Our Top 5 Moments from FRESH: Live

June 8, 2018

Written by Jackson Bird. 

This week we’re looking back on highlights from our first-ever conference, FRESH: Live. As the weeks go on, we’ll be sharing more of our favorite moments on social media–so make sure you’re following us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook! But for today, here are the top five moments we haven’t been able to stop thinking about.

If you were there, first, THANK YOU for making it such a special and energizing day. Second, if you have a few minutes, we’d love for you to fill out our survey to let us know what you liked, and what we can do better.


Real Good vs. Feel Good

We kicked off the day discussing “real good” versus “feel good” activism. Anand Giridharadas, Natalie Foster, and Mia Birdsong emphasized the need to look at root causes, not just band-aid solutions. Ignited by this framing, speakers throughout the day refused to hold back, letting loose harsh truths and innovative solutions.

Courtney Martin, Anand Giridharadas, Natalie Foster, and Mia Birdsong discuss “feel good” versus “real good” activism. Photo via

Honoring Our Ancestors

One unexpected theme that kept coming up was learning from our ancestors. From Queen Esther’s song about Cathay Williams, the first black woman to enlist in the U.S. Army, to Clifton Kinnie explaining his dedication to reading his ancestors and Elle Hearns sharing Marsha P. Johnson’s role in sparking Pride Month, the reverence for our ancestors was palpable.

Read a F*cking Book

Aminatou Sow reminded us of the importance of reading, saying, “when people tell you women don’t write it is a lie from the pits of hell.”

Tiffany Dufu interviews Aminatou Sow after her fiery talk.

Celebrating Women In Stem

Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya sat down to discuss inclusivity and art from their perspectives as women of color with Ph.D.’s working in the sciences. Amanda’s Beyond Curie series was also featured outside the theater all day for attendees to admire and learn from.

In Friendship and Revolution

Some of the most-tweeted about moments from the day came from bold, and needed, assertions about the revolutionary power of friendship.

Brittney Cooper dropping truth bombs. Photo via The Li.st.

We even created a virtual celebration of friendship on Twitter, with the help of this original art from the endlessly talented Wendy MacNaughton.

What were your top moments? Let us know by continuing to use the #FRESHLive hashtag on Twitter and Instagram – or by filling out the survey! For now, we’ll leave you with a synthesis of our final session of the day, courtesy of Aja:

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FRESH Speakers, Inc. is a next-generation speakers bureau, uniquely representing women and people of color--two groups historically left off the public stage. Our speakers range from business leaders to artists, scientists to athletes. They have given ground-breaking TED talks and written best-selling books, but, more importantly, their wisdom comes from real world, lived experiences. FRESH speakers routinely grace the world's biggest thought leadership stages, host nonprofit benefits, and keynote Fortune 100 corporate retreats, university lecture series, leading tech conferences, grassroots organizing convenings, and countless other venues, the world over.
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