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    Thrivals
    seems to be a festival within a festival and fills an entire day of the
    Idea Festival with an impressive list of speakers, finishing with a
    performance by rising alternative pop musician Janelle Monae who tells
    an epic story through her performance art and has  been called “a
    different kind of diva” by Vogue Magazine and “a true visionary… one of
    the most important signings of my career” by Sean “Diddy” Combs.  

    The
    Thrivals festival starts at 7 am on Wednesday, September 29 with a
    seminar by Nat Irvin, II who is the W.M. Strickler Executive in
    Residence and a professor of management at the University of Louisville
    College of Business. It will focus on his research which has set many
    new ways of looking at African Americans in business and emerging
    archetypes he has profiled.

    Next
    on the line up is singer/dancer/actress Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek)
    who was awarded her Star in Hollywood  in addition to being honored in
    an exhibit at the Smithsonian air and space museum. She has also done
    contract work for NASA, recruiting the first female and minority
    astronauts for their space shuttle progra  and is still a member of the
    Board of Governors of the National Space Society, as well  as a member
    of the Advisory Board of the International Space Camp.

    Other
    speakers include John Kobara,  Executive VP and Chief Operating Officer
    for the California Community Foundation (CCF); David Robinson, founder
    of a family owned  280 acre coffee farm and a 600 family coffee
    cooperative in Tanzania;  Marquis Brown, Co-Founder and Chief Executive
    Officer of the National Center for Global Engagement (NCGE) and former
    Chief of Staff to the mayor of Baltimore; Anthony Jewett Co-Founder and
    Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors for the National Center for
    Global Engagement (NCGE); Lakshmi Singh, midday newscaster for NPR; and
    Howard Bloom who is a Public Relations executive that  helped build the
    careers of popular music’s biggest stars, including Michael Jackson,
    Prince, John Cougar Mellencamp, Queen, Bette Midler, Diana Ross, Simon
    & Garfunkel, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Run D.M.C., and
    many media CEOs.

    Just
    reading the accomplishment of this impressive line up inspires me to
    look in the mirror and say, “I need to step up my game.” Ending the day
    with Monae’s powerhouse performance is certain to “blow the roof off”
    and leave people feeling energized and inspired for weeks to come. I
    can’t wait.

    Jessica Lynn's picture

    About Jessica Lynn

    Jessica Lynn has been writing for Louisville.com since fall of 2010 and has also been published in LEO, Velocity, Voice-Tribune and others after serving as Editor in Chief of The JCC student newspaper, The Quadrangle. She has also served as columnist or contributing writer to an array of online publications.

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