South African Author and Illustrator Trevor Romain to Keynote ACM SIGGRAPH Diversity and Inclusion Summit at SIGGRAPH 2020

photo by Dina Douglass © 2019 ACM SIGGRAPH

As the SIGGRAPH 2020 conference has shifted to a virtual format, the third installment of ACM SIGGRAPH’s annual Diversity and Inclusion Summit has also gone virtual and welcomes best-selling children’s author and illustrator Trevor Romain as its keynote speaker. The Summit will span two days, from 22–23 August, after which all sessions will be permanently accessible via SIGGRAPH.org and the ACM SIGGRAPH Facebook page, courtesy of the ACM SIGGRAPH Diversity and Inclusion Committee. 

Romain, who serves as the president of the Trevor Romain Company based in Austin, TX, established a career spanning over 30 years as a successful children’s author and illustrator, and is featured in the award-winning “Comical Sense” PBS animated series. Today, he has sold over 1 million copies of his books, which are published in 22 languages. Previously, Romain served as the past president of the American Childhood Cancer Organization. He is known for his work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, United Nations, UNICEF, and the USO. 

“The ACM SIGGRAPH Diversity and Inclusion Committee is truly honored to have Trevor Romain keynote our third annual Diversity and Inclusion Summit during SIGGRAPH 2020. In honor of this year’s ‘Think Beyond’ theme, we are excited to engage in Trevor’s fresh perspective from South Africa, and spotlight the importance of inclusive storytelling from his life, career, and how it’s essential moving forward,” said ACM SIGGRAPH Diversity and Inclusion Committee Chair Tony Baylis, of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.  

For the keynote session, Romain will share his upbringing in South Africa, intentions from behind the scenes of creating “Comical Sense”, and the importance of inclusive storytelling, offering virtual participants a hopeful perspective on the future. Romain will also do a fireside conversation with Daniel Ramamoorthy on “Exploring Empathy & Creativity to Tell Inclusive Stories” on 23 August at 9:45 am PDT. 

Romain shared, “I am honored to present during ACM SIGGRAPH’s Diversity and Inclusion Summit at SIGGRAPH 2020 to discuss the importance of inclusive storytelling. The Trevor Romain Company creates materials designed to help kids to become happier, healthier, and more confident through a variety of resources. We are excited to share our work and the thinking behind our interactive communication strategies at the third annual Diversity and Inclusion Summit.” 

The Summit’s diverse programming also includes presentations from BuzzFeed Animation, Women in Animation, Google, Industrial Light & Magic, as well as discussions on the topics of Black Lives Matter, COVID-19, unconscious bias, homelessness, deafness, and working from home.

The ACM SIGGRAPH Diversity and Inclusion Summit keynote session will be streamed virtually on Saturday, 22 August, at noon CDT (1 pm EDT, 10 am PDT). Access to this keynote is available to the public through the ACM SIGGRAPH Facebook page. While this event is open to all, registration for SIGGRAPH 2020 is highly encouraged for access to even more great industry talks and presentations. You can sign up at s2020.SIGGRAPH.org/register.

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