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Stacey Abrams announced as keynote for SXSW Online 2021

The festival made other big-name announcements on Thursday.

AUSTIN, Texas — Georgia politician and voting rights activist Stacey Abrams has been announced as a keynote speaker for this year’s South by Southwest (SXS) Online festival.

SXSW said Abrams will appear as part of a conversation with “The City We Became” author N.K. Jemisin.

SXSW, which will run from March 16 to 20, has gone virtual this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The festival was one of the first major events canceled in Austin last year as coronavirus cases began to spread across the U.S.

Other featured speakers SXSW has announced include Elizabeth Banks, Melinda Gates, Lori Gottlieb, Bill Hader, Amy Klobuchar, Desus Nice and the Kid Mero, Alexis Ohanian and Amber Ruffin.

RELATED: Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Bruce Perry to deliver opening keynote of virtual SXSW EDU

Also announced on Thursday, filmmaker James Cameron will be speaking at the 2021 event about the making of Disney+ documentary “Secrets of the Whales” with National Geographic photographer Brian Skerry.

Another festival conversation will feature singer Carole King with Sony Music Publishing executive Jon Platt.

Talking about Starz show “Power,” Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Mary J. Blige, Cliff “Method Man” Smith, Michael Rainey Jr., Mekai Curtis, Patina Miller and Joseph Sikora will all be part of the festival.

“We're truly excited about the remarkable range of creative talent and innovators that we've announced today as part of SXSW Online,” SXSW chief programming officer Hugh Forrest said in a statement. “In the 30-plus years of SXSW, we’ve showcased so many incredible voices who have shown tremendous courage and leadership, which is why we're excited to add Nobel Peace Prize nominee Stacey Abrams as a keynote for 2021. Moreover, her conversation with science fiction writer N.K. Jemisin taps into the kind of creative energy that only happens at SXSW.”

For more information on the festival, visit the SXSW website.


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