Put a mic in my hand, and I’m a lot of fun!
I’d love to come speak : At your school • To your spiritual or community group • With your book club. I’m happy to Skype or Google video chat. Contact me about hosting a screening or getting a copy of the PBS documentary, My Journey Home.
Besides these teaching resources, you can use the Author’s Statement & Reading Guide for Meeting Faith; the headnotes in Coming of Age Around the World that provide historical and cultural context for each story, particularly Africa and the Muslim world; and PBS’s 4-unit curriculum for My Journey Home.
My work fits : creative writing • diversity studies / multiculturalism • memoir • sociology • Africana studies • women’s studies • anthropology / ethnography • travel literature • coming of age • international education • religious studies.
Want a test drive?
- Lynn Neary of NPR’s Morning Edition asks about my experiences in Thailand (you’ll need Real Player) to begin this report on how Hollywood perpetuates racial stereotypes around the globe (interesting images on website).
- In this uncharacteristically serious 5:14-minute clip, I discuss the role of faith my life and work as part of PEN’s Writing Faith panel with Azhar Abidi, Alaa Al-Aswany, Richard Rodriguez, Colm Tóibín and moderator Mary Gordon. (Though the most exciting part of the 2006 New York Festival of International Literature was taking a limo with Salman Rushdie to a party at Diane von Furstenberg’s!)
- Obama & I Meet Again!: The day the President came to Denver to sign the economic stimulus bill, I gave a 21:37-minute keynote address on my life journey at a ceremony honoring Colorado House Speaker Terrance Carroll, former Denver Public Schools Superintendent Evie Dennis, Colorado Senate President Peter C. Groff and DNC 2008 Host Committee President Elbra Wedgeworth.
- My one-hour (!) Thanksgiving 2010 interview with The Secular Buddhist has lots of laughs but not the best audio. (Did I mention it’s one hour? At one point I impugn British cuisine, which seems to alarm the host.)
Faith or Tavis: Who can talk faster?
For 10:18 minutes (you’ll need Real Player or Windows Media Player) Tavis Smiley and I riff on what I learned from becoming Thailand’s first black Buddhist nun, what it was like finding my father and siblings in Nigeria, and other matters like the importance of black folks traveling internationally. Now, that’s a man who can talk!