Kelsey Speaks

To arrange a speaking engagement, email  

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“Kelsey puts names, faces and compelling stories to the global economy.”

I connect students to the world and help you:

  • Empower students to think globally and act locally.
  • Engage students with their educationsand the world.
  • Help students see where they fit in as doers, learners, consumers, volunteers and glocals (local and global citizens).

(Teachers & professors you can get a free copy of Kelsey’s book Where Am I Wearing?: A Global Tour to the Countries, Factories, and People That Make Our Clothes HERE & learn about using Where Am I Wearing? in the classroom HERE or as a first year common reader HERE)

“Kelsey has the rare gift of being equally talented at getting the students to laugh and to think”

I’ve talked at high schools and college campuses around the country about the people who made my clothes, globalization, poverty, and, of course, underwear. Seven universities and one high school have even adapted “Where Am I Wearing?” as a common reader!

I enjoy interacting with students in any way I can, including Twitter, Facebook, Skype, or discussion boards like Blackboard. Of course, it’s always the most fun to visit in person.

There’s a raging debate on who I sound the most like: Joe Dirt or Matthew McConaughey. Invite me to speak to your group and decide for yourself.

What students and faculty are saying

Deb Burris (Director of First Year Experience / Chair Dept of Communication and Journalism, Pfeiffer University): “EXACTLY what we hoped for in a Freshman Reader.” (that’s Deb introducing Kelsey in the video above)

Martin Hughes (Professor, Calvin College): “…so relevant and interdisciplinary…we packed the auditorium. He really knows how to relate to today’s college students, and he gets them to reckon with important yet difficult issues perfect for a common reading program!”

Melody Loya (Professor, W. Texas A&M University): “Kelsey is relaxed engaging; approachable, available, and just plain fun. “

Alzada Tipton (VP of Academic Affairs Elmhurst College): “I’ve never attended a presentation that I enjoyed and respected more. An exceptionally effective blend of humor and humanity: Kelsey has the rare gift of being equally talented at getting the students to laugh and to think, and it’s very effective at reaching students where they are and getting them to take some steps down a path to where they could be. I really appreciate that Kelsey was willing to share with students his own college experience and to give them some advice…in a completely genuine and real way that made them take it much more seriously, I am sure, than all the advice droned at them by professors and administrators in the first two weeks of their college experience.

Robin Winkler (Granada Hills Charter High School, L.A.) The subject matter fits in perfectly with the AP Human Geography curriculum, it is the first book that the students really enjoyed reading…. It’s not easy finding an informative and relevant book that 14-year-olds will enjoy reading while they’re on summer vacation.  But every single one of them truly loved it and said they learned a lot.  They’d often refer back to it in class discussions throughout the year.

Kerry Raadt (Carleton College) Kelsey Timmerman gave a terrific presentation today at our weekly convocation, challenging the audience to think about the people and circumstances behind the clothes we wear and the food we eat, and to act responsibly. Prior to speaking, Kelsey made a point of visiting our Off Campus Studies Office and our Center for Community and Civic Engagement, taking time to get to know some of the people in those departments and learn about those programs. He also visited the college bookstore to see where the clothing products originated. Consequently, in his presentation he was able to make a real connection between his work and the students of Carleton College. It was clear that he made an impact.

Jacob Franchino (student Rutgers University): I really appreciated getting to see the personal side of this issue completely stripped of politics. Where Am I Wearing affected me in a personal way.

Hilary Broms (student, Monmouth College) : “ I do have it “made” and I have never once thought about who made it for me. It is crazy to think about where I am wearing.

Kasey Zapatka (student Point Loma University): It has truly influenced me and I wholeheartedly agree, that they are “no longer just clothes”.

Colleen Boyd (Professor of Anthropology, Ball State University): “…fills in blanks I could not, since it puts names, faces and compelling stories to the (global economy).

Bryce Sneed (student, Wingate University) – “I’m not a fan of reading but I just can’t seem to put this one down. I have come to realize that the struggle of what we Americans think is right and what people of other countries think is right is very hard.”

Kelsey Timmerman at Indiana University from Kelsey Timmerman on Vimeo.


Invite me to speak with your group
I’ve been speaking to students and groups across the country since 2009.

  • Rockford College Rockford, IL
  • Zionsville Library Zionsville, IN
  • Menlo High School Menlo Park, CA
  • Monmouth College Monmouth, Illinois
  • Anna Middle School Anna, OH
  • Amherst Library Author’s Lunch Amherst, OH
  • Manchester College Manchester, IN
  • Sweat Free Communities conference 2010 Tacoma, WA
  • Mt. Hood Community College Gresham, OR
  • Calvin College Grand Rapids, MI
  • Georgetown College Modern Day Slavery Conference Georgetown, KY
  • Indiana Campus Compact statewide conference Indianapolis, IN
  • San Pedro Sula University, San Pedro Sula, Honduras
  • Dakota Wesleyan University, Michell, SD
  • Wabash College, Crawfordsville, IN
  • Ashland University Ashland, OH
  • Centenary College Shreveport, LA
  • Texas A&M Texarkana Texarkana, TX
  • Jay County High School Portland, IN
  • Ball State University 2011 Summer Workshop Muncie, IN
  • Midwest Writers Workshop Muncie, IN
  • Miami University  “Ohio Writing Project” Oxford, OH
  • Tarleton State Stephensville, TX
  • Ball State University J-Day Muncie, IN
  • Ball State University Anthropology Department Muncie, IN Author’s Night Friends of the Library, Montage Cafe, Greenville, Ohio Stephens College Columbia, MO
  • St. Louis Community College at Meramec St. Louis, MO
  • University of California Channel Islands Camarillo, CA
  • Faces Behind the Label event Los Angeles, CA
  • Message in a Bottle Reading Series at Blue Bottle Cafe Muncie, IN
  • Indiana University Kelley School of Business Bloomington, IN
  • Earlham School of Religion Peace Forum Richmond, IN
  • Milton Union High School West Milton, OH
  • Berea College Berea, KY
  • Indiana State University’s “Human Right’s Day” Terra Haute, IN
  • Ball State University J-Day Muncie, IN
  • Arcanum Book Club Arcanum, OH
  • Ansonia High School Ansonia, OH
  • Social Media Presentation MVCTC Dayton, OH
  • Check the Label” symposium at Indian University Bloomington, IN
  • St Xavier High School Cincinnati, OH
  • Colorado State Pueblo, CO
  • Midwest Writers Workshop Muncie, IN
  • Ball State University Fashion Manufacturing Class Muncie, IN
  • West Texas A&M University Canyon, Texas
  • Miami University “Ohio Writing Project” Oxford, OH
  • Provocate Indianapolis, IN
  • Elmhurst College “Freshman Common Reader” Elmhurst, IL
  • Pfeiffer University “Freshman Common Reader”
  • Wingate University “Common Reader Author”
  • Marvin Ridge High School “Common Reader” Charlotte, NC
  • Piedmont Middle School Monroe, NC
  • Columbus Library Columbus, IN
  • Muskingum University New Concord, OH