After losing his sight in his teens, Chad E. Foster became the first blind graduate of the Harvard Business School leadership program. He is an executive at Red Hat and a leading speaker to business audiences.
Alex Cody Foster has worked as a professional ghostwriter for eight years, helping celebrities, businesspeople, and thought leaders tell their stories. The Man Who Hacked the World is the first book he has written under his own name. He lives in Bar Harbor, Maine with his girlfriend and dog.
An NAACP Image Award–winning actress and producer, Fox is best known for her roles in the films Kill Bill: Volume 1, Kill Bill: Volume 2, Set It Off, and Independence Day, and on the television series Curb Your Enthusiasm and Empire.
Arun Gandhi, born in 1934, is the fifth grandson of Mohandas K. Gandhi, also known as Mahatma Gandhi. He was a journalist for more than thirty years for the Times of India and has written for The Washington Post. His first of two books for children was Grandfather Gandhi. Currently, Arun serves as president of the Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute and travels the world speaking to governmental leaders, as well as to university and high school students about the practices of peace and nonviolence. He lives in Rochester, New York.
Mayte Garcia is an internationally acclaimed dancer, actress, singer, and choreographer. She has appeared in numerous films and starred in the VH1 reality series Hollywood Exes, as well as Army Wives, Psych, The Closer, and Nip/Tuck. She lives in Los Angeles with her young daughter.
Chris Gardner is the author of the 1 New York Times bestseller The Pursuit of Happyness (Amistad/HarperCollins). His life story was the basis of the 2006 hit film "The Pursuit of Happyness" (Sony Pictures), starring Will Smith in an Academy Award–nominated performance. He is also the author of the New York Times bestseller Start Where You Are: Life Lessons in Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be (Amistad). Accomplished and beloved author, poet, dancer, actress and singer Maya Angelou said, "Gardner is encouraging us all to start where we are and dare to make our lives bigger and stronger, more satisfactory, and better."
American historian, literary critic, filmmaker, and public intellectual, Gates currently serves as the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University, and has hosted the PBS shows Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gate Jr. and The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross.
Nelson George is an award-winning author, filmmaker, television producer and critic with a long career in analyzing and presenting diverse elements of African-American culture. His books have been nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Before Columbus Foundation. As a filmmaker, George was a producer on the Emmy Award-winning The Chris Rock Show (HBO) and executive producer of the highly rated American Gangster crime series (BET). He directed Queen Latifah to a Golden Globe in the HBO film Life Support, which he also co-wrote, and was a writer/producer on The Get Down (Netflix); he does most of his work through his production company, Urban Romances.
Gina Gershon is an actress, singer, and author, best known for her roles in Showgirls, Bound, and Pretty In Pink. She can currently be seen on the CW’s Riverdale. Besides her many movie and television roles, Gina Gershon is a founding member of the New York City theater group Naked Angels and coauthor of the children’s book Camp Creepy Time.
John Giorno is a poet and visual and performance artist, and is also widely known as the subject of Andy Warhol’s first film, Sleep (1963). In addition to his creative work, he is the founder of the not-for-profit organization Giorno Poetry Systems and has been celebrated for his AIDS activism and fundraising.
Eliese Colette Goldbach received an MFA from the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts Program, a Ploughshares Emerging Writer’s Award, and a Walter Rumsey Marvin Grant from the Ohioana Library Association, which is given annually to a young Ohio writer of promise. Her writing has appeared in Ploughshares, Alaska Quarterly Review, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Best American Essays, and beyond.
Danny Goldberg is the author of How the Left Lost Teen Spirit and Bumping Into Geniuses: My Life Inside the Rock and Roll Business. Since 2007 he has been president of Gold Village Entertainment, whose clients include Steve Earle and Against Me. Previously, Goldberg was president of Gold Mountain Entertainment (Nirvana, Bonnie Raitt, the Allman Brothers), CEO of Air America Radio, chairman of Warner Bros. Records, president of Atlantic Records, and vice president of Led Zeppelin’s Swan Song Records.
Ron Goldberg is a writer and activist. His articles have appeared in OutWeek and POZ magazines, Central Park, and The Visual AIDS Blog. He served as a research associate for filmmaker and journalist David France on his award-winning book How to Survive a Plague and enjoys speaking at high schools and colleges about the history of AIDS and the lessons and legacy of ACT UP.
Meredith Goldstein is an advice columnist and entertainment reporter for The Boston Globe. In 2009, she began writing Love Letters, which inspired her memoir/essay collection, Can't Help Myself. Meredith was raised in Maryland, and lives in Boston with a David Bowie doll and a full-size cotton candy machine.
A stage and screen actress, Grant has appeared in seminal movies such as Detective Story, In the Heat of the Night, Valley of the Dolls, The Landlord, Shampoo, and Voyage of the Damned. She has received two Academy Awards, two Emmys, a Directors Guild Award, and over ten other major nominations.
Robin Green is a TV writer/producer known for her work with her husband Mitchell Burgess, both as an Executive Producer and writer for The Sopranos on HBO and for creating the CBS drama Blue Bloods, now in its ninth season. She has won four Emmys, as well as several Golden Globes, two Peabodys and a Writers Guild Award, with many nominations for Emmys and WGA awards. She has been a writer at Rolling Stone and California Magazine, and has written for The Boston Real Paper, City Magazine of San Francisco, Magazine, and the L.A. Times, among others.
A former New York City Public Advocate and mayoral candidate, Green has served as president of Air America Radio and director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch, the largest consumer rights lobby in Washington, DC. Green is currently the host of the nationally syndicated radio show Both Sides Now.
Sabrina Greenlee is a nationally celebrated community activist, sounght-after inspirational speaker, domestic violence survivor, and founder of the non-profit S.M.O.O.O.T.H., who has dedicated her life to helping women grow and evolve. The mother of four successful children, one of whom is beloved NFL star DeAndre Hopkins, all of whom she raised by herself despite the attack which left her blind and burned over large portions of her body. She was awarded the 2020 Houston Humanitarian Award and the 2021 Iconic Woman Award from Fresh Spirit Wellness. She’s been featured in USA Today, The Houston Chronicle, Bleacher Report, People and ESPN Magazine.
Tony and Academy Award winning actor, Grey has appeared in Broadway classics such as Cabaret, George M!, Goodbye Charlie, Chicago, Wicked, and Anything Goes, and in films such as Cabaret and Dancer in the Dark. His photographs are part of the Permanent Collection of The Whitney Museum of American Art and the New York Public Library.
Minrose Gwin is the author of the memoir Wishing for Snow and the novels The Queen of Palmyra, which was a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Book, a finalist for the John Gardner Fiction Book Award; Promise, which was an Indie Next Pick and a finalist for the Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction; and The Accidentals, which was awarded the Mississippi Institute for Arts and Letters 2020 Fiction Award.
Jorge Hachumak, a Peruvian of Spanish descent, learned ancient healings from native shamans, witches and herbalists in Northern Peru. Today he runs a compound on the Amazon River where he cultivates medicinal plants, rescues hurt jungle animals, practices Ayahuasca ceremonies with small groups, and performs traditional one-on-one healing sessions. Hachumak travels widely in Europe and the US giving lectures, doing hands-on healing, and working with people interested in learning about the shamanic arts.
Meredith Hall is the author of the critically acclaimed, bestselling memoir Without a Map (Beacon Press). At the age of forty-four, Meredith Hall graduated from Bowdoin College. She won the $50,000 Gift of Freedom Award from A Room of Her Own Foundation, which gave her the financial freedom to devote time to her first book. Her other honors include a Pushcart Prize and notable essay recognition in Best American Essays; she was also a finalist for the Rona Jaffe Award. Hall’s work has appeared in the New York Times, Creative Nonfiction, The Southern Review, Five Points, Prairie Schooner, and several anthologies. She teaches writing at the University of New Hampshire and lives in Maine.
David Hallberg is a Principal Dancer with American Ballet Theater, and made history in 2011 as the first American to join the Bolshoi Ballet as a Premier Dancer. Among his numerous national and international accolades, he has received the Emerging Artist Award from Americans for the Arts and in 2017 became the first dancer to hold the title of Resident Guest Artist with The Australian Ballet.
Madeline Pendleton Hansen is the CEO and founder of Tunnel Vision, an L.A.-based clothing company with a progressive, employee-centered approach to business. In addition to her entrepreneurial success, Madeline has garnered a massive following on TikTok, where she shares stories and advice based on her experience growing up in California’s punk scene, escaping poverty, and building a community-minded company.
David Harewood is an actor and presenter best known for starring in Emmy and Golden Globe winning hit show Homeland. He lives in London with his wife and two daughters. His BBC documentary Psychosis and me was nominated for a BAFTA.
David Harewood is an actor and presenter best known for starring in Emmy and Golden Globe winning hit show Homeland. He lives in London with his wife and two daughters.
Tony and Emmy award-winning stage and screen performer, Neil Patrick Harris is best known for his roles as Barney Stinson in the popular CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother and as the iconic and beloved Doogie Howser, M.D. He’s been in many movies, hosted the Tonys, the Emmys, and the Oscars, and performed in several Broadway shows.
Taylor Harris’ essays and articles have been published by The Toast, Babble.com, CNN, National Public Radio, The Huffington Post, and The Washington Post and she was the author of a regular column that appeared in McSweeney’s. She holds an M.A. in Writing from Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. in American Studies from the University of Virginia. She lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Born and raised in Washington, DC, Taraji P. Henson graduated from Howard University. She earned a Golden Globe for her role as Cookie in Empire, an Academy Award Nomination for Best Supporting Actress opposite Brad Pitt in David Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and was a 2011 Emmy nominee for Best Actress in a Movie or Miniseries for Lifetime’s Taken From Me. She also won the 2014 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Detective Joss Carter in CBS’s Person of Interest. Henson made her singing debut in Hustle & Flow and performed the Academy Award-winning song “It’s Hard Out Here For a Pimp” on the Oscar telecast. She currently resides in Los Angeles with her son and has a strong dedication to helping disabled and less fortunate children.
Balarama Holness is a former professional football player in the Canadian Football League and Grey Cup Champion. He is a public speaker and educator with a master's degree in education and currently completing a J.D. from the University of McGill. Balarama successfully compelled the City of Montreal to hold hearings into systemic racism and discrimination.
Lawrence served as one of four official White House photographers during the Obama administration. He’s worked at The Associated Press and The Virginian-Pilot, and his work has been published in The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, U.S. News & World Report, among other outlets.
Rapper and 2018 Nasir Jones Fellow at Harvard University, Tef Poe’s work has been featured in TIME, VICE, XXL, Billboard, Rolling Stone, Atlanta Black Star, and The Source.
The least interesting thing about Jimmie James is that he is the only person ever to play all of Golf Digest’s Top 100 Courses in the US in a single year. He rose from abject poverty in Jim-Crow East Texas of the 1960s to become a top executive with Exxon-Mobil.
Kendra James’s writing and criticism have appeared in such publications as The Toast, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Lenny Letter, Marie Claire, ESPN, and Women’s Health Magazine. The first editor hired at Shondaland.com, where she worked for more than two years, she is currently Senior Producer, Comedy and Entertainment at Crooked Media.
Sandeep Jauhar, MD, Ph.D., is the director of the Heart Failure Program at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, a frequent contributor to The New York Times and The New England Journal of Medicine, and author of the acclaimed memoirs Intern: A Doctor’s Initiation and Doctored: The Disillusionment of an American Physician (Farrar, Straus & Giroux).
Betsey Johnson is an iconic punk rock American fashion designer. She got her start dressing the Velvet Underground, Edie Sedgwick, and other members of Andy Warhol’s factory. She went on form her own brand in the 1970s, had 65 clothing stores throughout the US, and now her clothing retails in major department stores in the US and in more than 14 countries around the world.
Faith Jones is an attorney specializing in U.S. and international corporate law. A former associate at Skadden, Arps and Walton & Walton LLP, she advocates for women’s rights, coaches entrepreneurs, and speaks on issues of self-ownership, accountability, and responsibility.
As the keyboardist for the Memphis-based quartet Booker T & the MGs, Booker T Jones performed R&B and funk hits by Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, and Sam & Dave, and, as a member of the house band for Stax Records, helped define the sound of Southern soul music. Booker T & the MGs are also known for original hit singles like “Green Onions,” and for being one of the first integrated instrumental groups. In 1992, the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and they received a Grammys’ Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.
Marina Keegan’s star was on the rise when she graduated magna cum laude from Yale in May 2012. She had a play that was to be produced at the New York International Fringe Festival and a job waiting for her at The New Yorker. Tragically, five days after graduation, Marina died in a car crash. As her family, friends, and classmates, deep in grief, joined to create a memorial service for Marina, her unforgettable last essay for the Yale Daily News, "The Opposite of Loneliness," went viral, receiving more than 1.4 million hits. She had struck a chord. Even though she was just twenty-two when she died, Marina left behind a rich, expansive trove of prose that, like her title essay, captures the hope, uncertainty, and possibility of her generation. The Opposite of Loneliness is an assemblage of Marina’s essays and stories that, like The Last Lecture, articulates the universal struggle that all of us face as we figure out what we aspire to be and how we can harness our talents to make an impact on the world.
Journalist and Fulbright Scholar, Keenan has travelled the world writing about culture and foreign policy. Her pieces have appeared in the New York Times, Foreign Policy, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, Slate, and The Atlantic, among other publications.
Jake Keiser is the creator of the blog Gucci to Goats, which chronicles her life on a farm in Oxford, Mississippi. Prior to moving to the middle of nowhere, she lived in Tampa, Florida where she ran her own public relations firm. She’s been featured in Cosmopolitan and People, among other publications.
Hannah Kirshner about Japanese food and travel for The New York Times , Vogue, Saveur, Taste, Condé Nast Traveler and Atlas Obscura, among others. Sweets & Bitters is the name of her blog. She is also New York’s go to food stylist for Japanese recipes.
Dana Kletter is the recipient of a Wallace Stegner Fellowship and a was Jones Lecturer in Fiction at Stanford University. She received her MFA from the University of Michigan, where she won Hopwood prizes in both Short Fiction and Novel. Her work has appeared in The Sun, Michigan Quarterly Review, San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Phoenix, and elsewhere. She is also a musician, with releases on Mammoth, Hannibal, Interscope, and Rykodisc records. She is at work on a memoir, Dear Enemy.
As the guitarist for the Doors, Robby Krieger is one of the most influential musicians in rock and roll history. Krieger wrote or co-wrote many of the Doors’ greatest hits, including “Light My Fire,” “Love Me Two Times,” and “Love Her Madly”; he is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and was listed by Rolling Stone as one of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.
Born six weeks before the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, Owen was seven when her mom, Cass Elliot, died suddenly. She and her husband, Jack Kugell, reside in the San Fernando Valley area with their daughter, Zoe, and son, Noah.
Chaney Kwak is a travel and food writer whose articles have appeared in The New York Times, Food and Wine, Travel and Leisure, Real Simple, and elsewhere. He is the author of the forthcoming book The Passenger, recounting his experience being on the Viking cruise that nearly ran aground in 2019. He is currently at work on a memoir.
Col. Ray “Frenchy” L’Heureux served as a pilot for four U.S. Presidents—George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama—and the author, with Lee Kelley, of Inside Marine One: Four U.S. Presidents, One Proud Marine, and the World’s Most Amazing Helicopter (St. Martin’s Press).
Andrew Lam is the web editor of New America Media, a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and NPR’s All Things Considered, and author of the essay collection East Eats West: Writing in Two Hemispheres (Heyday) and the short story collections Birds of Paradise Lost (Red Hen Press) and PEN Open Book Award–winner Perfume Dreams (Heyday).
Natalie Lampert is a Fulbright fellow and independent journalist who has written about egg freezing, abortions, and women’s health for The Daily Beast, The Atlantic, The New Republic, and Slate.