Liz Witbeck is a social activist, public speaker and author. She grew up in the Adirondack Mountain region of Upstate New York. Her family lived in extreme poverty, and received welfare: food stamps, Section 8, HEAP, free school lunch, Medicaid, and disability benefits. Her family survived on less than $900 in government money each month. Liz moved to more than 30 places in her childhood and adolescence, and eventually was placed into foster care.

She comes from a large, interracial family. Several of her family members were born before interracial marriage was legal in the United States.

Liz was the first person in her family to go to college. She received her Bachelor of Arts from William Smith College, and a Master’s Degree in Education Leadership and Administration from California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo. Virtually zero percent of former foster children receive a master’s degree.

Today, Liz is deeply devoted to the principles of nonviolence and civil disobedience, set forth by other great historic leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi. She is an advocate for people living in poverty. She has dedicated her life to working with people who come from low-income and minority backgrounds. She travels the country speaking about being a first-generation college student, and helping teenagers from marginalized communities gain admission into colleges and universities.