Book Andrew for a Speaking Engagement



In this keynote, educational entrepreneur and creator of the nationally renowned Books Behind Bars program inspires the audience with riveting storytelling about the connective power of literature and how it can translate directly into social activism. Andrew conveys how to create social change by respecting the dignity of every human being, no matter what walk of life they may come from. When we, as a society, see the humanity in one another, we will be able to break down barriers, challenge harmful stereotypes, and create a community of greater empathy that can bring an end to the era of mass incarceration. Moving beyond the status quo requires bold, unorthodox thinking—something Andrew Kaufman knows about after having spent a decade building one of the country’s most innovative service-learning programs that brings together incarcerated youth and university students. This keynote offers a unique and inspiring take on how we can all do our part to make social change and combat mass incarceration.


In our fast-changing and unpredictable globalized world, teachers, college professors, and administrators alike are thinking hard about how best to equip students for the challenging world they’re about to enter. In this inspirational and entertaining keynote, Andrew Kaufman—educational entrepreneur, literature professor, and creator of the renowned Books Behind Bars program—reveals the five critical skills every high-school and college students must learn in order to succeed, lead, and make a positive impact on their world in the twenty-fist century: creativity, empathy, collaboration, self-reflection, and resilience. Kaufman draws on powerful examples from his own Books Behind Bars program, which international education expert Ken Bain calls “one of the most brilliant and highly effective examples of service-learning and learning by doing I’ve encountered,” and has been featured on The Today Show, NPR, Katie Couric and the Washington Post. Books Behind Bars is also the subject of a feature documentary film, Seats At The Table, which  aired nationally on PBS and has been viewed in classrooms and prisons across the country.


“We invited Dr. Andy Kaufman to speak at our annual company party where our theme was Make Love not War. A gifted speaker, Andy was able to bring Tolstoy’s fascinating life story alive with real and relevant applications to our everyday personal and business interactions. Using equal parts wit and wisdom, Andy was both entertaining and edifying. We wholeheartedly recommend him for your organization’s next gathering.”
–Co-Founder and President, Eenhoorn, LLC

“Andrew Kaufman is, quite simply, the most entertaining, inspiring, and powerful speaker we’ve ever had. Although there were almost 300 in the audience, he had a knack for putting his audience at ease and communicating intimately with everyone, from senior executives to assembly line workers. And he left us with significant takeaways that were directly applicable to our business and personal lives. People left completely energized and mentioned they’d love to him back, that it was the fastest hour and they could’ve listened to him a lot longer. I highly recommend this uniquely talented speaker and performer for your next corporate event. You won’t regret it.”
–Tammy Guiles, Vice President and CFO, Amstore Corporation

“Andrew Kaufman is one of those rare speakers whose erudition challenges the mind and enlarges the heart, inviting listeners into a conversation with the ages and with themselves. Articulate, illuminating, eloquent. Cicero says that speech should inform and delight—Kaufman does both with consummate skill.”
–Todd Breyfogle, PhD, Director of Seminars, The Aspen Institute


Book Andrew for a Speaking Engagement