Distinguished Lecture Series (DLS)


The Distinguished Lecture Series and Geek Week present

LeVar Burton

From Roots to Reading Rainbow: The Power of Stories

Wednesday, February 24, 2016 | 7pm

UWM Union Wisconsin Room, 2200 E. Kenwood Blvd. (2nd level)


  • FREE for UWM Students with ID – distribution begins 1/25
  • Advance tickets available for purchase starting 2/1
    • $8 Non-UWM Students
    • $10 Campus Community
    • $12 General Public
  • Door tickets
    • $10 Non-UWM Students
    • $12 Campus Community
    • $14 General Public

An acclaimed actor, producer and writer, recognized globally for his commitment to promoting literacy, LeVar Burton has been entertaining, LeVar Burtoneducating and inspiring audiences around the world for four decades.

Burton rose to fame at 19, when he was cast in the groundbreaking role of Kunta Kinte in the landmark TV series, Roots. He achieved further global acclaim as Chief Engineer Geordi La Forge in the iconic Star Trek: The Next Generation TV series and films. From 1983-2009, Burton served as host and executive producer of the beloved PBS children’s series Reading Rainbow, one of the longest running and most acclaimed children’s television shows in history, earning over 200 awards, including multiple Emmys and a Peabody.

Dedicated to improving children’s education through innovative uses of storytelling, Burton adapted the Reading Rainbow platform for current technology in 2012, and it has since become the number one educational app on iTunes. In 2014, Burton’s effort to bring Reading Rainbow to classrooms in need made history as the most popular Kickstarter campaign ever, with over 105,000 backers and $6.4 million raised.

The winner of 12 Emmy Awards, a Grammy and five NAACP Awards, Burton has notably influenced numerous generations. In honor of Geek Week and Black History Month, Burton will speak about his remarkable 40-year career, the mentors who influenced him (Alex Haley, Gene Roddenberry and Fred Rogers), his passion for education and why he believes that storytelling is a powerful tool for learning, connecting and creating change.

*Tickets available at the Union Information Center or by calling 414.229.4825. Free tickets for UWM students with ID may be picked up starting 1/25; all others may purchase tickets starting 2/1.

For more information, contact Student Involvement: 414.229.5780 / csidesk@uwm.edu. Sponsored by UWM Student Involvement, Geek Culture Corp., and Sociocultural Programming.