Dr. Omékongo Dibinga is the UPstander. His life’s mission is to inspire all across the globe to take a stand when they witness an injustice, no matter how small or large. He is a motivational speaker, trilingual poet, TV talk show host, rapper, and professor of cross-cultural communication at American University.

His Urban Music Award winning work has best been described by Nikki Giovanni as “outstanding, exciting, and new while being very old.” His book, From the Limbs of My Poetree was described by Essence Magazine as “a remarkable and insightful collection of exquisite poetry that touches sacred places within your spirit.” He was one of 5 international recipients out of 750,000 to win the first ever “CNN iReport Spirit Award.”

He has received over 1,000,000 views on CNN.com. Now available to book through Speakers Inc

Dr. Omékongo Dibinga writings and performances have appeared in O Magazine, as well as on TV and radio from CNN, BET, and the BBC to NPR, Music Choice, and Voice of America in millions of homes in over 150 countries. He has also written songs for major motion pictures as well as organizations such as NASA and the Enough! Project. He has spoken before the United Nations, partners with the State Department to conduct youth leadership trainings overseas, and speaks to leadership and youth student conferences across the country. Omékongo’s music and writings have appeared alongside artists such as Sheryl Crow, Angelina Jolie, Norah Jones, Damien Rice, Angelique Kidjo, Don Cheadle, and Mos Def. He has shared the stage with Wyclef Jean, OutKast, Sonia Sanchez, Dennis Brutus, Emmanuelle Chriqui, The Last Poets, and NFL great Aaron Rodgers.

Internationally, he has shared his work in over 20 countries on 3 continents.
Omékongo has studied at Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Georgetown, Morehouse, and The Fletcher School, where he earned his M.A. in Law & Diplomacy. He earned his Ph.D. in International Education Policy at The University of Maryland (UMD) where his dissertation centered on the global hip-hop phenomenon and Jay-Z. At UMD, he also worked with the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Teaching Diverse Students Initiative.”

Dr. Omékongo Dibinga worked for four years as the lead Teaching Assistant to Dr. Michael Eric Dyson at Georgetown University. He provides leadership, educational and diversity empowerment as a consultant and motivational speaker for organizations, associations and institutions. He has featured/lectured nationwide in venues from TEDx and Harvard to Russell Simmons’ Hip-Hop Summit and the Nuyorican Poets Café. His rap mixtape series “Bootleg” promotes positive hip-hop with remixes of songs by Tupac, Notorious BIG, Jay Z, Nas, 50 Cent, and others. His 1,000,000 Youth Campaign has directly impacted over100,000 youth across the globe to date. He has also partnered with Intel on its campaign to make their computer processors free of minerals that come from the war in the Congo.

Dr. Omékongo Dibinga has published and produced 7 books, 7-fusion music and motivational CDs, and one independent DVD. His motivational book G.R.O.W. Towards Your Greatness! 10 Steps to Living Your Best Life has received praise from great motivational speakers such as Willie Jolley. His most recent book “The UPstander’s Guide to an Outstanding Life” is a life balance book for students. For more information, please visit www.upstanderinternational.com.”

Fee considerations given for non-profits and educational institutions.



The purpose of this keynote/breakout is for participants to explore what unites them as opposed to what divides them. We live in a society that is becoming increasingly polarized but even in our darkest moments, there are areas where we can all shine. Participants will learn how to have difficult conversations, how to challenge implicit biases, and how to build a community where differences are not just tolerated but celebrated!


Why are potential customers not buying your product, especially if you know it is a superior product? It could come down to an issue of trust. The goal of this keynote/breakout is to explore the reasons why your company may not be the preferred brand for a targeted customer group and create strategies to counter that challenge. If you believe that you have a superior product to offer and it’s not moving the way you prefer, the issue is possibly not the product. The issue could be the narrative created by customers about your company. Change the narrative, change the results!


This keynote highlights the ability youth have to create change in their own lives and the lives of others. Participants build their cultural self-confidence and respect for other cultural, religious, and racial groups through critical analysis of culture through the spoken word and positive hip-hop. This leads participants to understand the root causes of misconceptions that exist across different groups. It challenges cultural paradigms in an effort to create greater appreciation for differences. Students emerge from this high energy presentation empowered to not only make a change in their own lives but in their communities and throughout the globe.


This intense presentation allows participants to tap into their inner potential in order for them to live their dreams. The four points of the G.R.O.W. acronym: Give, Receive, Overcome and Win for the basis of moving from a life of mediocrity to a life of greatness!


This keynote explores the importance of achieving true respect for cultural diversity in a school or corporation. Participants will probe deeply into the meaning of cultural biases and use that understanding as a springboard to developing an ongoing dialogue on the importance of diversity. By acknowledging their truths as it relates to experiences of racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, and more, participants will feel empowered to carry the dialogue back to their colleagues and beyond.

Book this Speaker

Travels from: Washington, DC

Speaking fee: from $15,000 – $25,000