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20,000 Voices:

Exploring Big Questions About Community, Equity, and Diversity

Keynote Speaker: Liz Walker

Liz Walker

Liz Walker is an ordained minister, an entrepreneur, a television journalist, a documentary film producer and a humanitarian most recently working in the war-torn country of South Sudan. A 2005 graduate of Harvard Divinity School Liz has chosen to combine her communication skills with her passion for serving the world. For 20 years she was on air at WBZ Television as Boston's first African American to anchor a major television newscast. Liz currently hosts a special television magazine health series called BETTER LIVING WITH LIZ WALKER on Boston's WCVB Television.

In the summer of 2001, Liz traveled to war-torn Sudan on a fact-finding mission on the controversial slave trade in southern Sudan. She was so outraged by the human rights atrocities in Sudan she co-founded My Sister's Keeper, a grass roots initiative that advocates for women and children who are trying to rebuild their country and their lives. Liz returns to Sudan often, including the region of Darfur, the scene of the 21st century's first genocide. My Sister's Keeper has most recently completed the construction of a Girls' School that opened to more than 1000 girls in South Sudan.

Liz shot her own video during her trips to Sudan and has produced several documentaries on the troubled country, including the "A Glory from the God" profiling the work of My Sister's Keeper and its visionary, Boston humanitarian Dr. Gloria White-Hammond.

Liz, whose broadcast journalism career began in her hometown of Little Rock, Arkansas, worked at television stations in Denver, Colorado, and San Francisco, California, before moving to Boston. She is the recipient of two Emmys, an Edward R. Murrow Award and special recognition from the prestigious Gabriel Awards for her on-air and documentary work.

Liz is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Tufts Health Foundation, a member of the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, Chair of the Board of the Roxbury Presbyterian Church Social Impact Center which focuses on education. She has served on the Board of Trustees for Andover Newton Theological School, the Regional Advisory Board of the United Nations International Children's Education Fund and the Board of Overseers for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Liz, an ordained Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal traditional is currently the transitional minister at Roxbury Presbyterian Church in Boston. She is the founder and principal of The Walker Group LLC, Communications Specialists, focused on corporate public engagement, non-profit capacity building and video production.

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Our history includes a litany of powerful social justice movements that promote freedom, equality, and an inclusive multicultural society.

As we discover our history at the University of Rhode Island, it is our responsibility to acknowledge the work of our social change heroes, known and unknown, as we stand on their shoulders and build on their efforts to create a "beloved community," characterized by equity and inclusiveness.