Opening General Session

Thursday, November 16
8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m., ET
Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, East/West Ballroom

Sponsored by Presence Learning

Watch the recording of the Opening General Session and some of the highlights from Sekou Andrews's incredible keynote speech!

The Opening General Session kicks off the ASHA Convention! This popular event brings everyone together to celebrate the speech, language, and hearing professional community and celebrates our 2023 theme, “Igniting Innovation.” You'll be welcomed by ASHA President Robert Augustine, who will update everyone about the Association’s activities and accomplishments and share his insights on the theme. Then, Convention Co-Chairs Kelly Farquharson and Jennifer Simpson will offer a preview of what’s in store for you in Boston this year—including special sessions, new events, and other highlights. Finally, we will welcome a special guest Sekou Andrews as keynote speaker.

Sekou Andrews

Sekou Andrews is a two-time national poetry slam champion, musician, entrepreneur, and a former 5th grade teacher turned inspirational speaker. Having pursued acting and hip-hop performance while growing up, he eventually found his way to poetry after working in several law firms and teaching elementary school. He was passionate about being a poet and began to pursue poetry as his primary endeavor, knowing that he could elevate the medium to create impact and reach audiences.

Now, Sekou Andrews is a sought-after speaker who often gives keynotes at events ranging from leadership conferences to Fortune 500 companies and has even performed for Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Maya Angelou, Hillary Clinton, and Quincy Jones. He has also shared the stage with well-known musicians such as Stevie Wonder, Jay-Z, Carlos Santana, Kendrick Lamar, and Maroon 5.

With his trademark Poetic Voice speaking style, Mr. Andrews seamlessly fuses inspirational speaking with spoken word poetry to make messages more moving and memorable. He often speaks on topics such as “DIY innovation,” the ways that each of us have an innovator within us, and how that inspires outward innovation and happiness. His unconventional, positivity-infused Poetic Voice performance will captivate and uplift you—and get you fired up about your innovation potential.

The Opening General Session jumpstarts the ASHA Convention and will get you energized and enthused about the next 3 days. Join us on Thursday morning!

P.S. Arrive early to enjoy a few laughs with speech-language pathologist and comedian Anthony Koutsoftas, who will share some humorous takes on the professions as you find your seat and get settled.

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About ASHA

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for members and affiliates who are audiologists; speech-language pathologists; speech, language, and hearing scientists; audiology and speech-language pathology assistants; and students.

About the Convention

The ASHA Convention is one of the largest professional development events for audiologists; speech-language pathologists; speech, language, and hearing scientists; and speech-language pathology and audiology assistants. Bringing together approximately 15,000 attendees, the annual Convention offers more than 2,500 sessions eligible for ASHA continuing education credit covering the latest research, clinical skills, and techniques in communication sciences and disorders.

Contact Us

For inquiries about the ASHA Convention: convention@asha.org

The ASHA Action Center welcomes questions and requests for information from members and non-members.

Available 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. ET
Monday–Friday

Members: 800-498-2071
Non-Member: 800-638-8255

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