Emily Pilloton-Lam

A designer, builder, and lifelong lover of power tools, Emily Pilloton-Lam inspires girls and gender-expansive youth of color to pursue their own visions for a more equitable future. As founder and Executive Director of Girls Garage, Emily teaches carpentry, welding, architecture, and activist art to cohorts of youth who put these skills to work on pro bono construction projects for their community.

Emily’s taught at Stanford University and UC Berkeley, spoken on the TED stage (while building a toolbox in real time!), and is the author of three books including Girls Garage: How To Use Any Tool, Tackle Any Project, and Build The World You Want To See. When she isn’t covered in sawdust, Emily is making the rounds on The Today Show and hanging with The Colbert Report. Bring her to your design conference, feminist salon, or university lecture series to remind audiences that it’s not just talking heads, but dedicated hands, that remake the world.

People were so moved and so inspired by Emily’s keynote. Her presentation was perfectly pitched, her delivery was flawless and her approachability filled the room. I can’t thank Emily enough for delivering our closing keynote and for making the entire conference so very much better than we had hoped and expected.
-Annette DeFaveri, Executive Director of the British Columbia Library Association


I want to walk on sidewalks, cross bridges, and enter buildings that I know were raised by a community of builders that represents us all. I want to live in a world built by women, and I mean that in the most literal sense
-Emily Pilloton-Lam
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