Journalist, humanitarian and activist Shaun King offers an articulate and historically grounded take on the most pressing problems of the day. As a magnetic element of the Black Lives Matter movement, King adopted social media to rally and unite people of disparate backgrounds and has now become one of the most followed activists in the United States. He uses his platform as a journalist, now for Harvard and The Intercept, and formerly as The Senior Justice Writer at the New York Daily News, to unearth the truth beyond local media, and to organize in purposeful and directed ways. Moreover, he reminds us that we can take whatever we do best—whether we lobby, speak, litigate, organize, write, or more—and tilt that practice toward justice. King has spoken in 35 states, on over 100 college campuses, in jails and prisons and in corporate boardrooms – always calling for us to be better and do better. As a writer, he has written an astounding 1,500 articles on injustice since 2014 and gives morning commentary on the legendary Tom Joyner Morning Show heard by 6 million listeners in over 100 cities. King is based out of Brooklyn, New York, is married to his high school sweetheart and is the father of five children – four girls and a boy – ranging in age from pre-school to high school. Making the world a better place for them is his daily motivation.
Ruben Diaz Jr. was elected Bronx Borough President in the special election held on April 21, 2009. He previously served in the New York State Assembly since 1997, representing the 85th Assembly District. Throughout his seven terms in the New York State Legislature, Diaz was a champion for working families in the Bronx. He demonstrated a passion for constituent service, social advocacy, and community empowerment, balanced with support for sensible, green economic development and job creation programs. Since becoming borough president, Diaz led the opposition to the proposed redevelopment of the Kingsbridge Armory into a shopping mall, based on concerns over future wages at the retail mall, traffic impact on the neighborhood, and the potential of the new project to conflict with businesses on nearby Fordham Road. Diaz threw his support behind converting the armory into the largest indoor ice sports center in the world. In April of this year, city officials reached a deal to transform the iconic building. Diaz has also led the charge for a new living wage law in New York City, which would require developers that receive heavy taxpayer funding for their project to pay the employees of that development a living wage. In May 2012, the city council passed such a law, giving New York City the strongest law of its kind in the nation. A lifelong resident of the Bronx, Borough President Diaz lives in the southeast Bronx with his wife and their two sons.