Popular Ted Talk speaker, author and futurist Mark Gonzales addressed an all School assembly on Tuesday, October 30th, in the aftermath of a week of hate-crime killings and bomb threats. Standing at the podium, with a photo of his two young daughters on the screen behind him, Gonzales shared his personal story of growing up Mexican in Alaska and wrestling with a culture that said “you don’t belong here.” Embarking on a physical and spiritual journey that has taken him across the globe and back, he describes himself as a futurist and father, creating a world of possibility through storytelling. “Storytelling is the only technology I know of,” says Gonzales, “that can place an emotion into another human being.”
As a futurist. Gonzales has worked with multiple start-ups, the United Nations and local communities to design new ways of thinking about communication, change and technology. He recently helped launch EmbraceLA—a citywide community conversation on race that took place around dinner tables across LA’s boroughs and was sponsored by the Mayor’s office. His illustrated children’s book, “Yo Soy Muslim” (I am Muslim) is an ode to his daughters about celebrating their mixed Latino, Native and Muslim identities.
Hopkins students also had an opportunity to meet with Gonzales in several smaller settings on campus including two question and answer sessions in the Weissman room, an English class and an informal lunch with students representing a variety of clubs.