Brandon P. Fleming is a nationally acclaimed educator and author of MISEDUCATED. His story of struggle, success, and service has inspired millions around the world. An at-risk youth and college dropout turned award-winning educator, Fleming is a former debate coach at Harvard University and Founder & CEO of The Veritas School of Social Sciences, formerly known as the Harvard Debate Council Diversity Project. Over the past five years, Fleming has raised over a million dollars to enroll over 150 students of color into Harvard’s international summer debate residency on full scholarship. Fleming recruits under-served youth with no prior debate experience who he then trains to compete against hundreds of elite debaters from over 25 different countries around the world. For five consecutive years, since the program’s inception in 2017, every cohort trained by Fleming has won the international competition. News of the achievement instantly went viral and broke national headlines, being featured on CNN, ESPN, Good Morning America, and many more. The organization has gained the financial backing of Fortune 100 companies such as The Coca-Cola Company, UPS, Chick-fil-A, and many more. Fleming has established a groundbreaking organization that is positioning Black youth for acceptance into Ivy League and elite colleges & universities. His students have now matriculated to Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and others alike. Fleming’s story and achievements have enabled him to use his voice to inspire and impact lives in places ranging from federal prisons to global platforms such as the United Nations General Assembly. At the age of 29, Forbes Magazine named Fleming to the Forbes 30 under 30 list. In 2020, The Root Magazine named Fleming one of the top 100 most influential African-Americans in the United States. And in May 2021, North Carolina Wesleyan College bestowed upon Fleming the honorary Doctor of Humanities degree.
Tara Westover is an American author. Born in Idaho to a father opposed to public education, she never attended school. An older brother taught her to read, and after that her education was erratic and haphazard, with most of her days spent working in her father’s junkyard or stewing herbs for her mother. She was seven-teen the first time she set foot in a classroom. After that first encounter with education she pursued learning for a decade, graduating magna cum laude from Brigham Young University in 2008 and subsequently winning a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. She received an MPhil from Trinity College, Cambridge in 2009 and in 2014 was awarded a PhD in history. In 2018, she published her memoir, Educated, which explores her struggle to reconcile her desire for education and autonomy with her desire to be loyal to her family. Educated was an instant commercial and critical success, debuting at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and remaining on the list for more than two years. It was also a finalist for a number of national awards, including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. The New York Times named Educated one of the 10 Best Books of 2018, and the American Booksellers Association voted it the Nonfiction Book of the Year. To date, Educated has sold more than 8 million copies and has been translated into 45 languages. President Barack Obama included Educated on his annual reading list, calling it “remarkable,” and Bill Gates listed it as one of his favorite books of the year, saying, “It’s even better than you’ve heard.” For her staggering impact, TIME Magazine named Westover one of the 100 most influential people of 2018.