OPENING GENERAL SESSION

VIOLA DAVIS
Award-Winning Actress

Classically trained, award-winning actor Viola Davis has conquered every medium from stage to television to film. From her Tony Award-winning performances in “King Hedley II” and “Fences” to her Academy Award-nominated performances in “The Help” and “Doubt,” Davis has burst through every barrier to become one of the most accomplished and celebrated actors today.

Rising out of “the absolute epitome of poverty,” Davis fell in love with theater early in high school as a form of escape. Her passion and growing abilities for acting would pay off with a full scholarship to the Young People’s School of the Performing Arts before attending the prestigious Julliard School for four years. In 1996, Davis hit the acting trifecta by earning roles on Broadway (“Seven Guitars”), TV (“NYPD Blue”) and film (“The Substance of Fire”).

Equally passionate is Davis’ dedication to ensure that “women of color are part of the narrative,” on all artistic platforms. On raising the profiles and stories of young women of color, “I want to do what Cicely Tyson did to me… she allowed me to have the visual of what it means to dream,” Davis says. It’s this type of ideology and commitment that Time magazine saw when they named Davis as “one of the most influential people of 2012.” From the lectern, Davis discusses her career and how overcoming adversities and preconceived restrictions have all contributed to reinforcing her abilities as an artist and becoming a stronger woman.

SECOND GENERAL SESSION

BILLY SHORE
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Share Our Strength

Billy Shore is the founder and chief executive officer of Share Our Strength, a national nonprofit committed to ending childhood hunger in America. Shore founded Share Our Strength in 1984 with his sister, Debbie, and a $2,000 cash advance on a credit card. Since then, Share Our Strength—an organization with the mission of feeding the nation’s children, much like SNA— has raised and invested more than $376 million in the fight against hunger, and has won the support of national leaders in business, government, health and education.

From 1978 through 1987, Shore served on the senatorial and presidential campaign staffs of former U.S. Senator Gary Hart (D-Colorado). From 1988 to 1991, Shore served as chief of staff for former U.S. Senator Robert Kerrey (D-Nebraska). He has authored four books focused on social change, including “Revolution of the Heart” (Riverhead Press, 1995), “The Cathedral Within” (Random House, 1999), “The Light of Conscience” (Random House, 2004) and most recently, “The Imaginations of Unreasonable Men” (PublicAffairs, 2010).

A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., Shore earned his B.A. at the University of Pennsylvania and his law degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He was named one of America’s Best Leaders (October 2005) by US News & World Report. Shore has been an adjunct professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business and an advisor for the Reynolds Foundation Fellowship program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

FINAL GENERAL SESSION

ARIC BOSTICK
Motivational Speaker

As motivational speaker, trainer and author, Aric Bostick has spoken to more than a half-million people in nearly every industry, helping leaders and employees to get Fired Up! Using his one-of-a-kind, high-energy performance and style, Bostick passionately infuses real-world skills and motivation into the workplace, making ANC 14 an amazing and memorable experience for all!

Bostick has overcome his own hardships and setbacks that allow him to really connect with his audience, their struggles and each person’s life ambitions. Bostick’s philosophy is straightforward: “The way to stay motivated is to create a vision for our lives as difference makers. As a difference-maker, you can choose to take care of yourself while creating a strong and lasting connection with others.” He exemplifies one of his favorite quotes: “I am not afraid. I was born to do this!” (Joan of Arc)

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