Cultural Diversity Roster

FIND A PRESENTER

Kenneth-B.-Morris-Jr.-speaker

Kenneth B. Morris Jr.

Human Rights Activist and is the great-great grandson of Frederick Douglass and the great-great grandson of Booker T. Washington

Kenneth Morris descends from two of the most important names in American history: he is the great-great-great grandson of Frederick Douglass and the great-great grandson of Booker T. Washington. His mother, Nettie Washington Douglass, is the daughter of Nettie Hancock Washington (granddaughter of Booker T. Washington), and Dr. Frederick Douglass III (great-grandson of Frederick Douglass).…

Categories :

Full Bio

Kenneth Morris descends from two of the most important names in American history: he is the great-great-great grandson of Frederick Douglass and the great-great grandson of Booker T. Washington. His mother, Nettie Washington Douglass, is the daughter of Nettie Hancock Washington (granddaughter of Booker T. Washington), and Dr. Frederick Douglass III (great-grandson of Frederick Douglass). His life until the year 2007 could be described as distinguished yet decisively disengaged from his lineage until Providence called.

Ken continues his family’s legacy of anti-slavery and educational work as co-founder and president of the Atlanta-based nonprofit Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives (FDFI). His career and life path are driven by a clear focus on FDFI’s mission“[t]o Advance Freedom through Knowledge and Strategic Action.” He could not have predicted that one day he would so fully embrace and be defined by the characteristics that so closely defined his famous ancestors.

FDFI brings the guidance of history to the fight against modern forms of slavery. As part of the present-day abolitionist movement, FDFI educates young people about all forms of forced servitude and inspires them to action. Current FDFI projects include PROTECT, a partnership with two California-based nonprofit organizations, 3Strands Global and Love Never Fails, to provide grade-level appropriate, state standard-compliant human trafficking prevention education to thousands of California schoolchildren from grade school to high school and the One Million Abolitionists project, which with a wide range of partners including the National Park Service, educational institutions, community organizations, and individuals will print and distribute one million copies of a special Bicentennial edition of Frederick Douglass’s first autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave, to young people across the country through the 2018 celebration of the bicentennial of Douglass’s birth.

An accomplished and prolific public speaker, Ken regularly appears before charitable organizations, local, state, and federal government agencies, civic organizations, and students across the country. He has lectured at universities including Columbia University, Morehouse College, UNLV, Tuskegee University, Loyola University Chicago, and Yale University, and has appeared on CNN, Democracy Now!, PBS, NPR, The Tavis Smiley Show, and the CBS Evening News. Ken is honored to have been a keynote speaker at the United Nations on several occasions.

Ken appeared in both the National Geographic documentary Civil Warriors, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, and in the 2015 History Channel documentary Blood and Glory: The Civil War in Color, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the end of the war. Ken also appeared in the National Geographic documentary Rise Up: The Legacy of Nat Turner. He contributed the afterword to Picturing Frederick Douglass: An Illustrated Biography of the Nineteenth Century’s Most Photographed American (November 2015; authors John Stauffer, Zoe Todd, and Celeste-Marie Bernier, with a foreword by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.) and the foreword to a bicentennial edition of the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, published in January 2017.

Ken received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University of La Verne in California in January 2012. In June 2012, he received the inaugural National Park Service Underground Railroad Network to Freedom’s “Frederick Douglass Underground Railroad Legacy Award” in recognition of his commitment to promoting social change through activism that addresses contemporary social issues. In January 2014, Ken was the first man to be awarded the Women’s E-News 21 Leaders for the 21st Century “Ida B. Wells Award for Bravery in Journalism.” In April 2016, he received the “Anne Frank Change the World Award” from the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights and in November 2017, he received the National Association of African American Honors Programs “Legacy Keeper Award.”

Prior to co-founding FDFI in 2007, Ken was a partner at C&A Marketing, a marketing and entertainment firm partnership, recognized as a leader in the field of corporate meetings, incentive travel, and the development of customized marketing programs. He has been a member of the board of directors for Kaleidoscope Arts Factory, a nonprofit performing arts organization for children in Corona, California, the Booker T. Washington Family Committee, and the Dean’s Advisory Committee at the University of La Verne. Ken is a director of the Frederick Douglass Ireland Project and an Ambassador for the nonprofit organization Human Rights First. In November 2017, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi named him to the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commission.

Ken received a Bachelor of Arts in Religion degree from the Ecumenical Center for Black Church Studies at the University of La Verne. He strongly believes, as did Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington, that education is the pathway to freedom.

    Check Availability

    Check Availability for

    Topics

    • Black History
    • Business
    • Civil Rights
    • Entrepreneurism
    • Marketing
    • MLK

    Videos

    Modern Abolitionist: Kenneth B. Morris, Jr.

    Kenneth B. Morris, Jr

    Books

    Please Contact Us For More Information

    News

    Please Contact Us For More Information

    Testimonials

    Please Contact Us For More Information

    GET IDEAS

    form-arrow

    1 HOUR OR LESS