NAACP of Corvallis and Albany is proud to present our 2021 Juneteenth Keynote Speaker:
Lakayana Drury, Educator, Storyteller, Writer
Lakayana Drury is an educator, storyteller, and writer. He is the founder and executive director of Word is Bond, a nonprofit he formed in 2017 whose mission is to rewrite the narrative between young Black men and law enforcement. Lakayana has been featured on OPB's Think Out Loud Podcast and was recently named one of Portland Business Journal's Class of 2021 Forty Under 40.
Lakayana Drury was raised in Madison, Wisconsin by his hardworking mother and is the eldest of three children. He experienced adversity at an early age, most notably a learning disability diagnosis in sixth grade and the absence of his father for most of his adolescent years. He overcame those challenges and graduated from the University of Wisconsin Stout and went on to pursue a career as an elementary and high school teacher which lead him to Portland, OR.
Lakayana is of Sudanese and Irish ancestry and has done considerable work exploring his biracial identity, particularly his African roots. His lived experience drives his passion for culturally-grounded education, mentorship, Black masculinity, community investment in Black communities, and reimagining community safety.
Lakayana serves on the Portland Committee on Community-Engaged Policing (PCCEP), is a member of the Black Male Achievement Steering Committee, and is co-founder of the Black Millennial Movement. Outside of education and community organizing, Lakayana is a poet and currently working on a poetry memoir.