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Caroline Randall Williams

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Discussion with Q&A

$7,000 - $10,000

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$3,000 - $5,000

About

Award-Winning Poet

Scholar

Activist

Caroline Randall Williams is a catalyst. She makes change possible by bringing art and joy into the room in such a way that the grit of real challenge and limits may become eclipsed by analysis, innovation, and skill. She is an award-winning poet, young adult novelist, and cookbook author as well as an activist, public intellectual, performance artist, and scholar. She is the author of the powerful New York Times Opinion piece You Want a Confederate Monument? My Body Is a Confederate Monument, which grabbed international attention as a reckoning in the movement to dismantle systemic racism.

Born and raised in Nashville Tennessee, Williams is a Harvard graduate and a Writer-in-Residence in Medicine, Health, and Society at Vanderbilt University.  She focuses her work and speaks to the places where art, business, and scholarship intersect, moving people closer to their best lives and corporations closer to their ideal identities.

You may have seen her on Morning Joe, or Dr. Oz, or The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell. More likely you’ve read her. Caroline’s first book, The Diary of B.B. Bright, Possible Princess (co-authored with Alice Randall) won the Harlem Book Fair’s Phillis Wheatley Prize and was a finalist for the NAACP Image Award. Her second co-authored volume, Soul Food Love won the NAACP Image Award and got her invited to speak at The Smithsonian. In 2017 the New York Times published an op-ed she wrote and it went viral. Her book of poetry, Lucy Negro Redux, earned rave reviews and got optioned to become a ballet. In 2019 the ballet debuted to more rave reviews with the New York Times review concluding that Lucy Negro Redux was “something wildly original, something so unlike anything else that all description falls short of its otherworldly reality. A place where, when the curtain drops, the very city cries out: “Brava! Brava! Oh, brava!” Another reviewer wrote, “All this is to say that Attitude: Lucy Negro Redux is not just original, but revolutionary — marking a seismic shift in the art form not just in Nashville, but in dance the world-over.” No wonder she was chosen in 2015 by Southern Living as one of “50 People Changing the South” for her work around food justice, and in 2016 as a national Neiman Marcus “Face of Beauty” because she personifies “beauty, brains, and passion.”

She has taught in two of the poorest states in the union -- Mississippi and West Virginia -- and she has been educated at two of the richest universities on the globe -- Harvard and Oxford. After graduating from Harvard University, where her undergraduate thesis received Magna Cum Laude honors, Caroline moved to Mississippi where she taught public school on a dirt road in Sunflower County for two years. In Mississippi, Caroline lived in an America many Americans are hardly aware of any longer, an America as rich in culture as it is wretched in poverty, towns still split into white and black by train tracks and bridges. During her second year, she taught 9th grade English to 86 kids who didn’t have a book to take home. She got that job by tutoring eight kids who the state of Mississippi said couldn’t pass the English exit exam—eight for eight, her kids passed.

To every speaking engagement Caroline brings a fierce intelligence, disarming charm, and a depth of lived experience. 

Videos

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Reviews

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“Caroline Randall Williams spoke at Creative Mornings Nashville on Inclusivity and had everyone in the audience mesmerized with her talk. She knows how to engage an audience and hit them hard with the truth. A truth they may feel uncomfortable facing or discussing, but a truth they knew all along. Hearing Caroline illuminate each person with these truths leaves the audience feeling unified, ready to help and make changes! After you hear Caroline your life will never be the same! And if it is the same... you weren’t listening!!!”

- Tennessee Film, Entertainment and Music Commission

“Caroline Randall Williams spoke at Creative Mornings Nashville on Inclusivity and had everyone in the audience mesmerized with her talk. She knows how to engage an audience and hit them hard with the truth. A truth they may feel uncomfortable facing or discussing, but a truth they knew all along. Hearing Caroline illuminate each person with these truths leaves the audience feeling unified, ready to help and make changes! After you hear Caroline your life will never be the same! And if it is the same... you weren’t listening!!!”

- Tennessee Film, Entertainment and Music Commission

Previously Hosted By

Tennessee Film, Entertainment and Music Commission

Southern Foodways Alliance

The Sycamore Institute

Metro Nashville Public Schools

The William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation

Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism

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Caroline Randall Williams

Books

Book front cover

The Diary of B. B. Bright, Possible Princess

Book front cover

The Diary of B. B. Bright, Possible Princess

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