Campus News

‘Humans of New York’ creator to replace James Franco in speakers series


Published April 19, 2017

headshot of Brandon Stanton

Brandon Stanton

Due to a professional conflict, James Franco will no longer be able to appear at UB on April 29 as part of the UB Distinguished Speakers Series.

“Humans of New York” creator Brandon Stanton will be the featured speaker.  The event date, time and location remain the same: 8 p.m. April 29 in Alumni Arena, North Campus.

Tickets issued for James Franco will be honored for Stanton’s program. Patrons do not need to obtain replacement tickets.

Ticket refund requests should be directed to the original point of sale (i.e., Alumni Arena Box Office, before 5 p.m. on April 28. Series subscribers should contact the Alumni Arena box office. Patrons who purchased tickets through Ticketmaster will receive a notice the week of April 17 with information on how to obtain a refund to their credit cards.

As founder of the street portrait blog “Humans of New York” (HONY), Stanton is referred to as a worldwide internet phenomenon and one of today’s most influential storytellers. HONY has amassed more than 17.7 million followers on Facebook and 6.8 million followers on Instagram.

Stanton’s gift for storytelling also has resulted in two bestselling books: “Humans of New York” (2013), which spent 45 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list, and “Humans of New York: Stories,” which shot to No. 1 on the Time’s bestseller list within two weeks of its October 2015 release.

At UB, he will candidly share his own personal story and the perspective he has gained since embarking on his journey to help others tell theirs.

After graduating with a degree in history, Stanton traded bonds in Chicago until he lost his job, which led him to move to New York. In 2010, he started “Humans of New York.”  

“The initial goal was to photograph 10,000 New Yorkers on the street and create an exhaustive catalogue of the city’s inhabitants,” Stanton says. “Somewhere along the way, I began to interview my subjects in addition to photographing them. And alongside their portraits, I’d include quotes and short stories from their lives.”

Taken together, these portraits and captions became the subject of a vibrant blog that now provides a worldwide audience with daily glimpses into the lives of strangers on the streets of New York City. Over the past five years, it also has expanded to feature stories from more than 20 different countries.

More information about the Distinguished Speakers Series, Brandon Stanton and ticketing is available at the series’ website.