“Think before you speak. Write before you fight.”
Omékongo Dibinga is the UPstander. 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. He is a motivational speaker, trilingual poet, 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 byEssence 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. Hehas shared the stage with Wyclef Jean, OutKast, Sonia Sanchez, Dennis Brutus, Emmanuelle Chriqui, The Last Poets, and NFL great Aaron Rodgers. Internationally, he has shared his work in 20 countries on 3 continents. His writings and performances have appeared in O Magazine, as well as on TV and radio fromCNN, BET, and the BBC to NPR, Music Choice, and Voice of Americain 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. He has spoken before the United Nations, partners with the State Department to conduct youth leadership trainings overseas, and speaks to leadership and youth student conferences across the country.
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 also worked with the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Teaching Diverse Students Initiative.” He worked for four years as the lead Teaching Assistant to Dr. Michael Eric Dyson at Georgetown University. He provides leadership, 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 nearly100,000 youth across the globe to date. He has also partnered with Intel on its campaign to make their computer processors free of minerals that come from the war in the Congo.
Omékongo’s publishing wing, Free Your Mind Publishing,a subdivision of his organization, UPstander International, has produced 7-fusion music and motivational CDs, 7 books, and one independent DVD. His motivational book G.R.O.W. Towards Your Greatness! 10 Steps to Living Your Best Lifehas 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. For more information, please visit www.upstanderinternational.com.