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Updated April 1, 2021

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Amanda Gorman

Amanda GormanAmanda Gorman, at 22, is a beacon of hope for how much can be accomplished by a young Black woman in the name of healing this country’s deep racial divide, through the power of poetry. 

Gorman, who performed her breathtaking poem “The Hill We Climb” during the Jan. 20 Inauguration of President Biden and Vice President Harris, was the youngest person to do so. She was named the first National Youth Poet Laureate while studying sociology at Harvard University, where she graduated cum laude.  Prior to that, she was named Youth Poet Laureate of Los Angeles at the age of 16.  She has been invited to perform at the Obama White House, performed multiple commissioned poems for CBS This Morning, and was awarded a Genius Grant from OZY Media, as well as recognition from Scholastic Inc., YoungArts, the Webby Awards, and Glamour Magazine’s College Women of the Year Awards.  She has also written for the New York Times newsletter and Nike's 2020 Black History Month campaign.

Gorman delivered a new poem before an even larger swath of the country’s population during Sunday’s Superbowl pre-show.  Her inclusion marks a bold step forward for the same sports franchise that fired Colin Kaepernick in 2016 for kneeling in protest of police brutality during the National Anthem.   

In a recent Time interview with Michelle Obama, she told the former first lady: “We’re living in an important moment in Black art because we’re living in an important moment in Black life. Whether that’s looking at what it means politically to have an African-American president before Trump, or looking at what it means to have the Black Lives movement become the largest social movement in the United States.”