New Keynote Announced with Creators of NBC News’ Southlake Podcast

SXSW EDU Keynote Announcement

Today we are announcing the final keynote for the SXSW EDU 2022 program, When Culture Wars Come to School.

This timely conversation focuses on the story of how an idyllic Texas city became a symbol of a new national reckoning over race and education as told in NBC News' Antonia Hylton and Mike Hixenbaugh’s #1 hit podcast, Southlake.

Hylton and Hixenbaugh will be joined by best-selling author George M. Johnson and school librarian Carolyn Foote to discuss the next front in the classroom culture war: The movement to ban books on race, sex, gender and sexuality.

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When Culture Wars Come to School

NBC News' Antonia Hylton & Mike Hixenbaugh’s #1 hit podcast, Southlake, tells the story of how an idyllic Texas city became a symbol of a new national reckoning over race & education. They've heard from parents & educators across the US who say the same thing is happening in their districts. The journalists will be joined by author George M. Johnson & school librarian Carolyn Foote to discuss the next front in the classroom culture war: The movement to ban books on race, sex, gender & sexuality.

Carolyn Foote – Carolyn Foote is a 39-year educator who is passionate about advocacy, library space design and technology. Winner of the AASL Library Collaboration Award and a White House Champion of Change for Connected Learning in 2013, she is a champion for intellectual freedom and is currently a member of the @Freadomfighters team, fighting for students, librarians and authors. She writes frequently for library and education magazines. Find her most recent work in Twenty Things to Do with a Computer (ed. Gary Stager) or on her blog Not So Distant Future (www.futura.edublogs.org)

Mike Hixenbaugh – Mike Hixenbaugh is a senior national investigative reporter for NBC News. Before joining NBC in 2019, he spent more than a decade at newspapers in North Carolina, Virginia and Texas, where his reporting exposed safety flaws in health care and the military, leading to reforms. In 2020, Mike reported on and hosted a chart-topping and award-winning podcast series, Do No Harm, offering rare access inside a system dedicated to spotting subtle signs of abuse, following families from the hospital room to the courtroom in their fight to keep their children. In 2021, Hixenbaugh co-hosted the #1 hit podcast, Southlake, with co-host Antonia Hylton. Southlake tells the story of how this idyllic city, and its local school board election, became the poster child for a new political strategy with national repercussions. The podcast hit #1 on the podcast charts and was named to numerous lists of the best new podcasts of 2021.

Antonia Hylton – Antonia Hylton is an NBC News correspondent. She is an Emmy award-winning journalist reporting at the intersection of politics, civil rights, and immigration across NBC News platforms. In 2021, Hylton co-hosted the #1 hit podcast, Southlake, with co-host Mike Hixenbaugh. Southlake tells the story of how this idyllic city, and its local school board election, became the poster child for a new political strategy with national repercussions. Southlake hit #1 on podcast charts. From 2016 to 2020, Antonia worked for Vice Media and HBO’s nightly news and documentary show, Vice News Tonight, and launched a podcast with Spotify focused on the 2020 Iowa Democratic caucus. Antonia has won several awards, including an Emmy for her development and reporting of an HBO special episode on the family separation crisis, a Gracie Award for her stories about women, a NAMIC Vision Award for reporting on violence and politics in Chicago, and two Front Page Awards for special reporting and breaking news.

George M. Johnson – George M. Johnson is an Award-Winning Black Non-Binary Writer, Author, and Activist located in the NYC area. George has written for major outlets including Teen Vogue, Entertainment Tonight, NBC, The Root, Buzzfeed, Essence, Ebony, THEM, and The Grio. They have also served as Guest Editor for BET.com’s Pride month. They were awarded the 2019 Salute to Excellence Award by the National Association of Black Journalists for their article “When Racism Anchors your Health" in Vice Magazine, and recently named to The Root 100 Most Influential African Americans in 2020. They are the author of the Bestselling Young Adult memoir All Boys Aren’t Blue discussing their adolescence growing up as a young Black Queer boy in New Jersey through a series of powerful essays. The book will also be translated into French, Spanish, and Portuguese, with a UK distribution set for 2021. George’s next memoir, We Are Not Broken, was released on September 7, 2021.

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SXSW EDU 2022 Keynote Speaker photos courtesy of the speakers. George M. Johnson photo by Vincent Marc.

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