Biography

Omékongo Dibinga is an UPstander, not a bystander. His life’s mission is to inspire all across the globe to take a stand when they witness an injustice, no matter how small or large. Omékongo is a youth motivational speaker, trilingual poet, CNN contributor, TV talk show host, and rapper. His Urban Music Award winning work has best been described by Nikki Giovanni as “outstanding, exciting, and new while being very old.” His book, From the Limbs of My Poetree was described by Essence Magazine as “a remarkable and insightful collection of exquisite poetry that touches sacred places within your spirit.” He was one of 5 international recipients out of 750,000 to win the first ever “CNN iReport Spirit Award”. He has received over 1,000,000 views on CNN.com.

Omékongo’s music and writings have appeared alongside artists such as Sheryl Crow, Angelina Jolie, Norah Jones, Damien Rice, Angelique Kidjo, Don Cheadle, and Mos Def. He has shared the stage with Wyclef Jean, OutKast, Sonia Sanchez, Dennis Brutus, and The Last Poets. Internationally, he has shared his work in 19 countries on 3 continents. He is the host of the talk show “Real Talk”, which deals with issues facing our youth today. His writings and performances have appeared in O Magazine, as well as on TV and radio from CNN, BET, and the BBC to NPR, Music Choice, and Voice of America in millions of homes in over 150 countries. He has also written songs for movies as well as organizations such as NASA and the Enough Project.

Omékongo has studied at Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Georgetown, Morehouse, and The Fletcher School, where he received his M.A. in Law & Diplomacy. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in International Education Policy at The University of Maryland, where he worked with the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Teaching Diverse Students Initiative” as well as a Teaching Assistant to Dr. Michael Eric Dyson at Georgetown. He provides educational and diversity empowerment as a consultant and motivational speaker for organizations, associations and institutions. He has featured/lectured nationwide in venues from TEDx and Harvard to Russell Simmons’ Hip-Hop Summit and the Nuyorican Poets Café. His rap mixtape series “Bootleg” promotes positive hip-hop with remixes of songs by Tupac, Notorious BIG, Jay-Z, Nas, 50 Cent, and others. His 1,000,000 Youth Campaign has directly impacted over 75,000 youth across the globe to date.

Omékongo’s publishing company, Free Your Mind Publishing, a subdivision of his organization, UPstander International, has produced 7-fusion music and motivational CDs, 6 books, and one independent DVD. His motivational book “G.R.O.W. Towards Your Greatness! 10 Steps to Living Your Best Life” has received praise from great motivational speakers such as Willie Jolley. His most recent book "The UPstander's Guide to an Outstanding Life" is a life balance book for students.

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It’s a Girl

200,000,000 missing, not talkin’ ’bout money see

Talkin’ about somethin’ worth more than currency

Talkin’ about missin’ girls the foundation of a nation

But born in India and China brings damnation

Desperation, having a girl brings trepidation

So being born a girl leads to deadly devastation

Baby girls bouncing from the womb to the tomb

Delivery room delivering gendercide too soon

How have we forgotten that the woman is key

To open the future’s door for our children to see?

The phrase “it’s a girl!” should bring cause to rejoice

But we kill innocent victims who have no choice

No say in the way they will die this way

Parents leave their land so daughters won’t die today

We’re killin’ our seeds we gotta tell the world

So parents can say proudly “It’s a girl!”

 

Can’t see women as a burden, men gotta realize

Gotta save the people that hold up half the sky

Family planning police planning family murderin’

Just because they think havin’ a girl is a burden

It’s not about condemning culture but saving lives

Dowry deaths for those left wondering why?

Why oh why not practice safer sex

Than kill a girl who had nothing to do with this?

Buy her, sell her, kill her, keep her!

Sex shouldn’t lead to visits from the grim reaper

India and China, what you gonna do?

When there’s nothing but men in your countries too?

Can’t import wives like you might do food

See the value of your girls, don’t kill ’em so soon

A woman’s body is not a boy factory

We gotta give our girls the right to be born and be free!

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1,000,000 Youth Campaign

 

The problem

In today’s mass media culture, our youth are constantly being reminded of what it is they do not have. Through the entertainment industry, they are constantly reminded of an image they may never attain. From flawless, near-perfect model images of Beyonce and Taylor Swift to television shows broadcasting the multi-room mansions of today’s athletes, our young people become convinced that their lives will never be as drama-free as the utopian images advertised to them hourly on their cell phones, iPods, televisions, laptops, and video games.

While our youth are dealing with the aforementioned challenges, there are few avenues by which they can receive support (or positive reinforcement) for their own concerns. Television shows that speak to teen issues are hard to come by. Community programs are being closed left and right due to lack of funding. School counselors are overworked and underpaid. Many parents are too busy trying to provide for their children that they do not have time during the day to properly interact with their children and learn of the challenges they face. With no consistent means to intervene in the lives of our youth, we are witnessing an increase in suicides, crime, gang activity, dropout rates, teen sexual promiscuity, and drug abuse. For all intents and purposes, our youth have been abandoned by society as a whole.

The need for the 1,000,000 youth campaign

It has been said that one positive thought can overcome an entire army of negative thoughts. The 1,000,000 youth campaign exists to speak positivity into the minds of our youth. The campaign seeks to plant a seed of greatness in the lives of many whose spirits have wilted. Sometimes it takes the belief of someone else to carry one over until she develops her own ability to believe in herself. Through participating in the 1,000,000 youth campaign, participants will learn the “Great 8” formula for personal growth. Specifically, they will learn to:

  • Realize they can overcome any obstacle
  • See suicide as a permanent solution to a temporary problem
  • Understand the relevance school still has in their lives
  • Create goals to pursue their dreams
  • Remove negative people or circumstances from their lives
  • Attract the people and circumstances around them that will advance their goals
  • Respect the differences of others
  • Be upstanders and not bystanders in the face of our bullying epidemic

The How

Through powerful and entertaining motivational speeches including the use of spoken word and hip-hop; through personal stories and stories of others who have overcome obstacles; through affirmations; and through dialogue, Omékongo, empowers every audience member to be an upstander and live their greatest life. Through intense breakout sessions, participants dig deeply into not only developing self-esteem for themselves, but a respect for people of diverse backgrounds. Don’t wait! Contact Omékongo today if you want to motivate your youth with this dynamic motivational youth speaker!

 

 

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Real Talk

Real Talk, hosted by motivational youth speaker Omékongo Dibinga, looks at issues concerning our youth today. Whether it's issues such as racism and bullying to music and distracted driving, Real Talk is an honest conversation with and about youth. This is the show where the lives of our future leaders matter most!

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