12 November 2020
The organisers of the RootsTech conference, which will take place online from 22-25 February 2021, have announced the first keynote speakers, who hail from Australia, Italy, Mexico, and the United States.
Speakers include New York Times bestselling author and international motivational speaker, Nick Vujicic; Lorena Ochoa of Mexico, a retired top female world golfer; Francesco Lotoro of Italy, musician, composer and collector of music composed in captivity during the Holocaust; and Sharon Leslie Morgan, author and genealogist dedicated to promoting healing by providing resources for African American genealogical research.
RootsTech keynote speakers 2021
Nick Vujicic was born in Melbourne, Australia. With no medical explanation or warning, Nick came into the world with neither arms nor legs. By age 19 he started fulfilling his dream of encouraging others through their personal challenges. He has spoken live to 6.5 million people live in more than 65 countries, met with 21 presidents, and addressed 9 governments. His New York Times bestseller, Unstoppable, is now published in more than 30 languages.
Lorena Ochoa is best known as the top-ranked female golfer in the world for 157 consecutive weeks in the LPGA. As the first Mexican golfer of either gender with such a ranking, she is considered the best Mexican golfer and Best Latin American female golfer of all time. "Knowing your past is very important to understand who you are," said Ochoa. "The work that FamilySearch and RootsTech Connect does is incredible. I know more about my story than I would have ever imagined."
Lorena is the mother of 3 young children, and lives with her husband, Andres Conesa, in Mexico City.
Francesco Lotoro is an Italian pianist, composer, conductor, and professor at the Umberto Giordano Music Conservatory in Foggia, Italy. For the past 30 years, he has worked tirelessly to recover, study, archive, execute, record, and promote tens of thousands of remarkable musical scores composed by prisoners in concentration camps.
He is currently working on a multi-volume encyclopedia dedicated to music written in concentration camps and to the related composers with the goal for it to “become a historic, artistic, cultural and spiritual treasure for all.”
Sharon Leslie Morgan
Sharon Leslie Morgan has devoted her career to support African American genealogical research. She founded Our Black Ancestry (OBA), an online community to provide resources for African American genealogical research, preserve historical materials and properties, and promote healing of wounds that are a legacy of slavery. OBA is a partner with FamilySearch on the ROAR (Reclaiming Our African Roots) Project.
A staunch advocate of racial justice, Morgan has co-authored several books including Gather at the Table: The Healing Journey of a Daughter of Slavery and Son of the Slave Trade, and she works with organizations that promote this work. She has received prestigious awards for her efforts to help others with this research and make connections to provide healing.
“I believe genealogy is a tool for healing from America's egregious past and a shining light on a pathway toward a society that embraces equality and justice for all,” she said. “RootsTech Connect 2021 is an unparalleled opportunity to celebrate humanity in all of its colors, cultures, and creeds."
Register for RootsTech Connect 2021 for free here.