headerImg

LeVar Burton Award-Winning Actor, Writer, Producer, Director & Literacy Advocate

LeVar Burton, Actor & Literacy Advocate | PDA Speakers

LeVar Burton has been capturing the attention of admiring audiences and industry peers for four decades, and continues to enjoy a career longevity truly rare within the industry. Whether acting, directing, producing or writing, Burton has demonstrated that he can do it all. Burton launched his acting career while still a student at the University ...    

See Below for Full Bio
Categories :
  • Full Bio
  • Videos
  • Topics
  • Books
  • News
  • Testimonials

LeVar Burton has been capturing the attention of admiring audiences and industry peers for four decades, and continues to enjoy a career longevity truly rare within the industry. Whether acting, directing, producing or writing, Burton has demonstrated that he can do it all.

Burton launched his acting career while still a student at the University of Southern California. Cast in the groundbreaking role of Kunta Kinte in the landmark television series Roots, at 19 he found himself on the cover of Time Magazine. A seemingly impossible act to follow, Burton managed to do so in dramatic fashion, achieving further global acclaim as Chief Engineer Geordi La Forge in the iconic Star Trek: The Next Generation television series and feature films. But it has been his role as host and executive producer of the beloved PBS children’s series Reading Rainbow that he is most proud of. Airing from 1983 to 2009, it was not only one of the longest-running children’s television shows in history, but also one of the most acclaimed, earning over 200 awards including multiple Emmys and a Peabody.

Always committed to improving children’s education through innovative uses of storytelling, in 2012 Burton launched RRKidz, a digital educational publishing company, co-founded with business partner Mark Wolfe. Together they hold the global rights to the Reading Rainbow brand through a partnership with series creator, WNED/Buffalo. Reading Rainbow was reimagined to combine today’s forms of media and technology with the goal of inspiring a new generation of children to love reading. The all-new Reading Rainbow is a digital reading service filled with over 500 children’s fiction and non-fiction books, newly produced video field trips and new content added every week. With over 16 million books and videos enjoyed since launch, Reading Rainbow is the number one educational app on iTunes and recipient of numerous awards.

Most recently, Burton turned to Kickstarter to bring Reading Rainbow to “Every Child, Everywhere” — especially to classrooms in need. The campaign met its 35-day goal of raising $1 million in less than 11 hours, and became the most popular Kickstarter campaign ever with over 105,000 backers and a final tally of over $6.4 million. As a result, in 2015 RRKidz will introduce Reading Rainbow EDU, complete with engaging supplemental learning content for teachers and students. Additionally, in October, 2014, Reading Rainbow published Burton’s first children’s book, The Rhino Who Swallowed A Storm, a powerful and uplifting story to help children cope with the difficulties of everyday life.

The honored recipient of 12 Emmy Awards, a Grammy and five NAACP Awards, Burton is often invited as a keynote speaker at leading education and technology events, most recently speaking at NASA, ISTE, The National Headstart Association and many more. In 2014, with educational groups, business organizations and media clamoring to recognize him for the record-setting Reading Rainbow Kickstarter campaign, Burton was named Geek of the Year in the annual Geekie Awards, was listed as one of Ebony Magazine’s Power 100, and earned the World Tech Award for Education, awarded by the World Technology Network. He now enters his fourth decade in the industry, with millions of fans throughout the world and continues his mission to inspire, entertain and educate.


  • TOC 2012: LeVar Burton, "Keynote"

    LeVar Burton on George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight

Martin Luther King Jr.: The Man and The Myth
"Our lives begin to end the day we remain silent about things that matter" is one of the most famous quotes attributed to Dr. King, the truth is, there is no evidence to support that he actually ever spoke those words. In his speech, LeVar explores the conflicting nature of the man who was Martin Luther King Jr. as well as the mythical King of his legacy.

Technology & Storytelling: Making a Difference in the Digital Age
Join LeVar Burton as he shares the powerful impact that his mentors, technology, storytelling, and science fiction have had on his life and how each has helped shape his incredible life's work. Be there as he concludes the session with a personal demonstration of how he employs today's latest technologies in his efforts to educate and enlighten—a world premier peek at his latest project, the Reading Rainbow App.

The Power of Storytelling: Written, Spoken, Lived
An inspirational speech in which LeVar discusses his 3 storytelling mentors: Alex Haley, Gene Roddenberry and Fred Rogers. Their influence on his life and the world at large as well as the power of our own personal narrative is a secondary theme.

The Importance of Literacy

The Influence of the Media in Education

The Power of Imagination

On Reaching One's Full Potential

  • 4 Down: Redskins on IR, Mike McCoy, Braves, LeVar Burton

    Wednesday, November 15, 2017

    LeVar Burton is an actor whose roles included “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and “Reading Rainbow.” He’s not LaVar Ball, his son does not play for the Lakers, and President Donald Trump didn’t call him out on social media. Yet Burton is getting confused for the outspoken basketball dad, taking insults from Twitter complainers firing from the hip. Our condolences to Burton, who doesn’t deserve such treatmen

    More

  • Wellesley College
    The event was AWESOME!!!! He is a very engaging speaker and the students LOVED him. He is also a very gracious gentleman...we so enjoyed having him here. He stayed afterwards to sign about 50 or more autographs and had his picture taken with dozens of students.

'African-American'
FIND a PRESENTER
More Videos
Testimonials
  • It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).

    -Western Michigan University
  • Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!

    -Central Michigan University
  • Everything went fantastic. I hope that Viola Davis and her family felt welcomed and enjoyed their time in Portland and participating in our event. The impact of her keynote was humbling and inspiri......

    -Concordia University
  • "Our organization has been dealing with PDA Speakers Bureau for many years. We have found both the content and quality of speaker exceptional, making our meetings much more successful. Peter from ......

    -Program Chair
    University of Alabama
  • Just a quick note to let you know Ms. Webb-Christburg did an outstanding job.  Comments ranged from mesmerizing to inspirational.  The students, faculty, staff and community all enjoye......

    -The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
  • Coach Ken Carter was fantastic! You were both inspirational and motivational. Thank you for a wonderful performance. People li......

    -Ball State University
  • Thank you Peter Walker for your assistance on bringing Hill Harper to our School. Such a success!

    -Taylor Reeves
    President African American Student Alliance
  • PDA Group assisted us in securing the services of Mr. Montel Williams as a Keynote Speaker for one of our signature events in Cleveland, Ohio in 2014.  Peter was very helpful and professiona......

    -Linda D.Bradley, MD - Cleveland Clinic
  • "We were looking for a smaller-scale, lower budgeted for our comedy series and Peter Walker gave us some great suggestions of comedians!"

    -Audrey Cawley
    Fordham University
  • PDA Group is the best. Thank you for helping us bring in MTV Jersey Shore Cast. Huge success!!

    -Ashley Weber
    Augustana College
  • We are fortunate to have a long standing relationship with PDA Group and find them very easy to work with. I know that almost as soon as I email Peter about a guest speaker, I receive a reply and a......

    -Christine Kennedy
    Program Chair University of Texas
  • "Thank you Peter for arranging Jay Sean to sing at my son's Bar Mitzvah".

    -Private Client
    Bar Mitzvah featuring Jay Sean
  • Being our first experience with your agency and having a great experience with the performer and you, I wanted to inquire what other forms of entertainment you offer around the same price; as this ......

    -Northern State University
  • Douglas Tompkins was Outstanding!! Thank you, Peter for all your hard work.

    -Natural Products Expo East
  • Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and de......

    -Western Carolina University
  • Thank you Peter for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one......

    -Furman University
  • My interaction with Peter was great as always. This is the second year we have used PDA Speakers. We have never been disappointed with the authors that have visited us.

    -Program Chair
    University Of Michigan
  • "Thank you PDA Group for your assistance on bringing Russell Simmons Def Poetry to our campus!"

    -Simone Dozier
    University of South Carolina
  • Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on ......

    -Grand Valley State University
  • Ms. Webb-Christburg, it was an honor to host you on our campus. Your speech was well received by everyone in attendance, and pr......

    -University of Vermont
    MLK Speaker
  • "The service provided by PDA Speakers was most helpful. We were able to give an outline of what we wanted and had some great suggestions given for the most suitable speakers. We would be happy to b......

    -Program Chair
    University of Chicago
  • On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we th......

    -Ferris State University
  • Thank you Peter for helping us bring in the cast from MTV'S Real World to Furman University. They were great!

    -Mary Catherine Wilder Program Chair
    Furman University
  • "I wanted to thank you for your services for our event. Peter and your team have been fantastic throughout this entire process. You made our event run so smooth with the assembly of Gavin's crew an......

    -Corporate Event featuring Gavin DeGraw
    Corporate Event featuring Gavin DeGraw
  • Allegra Goodman's lecture last night was wonderful! She’s a wonderful speaker and a very lovely person. We cant tha......

    -Indiana University, South Bend
  • "The Langston Hughes Project attracted the most diverse audience I have ever seen on our campus.  Young and old, black and white, students and teachers, university administrators and community......

    -Dr. Peter Madsen
    University of Nebraska-Omaha
  • The feedback on Ilyasah Shabazz was great! She was very receptive and spent a lot of time answering questions and making a personal connection with the students. Thank you Peter for all your har......

    -Claflin University
  • Rosalyn McMillan was great! Everyone really enjoyed her. Thank you, Peter Walker for your help on bring her to our campus!

    -Claflin University
  • Everything went very well. Mr. Johnson did a great job of interacting with the students and Q&A. Thank you again Peter for your recommendation!

    -Claflin University
  • Mr. Alex Rosner's moving presentation to our students at Bucknell University made such an important difference in their understanding of the human dimension of the Holocaust. Mr. Rosner's shared......

    -Bucknell University
  • Everything went wonderfully. Sherry Brantley was fantastic! and she was the right choice for us at this time. Thanks again for all your help.

    -Nazareth College
  • Our thanks again to PDA Group for your help in setting up this year's program. You really helped me out in terms of saving time and I appreciated your ability to suggest speakers who were in keepin......

    -Melissia Schmidt, Program Chair
    University of Rochester
More testimonials
CHECK AVAILABILITY
Check Availability For LeVar Burton
Get Ideas in 1 Hour or Less
Latest News
  • Lecrae Drops ‘All Things Work Together’ Album Cover, Tracklist
    31.08.2017

    At long last Lecrae pulls up with the cover and official tracklist for his forthcoming album, All Things Work Together. Let’s just say it looks like it will be a good listen.

  • Former US surgeon general discusses issues affecting Hispanics
    31.01.2018

    Grand Valley State University welcomed Dr. Antonia Novello Wednesday, Sept. 27, in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. Novello was the first woman, and the first Hispanic, to be appointed the 14th surgeon general of the U.S. Public Health Service in 1990.

    Dr. Cynthia McCurren, dean of the Kirkhof College of Nursing at GVSU, introduced Novello through a personal memory of Novello’s appointment in 1990 and the important role that she not only played in her own life, but in the public health sphere as well.

    “As an individual that’s been in nursing for over 30 years, and therefore more broadly in health care, I’m very much impressed and influenced by those who provide leadership and who take on the responsibility of the leadership as much as at the national person,” McCurren said. “This is a person that I remember her appointment when I was going through my times working in health care, and my continuing to work in health care, she has made an impression on me.”

  • How Morgan Stanley’s Carla Harris Found Success, in Both Banking and Music
    30.08.2017

    Carla Harris isn't your average banker.

    In addition to being the vice chairman of wealth management at Morgan Stanley (ms, +0.82%), Harris chairs the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC), an advisory panel to Congress and President Barack Obama on economic issues important to female business owners. And she sings. Really, really well. So well, in fact, that she's had four of her Carnegie Hall concerts sell out entirely.

Read More
Blog feed
  • Jewish, heritage
    17.10.2017
    May is Jewish American Heritage Month! Celebrate Jewish Americans who have helped weave the fabric of American history, culture and society with some of our well-known Jewish speakers and entertainers
  • Motivational Speaker - PDA Speakers
    02.04.2017
    Do you have a business conference to plan, an annual company meeting, or your monthly board meeting? Hiring a good motivational speaker is one of the best things you can do to make your event a succes
  • Keynote Speakers | PDA Speakers
    10.10.2017
    So much for the status quo… Research confirms what most already suspect: Continuous change is the new norm in business. Happily, in today’s highly-disruptive world, innovation is just another word
Read More

Copyrights © 2019. PDA Entertainment Group. All rights reserved.