diversity & inclusion | June 25, 2019

Top 10 Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Speakers

Discover the benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace. Lavin’s Top 10 Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Speakers help companies overcome their implicit biases, work across different cultures, and empower employees to be their most authentic selvesleading to healthier and happier working environments.

Deepa Purushothaman was the first Indian-American woman to make partner at Deloitte. As a result, she understands the challenges that WOC face in the workforce: they are often among the first, few, or only ones in a department or company, and frequently receive the message that in order to be successful, they must change who they are. What sets Purushothaman apart as a diversity speaker is that she has hands-on experience as a senior executive. Her diversity talks bring practical, actionable advice to not only help women of color take a seat at the table, but change the way the table is formed.


What does it mean to be an American, and who are we to one another? From corporate boardrooms to the halls of congress, public policy expert Heather McGhee teaches audiences that diversity is our greatest asset. With deep empathy and a passion for storytelling, McGhee’s diversity talks—based on her instant New York Times bestseller The Sum of Us—focus on overcoming racial bias to achieve transformative change.


Pulitzer Prize winner Nikole Hannah-Jones adapted her groundbreaking work of journalism into a full-length book this year. The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story became an instant #1 New York Times bestseller, as did her young readers’ adaptation Born on the Water. Her work offers us a new understanding of U.S. history, as well as redefines our perspectives on identity and race. Named one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, Hannah-Jones is a diversity speaker who offers profound and visionary insights.


Unconscious bias is at the heart of some of our most pressing social problems. We see it across many industries, from medicine and education, to leadership in the corporate world. But the question remains: how can we uproot prejudice that we are not consciously aware we have? Jessica Nordell, author of The End of Bias, reveals what works and what doesn’t when it comes to tackling discrimination, dismantling our own personal biases, and designing diversity and inclusion programs that actually work.


Brands today have a unique opportunity not only to reach their own aspirations, but to empower traditionally underserved communities in the process. That’s what Greg Hoffman did in his role as Nike’s former Chief Marketing Officer. There, he helped the iconic brand drive themes of equality, sustainability, and empowerment through the lense of sport—work inspired in part by his internal role as a leader of the Nike Black Employee network. In his diversity talks, Hoffman shares his own experience as an African-American brand leader to help audiences recognize the importance of diversity—and recruiting, elevating, and empowering it in our organizations.


A contributing op-ed writer for The New York Times, diversity speaker Wajahat Ali advocates for greater cultural and racial diversity across America. His vigorous political talks are infused with humor and cleverness, spurring older audiences to join the next generation in their quest for social change. Ali’s upcoming book Go Back to Where You Came From outlines his experience growing up a Muslim Pakistani-American in an effort to inspire a new vision of America’s multicultural identity.


For Anthony Jack, acceptance doesn’t equal inclusion. As an Assistant Professor at Harvard and the author of The Privileged Poor, Jack examines how elite colleges routinely fail the disadvantaged students they admit. Informed by his landmark research, his talks focus on how educational institutions can bridge the social and economic gaps on campus and give all students a fair chance.


Creator and noteworthy diversity speaker Gabby Rivera is writing the change she wants to see in the world with Marvel’s new series America, featuring the first queer, Latinx teen-girl superhero ever. Rivera, who is also the author of Juliet Takes a Breath, is invested in empowering diverse artists to tell their own stories. Her talk on Radical Creativity imagines a world in which differences are celebrated, not feared.


Drawing on thirty years of experience in the male-dominated world of software engineering, Minette Norman speaks about the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workforce. While the corporate world may be able to recruit diverse talent, she explains, they struggle to retain them by not focusing enough on inclusion and belonging. Her diversity and inclusion keynotes show that success, vibrancy, and innovation depend on workplaces that whole-heartedly embrace difference.

Historian and Peabody Award-winning journalist Jelani Cobb is a compelling voice in the fight for a better America. A PBS Frontline correspondent for two critically acclaimed documentaries, and long-time writer for The New Yorker, Cobb’s work explores race, politics, justice, and inequality, while offering guidance and hope for the future. His ability to clearly break down the complex dynamics of race and racism in America is what sets his informative diversity keynotes apart.


Visit our dedicated Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion speakers page for more information, or contact The Lavin Agency to book a speaker for your next event. Booking for Black History Month? We have a dedicated page for that, too.

Up Next

politics & society | June 24, 2019