Princess Sarah Culberson was adopted one year after her first birthday by a loving, white West Virginia couple and raised in the United States with little knowledge of her ancestry.
In 2004 Sarah took the journey to Sierra Leone to meet her birth father and family and discovered she was considered a mahaloi, the child of a Paramount Chief, with the status of a princess. After going to Sierra Leone and seeing the aftermath of an 11 year civil war she co-founded Sierra Leone Rising, a non-profit to support the community. Sarah shared her inspiring story in a book she co-authored titled, "A Princess Found". Her story has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, BBC radio, LA Times, Singapore News and many other media outlets. Her passion for education does not stop with Sierra Leone; as Director of Outreach at the Oakwood School in Los Angeles, Sarah works daily with middle and high school students.
Princess Sarah travels around the world speaking on diversity and inclusion, empowerment, leadership. She focuses on building a better community and culture both in and outside the workplace.
Princess Found: You Are More Than Your Title
Raised in West Virginia by her adopted parents, Sarah Culberson had little knowledge of her ancestry. She grew up in a loving, white household, but she had questions about her identity and biracial roots that led her to hire a private investigator. When she began her unforgettable journey to find her family, she never imagined what she would discover or how it would change her life: she was related to African royalty. Her biological grandfather is the Paramount Chief of a village in Sierra Leone, West Africa and Sarah is considered a Mahaloi, with the status of a princess.
Princess Sarah takes an audience on her journey from princess to humanitarian. She shares that everyone has to earn their title, whether it's that of being a mother, a company leader, or new team hires. The title alone does not give a person success. Sarah's talk focuses on core values that attendees can use personally and professionally:
• Build a community and culture
• Embrace diversity and inclusion
• Overcome your fears to live your dreams
From a dancer to princess, to humanitarian (where she co-founded a non profit, Sierra Leone Rising, to support rebuilding education, public health, and female empowerment), to being an educator (as director of Outreach at the Oakwood School in LA), Princess Sarah uses warmth and humor in her keynote to provide a unique experience filled with stories, images, art, and above all, kindness.
The result of her keynote is a challenge, to all attendees, to make their own discovery of self identity and transformation.
Diversity and Inclusion Program: Take Action and Transform
Princess Sarah’s program is more than an inspiring story of discovering her roots of becoming a princess. Sarah works with organizations to customize a message that is right for them.
Sarah has over 10 years+ of working with corporate and education groups on developing successful D&I programs as well as how to have conversations.
With Sarah’s program, groups will learn:
• How to listen to each other, even when you don’t agree
• How to create empathy
• Understand Intersectionality more
Princess Sarah uses her personal experience as an adopted child growing up in a bi-racial family, as well as understanding a whole new culture when she discovered that she was a real-life princess. Along with real personal examples, Sarah provides actionable takeaways based on the needs of the organization.