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Deo Mwano  

Congolese Refugee

A daring escape from the Democratic Republic of the Congo led Deo Mwano to a life of freedom, inspiration, appreciation, and the desire to persevere to excel.

Growing up during their country's violent civil war, Mwano and his family have seen their share of misfortune. At the age of seven, Mwano was thrown into adulthood in the worst way imaginable when he witnessed his father's assassination. As the oldest of four boys, he immediately had to take the reins of his family. After moving to the United States in 2000 with his mother and three younger brothers, Mwano found his voice and ability to connect with people through his undoubted talent in dance and obtained his BA in international relations and history and his MBA in strategic leadership.

Today, Deo Mwano aims to educate and motivate people to do more for themselves and those around them by emphasizing the importance of global and social awareness. He has been impacting people all over the United States since the early age of 11 and it was only a matter of time before his impact reached the far corners of the world. His choreography has been performed in South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia through Youth with a Mission Performing Arts Program. Mwano worked with the Pakistani Educational Leadership Institute teaching dance and as a community advisor. He co-choreographed a special he and his brothers performed on Dancing with the Stars. Mwano has mentored and been a dance instructor for Bringing Refugees, Immigrants, and Neighbors Gently into Tomorrow. He was a guest speaker on NHPR's "Word of Mouth," speaking on behalf of the refugee community. Deo Mwano was a member of the panel discussion for the documentary film Uprooted and most recently he was a guest speaker at the TEDxAmoskeagMillyard.

Speech Topics

Faith with Action

You can talk all you want about your faith or beliefs but if your actions don't reflect your words, your faith is irrelevant. Deo Mwano discusses how actions not only have a stronger effect on how others view you, but how you view yourself. Words accompanied by actions inspire. He urges audiences to not be afraid of what they believe in and to act on behalf of those beliefs.

The Power of Forgiveness

Deo Mwano has every right to not want to forgive the people and experiences responsible for the hardships in his life. But Mwano was able to realize that not forgiving would keep him entrenched in hatred, which would in turn hold him captive from his future. In this presentation, Mwano discusses how forgiveness has the power to move your life forward, rid your mind of hate, and set you free.

Happiness Lies Within

What does happiness mean to you? Is it that brand new thing? Is it the comfort of knowing what's next? Is it that weekly paycheck? Is it being in that perfect environment where everything is perceived to work in your favor? In this thought-provoking presentation, Deo Mwano urges his audience to evaluate whether the pursuit of all of these things truly makes them happy.

Can You Hear Me Now? Congo's Instability & How We Are All Connected

Technology has advanced civilization exponentially throughout our lifetime. We have become dependent on our mobile phones, computers, tablets, televisions, etc. But would you be so quick to buy that shiny new device if you knew that it would cost someone his or her life? What about the lives of an entire family? What about the lives of over 6 million people? In this presentation, Deo Mwano explains that in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, this lucrative business of exporting blood minerals has created the world's deadliest war since WWII and yet has practically gone without notice. Mwano points out the fact that we are all connected and that as such, we have a responsibility to those we cause harm to - even if involuntarily so.

Persevere to Excel: Deo Mwano's Life Testimony

Deo Mwano has experienced many of life's ups and downs. Join him as he discusses growing up in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; being thrown into adulthood at the age of seven; becoming a refugee; and eventually relocating to the United States and having to adjust to a new culture, new language, and new life.

Throughout his life story, Mwano stresses the importance of overcoming tremendous hardships; not being affected by adversity but being effective through it; and not only persevering, but persevering to excel.

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