Temple (Colorado) is a professor, best-selling author, animal behaviorist, and autism self-advocate in top demand as an international speaker. An extraordinary inspiration for autistic children and their parents, she is the subject of the Emmy and Golden Globe winning HBO film, Temple Grandin, and was also one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people. She didn’t talk until she was three-and-a-half years old, communicating her frustration instead by screaming, peeping, and humming. In 1950, she was diagnosed with autism and her parents were told she should be institutionalized. She recounts “groping her way from the far side of darkness” in her book Emergence: Labeled Autistic, a book that stunned the world because until its publication, most professionals and parents assumed that an autism diagnosis was virtually a death sentence to achievement or productivity in life
Rev. Nontombi TutuNontombi (California) experienced the challenges of growing black and female in apartheid South Africa have been the foundation of Naomi’s life as an activist for human rights. Those experiences taught her that our whole human family loses when we accept situations of oppression, and how the teaching and preaching hate and division injure us all. Rev. Tutu is the third child Archbishop Desmond and Nomalizo Leah Tutu. She was born in South Africa and had the opportunity to live in many communities and countries. The guiding principle of her Nozizwe Consulting is to bring different groups together to learn from and celebrate their differences and acknowledge their shared humanity. As part of this work, she has led Truth and Reconciliation Workshops for groups dealing with different types of conflict.
Sue (Colorado) is the mother of Dylan Klebold, one of the two gunmen responsible for the Columbine High School shootings of April 20, 1999 in Littleton, Colorado. In the aftermath of the tragedy, Ms. Klebold remained out of the public eye while struggling with devastating grief and humiliation. Her search for understanding would span over fifteen years during which she volunteered for suicide prevention organizations, questioned experts, talked with fellow survivors of loss, and examined the crucial intersection between mental health problems and violence. As a result of her exploration, Sue emerged a passionate advocate, dedicated to the advancement of mental health awareness and intervention.
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