Omékongo Dibinga is an UPstander, not a bystander. His life’s mission is to inspire all across the globe to take a stand when they witness an injustice, no matter how small or large. Omékongo is a youth motivational speaker, trilingual poet, CNN contributor, TV talk show host, and rapper. His Urban Music Award winning work has best been described by Nikki Giovanni as “outstanding, exciting, and new while being very old.” His book,From the Limbs of My Poetree was described by Essence Magazine as “a remarkable and insightful collection of exquisite poetry that touches sacred places within your spirit.” He was one of 5 international recipients out of 750,000 to win the first ever “CNN iReport Spirit Award”. He has received over 1,000,000 views on CNN.com.
Omékongo’s music and writings have appeared alongside artists such as Sheryl Crow, Angelina Jolie, Norah Jones, Damien Rice, Angelique Kidjo, Don Cheadle, and Mos Def. He has shared the stage with Wyclef Jean, OutKast, Sonia Sanchez, Dennis Brutus, and The Last Poets. Internationally, he has shared his work in 19 countries on 3 continents. He is the host of the talk show “Real Talk”, which deals with issues facing our youth today. His writings and performances have appeared in O Magazine, as well as on TV and radio from CNN, BET, and the BBC to NPR, Music Choice, and Voice of America in millions of homes in over 150 countries. He has also written songs for movies as well as organizations such as NASA and the Enough Project.
Omékongo has studied at Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Georgetown, Morehouse, and The Fletcher School, where he received his M.A. in Law & Diplomacy. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in International Education Policy at The University of Maryland, where he worked with the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Teaching Diverse Students Initiative” as well as a Teaching Assistant to Dr. Michael Eric Dyson at Georgetown. He provides educational and diversity empowerment as a consultant and motivational speaker for organizations, associations and institutions. He has featured/lectured nationwide in venues from TEDx and Harvard to Russell Simmons’ Hip-Hop Summit and the Nuyorican Poets Café. His rap mixtape series “Bootleg” promotes positive hip-hop with remixes of songs by Tupac, Notorious BIG, Jay-Z, Nas, 50 Cent, and others. His 1,000,000 Youth Campaign has directly impacted over 75,000 youth across the globe to date.
Omékongo’s publishing company, Free Your Mind Publishing, a subdivision of his organization, UPstander International, has produced 7-fusion music and motivational CDs, 6 books, and one independent DVD. His motivational book “G.R.O.W. Towards Your Greatness! 10 Steps to Living Your Best Life” has received praise from great motivational speakers such as Willie Jolley. His most recent book "The UPstander's Guide to an Outstanding Life" is a life balance book for students.