The Top 75 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Speakers
- By Brendan Egan
- Jun 15, 2022
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) all involve differences between people, and for some, those differences can be isolating and bring about shame. It shouldn't and that's the goal of DEI speakers. DEI speakers have been there and have first-hand experience to share with the audience. Audiences gain insight through the speaker’s personal accounts of real-life struggles and steps taken to push past those life experiences to become a champion for change.
When you book DEI speakers, know that they strive to promote the message their target audience needs to hear. Whether you’re looking to improve teamwork and communication between a diverse workforce or want to provide an in-depth look at the effects of racism in a sociology class, these speakers create a speech that delivers a message that captures the audience’s attention and won’t be forgotten.
How do you choose the right diversity, equality, and inclusion speaker for your company, team, school, association, or non-profit? It’s a personal choice that only you can make, but our guide to the top 75 DEI speakers helps get you started.
His father’s a legend, as is his mother, Coretta Scott King, both civil rights leaders. Martin Luther King III is continuing his father’s and mother’s legacies for promoting equality and bringing about change. He’s an American Baptist minister, spokesperson, and activist. His message is strong and resonates with audiences as it’s realistic. If you could treat your neighbor kindly for a day, why can’t that extend to weeks and years? Why can’t people treat others as they’d want to be treated, simply by being kind and respectful, no matter what you look like or what you believe in?
2. Michael Oher
In 2009, Michael Oher became a first-round pick for the Baltimore Ravens and eventually played for the Ravens, Titans, and Panthers before leaving the sport due to head injuries. He’s the subject of the best-selling novel,The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game, and the Oscar-winning movie The Blind Side, starring Sandra Bullock. His passion for football didn’t diminish, even if his personal life and experiences forced him to live on the streets when he wasn’t being bounced from one foster home to another. His education suffered until the Tuohy family took him in and changed his life. Most recently, he’s the creator of a charity app, Good Deeds, that connects people with donations.
Since going public with her transition in 2018, race car driver Charlie Martin has become the world’s first out-trans racer in the 24 Hours of Nürburgring. She’s helping bring awareness to the transgender, leading to the creation of equality, diversity, and inclusivity committees in Motorsport UK and Racing Pride. The journey to her transition was long. She knew from a young age, but it wouldn’t be until 2012 that she began her transition. She was expecting to lose friends, but she was surprised by how many of her friends and family members were accepting and happy for her. Her powerful message of embracing change, even if it scares you, is amazing.
4. Jade Simmons
Jade Simmons was first runner-up in the 2000 Miss America pageant and holds a bachelor’s in music from Northwestern University. She’s played piano at the White House and ran for president in 2020. She also happens to be the daughter of Jerome Smalls, a Civil Rights activist. While she is a world-renowned pianist, she’s also an acclaimed public speaker, focusing on how to bring about change in a world filled with diversity and inequity.
5. Jake Olson
As a toddler, Jake Olson lost sight in his left eye. By the time he was 12, he’d had cancer in his right eye eight times, leading to permanent blindness. Most kids would be ready to give up, but Jake turned it into a life-changing experience when USC Trojans’ Coach Pete Carroll offered Jake a place on his favorite team. This positioned him for a role as the first blind college football long snapper. He’s been a motivational speaker since high school, and he’s the founder of Out of Sight Faith, a foundation that provides blind children with technology.
6. Dethra Giles
One of the first things Dethra (pronounced DEE-truh) Giles admits to is that her path to success has been long and winding. She experienced the same things so many of us experience (self-doubt and second-guessing yourself sound familiar?) and others that only some experience (racism and discrimination). Those obstacles only made her stronger and turned her into the success she is as the “Chief Bridge Architect'' that helps transform companies.
If you witness an act of injustice, what do you do? Dr. Omekongo Dibinga hopes to inspire people to stand up and take action. He’s a motivational speaker, university professor, rapper, talk show host, and poet. He’s an UPStander and author of the book The Upstander’s Guide to an Outstanding Life, which covers the seven steps that people must practice to take care of themselves in order to enact change around them.
As the founder and CEO of ActOne, a workforce solutions and temporary staffing agency, Janice Bryant Howroyd’s story may surprise you. She launched her business with just $1,500. Of that money, $900 was loaned to her by her mom. Today, ActOne is in 19 countries and has almost 20,000 employees and clients. Her message of overcoming adversity to becoming a powerful businesswoman is powerful and one that audiences don’t want to miss.
Kyle Pease was diagnosed with Spastic Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy as a child, making it hard for him to participate in sports the way that his brothers did. When Kyle watched an IRONMAN competition with his brother Brent, he asked if a person in a wheelchair can compete in one. Brent and Kyle worked hard to compete in their first IRONMAN and have gone on to compete in dozens of others. They fought hard to get to compete in the 2018 IRONMAN World Championships in Hawaii, putting themselves in the history books as the first pair of brothers to ever enter this Kona triathlon.
After receiving a BA in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley and an MBA from Wharton School of Business, Lori Nishura Mackenzie has shared her expertise and experience with companies like Apple, eBay, and PayPal. Her role as a keynote speaker has brought her to audiences around the world. She co-founded the Stanford Vmware Women’s Leadership Innovation Lab and is the lead strategist for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Stanford Graduate School of Business. She works hard to bring diversity and inclusion to classrooms and helps agencies and corporations bring about change in the workplace.
11. Dr. Corey Yeager
He’s the psychotherapist for the Detroit Pistons, and Dr. Corey Yeager holds a Ph.D. in Family Social Science. He specializes in African American relationships and bringing about meaningful change through honest conversations and defining clear roles within a relationship and strives to bring about much-needed, honest conversations about race and racism. In addition to his work with the NBA, he’s also done work for The Smithsonian Institution and The Oprah Winfrey Network. He’s an excellent choice to talk about equity and inclusion.
12. Kellie McElhaney
You may have seen Kellie McElhaney’s TEDxPresidio talk about corporate social responsibility. She’s a Distinguished Teaching Fellow and the Founding Director of the Center for Equity, Gender, and Inclusion at the Haas School of Business. She’s also the founder of the Center for Responsible Business. Book Kellie for your presentation or event and have her talk about being your most authentic self by following her ABCD’s of Me.
13. Shawn Conrad
Some may know Shawn Conrad as the rapper on the English dub version of One Piece. This is just one of many hats. He’s also a Champion Rapper contest winner, having won the New Music Seminar’s Battle for World Supremacy. He’s a talented audio mixer for everything from King of the Hill to Yu-Gi-Oh. He’s a voice-over artist, actor, and post-production sound expert. He’s also an energetic, charismatic DEI speaker who audiences say gets into their hearts and makes them feel like best friends by the end of the event.
14. Liz Kleinrock
She’s been an AmeriCorps teacher and gained an M.Ed from UCLA. Liz Kleinrock taught first through fourth grades for seven years in California before moving to Washington DC where she teaches middle schoolers. She’s the author of Start Here, Start Now: A Guide to AntiBias and AntiRacist Work in Your School Community. She specializes in talking about racism, bias, and equity to youth, but she’s just as comfortable talking to businesses and organizations.
15. Anthony Frasier
Anthony Frasier is the founder and CEO of ABF Creative, an award-winning podcast and production company that seamlessly blends media and culture. He’s an established, successful entrepreneur with more than a decade’s experience in the tech industry. His expertise is in blending data with storytelling in ways that reach across ages and cultures. His rise from the streets to the heart of Silicon Valley makes him a popular speaker with SXSW, TEDx, and so many others.
16. Celeste Headlee
Describing herself as “a light-skinned Black Jew,” Celeste Headless has been talking about race since a young age. She’s had a lengthy career in journalism, winning two awards from the Michigan AP. She’s co-host of the weekly PBS series Retro Report. Not only can she hold engaging conversations about race and communication skills, but she’s also experienced discrimination and harassment in the workplace, making her a well-rounded choice as a keynote speaker.
17. Samantha Karlin
Samantha Karlin is the CEO of Empower Global, a company that arranges trainings and keynote speeches on diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as women’s empowerment. She’s also the host of her own talk show, Samanthropolitics, which raises awareness of global issues. Her talks are customized for the audience she’s speaking to and both enlighten and inspire.
18. Mikki Kendall
She’s the author of Hood Feminism: Notes From the Women That a Movement Forgot, as well as a graphic novel Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists: A Graphic History of Women’s Fight for Their Rights . Mikki Kendall is also an Army veteran and worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs before leaving her position to focus on a full-time writing career. She’s an exceptional DEI speaker who’s appeared on BBC, The Daily Show, Good Morning America, PBS, and several others.
19. Eric LeGrand
His debut with Rutgers took place on September 11, 2008, and within a year, his coach would see his true skills and move him to defensive lineman. Eric LeGrand would get 33 tackles in his first year as a defensive lineman. A spinal cord injury in 2010 ended his college football career and led doctors to tell his mom it would be very unlikely that he’d walk about, but it wouldn’t be the end of his story. He put everything into his therapy sessions and was able to stand up using a metal frame. Eric continued his studies, aiming to become a sports announcer and motivational speaker with plenty to say about overcoming adversity.
Shane Burcaw was born with a neuromuscular disease, spinal muscular atrophy, that led to him requiring a wheelchair from the age of two. When Hannah saw him in a documentary produced by actor Rainn Wilson, she was intrigued and started communicating with him by email. Soon, the pair were in love and married in 2020. Their interabled marriage is the focal point of the YouTube channel Squirmy and Grubs. People, especially online, often have cruel or offensive things to say about their relationship, but this couple is here to share that a disability isn’t a negative or mean that one is less equal than another.
21. Kimberly Clay
Dr. Kimberly Clay holds a Ph.D. in Health Education and Promotion from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. It’s this knowledge that led to her founding Play Like a Girl, a non-profit organization that shows girls that the skills they learn playing sports can help them land amazing careers in male-dominated STEM fields. She’s a recognized keynote speaker who strives to bring equality to the workplace.
22. Nikki Lainer
As the CEO of Harper Slade (A Racial Equity Advisory Firm), it’s not surprising that Nikki Lanier’s specialty as a keynote speaker surrounds diversity, equality, and inclusion. She’s especially skilled in cross-functional, multicultural skill building both in the workplace and in other areas like government agencies and colleges.
23. Jared Milrad
Jared Milrad is an award-winning director, having won for “Outstanding Cinematography” for his short film Distance. He’s also the founder of Civic Legal Corps and holds several awards for public service and leadership. He’s worked in The White House for President Obama and is an engaging public speaker. He’s a great choice for leading discussions about inclusion and social change.
24. Cassandra Worthy
Stressed and discontented after a corporate acquisition, Cassandra Worthy almost walked away from her job. She realized that this would just bring another Black woman out of a male-dominated STEM job. Instead, she embraced her feelings and used them as fuel to change. This led to her career helping companies switch up the “change as usual” and use that change to grow and evolve. Her book Change Enthusiasm: How to Harness the Power of Emotion for Leadership and Success shares the lessons she’s learned.
25. Erik Weihenmayer
Erik Weinhenmayer lost his vision at 14. He refused to let his blindness keep him from living life to the fullest. As a high school wrestler, he competed in the National Junior Freestyle Wrestling Championship. It was a braille newsletter that led him to discover rock climbing, which is how he ended up as the first blind person to reach the top of Mount Everest. He’s gone on to scale the highest mountain on each continent, a feat known as the Seven Summits. All of this has led to him co-founding No Barriers, a mission to help people overcome challenges and embrace a full, rich life.
At 22, Brandon Farbstein has already inspired millions. He was born with metatropic dysplasia, an extremely rare form of dwarfish, and turned a life of isolation and bullying into one that brings about change and inclusivity. He helped get two Virginia laws passed, one of which requires emotional intelligence and empathy to be taught in classrooms. He’s the author of two books, including A Kids book About Self-Love. He’s an amazing speaker when it comes to embracing diversity, throwing out biases, and being inclusive.
27. Dale Moss
Dale Moss is a professional football player and former contestant on The Bachelorette. As the son of an interracial couple, he’s faced plenty of adversity. He’s also experienced his sister’s disability, leading to his role as a global ambassador for the Special Olympics. He talks with ease and understanding about diversity and prides himself in giving a voice to the marginalized.
28. Lisa Bloom
Called “Wonder Woman” by a former client, Lisa Bloom is an attorney and former legal analyst on TV. Her mother, Gloria Allred, is a noted Civil Rights attorney, and that’s shaped Lisa’s role as a staunch supporter of victims’ rights. Much of her work has been well-publicized, as she’s represented women in very high-profile sexual harassment allegations. Her work in the legal field keeps her busy, but she’s also an author, including Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World , and has been found in the heart of protests for equality.
29. Dr. Yvonne Cagle
Dr. Yvonne Cagle holds a doctor of medicine and gained certification in Aerospace Medicine at Brooks Air Force Base in Texas. She spent two years at NASA’s Occupational Health Clinic and was chosen for NASA’s astronaut training program in 1996. While she never went into space, she’s still on the NASA Management Astronauts' active list. She’s one of a handful of African-American female astronauts. Her talks embrace her experiences being a doctor and NASA astronaut and are unforgettable experiences.
30. Dr. Jen Welter
Dr. Jen Welter broke into a male-dominated field and became the first female NFL coach, a role she took in 2015 as the Arizona Cardinals’ linebackers’ coach. She’s also a defensive specialist for the Alliance of American Football. She’s been called a trailblazer in pro football, and even became the first woman to play in a men’s professional football league when she played with the Texas Revolution. She champions getting more girls in the sport through her GRRRidiron Flag Football Camp.
31. Chad Foster
Chad Foster lost his sight in his 20s. This didn’t stop him from graduating from the Harvard Business School leadership program; in fact, he was the first blind person to accomplish this. He landed a job at Red Hat, the world’s first open-source software company. Creating customer relationship software for the visually impaired is another of his impressive firsts. He travels the world talking about powering through challenges and never letting his disability stop him.
32. Kate Fagan
Her books set the stage for the topics Kate Fagan is comfortable discussing in front of an audience. The Reappearing Act: Coming Out as Gay on a College Basketball Team Led by Born-Again Christians . She’s also the author of What Made Maddy Run, a story about an athlete who committed suicide and that touches on the pressures that social media places on young women.
33. Rochelle Gapere
Rochelle Gapere is known as “The Happiness Coach.” She’s the author of One Happy Thought at a Time: 30 Days to a Happier You. Her vivacious personality and enthusiasm for embracing life and the people around you make her a popular DEI speaker.
34. Clinton Yates
The Undefeated is ESPN’s website on the blend of race, culture, and sports. Clinton Yates is one of the founders of this website. He created the Black History Always podcast and appears regularly on ESPN Radio, WTOP News Radio, and television. On topics like inclusivity and diversity in sports, he’s an engaging speaker.
35. Brendan Jordan
You may have seen Brendan Jordan dancing to Lady Gaga’s Applause during a live news broadcast. If not, he later appeared on The Queen Latifah Show. He’s a trained mental health advocate, model, and influencer. He modeled for American Apparel and used that platform to raise awareness of the LGBTQ community. Book him to talk about gender identity, LGBTQ, and inclusion.
36. Jeremy Poincenot
Jeremy Poincenot began to lose his eyesight at 19. He was found to have a rare, incurable genetic disorder. While he could have let this get him down, he decided to stand up and use this challenge to grow. His dad supported him and they competed together in the 2010 World Blind Golf Championship, a tournament they’d end up winning. He uses his experiences to share a message that it’s your choice to overcome adversity and that positivity can help you overcome hurdles.
37. Amy Trask
She went to school to practice law, and that led to her internship with the Los Angeles Raiders. After passing the bar exam, she practiced law for a couple of years before returning to the Raiders where she became the team’s CEO until 2013. She’s a sports analyst for CBS and has a book, You Negotiate Like a Girl, about her experience as CEO.
Jen Bricker-Bauer was abandoned at the hospital after she was born without legs. The family that adopted her made it clear that the word “can’t” would not be a word she’d use. She became a state champion in power tumbling. She’s an acrobat and aerialist who has toured with Britney Spears. She wrote the best-selling novel Everything Is Possible and speaks to all she’s accomplished with her life, including the discovery that her favorite gymnast, Dominique Moceanu, was her biological sister.
39. Ryan Harris
Ryan Harris played in the NFL for 10 years before numerous injuries and nine surgeries pushed him into retirement. He wrote Mindset for Mastery: An NFL Champion’s Guide to Reaching Your Greatness to provide encouragement for overcoming self-doubt, learning how to respond to failure, and celebrating successes, even small ones. He’s a practicing Muslim working to bring change to the world through positivity and education.
40. Darnell Nurse
With a family that is fully embedded in the world of sports, it’s probably not surprising that Darnell Nurse followed in his family’s footsteps. His dad played in the Canadian Football League and his mom played college basketball. His sister is in the WNBA and Donovan McNabb, the former NFL quarterback, is his uncle. Darnell plays for the Edmonton Oilers and also spends time speaking to audiences about team building and diversity.
41. Adam Bremen
Since childhood, Adam Bremen’s required an electric wheelchair to get around. Despite this, he’s always kept his eye on the things he can accomplish. When his weight increased to 230 pounds, he realized it was time to change. He didn’t enjoy how his extra weight made him feel. He signed up for water aerobics and changed to a Keto diet, but that diet had a downside. He found himself needing snacks between meals that were Keto-friendly, but nothing tasted good. He created the Keto Krisp and founded CanDo, an agency that is all about empowerment and inspiration.
42. Lavinia Osbourne
Empowering women is Lavinia Osbourne’s goal. As the founder and director of Butterfly Wealth Creation, she’s been promoting financial wellness for a decade. She’s also the founder and host of Women in Blockchain Talks, an award-winning educational, networking platform. Her talks are designed to inspire and educate women to be the best they can be in work, life, and financially.
43. Ssanyu Lukoma
She was barely a teenager when Ssanyu Lukoma founded Brown Kids Read, Inc. The non-profit encourages and motivates children, particularly children of color, to diversify and read more literature. She created an online bookstore, wrote the book Subbi’s Sunny Smile, and hosts The Book Junkie podcast to promote reading. She’s also a broadcaster, public speaker, and Junior Advisory Board member for KiDz HuB Media Network. Her talks cover diversity, equity, and inclusion, bullying, and being a teenage entrepreneur.
44. Jose Rolon
Overcoming tragedy is powerful enough, but Jose Rolon is one of NYC’s top wedding planners and a father of three. When his husband died unexpectedly, Jose had a son to raise and twin girls who were on the way. He couldn’t imagine raising three children on his own, yet he realized he needed the support of his friends, family, and community. When the pandemic hit, TikTok became a platform to ease stress, keep his business afloat, and break up the day. Those TikToks became a hit and helped him find new support systems by showing Latino men can be emotional and that being a parent is tough. His challenges helped him become an amazing speaker for overcoming challenges, asking for help, and tearing down walls.
45. Eddie Reynolds
Eddie Reynolds is a leader in video security and is the founder and CEO of a CCTV lighting company, Illuminar. Illuminar partners with companies like Digital Watchdog, Johnson Controls, and Sony. That’s her job, but she’s also a board member for International Amitofo Charity Center, a non-profit organization that creates family communities and schools for orphans in Africa and Asia. Her speeches embrace inclusion, diversity, and equality in all aspects of daily life.
46. Heather Avis
The Lucky Few is an organization founded by Down syndrome advocate Heather Avis to help create a kind, inclusive world for everyone. Her work as a Down syndrome advocate also led to The Lucky Few Podcast, a weekly podcast that’s all about Down syndrome. Heather is also a best-selling author of the children’s book Different – A Great Thing to Be. Her inspirational message about inclusion and how being “different” benefits everyone is an enriching one to hear.
47. Wema Hoover
“We are limitless.” That’s the message Wema Hoover shares with her audience. Her goal is to help everyone see their worth and be who they are, no matter what biases or stereotypes they’ve learned as children and adults. She’s a popular DEI speaker and one that approaches her speeches with enthusiasm and honesty.
The way Brandi G Robinson describes herself is refreshing. We can all relate to her passion for gummy bears, dogs, Netflix, and being a foodie. There’s so much more to her, however. She’s written a 10-volume children’s book series, Ebony and Ella, that covers abuse, trauma, gender identity, and change. This self-described “Inspirational Bad Ass” can talk about every aspect of diversity, equity, and inclusion in ways that the audience relates to.
Inc . named Sharmi Albrechtsen to its Female Founders 100 list thanks to her role as the founder and CEO of Smartgurlz, a tech company that develops programmable robots for girls who are interested in STEM and computer science skills. Right as the company was ready to ship orders, the pandemic hit. A new normal was born amid adversity, and she moved her idea to online learning to ensure girls still had the chance to earn the STEM skills they desired, even if they couldn’t leave their homes.
50. Ivy Watts
It’s not always easy to recognize mental health issues, and that’s exactly what NCAA Woman of the Year finalist Ivy Watts shares as a mental health empowerment speaker. She may have seemed poised and confident to others, but inside she was experiencing depression, anxiety, and low self-worth. She shares her experiences in her blog Beautifully Simply You and through her talks on not hiding how you feel, practicing mental wellness, and loving who you are.
51. Anne Harbison
Anne Harbison is a consultant and coach who teaches how to take difficult situations and use them to grow. She started her career at Procter & Gamble in Brand Management and moved into management consulting from there. When the pandemic hit, she was in the midst of writing Never Waste a Crisis, she realized that COVID was a great example of how people can learn and grow through the new obstacles they faced.
52. Bea Kim
Who is your champion? Do you even know what a champion is? This is the person who listens to everything you have to say and helps you achieve your goals. Bea Kim is a champion. She helps people realize the changes they want to make in their jobs, their lives, their families, and their health. Through her talks, you can learn to overcome adversity and embrace a new, desirable future. She’s helped people from Adobe, American Express, Facebook, Google, and your organization, school, or company could be next.
53. Anthony Trucks
Anthony Trucks is the author of Identity Shift: Upgrade How You Operate to Elevate Your Life. He’s an American Ninja Warrior and former NFL player. When he was just three, he entered the foster care system. While the odds for failure seemed stacked against him, he fought challenges and applied himself to become a success. At 25, he was set to play for the Steelers, only a shoulder injury ended his career before it began. He turned that loss into an opportunity and opened a gym. It was good while it lasted, but it wasn’t the huge success he hoped for. This was the “a-ha” moment he needed. He needed to shift into the person he wanted to be.
With an energy that the audience can’t ignore, Dr. Shawn Andrews masters the balance of empowering her audience and getting them to put her words into action and start making changes. It’s her approach, The Rhythm of Diversity & Inclusion, that has helped dozens of corporations develop exceptional leadership skills and positive company cultures. She’s an outstanding keynote speaker on topics like unconscious bias, gender bias, emotional intelligence, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.
55. Aundrea DeMille
People who claim they’ve never hurt another aren’t being honest with themselves. Unconscious bias exists from a young age and leads to a cycle of hurting others, even if it’s inadvertently. Aundrea DeMille shares stories to help the audience learn how to have hard conversations while controlling thoughts to develop a gathering, workplace, or classroom that’s inclusive.
56. Dr. Liz Wilson
Dr. Liz Wilson’s experiences seeing the effects of discrimination on a loved one brought her to where she is today. She holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Culture and Behavior, and she uses her education and experiences to help others see the value and benefit of embracing others’ differences. She does this through her specific approach, “The 8 Specific Needs of All People.” She’s just as happy talking about diversity, inclusion, and equity to a small group of listeners as she is to a packed venue.
57. Najwa Zebian
She’s written three best-selling books, including Sparks of Phoenix, which delves into how this survivor of abuse became a powerhouse speaker, writer, teacher, and healer. At the age of 16, Najwa Zebian left Lebanon with her family during the 2006 war and moved to Canada. She grew up bullied and experienced sexual harassment. She uses her experiences with gender discrimination and religious harassment to share her messages of loving yourself for who you are.
58. Mariana Atencio
Venezuelan-born, Mariana Atencio emigrated to the U.S. in 2008 after receiving a scholarship from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She became a U.S. citizen in 2020. She’s won several awards for reporting, including the Gracie Award from the Alliance for Women in Media, and was nominated for two Emmy Awards for her interviews with migrant mothers during family separations at the Mexico-U.S. border. She’s also the first Latina correspondent for MSNBC and NBC. She advocates for children with disabilities and is a published author of Perfectly You: Embracing the Power of Being Real.
59. Minda Harts
Minda Harts’ experience in the workplace shaped the powerful speaker she is today. She’s also the author of Right Within: How to Heal From Racial Trauma in the Workplace. Book her for leadership development, professional development, and diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace.
60. CB Bowman
Thinkers50 calls CB Bowman one of the world’s Top 50 Coaches. Not only is she an exceptional keynote speaker, but she’s also an executive coach. She’s the host of Courage: To Leap & Lead podcast and videocast. She’s an INIFAC Certified Virtual Facilitator. Book her for an invigorating discussion about taking that courageous first leap before you even have the landing figured out.
61. Michelle Saahene
Michelle Saahene is the co-founder of From Privilege to Progress, an organization that wants to open doors to open, beneficial conversations about racism and race. It started when two Black men were arrested at a Starbucks for not buying any drinks or food items, even though many others in the store had not purchased anything. Her talks about social injustice, especially for women of color, engage listeners of all ages. With the #ShowUp movement, she encourages people to educate themselves, speak up, and be a champion for the marginalized.
62. Lauren Hasson
Per Statista’s 2021 statistics, 91.97% of the world’s software engineers are men. Develop[HER] was founded by Lauren Hasson to help women in technology develop the skills, confidence, and expertise to end this gender gap. She is a software engineer, but she’s also a coach, trainer, and public speaker hoping to bridge this gap in equality.
63. Erika Gilchrest
Attendees rave over Erika Gilchrest’s energy and engagement. Erika survived domestic abuse and a suicide attempt. She’s turned her experiences into the W.T.F – Women Thriving Fearlessly! brand and has more than a dozen published books and two decades of public speaking under her belt. She’s happy to talk about DEI, but she’s certified to talk about Teaching & Learning in Diverse Classrooms (CornellX University) and Unconscious Bias: From Awareness to Action (CatalystX).
64. Mariela Shaker
Mariela Shaker survived the Syrian conflict and sought asylum in the U.S. in 2013. While attending Monmouth College, she decided to turn her skills as a violinist to help raise awareness of the plight of Syrians. She’s a skilled speaker who’s received honors from President Barack Obama as a Champion of Change for World Refugees. Her stories are not to be missed and resonate with the audience.
65. Debra Warner
You’ve heard of the #MeToo movement. Dr. Debra Warner specializes in helping men confront and overcome the long-term effects of trauma. This often means addressing the #MenToo movement. Through her talks, she talks about the adversity men who’ve been traumatized face in a world where stereotypes don’t allow for emotional or “weak” men. She also specializes in corporate trauma to help workers’ physical and mental health.
66. Dina McMillan
Dina McMillan’s program Unmasking the Abuser was one of her first successes. Following a surge of white supremacy, racism, and colonialism in 2020, she created a new program called Healing the Rift. It’s a powerful discussion on eliminating bias by delving into the causes of racism and bias and what effect it has on others. Book her for anti-bias, anti-racism, equality, diversity, and inclusiveness training programs, seminars, and talks.
67. Jason Schecterle
In 2001, a taxi crashed into Officer Jason Schechterle’s patrol car. His car caught fire, and he was trapped inside. He survived the crash, but he had burns on over 40% of his body and was in a coma for several months. In addition to a long physical recovery with almost 60 surgeries, he also had the emotional impact to overcome. His talks are powerful and go over very personal moments where he had to fight to live, handle the emotional scars, and learn how to do even the simplest tasks again with a resilience that few could imagine.
Milagros Phillips won the 2021 New Though Waldon Award celebrating Interfaith and Intercultural Understanding. She’s a Reiki Master and teacher, founder of the two-day program Race Demystified, and author of Cracking the Healer’s Code – A Prescription for Healing Racism & Finding Wholeness . Figuring out and healing from racism and inequality are her specialties.
69. Anthony Wright
Anthony Wright was convicted of a robbery, rape, and murder of an elderly woman that he didn’t commit. He’d spend 25 years in prison until the Innocence Project tested the DNA found at the crime scene, and it was another man’s DNA. Most people would be angry, but Anthony is grateful and shares his positive outlook with the audience.
70. Buck Angel
Buck Angel is a man who’s learned self-acceptance and to be comfortable in his skin. Born a female in 1962, he never felt like one. He transitioned from female to male, even though information at that time was limited. He talks of the compassion he received from doctors, encouraging him to be true to himself. He’s appeared on many major networks and streaming platforms, including HBO, National Geographic, and Netflix. He’s also an exceptional speaker as he talks about redefining gender norms and creating a world where gender politics don’t exist and people are free to be the person who makes them fulfilled and happy.
71. Lorne Epstein
Since it came out, Lorne Epstein’s 2021 CEO Bias Impact Report has been downloaded well over 1,000 times. He’s been in HR since 1996, so he has a wealth of expertise to share. His workshops and talks cover unconscious bias and how it impacts decision-making and workplace behaviors. He’s also the author of You’re Hired! Interview Skills to Get the Job.
72. Zabina Bhasin
Zabina Bhasin has appeared on Good Morning America and several news programs. She’s appeared in PopSugar, Today Parenting, and many others. She’s an expert in diversity and inclusion and works tirelessly to help generations make diversity, race, and inclusion everyday behaviors.
73. Ty Bledsoe
Reverend Ty Bledsoe grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. He was raised by a single mom and became a licensed minister at the age of 16. He was ordained at 21. He’s the Head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion for Alto Pharmacy. When he talks, he’s skilled in employee engagement, DEI in the workplace, and teamwork and is able to bring about meaningful conversations and change.
While shopping with her daughter, Jodi Bondi Norgaard was dismayed to find that the only dolls sold in stores were fashion dolls with make-up, heels, and revealing clothing. There were no dolls that showed realistic bodies and interests. Two years later, she launched Go! Go! Sports Girls, a line of diverse plush dolls and books that celebrate all races, disabilities, and interests. She’s the founder of The Brave Girl Alliance and Dream Big Toy Company and co-chair of the Toy Association Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
Ashley Brailsford was an elementary school teacher, professor of early childhood education, and a family literacy program director when she realized that the modern educational system is missing “joy.” That led to her founding Unearthing Joy, an organization that aims to show history and the nation’s stories from the perspective of Indigenous, Black, and other People whose stories are often ignored. These lessons move kids from drab classrooms to outside spaces where they learn important lessons while exploring nature.
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