In the upcoming weeks, thousands of students who attend HBCUs will become graduates. Before the grads enter the real world, it’s important for them to receive keen advice from commencement speakers who can provide words of encouragement.
Here are five powerful HBCU commencement speakers for 2019.
Robert F. Smith, Morehouse College
Robert F. Smith, founder and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, is one of the most prominent and successful investors of the 21st century and has a reported net worth of more than $1 billion. Smith will share his journey and words of encouragement with Morehouse College grads on May 19.
Everette Taylor, Shaw University
Everette Taylor began his career as an entrepreneur at the age of 19 when he founded the event marketing technology company EZ Events. He successfully sold the venture two years later and built several multimillion-dollar brands before he turned of 30. Taylor will speak at Shaw University’s commencement on May 11 at 9 a.m. at the Red Hat Amphitheater in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina.
The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, Central State University
The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, a pastor and social justice advocate, stands as one of the most influential voices of this generation. Barber will deliver the Central State University 2019 commencement address on May 4 at the Dayton Convention Center.
Bakari Sellers, Lincoln University
Bakari Sellers made history in 2006 when he was elected to the South Carolina House of Representative at 22 years old, becoming the youngest African American to become an elected official in the United States. Sellers will deliver a commencement address for Lincoln University on May 11.
Loretta Lynch, Tuskegee University
Loretta Lynch made history when she became the nation’s first female African American U.S. attorney general in 2015. Lynch served under President Barack Obama for two years after working for more than 30 years in the legal field. She also served as head of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York twice. On May 11, Lynch will serve as Tuskegee University’s commencement speaker.