Cameron Students posing for a picture on Campus

2022 KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Hannibal B. Johnson

Princess Sarah Culberson

Raised in West Virginia by her adoptive parents, Sarah 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 Sarah 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. Sarah’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, Sarah has co-founded non-profit Sierra Leone Rising to support rebuilding education, public health, and female empowerment in Sierra Leone. She has also written a book entitled 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. Sarah 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. Sarah’s 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.

List of Previous Speakers

Year

Previous Speakers

2022

Princess Sarah Culberson, Philanthropist, Author & co-founder, Sierra Leone Rising

2021

Hannibal B. Johnson, Esq., Author, Attorney & Consultant

2020

Benjamin Jealous, Civil and Human Rights Leader, Former NAACP President

2019

Bakari Sellars, CNN Political Analyst, Lawyer & Activist

2018

Dr. Kent J. Smith, Jr. President, Langston University

2017

Maryum Ali, Performer and Human Services Activist

2016

Bob Zellner, Civil Rights activist

2015

Eugene Robinson, Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist

2014

*Dick Gregory, Civil Rights activist and comedian

2013

Myrlie Evers-Williams, Civil Rights activist, first female chairperson of the NAACP

2012

Andrew Young, US Ambassador, Congressman, Mayor of Atlanta and Co-Founding Principal and Chairman of Goodworks International

2011

Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, political commentator and educator

2010

Kweisi Mfume, political and business leader

2009

Dr. Nikki Giovanni, poet, author, essayist and professor

2008

Rev. Dr. James Forbes, Jr., Senior Minister Emeritus, The Riverside Church; President and Founder, Healing of the Nations Foundation

2007

*Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery, Co-Founder, Southern Christian Leadership Conference

2006

*Julian Bond, Chairman, NAACP

2005

Juan Williams, Author, Columnist, NPR Host

2004

Dr. Scott Ellsworth, Author, "Death in a Promised Land..."

2003

*Rep. Opio Toure, Oklahoma State Representative

2002

Hon. Fred R. Harris, Former US Senator, Member of "The Group"

2001

*Dr. G. Calvin McCutchen, Sr., Pastor, Mt. Zion Baptist Church

2000

W.A. Drew Edmondson, Attorney General of the State of Oklahoma

1999

Ms. Diane Nash, Student Leader of the Non-violent Civil Rights Movement of te 1960s

1998

Rev. Dr. James Lawson, Pastor, Holman United Methodist Church, Los Angeles, California

1997

Mr. Morris Dees, Co-Founder, Southern Law Poverty Center, Montgomery, Alabama

1996

*Rev. Wade Watts, Pastor, Jerusalem Baptist Church, Oklahoma City

1995

*Dr. Ernest Holloway, President, Langston University

1994

*Ms. Clara Luper, Oklahoma Civil Rights Leader, Oklahoma City

1993

Dr. Cynthia Hale, Pastor, Atlanta, Georgia

1992

*Dr. Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher, University of Oklahoma Board of Regents

1991

*The Honorable Hannah Atkins, Oklahoma Secretary of State, 1987-1991

1990

Brig. Gen. Frank L. Miller, Jr., Commander, III Corps Artillery, Fort Sill

1989

Dr. George Henderson, Department of Human Relations, University of Oklahoma

1988

*Rev. JL Davenport, Pastor, St. John's Baptist Church

1987

*Dr. Melvin Todd, Vice President, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education

1986

Rev. Gregory Wilson Jones, Pastor, Frederick, OK

1985

*Dr. Valree Wynn, Emeritus Cameron Faculty

*Denotes deceased