Speakers Donald Miller and Rev Run.

Donald Miller

thumb-dmillerDonald Miller, 36, is the bestselling author of Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality; Searching for God Knows What; To Own a Dragon; Through Painted Deserts; and most recently, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life. His candid, often hilarious writing on life, faith and meaning has attracted a devoted cult following.

Miller grew up in Houston, the only boy in a family of women. His father took off when he was two. He examines how his father’s absence shaped his life in his book, To Own a Dragon, offering the benefit of his experience to other young men growing up without fathers. After writing this piece, Miller launched The Mentoring Project to provide support for single mothers and mentors for fatherless children.

Miller’s writing often tackles what it means to be human; the deceptive messages of American consumer culture; redemption; doubt; and community. He finds spiritual insights everywhere from nature documentaries to Romeo and Juliet. His ability to use his life, friends, and foibles to illuminate universal questions has invited comparisons to Anne Lamott as well as to Douglas Coupland and David Sedaris.

A sought-after speaker, Don has delivered lectures to a wide-range of audiences including the Women of Faith Conference, the Veritas Forum at Harvard University and the Veritas Forum at Cal Poly. In 2008, Don was asked to deliver the closing prayer on Monday night at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado.

Rev Run

thumb-revrunRecognized as a hip-hop pioneer, Rev Run is best known for being one-third of the legendary rap group Run-D.M.C. The group formed in 1983 in Hollis, Queens, and has sold more than 30 million albums and scored several hits. Members Run, D.M.C. and Jam Master Jay left an indelible mark on the hip-hop genre. But when Jay was murdered in 2002, Run and D.M.C. retired the group.

In 2005, Rev Run rose from the ashes and welcomed MTV into his home, where TV audiences have truly gotten to know him and his family while filming the hit show, Run’s House. There have been plenty of laughs – and even a few tears – as fans have watched Run and his clan navigate through the perils of sibling rivalry, birthday parties, video games, tattoos and everything in between.

Rev Run became a born-again preacher in the early 1990’s and has used his influence to promote messages of healthy yet realistic marriage and family life. He is also the author of Take Back Your Family: A Challenge to America¡¦s Parents, along with his wife, Justine Simmons and Chris Morrow.

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