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I'm Yewande Austin

While days performing with the likes of the Black Eyed Peas, Enrique Iglesias, and India Arie may be impressive to most, it is Yewande’s work as an award-winning lecturer and social activist that has become perhaps her greatest achievement.

Youth have the power to transform society. As a little girl, Yewande’s only dream was to change the world like the pioneers she read about in storybooks.In 2004, Yewande launched the ―Change Rocks‖ College Tour with one profound message to her youngest listeners, ―You have the power to change the world!‖ But the response to this seemingly simple mantra was met with distressing questions about identity, self-worth, discrimination and violence on campuses across America. Ms. Austin launched the Global Institute for Diversity and Change to give students critical tools to turn that pain into power. As a lecturer and keynote speaker of international prominence, her award-winning programs bridge the gap between diversity, leadership and student activism at institutions of higher learning across the globe.


In 2006, Ms. Austin’s non-profit organization, the Change Rocks Foundation, has empowered some of the world’s most vulnerable youth from Africa to the Americas. Her multidisciplinary approach to socio-economic empowerment confronts the interrelated causes of global poverty by combining music with education, leadership and sustainable skill development. Why music? Prevention and intervention are essential to break the cycle of global poverty but factors such as gender, geography and conflict often prevent vital information from reaching the people who need it most. Because music plays a central role in most indigenous cultures, this methodology allows us to teach participants in one common language without fear of cultural stigma or shame. It is this inspiring commitment to social transformation that has ignited a movement around the world.

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