FORT WAYNE—Clifton L. Taulbert, a Pulitzer-nominated writer and filmmaker and a Voice of the Community for CNN at the turn of the millennium, is scheduled to speak at the University of Saint Francis (USF) in two sessions on Feb. 11 at the USF Performing Arts Center, 431 W. Berry St.
Taulbert was born and attended school in the Mississippi Delta during the era of legal segregation. He has served as a guest professor at Harvard University and the United States Air Force Academy and was part of the team introducing Stairmaster Exercise System to the world. He could have failed, he has said, without the community of unselfish adults in his life.
He is a principal, president and CEO of two companies: The Building Community Institute and Roots Java Coffee, a national African American owned coffee brand. As founder and president of the Building Community Institute, a human capital development company, he has delivered leadership and culture change training internationally, from NATO in Brussels to many of the continental congresses in Central America, as well as Lockheed Martin, Bank of America, the United States Department of Defense and K-12 school systems around the world.
He captured the attention of the literary world with his first book, “Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored,” which became a highly acclaimed major motion picture. It also sparked the subsequent 12 books, including the Pulitzer-nominated “The Last Train North” and the award-winning “Eight Habits of the Heart,” which garnered him an invitation from former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor to address members of the court and their guests. Taulbert’s seven-year literary effort will continue in February with his 13th book, “The Invitation.”
He is a trustee for the University of Tulsa, a director of ONB Bank, a board member of the Tulsa Historical Society, the Tulsa Area Salvation Army, the Washington-based Character Education Partnership and the Natchez Film and Literary Festival, and on the advisory board of the Eudora Welty Foundation.
He has received recognition from the Library of Congress, the Richard Wright Literary Award, the Jewish Humanitarian Award of the Year, induction into the Enlisted Airman Hall of Fame and international Sales and Marketing Institute and the NAACP award for contribution to African American literature.
As a noted keynote speaker, he asks listeners to imagine possibilities, as he brings to life stories from his books and the unselfishness of the ordinary people who populated his childhood world.
Session one for community leaders will begin with a continental breakfast from 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. After a welcome from USF President Sister M. Elise Kriss, OSF, Taulbert is scheduled to take the podium until 9:45 a.m., speaking on the topic “Building Community: A Transforming Process.” Registration is at 8habitslecture-community.eventbrite.com.
Session two for high school and college students and community guests is scheduled for 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and include a welcome from Keith Busse School of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership Dean Robert Lee and Taulbert’s lecture, “Entrepreneurial Thinking: The Winning Business Strategy.” Registration is at entrepreneurialthinkinglecture.eventbrite.com. Guests can purchase Taulbert’s books at a signing event beginning at 2:45 p.m.