Bring Donovan Livingston to Your Classroom
All students should have access to equal education. However, there are social, political, and financial constructs that prevent some students from reaching their full potential. “Education is not a great equalizer,” stated Donovan Livingston in his 2016 commencement speech at Harvard University that garnered thirteen million views on YouTube and prompted Hillary Clinton to praise, “It’s young graduates like [Livingston] who make it clear that America’s best days are still ahead.” As an educator, spoken word poet, and public speaker, Livingston draws on his personal experiences to not only speak on improving education systems but work hand-in-hand with students in classrooms across the country to maximize student success.
Livingston believes that students can cultivate their creativity by exercising their freedom of expression. As a young seventh grader, he was described as “talkative” in the classroom but rather than punishing him for it, his social studies teacher introduced Livingston to the speech and debate club, which gave him a larger platform to harness his excess energy. Livingston’s infectious enthusiasm invigorates classrooms of all ages and helps students, educators, and administrators discover how to use their unique voices to foster an environment of expression and learning.
Livingston’s goal is to inspire young students to achieve their dreams, and he engages audiences in auditoriums and in the classroom, where he immerses himself in an educational community and truly connects with students. His talks span the world of academia and the arts, working in Livingston’s passion for hip-hop and spoken word to add new resonance to Livingston’s message. The personal, interactive nature of Livingston’s visits, combined with his warmth, humor, and passion for his work creates lasting results and turns listeners into engaged, motivated members of their communities.
In this student-focused talk, Livingston helps young people of all ages to recognize their potential as agents of change and to realize the power of their own voices in achieving their dreams.
Inspiring Galaxies of Greatness
In this stirring lecture, Livingston confronts the issues facing America’s education system today and motivates educators and communities to instigate change. Citing both personal anecdotes and pedagogical research, he encourages audiences to focus on creativity and innovation in the classroom rather than systemic markers of success. Livingston touches on subjects such as the Common Core, standardized testing, and school tracking, while also looking at the repercussions of policies such as the No Child Left Behind Act and the DREAM Act.
Equal Opportunities in American Schools
Addressing important topics like college access, district zoning, and diversity and inclusion pedagogy, Livingston challenges protocols and practices that have sustained systemic inequality. In this candid lecture, Livingston discusses the lasting impact of past segregation on America’s schools from both a personal and scholarly perspective, and offers his insights on how we can overcome this legacy.
Interested in booking Donovan Livingston for your classroom? Contact us.