Montel Williams was my dinner partner at Dell’s event honoring the members of our #Inspire 100 list of world changers in entrepreneurship, philanthropy, education and media who were in town for this week’s Sundance Film Festival. I grew up with Montel in my living room, so you’d think I’d know what he’s up to. Not so much. We were seated together to discuss his new projects in online content, but instead I learned that his great passion is advocating for veterans’ benefits both on Capitol Hill and through his support of the Fisher House Foundation, which provides housing for the families of hospitalized veterans.
Also joining us at Park City’s Everest Mansion were Inspire 100 honorees Jesse Williams and André Des Rochers, who talked about their inspirations during a Google+ Hangout moderated by Dell’s Jennifer J. Davis. Williams, who is promoting his upcoming short film “They Die By Dawn,” talked about how his love of school has inspired him to work to keep at-risk kids in the classroom. Williams’ multimedia art piece Question Bridge: Black Males is moving into schools this year and launching a web site that will go live this summer. Des Rochers talked about the satisfaction he’s had in moving from corporate law to using his talents to enable artists. Turns out he’s one himself; he just shot a film called “Lorraine.”
On my left at dinner were Catherine Kimmel and Emily Greener of I Am That Girl, an online community whose purpose is “to inspire girls to discover their innate worth and purpose.” More about the site and the other attendees (but no less repetition of the word “inspire”) in my next post.