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Two things will carry over from South by Southwest 2020 into SXSW 2021: the festival will remain virtual and the guests will be VIPs.


SXSW announced on Tuesday that none other than talk show host and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey herself, joined by Dr. Bruce Perry, will kick off SXSW Edu as keynote speakers. The pair will speak in a session titled "Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Bruce Perry In Conversation" at 9:30 a.m. March 9.

Joining forces at SXSW Edu, a portion of the festival that focuses on "learning and discovery for all education stakeholders," Winfrey and Perry will discuss their upcoming book, "What Happened to You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing," which will be released in April.

Though Winfrey is a household name, Perry made a name for himself as a psychiatrist and expert in brain development and trauma. In addition to running the Neurosequential Network, he is also a senior fellow of the ChildTrauma Academy in Houston, Texas, and an adjunct professor at Northwestern University.

Winfrey said she experienced a fundamental shift the first time she heard Perry speak about trauma-informed education.

"I knew I wanted to learn more, study more, and share his work with as many people as I could," Winfrey said. "I look forward to our conversation at SXSW Edu with educators who understand the long-term impact of addressing trauma from this lens."

SXSW Edu will be held virtually from March 9-11; you can find more information here.


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