2017 Keynote Address

World renowned author and advocate Tererai Trent shares her experiences as a young girl in rural Zimbabwe, a country then known as Rhodesia and under colonial rule, where a war for liberation and her passion for education sparked her life's trajectory. While traditional women's roles prevented her from attending school, Dr. Trent later met Jo Luck, president and CEO of Heifer International, who told her, "If you believe your dreams, they are achievable." This sentiment pushed her to set her sights on higher education in America. Dr. Trent shares her journey from liberated rural Zimbabwe to the founding of Tererai Trent International, an organization rooted in providing quality education to the children and youth of her home country, where they have rebuilt 11 schools so far, and her deep appreciation for the support she found in the U.S. school system as she raised her children.