Annual Luncheon Speaker

33rd Annual Luncheon 

Featuring a moderated dialogue with

Ava DuVernay

Dr. Hope Jahren
Writer, Director, Producer and Film Producer

Academy Award nominee and winner of the Emmy, the BAFTA and the Peabody, Ava DuVernay is a writer, director, producer and film distributor. Her directorial work includes the Oscar-winning historical drama Selma, the Oscar-nominated criminal justice documentary 13th and Disney’s A Wrinkle In Time, on which she became the highest grossing black woman filmmaker in American cinema history. 

She is currently in production on her next project based on the infamous case known as Central Park Five, while overseeing production of her hit TV series Queen Sugar. Winner of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival's Best Director Prize for her micro-budget film Middle of Nowhere, DuVernay amplifies the work of people of color and women of all kinds through her independent film collective ARRAY, named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies. 

In 2017, she was featured as one of Fortune Magazine's 50 Greatest Culture Leaders and TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People.‎ DuVernay sits on the boards of Sundance Institute and Film Independent. She is based in Los Angeles, California. 

Interviewed by

Michele Norris


Award-winning Journalist

From the radio airwaves to primetime television and leading news publications, Michele is one of the most trusted voices in American journalism. For a decade, as host of National Public Radio’s longest-running program, All Things Considered, she captivated audiences nationwide while earning some of journalism’s highest honors.

Throughout her accomplished career, Michele’s efforts to promote conversation about race have resulted in a critically-acclaimed memoir and her Peabody Award-winning initiative, The Race Card Project which fosters conversation among individuals about their differences. Michele is currently the director of The Bridge, The Aspen Institute's program on race, cultural identity and inclusion. The Bridge works to address some of America's most complex issues by encouraging people to explore and engage with differing perspectives.

On stage, Michele inspires the same open and honest dialogue, with memorable stories and fascinating perspectives drawn from her personal journey, investigative research, and interviews with world leaders, Nobel Laureates and influential newsmakers. Complex and taboo issues are remarkably accessible as listeners walk away empowered to stimulate discussion around challenging topics within their own communities.

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