Opening keynote speaker: Sally Kohn

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Sally Kohn is one of the leading progressive voices in America today. She is a CNN political commentator and columnist whose work has been highlighted everywhere from the Colbert Report to Time Magazine. Author of The Opposite of Hate – a book investigating the evolutionary and cultural roots of hate – Sally is on a mission to discover why we hate and how can stop it. Her writing has also appeared in the Washington Post, New York Times, Rolling Stone and many other outlets. 

Prior to joining the media, Sally worked for over a decade as a community organiser on issues ranging from criminal justice reform to immigrant and LGBTQ+ rights. As Senior Campaign Strategist with the Center for Community Change, a 45-year-old hub of grassroots organisations, Sally spearheaded several initiatives, including the pioneering ‘Campaign for Community Values’, which developed a new media project on health care reform in rural communities.

A strong supporter of social justice, her impressive work history also includes managing more than $15 million in annual grants to social justice organisations in the USA, serving as Executive Director of the leading young women’s organisation in the USA, and as a consultant with the Urban Justice Center. She published a report on the experiences of gay youth in the New York juvenile justice system.

Sally has made a career out of bridging intractable political differences and learning how to talk civilly to people whose views she disagrees with passionately. In her keynote address at the Opening Plenary, reflecting on the theme ‘Facing outward’, Sally will explore how we all have to be more than just our opinions in order to reflect on the common values we share at a deeper level.