News Release

Additional Keynote Speakers Announced for RootsTech Connect

Virtual family history event to be held in February

Several additional keynote speakers have been announced for RootsTech Connect, a virtual family history event that will be held February 25–27, 2021.

RootsTech Connect, hosted by FamilySearch, will be entirely online and completely free for the first time. Registration is open for what is considered the world's largest family celebration event.


The newly announced speakers include Erick Avari, Sunetra Sarker and Diego Lugano.

Erick Avari

Erick Avari, born in Darjeeling, West Bengal, India, is an Indian American television, film, and theater actor, writer, director and producer. Avari has performed in major opera productions, on- and off-Broadway, in regional theaters, and in Hollywood blockbuster movies, award-winning independent films and hit TV series 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.

Sunetra Sarker

Sunetra Sarker is an award-winning actress born to Hindu parents in Liverpool, England. Sarker’s first acting success came at age 15 when she was cast as Nisha Batra on the Channel Four 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 Best TV Character at the 2019 Asian Media Awards for the role of Kaneez Paracha in Channel Four’s Ackley Bridge. During her career, she made time for school, earning degrees in Information Systems and French from Brunel University London. She is a member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, whose aim is to support, develop and promote excellence in film, games and television and nurture creative talent in the United Kingdom and internationally.

Diego Lugano

Diego Alfredo Lugano Morena is a former professional footballer from Uruguay who played as a central defender. Nicknamed “Tota,” Lugano played for many clubs in South America and Europe, including Plaza Colonia, Club Nacional de Football, São Paulo, Fenerbahçe, Paris Saint-Germain, Malaga and West Bromwich Albion, before finishing his career with a second spell at Brazilian club São Paulo, where he now works as an administrator. Lugano made 95 appearances for the Uruguay national team, captaining his country at two FIFA World Cups. He was named best captain at the 2010 tournament. Lugano is married to Karina Roncio and has three children: Nicolás, Thiago and Bianca.

Other keynote speakers for the global event include Lorena Ochoa, Francesco Lotoro, Sharon Leslie Morgan and Nick Vujicic.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and his wife, Patricia, will be the featured speakers on February 27 at this year’s Family Discovery Day, part of RootsTech Connect.

Visit for additional information or to register for this year’s virtual event.

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