EYE2EYE Series

Everyone enjoys a great storyteller. The EYE2EYE Series features individuals providing high-level insights on topics to inform, empower and challenge you. This inaugural series will take place on the Stage in a new destination called the BRIDGE. RSVP below.


  • FUBU: The Past, Present and Future of  US

    1:00 pm – 1:45 pm

    FUBU: The Past, Present and Future of US
    The FUBU founders will participate in a panel Discussion highlighting their new eyewear launch and the rise and success of their brand 

  • Award-winning  artist, actor, film producer, and poet

    5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

    Award-winning artist, actor, film producer, and poet
    Common will share his experiences of storytelling messaging and his passion for creativity in an inspirational and empowering conversation.


At the Podium

Hip-hop artist and Actor, Common is one Tony Award away from becoming an EGOT—Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony—winner. And that’s not counting his Golden Globe or any of the other numerous awards he’s won. Throughout his career he has used his art as a platform to change people’s perspectives, promote diverse narratives, and inspire people to movement. In an inspiring program, Common encourages audiences to weld action with compassion, to use every available platform to speak out on issues of importance, nurture the dreams of the next generation, overcome adversity, and most importantly to move forward in hope.


Common is an American hip hop recording artist, actor, film producer, poet and activist from Chicago, Illinois. He’s renowned for his roles in films such as “Selma,” “Barbershop” and “John Wick 2”; his lasting influence on hip-hop culture, and his recurring role in the Showtime series he and Lena Waithe executive produce, “The Chi.” He starred in a number of films in 2018 including the animated Warner Bros’ “Smallfoot” and the critically acclaimed Fox film “The Hate U Give.” Up next he will be seen in action film “The Informer,” “The Kitchen” with Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish and Elizabeth Moss and “Eve” opposite Jessica Chastain.

Born as Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr., he was raised in Chicago by his mother, a teacher, and stepfather. His debut 1992 album “Can I Borrow a Dollar?” garnered him a significant underground following into the late 1990s, after which he gained notable mainstream success through his work with the Soulquarians. In 2011, Common launched Think Common Entertainment, his own record label imprint, and has released music under various other labels such as Relativity, Geffen and GOOD Music, among others.

Common was nominated for an Oscar, a Grammy and NAACP Image Award for his song “Stand Up For Something,” which he co-wrote with Diane Warren. Throughout his career, he has been nominated 16 times for the Grammys, winning three as well as an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor for his work in “Selma.” Common won the 2015 Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song and the 2015 Academy Award for Best Original Song, for his song “Glory” from the 2014 film Selma, in which he co-starred as Civil Rights Movement leader James Bevel.

Common’s acting career also includes starring significant roles in the films Smokin’ Aces, Street Kings,American Gangster, Wanted, Terminator Salvation, Date Night, Just Wright, Happy Feet Two, New Year’s Eve and Run All Night. He starred as Elam Ferguson on the AMC western television series “Hell on Wheels” and has appeared in several episodes of Showtime’s hit drama “The Chi”, produced by his company Freedom Road Productions with his longtime manager Derek Dudley.

He is the creator of Common Ground Foundation, a non-profit that seeks to empower underprivileged youth to be strong citizens of the world. Common joined musician Andra Day in performing “Stand Up For Something” at the March For Our Lives anti-gun violence rally in Washington, D.C. He is also a part of the Recording Academy’s newly formed Diversity Task Force led by former First Lady Michelle Obama’s chief of staff Tina Tchen, created in the wake of complaints about a lack of female award winners at the 2018 Grammys.

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