Author, Activist Nikki Giovanni
World-renowned poet, writer, activist, and educator, Nikki Giovanni will be the keynote speaker for the 2013 East Tennessee Women’s Leadership Summit. One of the most widely-read American poets, Giovanni is the author of some 30 books for both adults and children and is a University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. Born in Knoxville, Tennessee, Giovanni grew up in Cincinnati, but spent her summers with her grandparents in Knoxville. Over the course of more than three decades of publishing and lecturing she has come to be called both a “National Treasure” and, was named one of Oprah Winfrey’s 25 “Living Legends.”
Among her many awards, Giovanni is the recipient of some 25 honorary degrees and has been named Woman of the Year by Mademoiselle Magazine, The Ladies Home Journal, and Ebony Magazine. She was tapped for the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame and named an Outstanding Woman of Tennessee. Giovanni has also received Governor’s Awards from both Tennessee and Virginia. She was the first recipient of the Rosa L. Parks Woman of Courage Award, and she has also been awarded the Langston Hughes Medal for poetry. She has received the keys to more than two dozen cities. Black Enterprise named her a Women of Power Legacy Award winner for work that expands opportunities for other women of color.