Blackbaud Newsroom

Actor, Director and Educator LeVar Burton to Join the Mainstage at Blackbaud’s bbcon 2021 Virtual Conference

The Emmy® and Grammy® winner adds more star power to Blackbaud’s tech conference for a better world

Charleston, S.C. (August 11, 2021) — Blackbaud (NASDAQ: BLKB), the world’s leading cloud software company powering social good, today announced that LeVar Burton will join the mainstage at bbcon 2021 Virtual, the tech conference for a better world, happening Oct. 13–15 as a free event.

LeVar Burton Headshot“LeVar Burton has impacted our lives with his love for storytelling and knowledge for nearly four decades,” said Catherine LaCour, chief marketing officer, Blackbaud. “His passion for literacy and social good has been the foundation of his career, and I’m thrilled to welcome him to bbcon to share his wisdom and inspiration with our audience of changemakers.”

Burton is the beloved former host and executive producer of the PBS children’s series “Reading Rainbow®” and is a lifelong children’s literacy advocate. He is celebrated for his iconic role as Kunta Kinte in the acclaimed television miniseries “Roots” and also starred as Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge in the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” series.

Burton currently hosts his own podcast “LeVar Burton Reads” where he narrates short fiction; has a YouTube® series titled “This Is My Story,” which highlights racism in America; and premiered his own MasterClass™ on storytelling in June 2021. In response to a global campaign to nominate him, Burton recently served as a “Jeopardy!® guest host, using the platform to support his chosen charity, Reading is Fundamental®. 

Nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards, along with 27 Daytime Emmy nominations, Burton holds an impressive 21 wins. He is also a Spoken Word Grammy Award recipient (1999) for his narration of “The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.” In 2019, he was named the Inamori Ethics Prize winner for his global ethical leadership, advocating for children’s literacy, and AIDS research and treatment. Burton is also an outspoken supporter for people with myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs), which are types of blood cancer. 

Award-winning artist and activist Laura Dern will also join the bbcon mainstage for a keynote conversation. The conference, which currently has over 11,000 registrants, will include more than 100 informative sessions to provide social good professionals with tips, real-life success stories, thought leadership discussions and cutting-edge content. Sessions include content for all regions, role types and markets, including arts and cultural organizations, cause-based nonprofits, educational institutions, faith communities, healthcare organizations, foundations, corporate giving and more. 

For more information about bbcon 2021 Virtual and to register for free, visit

About Blackbaud
Blackbaud (NASDAQ: BLKB) is the world’s leading cloud software company powering social good. Serving the entire social good community—nonprofits, higher education institutions, K–12 schools, healthcare organizations, faith communities, arts and cultural organizations, foundations, companies and individual change agents—Blackbaud connects and empowers organizations to increase their impact through cloud software, services, expertise and data intelligence. The Blackbaud portfolio is tailored to the unique needs of vertical markets, with solutions for fundraising and CRM, marketing, advocacy, peer-to-peer fundraising, corporate social responsibility, school management, ticketing, grantmaking, financial management, payment processing and analytics. Serving the industry for four decades, Blackbaud is headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina, and has operations in the United States, Australia, Canada, Costa Rica and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

Media Inquiries 

Forward-looking Statements
Except for historical information, all of the statements, expectations, and assumptions contained in this news release are forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties, including statements regarding expected benefits of products and product features. Although Blackbaud attempts to be accurate in making these forward-looking statements, it is possible that future circumstances might differ from the assumptions on which such statements are based. In addition, other important factors that could cause results to differ materially include the following: general economic risks; uncertainty regarding increased business and renewals from existing customers; continued success in sales growth; management of integration of acquired companies and other risks associated with acquisitions; risks associated with successful implementation of multiple integrated software products; the ability to attract and retain key personnel; risks associated with management of growth; lengthy sales and implementation cycles, particularly in larger organization; technological changes that make our products and services less competitive; and the other risk factors set forth from time to time in the SEC filings for Blackbaud, copies of which are available free of charge at the SEC’s website at or upon request from Blackbaud’s investor relations department. All Blackbaud product names appearing herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of Blackbaud, Inc. The names of companies or products not owned by Blackbaud may be the trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.