Current Speaker Announcements

NCCWSL 2021 Lineup

Learn more about some of the incredible speakers and awardees we already have scheduled for 2021! Check back here for updates as more speakers are announced.

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Keynote Speaker

Brittney Cooper

Brittney Cooper is Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Africana Studies at Rutgers University and is a widely sought-after public speaker at universities throughout the country and an in-demand commentator for radio, podcasts, and television.

Her work and words have appeared at MSNBC, BET, NPR, PBS, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, TV Guide, New York Magazine,, The, and Al Jazeera America, among many others and she is a regular contributor at and co-founder of the Crunk Feminist Collective and blog.

Cooper is author of the award-winning book Beyond Respectability: The Intellectual Thought of Race Women (University of Illinois Press 2017) and ELOQUENT RAGE: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower (St. Martin’s Press 2018) and co-editor of The Crunk Feminist Collection (The Feminist Press 2017).

Women of Distinction

Raquel Willis

Raquel Willis is a Black queer transgender activist, writer and speaker dedicated to inspiring and elevating marginalized individuals, particularly transgender women of color. She is currently the Executive Editor of Out Magazine. In 2018, she was named a Jack Jones Literary Arts Sylvia Rivera Fellow. She’s also a part of Echoing Ida, a national Black women and nonbinary writers’ collective. She is a former National Organizer for Transgender Law Center.

In 2018, she was also named an Open Society Foundations Soros Equality Fellow. She launched Black Trans Circles, a project focused on developing the leadership of Black trans women in the South and Midwest by creating healing justice spaces to work through oppression-based trauma, incubating community organizing efforts to address anti-trans murder and violence and elevating nuanced narratives through a national storytelling campaign.

Born and raised in Augusta, GA, Raquel Willis has a loving mother who supports her in all of the work that she does. She is also the youngest child in her family and has a sister, a brother, two nieces and three nephews. She credits the passing of her late father as the catalyst for her transition and career. Raquel is a thought leader on gender, race and intersectionality.

Morgan Jerkins

Morgan Jerkins is the author of Wandering in Strange Lands and the New York Times bestseller This Will Be My Undoing and a Senior Editor at ZORA. A visiting professor at Columbia University and a Forbes 30 under 30 Leader in Media, Jerkins’s short form work has been featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Atlantic, Rolling Stone, ELLEEsquire, and The Guardian, among many others. Her fiction debut, Caul Baby, is forthcoming from Harper Books in April 2021. She is based in Harlem.



Additional awardees to be announced. Check back for updates.