Cameron University and Cameron Campus Ministry will present Princess Sarah Culberson as the keynote speaker for the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day observance. Culberson, an American-born princess of the Mende people of Sierra Leone, will present “Building Community: Lessons from Our Past and Present that Shape Our Future.” This virtual event, with two separate sessions, is scheduled for Tuesday, January 18, via Zoom. There is no charge to participate. To register for a Zoom link, go to https://www.cameron.edu/MLK.
From 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., Culberson will be featured in an online chat, with a potential question and answer session to follow. The keynote address will be presented at 6:30 p.m.
Raised in West Virginia by her adoptive parents, Culberson had little knowledge of her ancestry. She grew up in a loving, white household, but she had questions about her identity and biracial roots that led her to hire a private investigator in 2004.
When she began her unforgettable journey to find her family, she never imagined what she would discover or how it would change her life: she was related to African royalty. Her biological grandfather is the Paramount Chief of a village in Sierra Leone, West Africa, and Culberson is considered a Mahaloi, with the status of a princess. After meeting her family and the Mende people, she learned of the difficulties and privations of Sierra Leone’s people following a brutal 11-year civil war that ended in 2002.
Culberson’s role within the ruling Mende family has taught her to model the responsibilities of a princess, including the preservation of community and culture. Since coming into her title, she has co-founded the non-profit Sierra Leone Rising to support rebuilding education, public health, and female empowerment in Sierra Leone. She has also written a book, “A Princess Found: A Journey Through Adoption, War, and Forgiveness,” and she has become the director of service-learning at Oakwood School in Los Angeles.
Culberson speaks nationally and internationally, sharing her story and the inspirational quest that led her across the world to learn of the chiefdom she could one day call her own. Her passionate and genuine storytelling instantly connects with and captivates crowds of all ages as she tells her personal story of discovery, self-identity and transformation.
The 2022 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration, held annually since 1985, is co-sponsored by Cameron Campus Ministry and Cameron University. For more information, please contact Cameron Campus Ministry at (580) 699-2004 or Cameron University Office of Student Development at (580) 581-2209 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.