences to re-think what they think an “illegal alien” is and take an indepth look at the immigration laws in this country.
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Mayor of Newark, New Jersey Against great odds, Mayor Cory Booker is spearheading a city wide transformation in Newark making measurable and even dramatic change.
Mayor of Newark, New Jersery
Named by US News and World Report as one of America’s 13 Best Leaders, Mayor Booker was elected with a clear mandate for change and has begun work on realizing a bold vision for the city. Newark’s mission is to set a national standard for urban transformation by marshalling its resources to achieve security, economic abundance and an environment that is nurturing and empowering for individuals and families. Booker’s historic leadership in Newark has inspired a five-part documentary series called Brick City, which chronicles a community striving to become a better, safer, stronger place to live. He has been recognized in numerous publications, including, among others, TIME (naming him one of the 100 most influential people of 2011), Esquire, New Jersey Monthly (naming him as one of New Jersey’s top 40 under 40), Black Enterprise (naming him to the Hot List, America’s Most Powerful Players under 40) and The New York Times Magazine.
At the Podium Booker demonstrates the need for communities to embrace social values that extend beyond simple tolerance, encouraging a lifetime of enrichment through difference. Exploring the strengths and challenges of diversity in America, he brings his passion for social change to audiences, sharing stories informed by real life. Mayor Booker also sheds light on the necessary reform government needs to undergo to become equipped to deal with the challenges of modern times. Drawing from a deep belief in service and social justice, Mayor Booker inspires audiences to greater civic responsibility and issues a call to action for America.
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Harold Ford, Jr. On the Pulse of DC
“The walking, living embodiment of where America ought to go in the 21st century” — President Bill Clinton
Harold Ford Jr.
Former U.S. Representative & NBC News Analyst www.greatertalent.com/HaroldFord
Harold Ford, Jr. served Tennessee in the United States Congress for 10 years. Described by President Bill Clinton as “the walking, living embodiment of where America ought to go in the 21st century,” Ford is now a news analyst for NBC and MSNBC and a Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Reflecting on what he’s learned from his extended political family, the slings and arrows of the campaign trail, and those across our nation who inspire him, his best selling book More Davids Than Goliaths explains Ford’s conviction that “at its best, leadership in government can solve, inspire, and heal.”
At the Podium Ford’s charisma and razor-sharp wit takes audiences right into the heart of Washington’s inner sanctum, shedding a light on the complexities of the government. His years of public service combined with his non-partisan conjecture provide a bona-fide finger on the pulse of Washington DC and actionable solutions to the challenges we face as a nation. He discusses ways to grow America’s economy, strengthen our moral stature and standing in the world, make America safer and stronger through a revolution in clean energy technologies, and modernize our military to better be able to fight the enemies of democracy and tolerance around the world. Ford’s confidence in American ingenuity to overcome any foe bolsters his belief that America’s best days are in front of us.
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60 Minutes Correspondent, Award-Winning Journalist & Author
Known for his thought-provoking coverage and his commitment to exceptional storytelling, Byron Pitts is a multiple Emmy Award Winning journalist.
60 Minutes Correspondent
As Chief National Correspondent for CBS Evening News With Katie Couric Pitts was an embedded reporter covering the Iraq War and was recognized for his work under fire. Pitts was also CBS’ lead correspondent at Ground Zero immediately following the September 11th attacks and won an Emmy for his coverage. A news veteran with over 20 years of experience, other major stories include the war in Afghanistan, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the military buildup in Kuwait and the refugee crisis in Kosovo, to name but a few. Pitts realized a life-long goal when he was named a Contributing Correspondent to CBS’ 60 Minutes in 2009.
At the Podium
Pitts shares his many achievements that were made in the face of extraordinary obstacles. Raised by a single mother in a working class neighborhood in Baltimore, Pitts was illiterate until the age of 12 and had a persistent stutter. Capitalizing on his desire to play football, his mother mandated he receive Bs or above in school in order to play. With that focus, Pitts learned to read and went on to attend Ohio Wesleyan University. With the help of his roommate and a college professor, Pitts found the support and encouragement necessary to pursue a career in broadcast journalism—a field that demands excellence in writing and speaking.
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NFL Veteran & LGBT Role Model
For nine years, Esera Tuaolo excelled in the NFL as a defensive lineman: he played for five different teams and went to Super Bowl XXXIII with the Atlanta Falcons.
NFL Veteran & LGBT Role Model
For nine years, Esera Tuaolo excelled in the NFL as a defensive lineman: he played for five different teams and went to Super Bowl XXXIII with the Atlanta Falcons. He played with some of football’s greatest, including Brett Farve, John Randle and Jack Del Rio. He even sang the national anthem in uniform at a nationally televised Monday night game as a rookie and at the 1999 Pro-Bowl. But as a gay man in the hyper-masculine culture of professional football, Tuaolo was forced to hide his sexuality. The secret crippled him, leading him to drink excessively and contemplate suicide. It also hindered his football achievements, as he felt that if he were too good a player, he would be exposed as a homosexual. He led a double life that deeply depressed him, but which he now looks back on with a new perspective. During this difficult time, he persevered by following his mother’s example and maintaining his strong spiritual faith.
At the Podium It was after retiring from professional football that Tuaolo became fed up with pretending to “be straight.” He publicly announced his sexuality, which he describes as “taking off a costume I’ve been wearing all my life.” Only one of three former NFL players to ever come out, he has received huge amounts of support: from old teammates, the media, friends and family alike. Now he brings his incredible story to the podium to inspire others to achieve their best by speaking to their individual truths without fear or intimidation.
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Harriet Washington is an award-winning medical writer and editor, and the author of the best-selling book, Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Harriet Washington Times to the Present. In her Award-winning Medical Writer & Editor www.greatertalent.com/HarrietWashington work, she focuses mainly upon bioethics, history of medicine, African American health issues and the intersection of medicine, ethics and culture. Washington wrote Medical Apartheid while she was a Research Fellow in Ethics at Harvard Medical School. She has worked as a Page One editor for USA Today, as a science editor for metropolitan dailies and several national magazines, and her award-winning medical writing.
Famous for his work with the multi-platinum group “The Fugees,” Forté was the quintessential rising star before landing in a federal penitentiary. Viewing prison as an opportunity to redeem himself, Forté created a John Forte music program, conducted Singer, Songwriter & Producer www.greatertalent.com/JohnForte weekly roundtable forums for inmates and pursued his degree at the London School of Economics. His was one of only 11 commutations granted by President Bush during his eight years in office. At the podium, Forté shares intimate songs while playing acoustic guitar and speaking candidly of the events leading to his imprisonment, his seven years behind bars and his fight against insurmountable odds to seek redemption. His inspirational journey also serves as a cautionary tale for children, and proves that second chances do exist—even in the most unlikely places. Exclusively Represented by GTN
In 1983, Bozella’s life took a dramatic turn when he was convicted of a murder he did not commit. Sentenced to 20 years to life in Sing Sing prison, Bozella maintained his innocence and exhausted Dewey Bozella Arthur Ashe Courage Award every appeal. Less than Winner & Boxer two years after a judge www.greatertalent.com/DeweyBozella overturned his murder conviction and freed him from prison, Bozella was honored by athletes from around the world for his courage and perseverance for the ESPN’s Arthur Ashe Courage Award. His inspiring story takes audiences on an emotional rollercoaster as they struggle with the flawed US justice system that sent an innocent man to prison for most of his life, while warming their hearts with Bozella’s unyielding determination and forgiveness. Born of a Nigerian architect and a Bahamian doctor, Ntiedo (NT) Etuk’s story starts with a dream to build big and the need to give back. Fast forward to a successful career at some of the country’s largest Ntiedo (NT) Etuk corporations when Etuk Founder/CEO - DimensionU www.greatertalent.com/NtiedoEtuk made the fateful decision that what he would build is a global company that would fundamentally change the way kids learn. He decided to start DimensionU, an education company built on the premise that students are the true customer in education and that to provide them with an experience that excites their love of learning you have to match the teaching of key skills, with interesting formats and compelling, relevant rewards.
Building Strong Communities
Ronan Farrow is a writer, human rights lawyer and diplomat. He is one of the world’s foremost experts on youth uprisings, having served as the United States’ first envoy on youth issues, led the Ronan Farrow Obama administration’s Global Youth Issues Activist www.greatertalent.com/RonanFarrow response to the Arab Spring revolutions, and founded State Department’s Office of Global Youth Issues for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Farrow brings to the podium a hard-edged policy expertise brought to life through stories of his adventures and misadventures around the world. He delivers concrete steps each person can take in their community to fight for the issues they care about, and has inspired people across the world to take action. Painter is one of the preeminent historians in America today. A graduate of Harvard University, Painter went on to become the Edwards Professor Emeritus of American History at Princeton Nell Irvin-Painter University. She is the Award Winning Scholar & Writer www.greatertalent.com/NellIrvinPainter author of six books and countless articles relating to the history of the American South. Her most current book, The History Of White People guides us through more than 2000 years of Western civilization, illuminating not only the invention of race but the frequent praise of “whiteness.” Painter has been a recipient of the Brown Publication Prize, awarded by the Association of Black Woman Historians and has been a fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
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The Tuohy family’s life, as chronicled in the blockbuster movie The Blind Side broke box office records and inspired individuals nationwide. In 2010 the family established their charity, The Tuohy Family The Making it Happen Inspirational Subjects of The Blind Side www.greatertalent.com/TheTuohyFamily Foundation which promotes awareness, provides hope and improves standards of living for children fighting to survive in the invisible cracks in society. They are also actively involved in many civic and faith-based organizations, including Grace Evangelical Church, of which they are founding members. At the podium, they invite audiences to go behind-the-scenes of the Tuohy household with a heartwarming message: “In our house, we believe in miracles.”
Wasow’s work as the Executive Director of BlackPlanet.com and the Internet Analyst for NBC has earned him a reputation as a leading commentator on the challenges and opportunities of new media Omar Wasow and the new economy. Founder of Social Networking Site BlackPlanet.com Wasow constantly works www.greatertalent.com/OmarWasow to demystify technology issues and provide an accessible window into the geek world he lives and loves. In that capacity, he tutored Oprah in her first exploration of the Internet in the 12-part series Oprah Goes Online. Wasow’s success as a credible and friendly guide to the Internet led Newsweek to name him one of the “fifty most influential people to watch in cyberspace,” and People to call him the “Sexiest Internet Executive.” Wasow’s keen insider’s perspective, sharp wit and anecdotal style captivate all audiences.
Pursuit of Possibility
Appointed the 80th Attorney General of the United States, Alberto Gonzales became the first Hispanic to lead the nation’s largest law enforcement office. Former White House Counsel to Alberto Gonzales President George W. Bush, Former Attorney General of the Gonzales played a vital role United States www.greatertalent.com/AlbertoGonzales in the administration’s fight in the war on terror and addressing the changing role of the Department of Justice post 9-11. At the podium, Gonzales draws on the strength of his heritage and the insights of his background, examines the privilege of public service and the enduring values of faith, family, and freedom that continue to make this nation great.
Michael Oher’s inspirational journey from the streets of Memphis to the NFL was chronicled in Michael Lewis’ best-selling book and major Hollywood blockbuster The Blind Side. The adopted son of Sean and Subject of The Blind Side & NFL Player, Leigh Anne Tuohy, Michael Baltimore Ravens spent most of his childhood www.greatertalent.com/MichaelOher in various foster homes ad moved in with the Tuohys when he was 16. “Who knows where I’d be?” says Michael, who with the love and support of the Tuohys, improved as a student and became the most sought after player in college and professional football.
At the podium, Michael inspires audiences to see their greatest challenges as opportunities. “As I look back, it’s crazy how I got here,” he says, “but it didn’t seem tough at the time. I just lived day to day, did the best I could.”
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Winston Scott Former NASA astronaut
inspiring path of achievement.
Winston Scott’s journey to the stars as a NASA astronaut is a testament to the power of perseverance and vision. Raised in Miami, Scott’s largely segregated education provided little access to resources, but his own determination combined with the dedication of his teachers set him on an
At the lecture podium, Scott amazes audiences with breathtaking actual footage from space as he takes them on a journey to places few people will ever see. He also draws on his NASA experience to offer a unique perspective into multinational team building and the essence of leadership. The knowledge and insight that Scott gained from his work provide an indispensable resource for any organization or individual performing under pressure. One of the youngest mayors of a major metropolitan U.S. city, rising political figure Adrian Fenty captured the nation’s attention during his term as Mayor of the District of Columbia. Celebrated for his leadership in urban education reform, the public Adrian Fenty Former Mayor of Washington, D.C. school system in the D.C. www.greatertalent.com/AdrianFenty had been troubled for years with poor student test performance scores and graduation rates among the lowest in the nation. A dynamic and captivating speaker, at the podium Mayor Fenty discusses the necessity for nationwide education reform, rebuilding the economy, developing urban infrastructure and remodeling the political arena.
Focused on Positive Change
Acclaimed Actor & Leading Social Activist
Actor, producer and humanitarian Danny Glover has been a commanding presence on screen, stage and television for more than 25 years. As an actor, his film credits range from the blockbuster Lethal Weapon franchise to smaller independent features.
Glover has gained respect for his wide-reaching community activism and philanthropic efforts with an emphasis on advocacy for economic justice and access to health care and education in the United States and Africa. For these efforts Glover received a 2006 DGA Honor and was honored with a 2011 “Pioneer Award” from the National Civil Rights Museum. On the small screen, Glover has won Emmy nominations for Mandela, Lonesome Dove, Freedom Song, and Just A Dream. Most recently, Glover was a co-star on the popular television series Touch.
Spokeswoman & Head Instructor www.greatertalent.com/EveTorres
Actress, model, and reigning WWE Divas Champion, Eve Torres began her career as a dancer and model, while attending USC. She is trained in Brazilan Jiu-Jitsu and is the spokeswoman and head instructor for the Gracie Women Empowerment selfdefense program.
Torres captivates audiences with her personal journey that lead her to become involved in the self-defense world. Weaving examples of simple, very useful self-defense techniques into her presentation, she exexmplifies that self-defense is more of a mindset than a physical act. Torres’ eye opening insight will leave auidences feeling hopeful and with a sense of empowering awareness.
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Inspirational Coach & Founder of The Fugees Soccer Team
A Jordanian immigrant, Mufleh is the inspirational coach of a soccer team called the Fugees—short for refugees. The players come from 18 war-torn countries, all young boys, many with traumatic pasts and uncertain futures.
With an emphasis on what can be done to change the life of one child, one family at a time, Mufleh’s work is the kind of “Social Entrepreneurship” that radically transforms any community. The story of The Fugees and their coach embodies many of the ideals that are thought of as “American”: giving opportunity for self-fulfillment, using one’s own ideas and talents to help the common goal and remembering that “we don’t win or lose alone —it’s always the team score in the end.”
Fitness Guru and Trainer from The Biggest Loser
Dolvett Quince is a force of nature. As a veteran health and fitness expert and one of the trainers on The Biggest Loser, Quince has dedicated himself to “helping people change their lives, one rep at a time.”
In 2004, Quince opened his first Body Sculptor Fitness Studio in Atlanta and has built it into the city’s premiere health and fitness center. Alongside his successful business, Quince continues to share his power story that begn as a child with his three siblings in the foster care system, and eventually led him to become of America’s most beloved fitness experts.
Accomplished stylist, television star, equestrian, avid philanthropist, author and fashion designer, Kressley is out to make over the world. He was one of the stars of Bravo’s Emmy Award winning Carson Kressley series Queer Eye For The Renowned Stylist, Host of Lifetime’s Straight Guy, host of How How to Look Good Naked www.greatertalent.com/CarsonKressley to Look Good Naked, the best-selling author of the Queer Eye For The Straight Guy companion book, the style-help guide Off the Cuff, and the children’s book You’re Different and That’s Super. Kressley also recently launched, to great success, a collection of women and men’s wear, “Perfect by Carson Kressley.” At the podium, Kressley’s impact as a fashion guru transcends style tips and fashion trends. His signature “wit with a heart” approach inspires audiences to embrace their individuality and look inward without fear.
LGBTQ Rights Advocate and Author www.greatertalent.com/ChazBono
Chaz Bono is an LGBTQ rights advocate, author, speaker, and the only child of famed entertainers Sonny and Cher. Although Chaz came out as a lesbian to his parents at 18-years-old in 1987, he did not come out publicly until April 1995 in an interview with The Advocate, the national gay and lesbian news magazine.
At the podium, Chaz candidly shares his personal journey of attaining sobriety, gaining acceptance from his family and proceeding with his transition in the public eye. He touches on a range of LGBTQ issues including marriage equality, portrayals of gays and lesbians in the media, issues related to the coming out process, gays and lesbians in the workplace, gay and lesbian politics, transgender equality, issues facing transgender youth, and the physical and emotional process of hormonal and surgical transition. Exclusively Represented by GTN
Rapp is best known for originating the role of “Mark Cohen” in the Tony Award-winning rock-opera Rent. Rapp takes audiences through his career, the loss of his friend and Rent Anthony Rapp playwright Jonathan Larson Star of Rent & Author of Without You www.greatertalent.com/AnthonyRapp and his mother’s battle with cancer. In an insightful exploration of the social importance of the show, Rapp highlights the role Rent played in thrusting LGBT, AIDS and poverty issues into the national spotlight. Rapp also performs a Behind the Music style show, blending personal stories from his career, musical numbers from his several Broadway and off-Broadway roles, and original hits from his band, Albinokid. Also, for active theatre programs, Rapp is available for Master’s acting workshops.
At age 21, Marlee Matlin became the youngest recipient of the Best Actress Oscar, making her one of only four actresses to receive that honor for a film debut. Since then Matlin has worked on behalf of Marlee Matlin closed captioning, served Oscar Winning Actress & Activist www.greatertalent.com/MarleeMatlin as a National Celebrity Spokesperson for the American Red Cross, and served on the boards of a number of charitable organizations primarily benefitting children. Matlin has also released an autobiography, I’ll Scream Later, in which she tells the frank and touching journey of her life, from the frightening loss of her hearing at 18 months old to the highs and lows of Hollywood, her battles with addiction, and the unexpected challenges of being thrust into the spotlight as an emissary for the deaf community.
Founded with the belief that words have the ability to change people’s lives, Greater Talent Network is devoted to bringing the most interesting and inspiring stories to audiences worldwide. GLOBAL AND NATIONAL PERSPECTIVES: Spencer Abraham • John Avlon • Cory Booker • Wesley Clark • Richard Clarke • Roger Cressey • Monica Crowley & Alan Colmes • Adrian Fenty • Harold Ford, Jr. • Louis Freeh • Brigitte Gabriel • Richard Gephardt • Alberto Gonzales • Margaret Hoover • Zachary Karabell • Bernard Kouchner • Connie Mack • Mary Bono Mack • Meghan McCain • Judge Andrew Napolitano • Vali Nasr • Ehud Olmert • Reza Pahlavi • George Pataki • Ron Paul • Janet Reno • Dan Senor • Jose Antonio Vargas • Valerie Plame Wilson • Joseph Wilson
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MOTIVATION, INSPIRATION, ADVENTURE: Chaz Bono • Dewey Bozella • Kris Carr • Ntiedo (NT) Etuk • Mia Farrow • Ronan Farrow • Cheryl Cohen Greene • Rory Kennedy • Marcus Luttrell • Don Mann • Marlee Matlin • T.K. Mattingly • Luma Mufleh • Petra Nemcova • Michael Oher • Apolo Anton Ohno • Nell Irvin-Painter •
Dolvett Quince • Bill and Giuliana Rancic •
Capt. Winston Scott • Caroll Spinney • Eve Torres • Esera Tuaolo • The Tuohy Family
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Talent Matters, Exclusivity Counts