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MK Asante to be Keynote Speaker at Annual Bonner Congress

MK Asante, bestselling author, award-winning filmmaker, rapper and professor, will give the Oct. 15 keynote address for the annual Bonner Congress, held this year at Washington and Lee University. The lecture will be at 9 a.m. in Stackhouse Theater and is free and open to the public.

The theme of the conference, which is held from Oct. 14–16, is “Beloved Community” and is based on justice, equal opportunity and love of one’s fellow human beings popularized by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Asante is the author of four books, including his latest, “Buck: A Memoir” (2014). “Buck” was on the Washington Post best-seller list in 2014 and 2015. Poet Maya Angelou called it “a story of surviving and thriving with passion, compassion, wit and style.” He also wrote two collections of poetry “Beautiful. And Ugly, Too” (2005) and “Like Water Running Off My Back” (2002).

Asante has given distinguished lectures at Harvard, Yale and Stanford, as well as many other universities. His essays have been published in USA Today, Huffington Post, San Francisco Chronicle and The New York Times. He has been called the “voice of a new generation” by Essence and has been on the CBS The Early Show, VH1, MTV and NPR.

Asante is a professor in residence at the MICA School of Ideas in India and is a tenured professor of creative writing and film at Morgan State University. He studied at the University of London, earned a B.A. from Lafayette College and an M.F.A. from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.

The Bonner Congress brings together students from more than 60 Bonner programs at campuses across the country each fall to sharpen their skills and learn about resources that will help them take their ideas for civic and community engagement into action.

The Bonner Congress is held each year at a different Bonner School as one of two national Bonner Conferences held annually. This is the first year Washington and Lee has hosted a Bonner Conference. Asante’s appearance is sponsored by W&L’s Mudd Center for Ethics and the English Department.