Kara Cooney is an associate professor of Egyptian art and architecture at UCLA in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. In 2005, she was co-curator of Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Cooney also co-produced a comparative archaeology series entitled Out of Egypt, which aired on the Discovery Channel and is streaming on Netflix. Her latest book is The Woman Who Would Be King.
To learn more, go to http://karacooney.squarespace.com Photo by Mikel Healey.
Rick Steves advocates smart, affordable, perspective-broadening travel. As host and writer of the popular public television series Rick Steves' Europe, and best-selling author of over 50 European travel books, he encourages Americans to travel as "temporary locals." Over the past 20 years, he has hosted more than 100 travel shows for public television. Mr. Steves also hosts a weekly public radio program. He is the author of Travel as a Political Act, reflecting on how travel has broadened his own perspectives, and how it can be a significant source for peace and understanding in the world.To learn more, go to www.ricksteves.com 
Sharon M. Draper is a New York Times bestselling author and recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring her significant and lasting contribution to writing for teens. She has received the Coretta Scott King Award for both Copper Sun and Forged by Fire. Her Out of My Mind has won multiple awards and has been a New York Times bestseller for more than a year. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she taught high school English for twenty-five years and was named National Teacher of the Year. Visit her at SharonDraper.com.
Ms. Draper's appearance is generously sponsored by Simon & Schuster.To learn more, go to www.sharondraper.com 
Professor Crane is a professor of practice at Syracuse University College of Law, where he also earned his Juris Doctor degree. There he teaches International Criminal Law, International Law, and National Security as well as the Laws of Armed Conflict. In 2002 he was appointed Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone by then Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan. Through 2005 Professor Crane prosecuted those who bore the greatest responsibility for crimes against humanity, war crimes, and other serious violations of international human rights committed during the civil war in Sierra Leone during the 1990's as Chief Prosecutor. He was the first American Chief Prosecutor at an international war crimes tribunal since Justice Robert H. Jackson at Nuremberg in 1945.
Kenneth B. Morris, Jr.Kenneth B. Morris, Jr. is descended 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. He is President of the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives (FDFI), a public charity that endeavors to create a modern Abolitionist Movement in schools across the U.S. through service learning. Mr. Morris's career and life path are driven by a mission to end human trafficking and all forms of servitude with a focus on the FDFI mission To Advance Freedom through Knowledge and Strategic Action.
Karen KorematsuKaren Korematsu is the daughter of the late Fred T. Korematsu and in 2009 co-founded the Fred T. Korematsu Institute for Civil Rights and Education and the Asian Law Caucus in San Francisco. She has been the Institute's executive director since May 2013. She shares her father's passion for social justice and education as she carries on her father's legacy through education as a civil rights advocate and public speaker.
Anthony ChávezRaised in the farm worker movement his grandfather, César Chávez, founded, Anthony Chávez grew up participating in United Farm Workers' marches, picket lines, and political campaigns. He speaks now around the country to numerous student and community groups on behalf of the César Chávez Foundation, established to further his grandfather's life and work. He has worked on several political campaigns, including as campaign manager for a successful Phoenix city council candidate. He is also working on service learning and character education initiatives, including with the Alameda (CA) County Office of Education.
Michael A. RossProfessor Michael Ross teaches at the University of Maryland at College Park, specializing in the Civil War Era and U.S. Legal History. His new book The Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case: Race, Law, and Justice in the Reconstruction Era is the story of a sensational trial that riveted the South during one of the most pivotal moments in the history of U.S. race relations. The book won the 2014 Kemper Williams Prize. Professor Ross is also the author of the prize-winning book Justice of Shattered Dreams: Samuel Freeman Miller and Supreme Court during the Civil War Era as well as numerous articles in academic journals (four of which have won “best article” prizes). He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Supreme Court History and has served as historical advisor to the United States Mint.
Fatima ShaikFatima Shaik is a New Orleans author of books for adults and children. Her latest titles are What Went Missing and What Got Found and Louisiana Stories for Young Adults. Her work focuses on the Louisiana Creole and African-American experience. She writes in the voices of the local culture which has absorbed music, food, language and spirits from around the world. Publishers Weekly called her "this native of New Orleans whose keen ear for dialogue and languid style help capture the special ambiance of Louisiana." Ms. Shaik is an Assistant Professor at Saint Peter's University and a former assistant editor of McGraw-Hill World News.
Caroline Roemer ShirleyCaroline Roemer Shirley became the first executive director for the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools in 2007, and she has led the association from a membership of zero schools to 90% membership in less than eight years. LAPCS is recognized as the leading organization providing support, promotion, and advocacy on behalf of charter schools throughout the state. Born and raised in Bossier City, Louisiana, Ms. Roemer previously worked around the country on political campaigns, eventually founding her own consulting firm in Salt Lake City, until her Louisiana roots brought her back in 2005.
R. Omar CasimireRodney Omar Casimire is the founder of the Katrina National Memorial Charitable Foundation. The Katrina National Memorial Museum project is the result of Mr. Casimire’s vision to create an international destination that will honor those lives that were lost as a result of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, including his mother. He is a native of New Orleans and has spent a great part of his life on community efforts enhancing local culture via the arts, and his tenure as a highly skilled craftsman in working trades in New Orleans, Chicago, and New York.
Faith D'Aluisio and Peter MenzelPhotojournalist Peter Menzel is known for his coverage of international feature stories on food issues, culture, science, and the environment. His award-winning photographs have been published in National Geographic, Smithsonian, The New York Times Magazine, Time, Stern, and GEO. He has received both World Press and Picture of the Year awards and has authored seven books, most recently, What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets, with his wife Faith D’Aluisio.
Faith D’Aluisio, a former television news producer, is editor and lead writer for the award-winning Material World Books series. She and Peter Menzel received the James Beard Foundation Award in 1999 for Best Book: Reference and Writing on Food, for Man Eating Bugs: The Art and Science of Eating Insects. In 2005 the James Beard Foundation awarded their book Hungry Planet: What the World Eats Best Book of the Year and Best Book: Reference and Writing on Food.
Jacques RodrigueJacques Rodrigue is executive director of George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts. He currently lives in New Orleans where he also serves as House Counsel for Rodrigue Studio, his late father's art gallery. As Executive Director of GRFA, Mr. Rodrigue publicly advocates for an arts-integrated education system, oversees the Foundation's Annual Scholarship Art Contest for Louisiana high schools students and directs the Louisiana A+ Schools (LAA+) program. LAA+ trains teachers how to teach using arts in every classroom and every subject and LAA+ was recently picked by the White House as one of six organizations in the country to be a partner of the President's Committee on Arts and Humanities effort to turnaround failing schools using the arts. He is also a member of the Louisiana State Arts Council and recipient of the 2015 National Arts Educators Association Award for Distinguished Service Outside of the Profession.
Thomas Jefferson and Napoleon Bonaparte"Double or Nothing: The Epic Acquisition of the Louisiana Territory"
With the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, the United States purchased approximately 828,000 square miles of territory from France, thereby doubling the size of the young republic. The acquisition of the Louisiana Territory for the bargain price of less than three cents an acre was among Jefferson’s most notable achievements as president. Napoleon's plans to re-establish France in the New World were unraveling. France could not afford to send forces to occupy the entire Mississippi Valley, so why not abandon the idea of empire in America and sell the territory to the United States? Emmy Award-winning Louisiana Public Television broadcaster Charlie Whinham will moderate a discussion between President Jefferson and the Emperor Napoleon considering the issues of land, trade, politics, and the consequential circumstances of the education and citizenship of the people in the newly acquired territory.