Farai Chideya brings the human experience to life in all media forms. Her ability to see around corners has led her to consistently engage in new technologies. For example, she launched her first blog, Pop and Politics, in 1995, and has covered topics well before they became mainstream, such as in her 1999 book The Color of Our Future, which saw the evolution towards a "majority-minority" America long before it made the cover of Time.
In the past, she has been an award-winning reporter for Newsweek; a political analyst for CNN; a reporter and guest host for ABC News; and a host for NPR. All the while, she has produced digital content and both nonfiction and fiction books. She is a graduate of Harvard University, and returned there as a Spring 2012 fellow at the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government.
After a career that led her through adventures such as flying on Air Force One, being stalked by the secret police in Zimbabwe, and covering every U.S. election since 1996, Chideya has become truly her own media, consulting, and entrepreneurial brand. She is currently a contributor to New York Public Radio, and a frequent guest on such cable channels asMSNBC. She is the Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, where she teaches radio. She recently completed a book, co-authored with Vivek Wadhwa, on women in the technology industry called Innovating Women, and is finishing a new book, The Right Work, advising Americans how to proactively deal with job volatility and the shift from linear to episodic careers. Chideya also serves as an advisor to several nonprofits and for-profit startups.
Chideya, the daughter of an American mother and a Zimbabwean father, has always been immersed in global culture. Her family in the U.S. were free black American farmers and carpenters during and after the era of slavery, and over the years have had a strong tradition of military service in virtually every conflict from the Civil War to Afghanistan.
She learned from her family that having strong and even opposing political views among members does not mean you cannot love and respect each other. This is a trait she wishes was more apparent in today's civic discourse.
Farai Chideya has honed her powerful speaking skills over the course of her twenty years in journalism. For her, lectures are not just a chance to speak, but also to listen, to engage, share and learn. Her speeches include deep-dives into issues such as generational divides in use of mobile technology, US politics, or African-American history and culture, as well as motivational speeches about finding your right livelihood and living with integrity in a world that often rewards expediency. She can bring up issues that people generally don’t want to talk about in a way that encourages openness and new understandings within communities, campuses and workplaces.
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