|Matt Kelley |
Founder, President & CEO
Matt is MAVIN's founder, President and CEO, the nation's leading organization dedicated to multiracial youth and families. In 1998, as a 19-year-old freshman at Wesleyan University, he founded MAVIN, the only internationally acclaimed magazine celebrating multiracial and transracially adopted young people. While at Wesleyan he also served as Co-Chair of the Multiracial Students' Organization, resurrected the Pan-Collegiate Conference on the Mixed-Race Experience, and taught "Racially Mixed in the USA," a full-credit course. For his unique approach to race and diversity issues, he has been featured in over 250 print and television features, including CNN, Newsweek, The Los Angeles Times, and USA Today. Seattle magazine named Matt one of "9 to Watch In The Next Century" and one of Seattle's "Six Minority Leaders." The TRIBES Project named him a "Race Scholar." He is the recipient of the "Heroes of Health Care" Award for his work with MAVIN's MatchMaker Bone Marrow Project, as well as being named Washington State's 2002 "Outstanding Young Citizen." In November 2001, he was awarded a "Points of Light" distinction by President George W. Bush for "helping to solve serious social problems through volunteer service."
Matt has donated thousands of volunteer hours to organizations serving abused and neglected children. He also serves as Vice President of the Association of MultiEthnic Americans (AMEA) and on the Board of Directors for the Central District Forum of Arts and Ideas, a Seattle-based nonprofit celebrating African-American culture. He also served on the Seattle Art Museum's development initiative for communities of color. Matt was born in Spokane, WA, raised in Rollingbay, WA and today lives in Seattle.
What people are saying about Matt Kelley:
"Saying Matt Kelley has a way with words is like claiming Michael Jordan knows a thing or two about basketball."
"When Kelley starts explaining what he's attempting to do, it's easy to understand the buzz he's generating."
"Humbly eloquent, he's a poet with a purpose."
"[Kelley is] armed with inspiration."
-Teen People Magazine
"One of nine to watch for the next century."
Matt Kelley speaking at Scripps College (photo: Marcela Vargas)
Previous Speaking Engagements
Here's a short list of just some of the venues where Matt has presented:
National Conference for Community & Justice
Public Relations Society of America
The Seattle Millennium Project
Youth Forums on Race
National Writers' Workshop
Oregon Commission on Children and Families
National Conference on the Multiracial Child
As one of the nation's foremost spokespersons on multiracial issues, Matt has presented on a wide range of issues related to the mixed race experience.
His life at the crossroads of race helps to make Matt's message inspiring to young and old alike. His informative and entertaining style combines personal anecdotes with his extensive knowledge of the multiracial movement to create a presentation that is thoughtful, funny, creative and moving. He draws on his experience as a multiracial young man in a society that still forces multiracial people to "check only one race." As multiracial newborns now outnumber all other racial groups except Caucasian newborns in states like California, Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington State, Matt’s important message is more salient than ever.
Matt enjoys working with conference and event planners to tailor individual presentations to specific audiences. However, here are some of the topics he most frequently addresses at national conferences, universities and in diversity trainings:
Redefining Diversity: America’s Multiracial Future
The last laws banning interracial marriage weren't struck down until 1967, with one state keeping such prohibitions in its constitution until 2000. Today, America is experiencing a mixed race baby boom. What impact are multiracial people having on our racially-charged society? What opportunities and threats does our changing mosaic present?
Census 2000: A Racial Revolution
Census 2000 marked the first time that Americans could check more than one box to describe themselves. The 7 million people who did so are changing the way our nation sees race. This presentation examines the debate that led up to the historic 2000 Census, and the implications for race and diversity issues in 21st Century America.
Raising Multicultural Children in a Diverse Society
In cities like Sacramento, San Antonio and Seattle, 1 in 6 babies born is mixed race. Unfortunately, most parents, teachers and other caregivers are not equipped to meet their unique needs. This presentation provides audiences with specific ideas about how they can raise healthy and happy multiracial youth.
Race is something that supposedly doesn't change. But for millions of racially mixed Americans, physical and racial ambiguity is a fact of life. How do multiracial people challenge our nation's rigid definitions of race, and what are the implications for our highly race-charged society as the boundaries between races continue to fall?
If you are interested in having Matt speak at your event, contact Jennifer Poulson or call 206 218.9792.
For more information on upcoming engagements, email here.
Booking Matt for your conference
Matt is available for speaking engagements at conferences, universities, corporate diversity trainings and community organizations. To inquire about availability and speaking fees, please contact Kimi Kawabori.
Need a photo of Matt to publicize his speaking engagement on your campus? Click here.
Awards and Accolades!
Matt is the recipient of many awards and accolades, thanks to his innovative and inspiring views on race and diversity. Here are just a few:
"Points of Light" Award from George W. Bush for his commitment to " solving serious social issues through community service."
"2002 Outstanding Young Citizen" for the State of Washington from the Junior Chamber.
"Heroes of Health Care" Award from the Washington Health Foundation for his work with MAVINs MatchMaker Bone Marrow Project
Named one of "Nine to Watch in the Next Century" by Seattle Magazine
Named one of Seattle's "Six Minority Leaders" by Seattle Magazine
Named a "Local Hero" by Teen People Magazine
Named a "Race Scholar" by the TRIBES Project
Named one of the Puget Sound Business Journal's "40 under 40".
Read for yourself!
Here are links to some of the over 200 print and television profiles about Matt Kelley:
Christian Science Monitor
Seattle Post-Intelligencer 1
Seattle Post-Intelligencer 2
Articles by Matt
Click here to read an article Matt Kelley wrote for LiP Magazine. (Article also syndicated by AlterNet.)
"Life in the Borderlands" First published in The Boston Globe.
(photo: Safia Fatimi)