Claremont, Calif. (March 21, 2022)—Pitzer College’s Class of 2022 has selected LaTosha Brown, the award-winning organizer, political strategist, and philanthropic consultant who co-founded the Black Voters Matter Fund, to deliver the keynote address at the Class of 2022 Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 14, at 10 a.m. The in-person ceremony will take place in the Stephen L. Glass Commencement Plaza on the Pitzer College campus.
A nationally recognized expert in Black voting rights and voter suppression, Brown co-founded both the Black Voters Matter Fund and the Black Voters Matter Capacity Building Institute. These two initiatives seek to boost Black voter registration and turnout, as well as increase power in marginalized, predominantly Black communities, according to her speaker’s bio. She also serves as a senior practice fellow at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
Brown is known as a visionary thought-leader in Black women’s empowerment and philanthropy. She founded the Southern Black Girls & Women’s Consortium, a $100-million, 10-year initiative to invest in organizations that serve Black women and girls.
Brown’s bio describes her voice as “the nexus between the Civil Rights Movement, the Black Power Movement, and Black Lives Matter.”
“There is power in my voice!” Brown says. “It is a divine gift that I use to connect different worlds. I bridge the philanthropy world to the grassroots community, traditional politics to grassroots politics, and practitioners to the scholarship of movement building.”
In addition to her current position at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Brown was the 2020 Hauser Leader at the Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership and the 2020 Leader in Practice at the Kennedy School’s Women and Public Policy Program. She was also a 2020-2021 American Democracy fellow at the Charles Warren Center at Harvard.
A widely published writer and media expert, Brown’s op-eds have appeared in the New York Times, Politico, and Essence, and she has been featured on ABC, CBS, CNN, Democracy Now, and PBS. She is also a jazz singer, cultural activist, and artist.
Brown says her next mission involves empowering women across the diaspora.
“I don’t want women to be seen as victims; they are the problem-solvers for the world,” she says. “I am convinced that Black Women are going to liberate the world!”
At Pitzer, it is an annual tradition for the graduating class to select their commencement speaker. The members of the Class of 2022 will also choose their class speaker, student marshals, and honored guest.
For more information about Pitzer’s Class of 2022 graduation ceremony, please visit the College’s Commencement page.