Meet Dr. Amanda Kemp

Dr. Amanda Kemp blends activism and spirituality, theatre arts and history.

A survivor of the New York City foster care system, Dr. Kemp has been a lifelong poet-performer and advocate of justice. As a student at Stanford University, she was a leader in student movements to divest from South Africa and to press the university to revamp Eurocentric curriculum requirements. 

Since her college years, she has  worked with the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the Honorable Maxine Waters, and Niyonu Spann, and won numerous community awards.

As an artist, she has shared the stage and/or created with Danny Glover, August Wilson, Sonia Sanchez, Toni Morrison, George Wolfe, and Amiri Baraka. In 2007, she founded Theatre for Transformation to dramatize stories from African American history. 

Dr. Kemp is a scholar and author.

With a doctorate in race and performance from Northwestern University, she taught college students at Cornell University, Dickinson College, and Franklin and Marshall College. Now a Visiting Scholar at Franklin & Marshall, Dr. Kemp is also the bestselling author of Stop Being Afraid! 5 Steps to Transform your Conversations about Racism, and Say the Wrong Thing, a collection of personal essays about racial justice and compassion.

Dr. Kemp is a racial justice coach and mindfulness mentor.

Drawing on her academic study of race, her teaching experience, and life lessons in an interracial blended family, Dr. Kemp created Racial Justice from the H.E.A.R.T., a system that that builds skill and capacity of compassionate change makers, facilitators, and coaches worldwide.

A Master teacher, Dr. Kemp has helped over 25,000 people have open-hearted conversations, consciously use their power and practice compassion to cultivate racial justice and authentic community.

"Many of us want to do good, but we’re so afraid to say the wrong thing that we don’t say anything. Meanwhile many people of color who do speak up get exhausted. I teach people of all races how to feed their spirits and have joy while they stand for racial justice so they’re not exhausted or scared."

She has been featured on PBS, WITF, WGAL, LCTV, and is a frequent speaker and performer at educational institutions, including Stanford, Berkeley, NYU, Swarthmore, Haverford, Franklin & Marshall and many others.

She has addressed regional, national and international gatherings of people of faith in the Quaker, Unitarian-Universalist, and African Methodist Episcopal traditions.

Her TedX Talk: How to Lean in to Difficult Conversations about Race has been used by conflict and resolution, sociology, and psychology classes at both the high school and college levels.

Quick Facts about Dr. Amanda Kemp
  • Stanford (A.B.)
  • Northwestern (PhD)
professor & teaching experience
  • Cornell
  • Dickinson
  • Franklin & Marshall
  • Racial Justice from the H.E.A.R.T.
  • Theatre for Transformation
  • John Gardner Fellowship, Stanford University
  • People United To Save Humanity (PUSH) Award
  • Racial Justice Award, YWCA of Lancaster
  • NAACP Lancaster Civic Award
  • Penn Council on the Arts
  • Penn Humanities Council Award
  • National Endowment for the Humanities
  • Ford Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellowship
Connect with Amanda!

Amanda is available for speaking, workshops, performances, and book signings.

She is also available for mentoring and conversations on the issues!


Dr. Amanda Kemp

Racial Justice and Mindfulness Mentor


Recent articles, thoughts, and writings from the heart and mind of Dr. Kemp


Sights and Sounds from my heart


Engage your team, your school, and your community


My heart on paper


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