Keynote Speaker

Monday, January 21, 2019 at 2 p.m., Student Center Auditorium

Keith Boykin
Keith Boykin
Keith Boykin

Keith Boykin

Free Admission | LBC credit is approved for this event | Overflow available in 310 A/B Student Center

Keith Boykin is a CNN political commentator, New York Times best-selling author, journalist, actor and public speaker. He also teaches at the Institute for Research in African American Studies at Columbia University in New York.

Each of Keith’s four books has been nominated for a Lambda Literary Award, including his most recent book, For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Still Not Enough, which won the American Library Association Stonewall Award for Nonfiction in 2013.

Educated at Dartmouth and Harvard, Keith attended law school with President Barack Obama and served in the White House as a special assistant to President Bill Clinton, where he was once the highest-ranking, openly gay person in the Clinton White House. He also helped organize and participated in the nation’s first ever meeting between a sitting president and leaders of the LGBT community.

Keith has been actively involved in progressive causes since he worked on his first congressional campaign while still a student in high school. He is a veteran of six political campaigns, including two presidential campaigns, and he was named one of the top instructors when he taught political science at American University in Washington.

He starred on the 2004 Showtime television series American Candidate, and then became a co-host of the BET J TV series My Two Cents, where he interviewed celebrities, politicians and public figures. A former CNBC contributor, MSNBC commentator and BET columnist, Keith is also the former editor of the online news site, The Daily Voice. He has appeared on numerous national media programs, including Anderson Cooper 360, The O’Reilly Factor, The Tyra Banks Show and The Tom Joyner Morning Show.

A founder and first board president of the National Black Justice Coalition, Keith has spoken to audiences, large and small, all across the world. He delivered a landmark speech to 200,000 people at the Millennium March on Washington and he gave a stirring speech about the AIDS epidemic in front of 40,000 people in Chicago’s Soldier Field in July 2006.

Keith was an associate producer of the 2007 feature film Dirty Laundry and appeared in the 2014 BET drama series, Being Mary Jane.

His third book, Beyond the Down Low: Sex, Lies and Denial in Black America, spent four weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Keith won the Lambda Literary Award for his second book, Respecting The Soul, and his first book, One More River to Cross, is taught in colleges and universities throughout the country.

Keith has lived in 12 cities, visited 48 of the 50 U.S. states, and traveled across four continents. In 1997 President Clinton appointed him, along with Coretta Scott King and Rev. Jesse Jackson, to the U.S. presidential trade delegation to Zimbabwe.

Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Keith currently lives in New York.

Read the EMU Today story about Keith Boykin's visit