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Priya Vulchi and Winona Guo  

Founders of the Racial Literacy Non-Profit CHOOSE & Authors of "Tell Me Who You Are"

Priya Vulchi and Winona Guo met in 2014, when they were sophomores at Princeton High School, just a few months after Eric Garner’s murder and the Ferguson protests. In New Jersey, financial literacy is a requirement but racial literacy—the ability to think, talk and act on race and racial injustice, on who we are, because race shapes every part of our lives —is disregarded. So, the two friends founded their non-profit CHOOSE to advocate for required racial literacy curricula in all K-12 schools in the United States. They developed a 224-page racial-literacy textbook, which was recognized and funded by Princeton University, featured in Teen Vogue, and used in classrooms in over 40 states.

Winona and Priya then took a gap year before college (fundraising themselves through sponsorships from companies like Airbnb) and traveled alone to all 50 states to listen to over 500 strangers talk about race. Their most recent book, Tell Me Who You Are (Penguin Random House), features their takeaways and those stories and was called "at once hopeful, raw, and brimming with curiosity, engagement and youthful energy" by The New York Times best-selling author, Roxane Gay. Along the way, they were named two of Teen Vogue’s 21 under 21 Young People Changing the World and the youngest TED Residents ever, giving another TED Talk in addition to speaking at TEDWomen in 2017 (their talk, “What it takes to be racially literate,” has over 1 million views), United Nations’ Girl Up Conference, Gucci's Chime for Change Conference, NEA's Racial and Social Justice Conference, MSAN, SERC, MTI, Google, GoPro, and over a dozen schools nationwide. They just completed their junior years at Harvard and Princeton University and are committed to racial and intersectional equity as their lifelong work.

Speech Topics

Racial Literacy, Race, how to talk about race, moving from racial literacy awareness to action and leadership

Race impacts everything and everyone, but the first time Winona Guo and Priya Vulchi remember talking about it in school was in 10th grade. Since then, they’ve traveled to all 50 states, listening to personal stories about race and intersectionality and finding ways to pair them to systematic research. Now they're on a mission to equip Americans with the tools to understand, navigate and challenge a world structured by racial division. In this program, a small group within the NetSuite team will learn how to use Tell Me Who You Are (Penguin Random House, June 2019) and cultivate a culture of racial literacy. In Priya and Winona's talk, you’ll hear them discuss the idea of racial literacy, what it’s like to advocate for racial literacy in schools, and what they’ve learned along the way. You will be inspired to better understand your teammates and to create a better work environment that bridges what they call the "heart and mind gap."

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