RootsTech Connect has announced its final group of keynote speakers for its a free, virtual family history celebration Feb. 25-27.
According to a Feb. 1 press release, the following are slated to speak at the upcoming event:
- Astrid Tuminez, president of Utah Valley University and native Filipina
- Bless4, chorus and dance group from Japan
- LadySmith Black Mambazo, Zulu-style musical group from South Africa
- Tita, acclaimed Brazilian soccer player
- Will Hopoate, professional rugby league player from Australia
- Bruna Benites, soccer Olympian from Brazil
Astrid S. Tuminez was appointed the seventh president of UVU in 2018. Born in a farming village in the Philippine province of Iloilo, she holds a bachelor’s degree from BYU in international relations and Russian literature, a master’s degree from Harvard University in Soviet studies and a doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in political science.
Bless4 made its major debut in 2003 with “Good Morning! Mr. Sunshine.” Since then, some of their hit songs include “Stitch is Coming,” “Extra Magic Hour,” “Miiro,” “Let’s Have A PARTY,” and “Sousei no Aquarion.” The four Latter-day Saint siblings’ documentary “The Entertainers” aired in more than 90 countries around the world.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo was formed by Joseph Shabalala in 1960. The group rose to prominence after collaborating with Paul Simon on his “Graceland” album and have since won five Grammy Awards and received nominations for many others. They were named “Cultural Ambassadors of South Africa” by former president Nelson Mandela.
Tita, whose full name is Milton Queiroz da Paixao, entered the professional soccer league with Flamengo when he was just 18 years old. Two years later, he was named Brazil’s Soccer Selection and continued on to participate in the 1990 World Cup. From Brazil to Germany, Italy, Mexico and Guatemala, highlights of his professional journey include playing with legends like Zico, helping Bayer Leverkusen win its first cup and supporting Flamengo in their most successful season.
Will Hopoate began playing for the Professional Rugby League when he was 18 years old. He paused his rugby league career to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and later returned to Australia’s National Rugby League as a member of the Parramatta Eels. He currently plays fullback for the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. Most recently, he was named the “Bulldogs Player of the Year” in 2019.
Bruna Benites represented her country as captain of the Brazilian National Women’s Soccer Team at the London Olympics in 2012. Two years later, the Latter-day Saint won the CONMEBOL Copa América Femenina and went on to compete in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Sport Club Internacional hired Benites in June 2019, and in December 2020, she won the Campeonato Gaúcho.
Other keynote speakers for the global event include actor Erick Avari, actress Sunetra Sarker and soccer’s Diego Lugano (announced on Jan. 19), as well as genealogist Sharon Morgan, golf’s Lorena Ochoa, musician Francesco Lotoro and author Nick Vujicic (announced on Nov. 12).
For more information and to register for the free event, visit RootsTech.org.