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The Lavin Agency Speakers Bureau

A speakers bureau that represents the best original thinkers,
writers, and doers for speaking engagements.

Black History Month and MLK Day

February is Black History Month, but for our speakers, the work continues year-round. They show us how to honor the legacy and history of Black communities across America, learn about the struggles and triumphs facing Black Americans today, and chart a course towards a future of true diversity, equity, and inclusion.

21 Black History Month and MLK Day
Speakers

Nikole Hannah-Jones

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Creator of The 1619 Project | Executive Producer of the Emmy Award-Winning 1619 Project Hulu Docuseries | MacArthur Genius

Black history is American history.

Heather McGhee

Author of New York Times Bestseller The Sum of Us

Racism has a cost for everyone—so when we fight it together, we all win.

Jelani Cobb

New Yorker Staff Writer | Columbia Journalism School Dean | Speaker on race, history, politics and culture in America

In the fight for racial justice, we must face the past to forge a better future.

Minnijean Brown-Trickey

Civil Rights Legend who Helped Desegregate Public Schools | Member of the Little Rock Nine

When we challenge what we know to be morally wrong, we grow as a society.

Clint Smith

#1 New York Times Bestselling Author of How the Word Is Passed and Above Ground | Atlantic Staff Writer

The legacy of slavery still shapes our cities, roads, and stories today. Understanding our history will help us make sense of our world—and fight for a better one.

Margot Lee Shetterly

Author of Hidden Figures: The #1 New York Times Bestseller and #1 Hit Film

A greater diversity of voices in science, in the STEM fields, is key to the future of American innovation.

Annette Gordon-Reed

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author of On Juneteenth | Harvard Law Professor | MacArthur Genius

The legacy of Juneteenth, the holiday which marks the end of slavery, continues to influence us and our fight for racial justice today.

George M. Johnson

New York Times Bestselling Author Of All Boys Aren’t Blue and We Are Not Broken | Emmy Nominee | LGBTQIA+ Activist

Stories of queer identity and Black joy have the power to educate us on diversity, inspire social justice activism, and build community.

Angela Davis

Legendary human rights activist

We have to talk about liberating minds as well as liberating society.

Michelle Coles

Civil Rights Attorney | Award-winning author of Black Was the Ink | Member of the Maryland Lynching Truth and Reconciliation Commission | Former Civil Rights Attorney at the US Department of Justice

To achieve racial justice today, look to the unsung heroes of American history.

Khalil Gibran Muhammad

Professor of History, Race, and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School | Author of The Condemnation of Blackness | Co-Host of Some of My Best Friends Are

Bringing people of color into our companies isn't enough. We must transform our cultures so they can bring their full selves and achieve their full potential.

Teju Cole

Professor of Creative Writing at Harvard | Author of Open City and Tremor | Former Photography Critic for NYT Magazine

This is a time for protest and activism, but it is also a time for subtlety, ambiguity and complexity.

Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman

Editor of The Black Agenda | Harvard Researcher on Inequality, Education, and Work

When we both identify and disrupt patterns of discrimination, we create a better world for our most marginalized communities—and for everyone else.

Titus Kaphar

Award-Winning Painter and Sculptor | Writer and Director of Exhibiting Forgiveness | MacArthur "Genius" Fellow | Author of Redaction

Art has the power to reframe our history—revealing the past we've lost and the future we're working towards.

Sarah Lewis

Founder of Vision & Justice | Harvard Associate Professor | Author of The Rise and The Unseen Truth

Images help us see each other more clearly in our search for equity and justice.

Bill Strickland

An Extraordinary Business and Community Leader | MacArthur Genius | Founder, Bidwell Training Center

Give people the tools they need, treat them with respect, and they will perform miraculous deeds.

Adam Harris

Author of The State Must Provide: The Definitive History of Racial Inequality in American Higher Education | Staff Writer at The Atlantic

Higher education could be a powerful force for equity and democracy—but it must face up to its history of racial injustice first.

Rachel L. Swarns

Author of The 272: The Families who Were Enslaved and Sold to Build the American Catholic Church | Associate Professor at New York University | Former New York Times Johannesburg Bureau Chief

Slavery fueled the growth of our churches, schools, and institutions. We must face that history if we want to understand—and someday transcend—our racial divide.

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Award-Winning Photographer | Member of the TIME100 | MacArthur Genius

Art is a weapon. Photos can change society—our view of ourselves and our communities.