Meet Our {un}convention Keynote Speaker: Latoya Dixon Smith

Meet Latoya Dixon Smith!

To say we are excited to have Latoya as our keynote speaker for {un}convention on Sunday, November 5th at Quirk Hotel in Richmond, Virginia, would be an understatement. This woman is a powerhouse and we knew right away after meeting her last year at {un}convention that she would be a long time friend to Catalyst. 

Latoya is someone who wears many different hats, but wears them all flawlessly. She is a mechanical engineer, photographer, mother, and leader of The Queen Photographers, a community for women of color photographers based in South Carolina. Latoya and co-founder Sierra Collins organized The Queen Photographers in Greenville back in 2015 and quickly expanded with local chapters in North Carolina and Georgia. 

The Queen Photographers

The Queen Photographers

Since it's founding, Latoya has been focused on how to best serve her community, and the lessons she has learned can relate to anyone working to serve underrepresented people. Her keynote talk will focus on what she has learned in this process, how wedding vendors and other creatives can apply these lessons to their work, and how intersectionality plays a role.

In an earlier interview we conducted with Latoya, she told us why intersectionality was so important to her:

"My flavor of feminism is very much intersectional, which is why I use the terms together. There are so many factors from my upbringing that contribute to that: from having a mother who showed me that Black women are incredibly resilient no matter what we face, to having a father, born of another country, teach me how to be diplomatic and respect different cultures, to learning how to love people who were just simply different from myself in any way. We each have our own story to tell. It doesn't always sound the same, and it doesn't always come from a familiar face or voice. Having my own voice diminished has taught me to never overlook anyone or take anyone's unique story for granted. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi's TED talk, "The Danger of a Single Story" sums up how I try to view the world, by rejecting a single story and listening to more stories that I'm unfamiliar with."

Join us at {un}convention to hang with Latoya and learn from her experiences!


View more of Latoya's Work on Catalyst: