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Clemantine is a storyteller and human rights advocate. 

She's committed to inspiring others through the power and art of storytelling. Her personal account of her childhood in Rwanda, displacement throughout war-torn countries, and experiences in various refugee camps have encouraged myriads of people to persevere despite great odds. With no formal education before the age of 13, Clemantine went on to graduate from Yale University with a BA in Comparative Literature.

Clemantine has been telling her story and speaking for over 10 years. She has been a four-time guest on The Oprah Show, and a speaker at the Forbes Summit and TEDx, as well as at numerous universities and distinguished organizations. In 2011, President Obama appointed her to the board of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, making her the youngest board member in the organization’s history. During her first year she was recognized for her dedication to improving the lives of others, especially the underserved, and she was reappointed in 2016. Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls organization recently described Clemantine as “a compelling storyteller and fierce advocate.” Her Medium article “Everything is Yours, Everything is Not Yours,”was called “superb and artful” by The New York Times. Her memoir, The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After, written in collaboration with Elizabeth Weil, will be released in April 2018 by Crown Publishers. She is currently devoting her time to building community in the Bay Area and around the world.


Clemantine’s life is a testament to the power of seized opportunities. She is committed to creating platforms that allow individuals from diverse demographic backgrounds to build relationships and exchange ideas. In this way, she challenges us to reexamine the way that we interact with one another in order to work towards our shared goal of improved equity in our communities.