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RootsTech Connect announces 3 more keynote speakers for virtual, global event

RootsTech Connect announces 3 more keynote speakers for virtual, global event

RootsTech Connect 2021 — a free, virtual family history celebration slated for Feb. 25-27 — has announced three additional keynote speakers.

A Jan. 19 press release stated that the following will speak at the spring event:

  • Erick Avari, an Indian American actor, writer, director and producer
  • Sunetra Sarker, an award-winning actress born in England to Hindu parents
  • Diego Lugano, a Uruguayan former professional footballer (soccer player)

Born in Darjeeling, West Bengal, Avari has been a trailblazer for a generation of South Asian actors in Hollywood. He has performed in grand opera, on and off Broadway, in regional theaters, and in Hollywood blockbuster films, hit TV series, and award-winning independent films such as “The Chosen.” He is best known for his roles in “Stargate,” “Independence Day,” “The Mummy,” “Daredevil,” “Planet of the Apes” and “Mr. Deeds” and has convincingly played more than two dozen ethnicities.  

Sarker’s first acting success came at age 15, playing Nisha Batra in Channel Four’s cult soap opera, “Brookside.” In the three decades since, she has become a member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and a stalwart of British television, appearing in regular roles in “No Angels” for Channel Four, “Informer” for BBC/Amazon Prime, “Safe House” for ITV and as Dr. Zoe Hanna in BBC One’s “Casualty” for nearly a decade. 

Nicknamed “Tota,” Lugano played for many clubs in South America and Europe, including Plaza Colonia, Club Nacional de Football, São Paulo, Fenerbahçe, Paris Saint-Germain, Malaga and West Bromwich Albion. He finished his career with a second spell at Brazilian club São Paulo, where he now works as an administrator. Lugano made 95 appearances for the Uruguay national team, captaining his country at two FIFA World Cups. 

On Jan. 11, RootsTech Connect announced Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Patricia Holland, will be the featured speakers at Family Discovery Day on Saturday, Feb. 27.

RootsTech Connect is attracting participants from around the world. For the first time in RootsTech’s 10-year history, classes will be completely virtual and offered in multiple languages. Presenters will teach from international locations. 

The global event announced the first four keynote speakers for the spring event in mid-November. Speakers include Nick Vujicic, a New York Times bestselling author and motivational speaker; Lorena Ochoa, a retired top female world golfer; Francesco Lotoro, musician and collector of music composed in captivity during the Holocaust; and Sharon Leslie Morgan, author and genealogist dedicated to African American genealogical research.

For more information and to register for the free event, visit

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