Omékongo Dibinga is the Director of UPstander International. 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. Omékongo is a motivational speaker, trilingual poet, CNN contributor, TV talk show host, and positive rapper. 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 750,000 to win the first ever “CNN iReport Spirit Award”.
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, and The Last Poets. Internationally, he has performed in South Africa, England, Congo-Kinshasa, Tanzania, France, Holland, Cuba, and Canada. He is the host of the talk show “Real Talk”, which deals with issues facing our youth today. His work has been featured on Oprah’s Angel Network 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.
Omékongo has studied at Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Georgetown, Morehouse, and The Fletcher School, where he received his M.A. in Law & Diplomacy. He is currently a Ph.D. student in International Education Policy at The University of Maryland, where he works with the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Teaching Diverse Students Initiative.” He provides educational and diversity empowerment as a consultant and motivational speaker for organizations, associations and institutions. His work has been globally adapted for curricula in primary, secondary, and university 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.
Omékongo’s publishing company, Free Your Mind Publishing, has produced 7 fusion music and motivational CDs, 5 books, 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. For more information, please visit www.omekongo.com.