Friday, September 24, 2021

The Orientation Keynote is the premier event of new student orientation.

The Orientation Keynote aims to bring local, national, and worldly conversations to Harris Public Policy through a dynamic lecture exclusively for the Harris community. The address will challenge you to contemplate your role in complex global and social issues and craft a vision for the future of policy leadership and social change.

The address focuses on the crossroads of leadership, social change, and policy. Incoming students can expect to hear more about Harris’ commitment to providing students with the resources and experience to drive effective social change and policy leadership, how they can enact smarter policy solutions, and personal and professional examples of commitment to rigor, fearlessness, and impact. This year's keynote speaker will be announced in summer 2021.

2020 Keynote Speaker: Jamira Burley

As a native of West Philadelphia, Jamira saw first-hand the disenfranchisement of marginalized communities. In 2015, sparked by the murder of her brother Andre, Jamira discovered her calling at the age of 15 years old. She organized an anti-violence program in her high school, which reduced the rate of violence by 30%. Gaining public recognition through her efforts, she received a $50,000 grant from the Governor to implement the program in the ten most persistently-dangerous high schools in the city. She is the first of her 15 siblings to graduate high school and pursue higher education, obtaining a BA in International Business and Legal Studies from Temple University.

For the past decade, Jamira has worked with corporations, non-profits, and government leaders on better engaging impacted communities. Currently, she is Head of Youth Engagement and Skills for the Global Business Coalition for Education. There she helps to ensure a collaborative relationship between youth, bilateral agencies, governments, and business leaders; to enable innovative ways to educate, engage, and activate young people around the world. In 2018, she was the first United States citizen awarded the Global Leadership Award for Vital Voices and selected as an MIT Media Lab Fellow.

Before the Global Business Coalition for Education, Jamira worked as the National Deputy Millennial Vote Director at Hillary For America, and before that, she managed the gun violence and criminal justice portfolios at Amnesty International USA. Jamira’s work sits at the intersection of policy, community, and social good, Jamira provides unique insight that will help actualize the change we all so desperately need. Lastly, Jamira consults with a number of public/private entities on how to authentically engage impacted communities and guest host on SiriusXM, where she and leading youth/young adult experts reexamine this country’s history and the reemerging of past conflicts (current events), to generate a fresh perspective and create REAL change through solution-driven dialogue.

Previous speakers include:

Samuel Sinyangwe, an activist and data scientist focused on ending racism and police violence in America (2019)

Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, 8th District of Illinois (2018)

Valerie Jarrett, Former Senior Advisor to U.S. President Barack Obama (2017)

David Axelrod, Harris Distinguished Senior Fellow, Director of the University of Chicago Institute of Politics & Former Senior Strategist to U.S. President Barack Obama (2016)