Tag Archives: RootsTech 2021

RootsTech Connect 2021 Free Virtual Event – Just 3 Weeks Away: More Keynotes Announced!

I don’t share many press announcements, but February has arrived and RootsTech 2021 is just over 3 weeks away. More keynote speakers have been announced.

If you haven’t yet registered, there is still time and it is 100% free this year. Use the link at the end of the press release.

RootsTech Keynotes Include Grammy Winner, Pro Athletes and More

SALT LAKE CITY, UT—RootsTech Connect 2021, the world’s largest family celebration event, announces its final lineup of keynote speakers for this year’s free, global online event, on 25–27 February 2021. The latest keynote speakers include bless4, a talented vocal and dance group from Japan; Ladysmith Black Mambazo, a Grammy Award winning group of family and friends from South Africa; Tita, one of the best players in the history of Brazilian soccer; Tongan rugby star Will HopoateBruna Benites, captain of the Brazilian women’s soccer team in the 2012 Summer Olympics; and Astrid Tuminez, president of Utah Valley University. See RootsTech.org for more information or to register for this free event.


A brilliantly talented vocal and dance group from Japan, bless4 made their major debut in 2003 with “Good Morning! Mr. Sunshine.” Some of their hit songs include “Stitch Is Coming,” “Extra Magic Hour,” “Miiro,” “Let’s Have a PARTY,” and “Sousei no Aquarion.” Their documentary, The Entertainers, aired in more than 90 countries around the world, and their music is to be featured in the Ryukyu Anime Movie Tedashiro no Kamiuta.

Well-known for their singing, dancing, and performance abilities, the Kawamitsu siblings have continuously brought entertainment up to the next level. Eighteen years after their initial debut, they have performed across the globe and have continued to entertain audiences.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Formed by Joseph Shabalala in 1960 and composed of family and close friends, Ladysmith Black Mambazo has performed for more than 60 years. Singing in the Zulu styles of their South African homeland, Ladysmith Black Mambazo rose to prominence after collaborating with Paul Simon for the Graceland album. They have since won 5 Grammy Awards and have received nominations for many other awards.

The members of Ladysmith Black Mambazo were named “Cultural Ambassadors of South Africa” by former President Nelson Mandela. The group has traveled throughout the world, sharing their message of love, peace, and harmony.


Considered one of the best players in the history of Brazilian soccer, Milton Queiroz da Paixão, better known as Tita (pronounced “Chee-tah”), entered the professional league in the Flamengo club at age 18. Flamengo was the most popular team in Brazil at the time. Two years later, Tita was named to Brazil’s national team, an immense honor, and he participated in the 1990 World Cup.

During Tita’s fantastic soccer career, he played in Brazil, Germany, Italy, Mexico, and Guatemala. In his professional journey, Tita played with legends such as Zico, helped Bayer Leverkusen win its first cup, and supported the Flamengo team in its most successful season.

Will Hopoate

Will Hopoate began playing for the National Rugby League (NRL) of Australia when he was 18 years old, debuting with the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles. After a year, he paused his rugby career to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Following his 2 years of service, Will returned to the NRL as a member of the Parramatta Eels, and he currently plays fullback for the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.

His professional career has spanned 10 years. In 2019, he was named the Bulldogs Player of the Year for his current team.

Bruna Benites

Bruna Benites rose to prominence in 2012, when she represented her country as captain of the Brazilian national women’s soccer team at the London Olympics. Two years later, the team won the Conmebol Copa America Femenina, and 4 years later, she competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics. In June 2019, Bruna was hired by Sport Club Internacional, and in December 2020 the team won the prestigious Campeonato Gaúcho.

Bruna has inspired thousands as an incredibly powerful and encouraging soccer player. She has a degree in physiotherapy from the Universidade Catolica Dom Bosco in Campo Grande.

Dr. Astrid S. Tuminez

Dr. Astrid S. Tuminez is the seventh president and first full-time woman president of Utah Valley University. Raised in the slums of the Philippines by parents who encouraged learning, Tuminez’s pursuit of education brought her to the United States, where she graduated summa cum laude from Brigham Young University in 1986. She earned a master’s degree from Harvard University in 1988. In 1996, she earned a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has become a world leader in technology and political science, most recently serving as an Asia-Pacific executive at Microsoft. She is the former dean of research and assistant dean of executive education in the Lee Kuan Yew school of public policy at the National University of Singapore.

Other keynote speakers for the global event previously announced include Erick Avari, Francesco Lotoro, Diego Lugano, Sharon Leslie Morgan, Lorena Ochoa, Sunetra Sarker and Nick Vujicic.

Presenters will teach from international locations and every experience will be available in 11 languages at RootsTech.org. Watch any of the offerings live or save them to your playlist to view later on-demand.

The event is free, but registration is required at RootsTech.org.


RootsTech Connect 2021 Update: Keynotes

In normal times, right about now, I’d be sharing tips for packing and researching in Salt Lake City while attending RootsTech.

This year is unique for RootsTech 2021 as it is completely free to anyone in the world and it’s virtual. I’ve heard that so far 200,000+ attendees have registered!

Although I will miss the camaraderie of my fellow genealogists and friends and research time in the Family History Library, I am really looking forward to what might be the most exciting RootsTech conference ever. It will truly be a world event!

The RootsTech Connect 2021 keynote speakers are being announced and I recently received this press release:

More Inspiring RootsTech 2021 Keynote Speakers Announced

SALT LAKE CITY, UT–RootsTech Connect 2021—the world’s largest event celebrating family—announces a diverse group of keynote speakers, who hail from England, India, and Uruguay. Speakers include Erick Avari, an award-winning performer in music, opera, theater, and film; Uruguayan former professional footballer Diego Lugano; and a top BBC serial drama actress who first came to prominence as a teenager, Sunetra Sarker.

RootsTech Connect, to be held on 25–27 February 2021, is a free online conference to discover, share, and celebrate family and heritage connections.

Erick Avari, born in Darjeeling, West Bengal, India, is an Indian American television, film, and theater actor, writer, director and producer. 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. Avari has been a trailblazer for a generation of South Asian actors in Hollywood. As part of his fight against stereotypical casting, he has convincingly played more than two dozen ethnicities.

Diego Lugano is a Uruguayan former professional footballer (soccer player) for many clubs in South America and Europe. He played in 95 matches as a member of the Uruguayan soccer team from 2003 to –2014. In 2010 and 2014, he captained the Uruguayan squad in the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup. His career began at the Club Nacional de Fútbol of Canelones in 1999. During his career, he played for Plaza Colonia, Fenerbahçe S.K., Paris Saint Germain, Málaga, West Bromwich Albion, BK Häcken, Cerro Porteño of Paraguay, and São Paulo. He has supported many causes defending the rights of children. He is now the superintendent of Institutional Relations of São Paulo FC.

Sunetra Sarker is an award-winning actress born in Liverpool, England, to Hindu parents. Her first acting success came at age 15, when she was cast as Nisha Batra on the Channel 4 serial drama Brookside. Her career took off, and during the next three decades she acted in an array of television series, earning awards for her performances, including an award for Best TV character at the Asian Media Awards. During her career, she made time for school, graduating in IT and French from Brunel University. She is a member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), an independent charity to support, develop, and promote excellence in film, games, and television and creative talent in the United Kingdom and internationally.

Learn more and register for RootsTech Connect 2021 for free at RootsTech Connect 2021.

RootsTech 2021 Song Contest – Vote Now in Semifinals

Did you know that RootsTech 2021 is sponsoring a song contest? Judging is going on this very minute and the public can vote, too.

There are quite a few entries, divided into three categories – YOUTH, AMATEUR and PRO. You can choose a specific category or listen to all the entries. Category choices are found at the top of the voting page:

I’ve listened to a number of songs. They are diverse in style and sound – I really liked a lot of them. Choosing my favorites will be difficult.

Don’t miss out on your chance to help choose the winners of RootsTech 2021’s Song Contest.

Voting will close on 21 January 2021, so VOTE NOW!