Dr. Manuel Scott | Speaker, Author, Servant Leader - One of the Original Freedom Writers

Dr. Manuel Scott

Speaker, Author, Servant Leader - One of the Original Freedom Writers

Dr. Manuel Scott

Dr. Manny Scott is an inspiration to millions worldwide as an original Freedom Writer whose story is depicted, in part, in the hit movie, Freedom Writers. Despite a troubled upbringing and a seemingly hopeless future, Dr. Scott has overcome unimaginable obstacles and achieved incredible success. He has dedicated his life to helping others, traveling up to 300 days per year for over 20 years to inspire and empower educators, students, and leaders.

At just 16 years old, his life was hanging by a thread. Trapped in a cycle of poverty and violence, with a father in prison and a best friend brutally murdered, he felt that his future was bleak and hopeless. He dropped out of school, missed 60-90 days annually, lived in 26 different places, and felt like his life was spiraling out of control. He sat on a park bench, contemplating how to make others feel the depth of despair and anger he felt inside. He was headed down a path that would have destroyed him.

But then, he met several individuals who changed his life forever. They helped him to turn the page, and he returned to school, ending up in the back of Erin Gruwell’s English class, known worldwide as the Freedom Writers, portrayed in the hit movie. He became the first person in his family to graduate from high school, earn a Bachelor’s degree, a Master’s degree, and, most recently, a Ph.D in Intercultural Competence. Through hard work, perseverance, and the help of others, he is now living the life of his dreams. 

Through his tireless efforts, Dr. Scott has helped over two thousand schools and organizations improve student achievement, teacher efficacy, and intercultural competence. He has also helped to prevent thousands of suicides. He is the author of several best-selling books, including “Even on Your Worst Day You Can Be a Student’s Best Hope.” He is also a mentor, pilot, ordained minister, content creator, and one of the nation’s most sought-after education speakers.

When he is not on the road for work, Dr. Scott enjoys traveling, hiking, reading, writing, and spending quality time with his family. He and his family have visited 49 states and 6 continents. 

Dr. Manny Scott is truly a shining example of how, with hard work, perseverance, and the help of others, anyone can turn their life around and achieve their dreams.

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Becoming Interculturally Competent

Increase your organization's intercultural understanding, impact, and income.

Do you want to improve the cross-cultural understanding of your staff, and increase your company’s impact and income?

Or, are you unsure about how to meaningfully address your diverse workforce about the unrest in our country?

Or, would you like your employees to examine the impact of race on your company and society, and understand the role that racism plays in racial achievement gaps?

The world is quickly changing in population density, technology, travel, immigration patterns, racial/ethnic, political, socioeconomic, and religious diversity. These changes have created a world that requires us to regularly interact with co-workers and customers of different cultural origins—be they in our companies, our schools, next door, across town, or thousands of miles away.

Whether or not your company embraces these changes, they will continue to increase in both frequency and intensity, and grow in importance. Ignoring them can hurt your business.

Your company’s success depends on your employees’ ability to cultivate healthy cross-cultural relationships that are based on genuine, in-depth understandings of people who have perceptions, opinions, and attitudes different from their own.

To achieve those kinds of relationships, your employees must develop intercultural competence.

Intercultural Competence is the perception that a person has the motivation, understanding, and skills to speak and behave in ways that are effective (in achieving one’s goals) and appropriate (without violating the rules of the context in which the interaction takes place).

Intercultural Competence Involves 6 Key Components:
1. Perception: competence is not about what you do, but how you are perceived by others.

2. Motivation: competence depends on you having a properly oriented attitude.

3. Understanding: competence emerges from your understanding of yourself, of others, and of key processes of interaction.

4. Skills: competence is built upon on your ability to apply your motivation and understanding.

5. Effectiveness: competence flows from your ability to set context-informed goals.

6. Appropriateness: competence requires that you understand the rules and expectations of the world around you.

For the past 20 years, Manny has provided professional development on intercultural competence for nearly 2,000 organizations, corporations, and schools in 49 states. Also, he is completing his Ph.D. on Intercultural Communication Competence. Finally, he has African-American, Latino, and Irish heritage, which has given him a unique perspective about our multi-cultural world.

Becoming Interculturally Competent is a presentation in which Manny equips your staff to develop the attitude, understanding, and skills to behave and speak across cultural differences in effective and appropriate ways.

The Power of One

This message is so personal for me because when I was going through the most difficult moments of my life; when I was so sad that I used to cry myself to sleep at night, drenching my pillows (or the floors of homeless shelters) with tears and hoping that my eyes would not open the next morning; when I was in those dark places, it was loving adults—teachers, coaches, a lunch lady, an assistant principal, a man struggling with an addiction to drugs, and others— who, despite all that was wrong in the world, lovingly met me at my point of need and helped me overcome so many seemingly insurmountable obstacles in my life. They helped me go from being a high school dropout to the man I am today—living my dreams as an author, a husband, father, pilot, and public servant.

The Power of One Keynote: Manny shares how he went from a 0.6 GPA and a high school dropout to a Ph.D. student, husband, father, pilot, and public servant. This presentation reminds leaders that even on their worst days, they can be someone’s best hope.

How to R.E.A.C.H. Youth Today

We are in a new world, characterized by rapid changes in population density, technology, immigration patterns, ethnic, religious, economic, and political diversity. These changes have created a world that requires school employees to regularly interact with people of different cultural origins—be it in their classrooms, in schools, next door, across town, or thousands of miles away. Whether or not schools embrace these changes, these “conversations” will continue to increase in both frequency and intensity and grow in importance. In How to R.E.A.C.H. Youth Today, I equip school employees with the awareness, understandings, and skills to communicate across those differences, to reach across those divides, and to teach across those cultures.

How to REACH Youth Today Keynote/Seminar: By sharing very real, life-changing lessons Mr. Scott has learned from teachers and loving adults who helped him, and from the work he has been doing with kids for the last 18 years, he shows how to cultivate healthy relationships with students—and all youth, so that they can excel in school, and come out prepared for work and life. Learn how to transform our schools into safe, positive environments where all adults are equipped to REACH kids, and all kids are empowered to REACH their destinies. This is available as a keynote, half-day, or full-day option.

Customized Keynote Address

Mr. Scott offers customized keynote addresses for teacher in-service days, universities, conferences, graduations, and businesses.

Dr. Manuel Scott
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