2020 NGLA Keynote Addresses

NGLA is excited to announce our Friday & Saturday Morning Keynotes for the 2020 NGLA Annual Conferencein Baltimore, MD from February 27 – March 1, 2020.

Start getting ready - register, reserve your hotel room, and apply for student staff roles, scholarships, and awards.

Friday Morning Keynote

Sponsored by Circle of Sisterhood

‘greek-ish™ presented by Tish Norman

greek-ish™ is a thought-provoking and transformational training experience that challenges the way FSL communities think, gets them excited about exploring different perspectives, and sets the tone for your chapters’ interactive programming.  Tish promotes diversity and inclusion by calling out and counting on Greek communities, represented by a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, to recognize, acknowledge, celebrate, and embrace their differences rather than be separated by them. 

Tish reinforces her message of creating a healthy, safe, nurturing, and FUN Greek life experience for all students by infusing relevant current cultural trends, thus connecting with every member of the audience. Let’s create stronger “community” among your diverse FSL chapters. ‘greek-ish will help attendees better understand the misconceptions and stereotypes about themselves and one another, because it’s time to make diversity, equity, and intentional inclusiveness a strategic priority and execute your goals!

Presenter Biography:

Tish Norman is the Executive Director of Transforming Leaders Now, Inc., an educational consulting company specializing in college & career readiness, women’s empowerment, and the African American experience. With almost 20 years as a professional speaker and having spoken at almost 300 campuses, Tish has become a favorite among universities, associations and leadership conferences from coast to coast.

Tish is a contributing author of three books, From Mediocre to Magnificent, Leading the Way, and BLACKOUT: Exploring Global Literacy in Student Affairs. A graduate of Kentucky State University, Tish has a Master’s in Education from Pepperdine University and is a PhD

pursuant in Pan-African Studies, where her research focuses on memory and the Black sorority. Having spoken in 45 states and 14 countries and despite her rigorous academic obligations, Tish still maintains an active speaking schedule, keynoting at dozens of campuses and leadership conferences every year.

Instagram: @iamtishnorman
Facebook: @TishNorman
Twitter: @TishNorman
Email: [email protected]

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Saturday Morning Keynote

Sponsored by Rho Lambda


If Cauliflower Can Be Pizza, You Can Be Anything presented by Talia Pollock

It shouldn’t be challenging to let our true selves shine. It also shouldn’t be a challenge to keep headphone cords untangled in a pocket, but sometimes the simplest things are the hardest! Consciously ditching the desire to fit in and embrace being real is no easy task. And social media, on which current students spend an average of four hours a day on, doesn’t help. Providing a moment-to-moment window into others’ perfectly curated worlds to waste ¼ of your waking-life subconsciously comparing yours to, it’s a massive struggle to live for yourself and not for the “likes.”

As a woman who went from being severely bullied and feeling like a misfit for most of her life to creating a nationally-respected personal brand backed by mainstream media and celebrated by tens of thousands of fans, Talia has discovered that the most important ingredient for a life beyond your wildest dreams is embracing your true self and using your authenticity to claim the success that was uniquely meant for you. But in order to achieve this, students need to feel capable of fearlessly be themselves.

In this humorous and powerfully motivating keynote, Talia inspires students to live boldly and confidently. She shows them how, if they stop playing small, and enthusiastically share the fullness of who they are, they can build a magical life that fits them like a glove. It’ll be impossible for a student to not walk away from this program more excited to embrace, rather than erase, their quirks.

Presenter Biography:

Talia Pollock is an award-winning podcast host, health and empowerment coach, comedian, author, and proud founder of the nationally celebrated wellness platform, Party in My Plants, where she empowers real, busy, everyday people improve their wellness so they can have an abundance of energy to take on the world in any way they wish. She quickly has become a leader in personal growth, amassing a passionate audience of over 200,000 across social media. Her refreshingly spunky lifestyle advice has been featured repeatedly on The Doctor Oz Show, The Huffington Post, Her Campus, Bustle, Thrillist, Buzzfeed, and Success Magazine.

Instagram: @partyinmyplants
Facebook: @partyinmyplants
Twitter: @partyinmyplants

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Saturday Closing Keynote

Sponsored by JustinInspires.com



ALL THE WORLD'S A STAGE: FROM EXCLUSION TO INCLUSION presented by BD Wong

The lessons BD Wong has learned in order to survive and excel in a vocation fraught with rejection, stereotyping and racism have given him a keen perspective on the subject of diversity and forced him to empower himself. In this presentation, infused with humor, storytelling and the passion of a world class artist, BD addresses the issues of racial self-image, race-based rejection, Asian-American parental pressure and the “model minority myth,” and he describes his journey as a gay man in the entertainment industry. Retracing his path from adolescent racial self-hatred to eventual self-acceptance, from struggling with inequity to breaking down barriers in his personal and professional lives and embracing his multiple identities, including fatherhood, BD reveals the man behind the roles.

Presenter Biography:

BD WONG

Actor and Activist

Award-winning actor BD Wong is one of America’s most versatile performers. BD has been on screens big and small for the last 20 years, appearing in such hits as Law & Order: SVU, Oz, Gotham, Jurassic Park, and Jurassic World.  He received an Emmy nomination for his role as whiterose and Minister Zhang in USA's Mr. Robot

BD’s experiences in an industry fraught with rejection, typecasting, and racism have given him a sharp perspective on the subject of diversity. Lauded for his resonant and inspirational messages, BD speaks on issues like racial self-image, Asian-American parental pressure and the “model-minority myth,” and the challenges of multiple identities.

His Broadway debut in M. Butterfly earned him a Tony Award, Outer Critic’s Circle Award, Theatre World Award, Clarence Derwent Award, and Drama Desk Award, making him the only actor to ever win all five major New York theater awards for a single role.

With over 20 film credits, his notable appearances include Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Father of the Bride I & II, Disney’s Mulan, and the HBO adaptation of The Normal Heart. In addition to off-Broadway and regional theater work, he starred in the widely celebrated Broadway revival of the musical You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown, Stephen Sondheim’Pacific Overtures, and 2018's The Great Leap.

BD’s memoir, Following Foo: The Electronic Adventures of the Chestnut Man, recounts the highs and lows that BD and his former partner endured on the road to parenthood, and the difficult days following the premature birth of his twin boys via surrogate mother. The White House invited BD to participate in a conversation on fatherhood and male mentorship.

Winner of the GLAAD Davidson/Valenti award, BD is an advocate for The Trevor Project's “It Gets Better” campaign and was honored for his support of the LGBT community at the annual Marriage Equality Gala. BD is on the Board of Directors of Rosie’s Kids, an organization that provides free performing arts classes to public school students.

BD has headlined productions of the ambitious one-man musical Herringbone – in which he plays nearly a dozen characters — at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, McCarter Theatre, and La Jolla Playhouse. He co-authored and directed the musical adaptation of Mr. Holland’s Opus at the Ogunquit Playhouse in 2016. Wong produced and directed The Yellow Wood  for NYMF and Cindy Cheung’s Speak Up For Connie for the All For One festival. He is currently developing the new musical, Heading East