30 Reasons To Support SpeakOut

  1. A powerful speaker has the ability to open a mind, touch a heart, inspire action. SpeakOut’s dozens of speakers have been doing just that for 30 years, reaching over 3 million young people at thousands of campus and community venues nationwide.
  2. Voice Your Vote 2020 is SpeakOut’s campaign aimed at engaging college students in local, state, and national elections. Voter suppression efforts aimed at students are massive so our efforts need to be as well.
  3. Public high school students and faculty also need to hear SpeakOut’s speakers. But they often don’t have the funds to cover the costs of bringing in a speaker. In 2020, to meet this need, SpeakOut is creating web-based presentations and workshops specifically for a high school audience.
  4. We are the country’s only non-profit speakers agency which means we are mission-driven, not profit-driven.
  5. We promote critical and creative thinking, supporting young people to find their own voice.
  6. Organized the first national speaking tour of “Comfort Women” from the Philippines with Amonita Balajadia, accompanied by Nelia Sancho, a founder of GABRIELA, the first nationwide women’s coalition in the Philippines.
  7. Organized five national speaking tours with Honduran peasant leader, Elvia Alvarado, who shared with audiences her struggle for land and liberty in this Central American country.
  8. In the words of author and founder of the SEED Project, Peggy McIntosh, “Everything we are working for is now in danger unless we produce more young people with minds and hearts of integrity, democratic instincts, and courage to face ruthless barefaced social evil. SpeakOut is doing more than any other organization I know to help change what young people hear and learn.”
  9. Developed a study guide, Crash Course: Reflections on the Film Crash for Critical Dialogues About Race, Power and Privilege, an 84-page collection of essays by some of the country’s most prominent anti-racism writers, scholars and activists.
  10. Howard Zinn was our very first speaker and served on our Advisory Board for many years.
  11. Produced, with Ariel Luckey, the DVD and curriculum based on his solo show, FREE LAND: A Hip Hop Journey from the Streets of Oakland to the Wild Wild West, as well as a stage performance at the Berkeley Repertory Theater that wove together poetry, theater, dance, and hip hop music to explore the legacy of theft and genocide of Native peoples.
  12. Organized a national speaking tour with the Madres de Plaza de Mayo, Argentinian mothers and grandmothers demanding justice for their children who had been “disappeared” during the military dictatorship.
  13. One of our first speakers was Philip Agee, the first CIA Secret Operations Officer to go public and expose CIA covert operations – torture, political assassinations, death squads, and the overthrow of democratically-elected governments around the world.
  14. Organized the first U.S. speaking tour with Denis Goldberg, a white South African who was sentenced to four terms of life imprisonment at the infamous Rivonia Trial with Nelson Mandela and other anti-apartheid leaders, and who, after 22 years in prison, became the ANC rep in London.
  15. Worked with these brilliant speakers who are now with the Ancestors: Gloria Andzalua, Dennis Brutus, Dave Dellinger, Hans Koning, William Kunstler, Ntozake Shange, Piri Thomas, John Trudell, Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael), Howard Zinn and numerous other.
  16. Published a 4-volume curriculum, Lessons from "The Color of Fear,” written by Victor Lewis and Hugh Vasquez, designed for use with the ground-breaking documentary.
  17. Organized a 1997 national speaking tour of a high level Cuban diplomat who spoke about the impact of the U.S. blockade onCuba.
  18. SpeakOut fiscally sponsors the Bay Area chapter of SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice), one of 150 chapters of the national network of groups and individuals organizing white people for racial justice. Through community organizing, mobilizing and education, SURJ moves white people to act as part of a multi-racial majority for justice with passion and accountability.
  19. Published Turning the Tide: Challenging the Right on Campus, an historical analysis of how the Right advanced its agenda and strategies to gain political influence on campuses nationwide.
  20. Produced a ground-breaking documentary film directed by Mohammed Bilal, “Vocabulary of Change” which was filmed at a SpeakOut-sponsored event featuring Angela Davis and Tim Wise in conversation.
  21. In the words of author and scholar, Nolan Cabrera, “SpeakOut is known as the premier social justice-oriented speakers collective in the country for a reason. In my time working with them, they have done an incredible job connecting me and my work with the groups and communities who are thirsty for it. They make my work more socially-relevant in the pursuit of social justice in a way that I could never do alone.”
  22. SpeakOut fiscally sponsors All My Relations, a podcast hosted by Adrienne Keene (Cherokee Nation) and Matika Wilbur (Swinomish and Tulalip) which discusses Native peoples’ relationship to land, to ancestors, and to each other.
  23. Organized a U.S. speaking tour for Pham Van Minh from Vietnam, a victim of Agent Orange, to expose how the chemical sprayed by the U.S. on Vietnam during the war continues to have an impact on hundreds of thousands of people born decades after the war ended.
  24. Organized a U.S. speaking tour in 1996 with Haitian activist Alerte Belance, who was kidnapped, tortured, and left to die by FRAPH, a far-right paramilitary group organized in mid-1993 to eliminate supporters of President Aristide. FRAPH brutalized the pro-democracy movement in Haiti to intimidate the population.
  25. When anti-affirmative action bills were on the ballot in California (1996) and Washington state (1998), SpeakOut was part of campaigns to reach voters. We published an educational brochure that outlined most frequently asked questions about affirmative action and subsidized the cost of speakers to travel to campuses in both states to talk about the benefits of affirmative action, and in some cases, debate opponents of affirmative action.
  26. Co-sponsored, with the Middle East Children’s Alliance, the 2006 groundbreaking event, “Voices of a People’s History,” featuring live onstage Howard Zinn, Alice Walker, Mos Def, John Trudell, Steve Earle, and other amazing speakers and artists reading the words of radical historical figures.
  27. When no major film distributors picked up the powerful motion picture, “Follow Me Home,” (1996) directed by Native filmmaker Peter Bratt, SpeakOut stepped in to ensure the film would be seen by sending Peter and later Lakota Harden to hundreds of campuses around the country to lead post-screening discussions.
  28. Not only does SpeakOut provide speakers for college campuses, it also provides speakers for community and non-profit organizations as well as public high schools, often times at reduced fees since these groups often do not have the same resources to bring in speakers.
  29. This year, SpeakOut hosted its first free webinar, “Transforming Athletics: Gender Diversity in Colleges and Beyond,” which featured Chris Mosier, Transgender Team USA Athlete; Dr. Cara Lucia, President-Elect, National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA), and SpeakOut speaker Scott Turner Schofield, a leading transgender diversity consultant.
  30. SpeakOut is a training ground for a new generation of young speakers and artists who are just breaking into the campus speaking circuit. 90% of new people on our roster are under age 35 – speakers like Seth Owen, Mariah Parker, Denea Joseph, Madame Gandhi, SHIFT, Yosimar Reyes, and many more.


Please support SpeakOut’s critical work,

changing lives and supporting young people to find their own voice.

Click here to donate.