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Diversity & Race

 

In North America, new and inclusive definitions of community have emerged despite a sometimes fractious cultural climate. Lavin’s diversity speakers challenge social injustices, celebrate differences, and put it all in a larger perspective.

 
45
Diversity & Race
Speakers
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Ta-Nehisi Coates

#1 New York Times Bestselling Author of Between the World and Me

Ta-Nehisi Coates is one of the most original and perceptive black voices today—“the single best writer on the subject of race in the United States” (New York Observer). Coates is the author, most rece...

Jelani Cobb

New Yorker Staff Writer, Speaker on Race in America

Jelani Cobb writes about the enormous complexity of race in America. In 2015, he received the Sidney Hillman Prize for Opinion & Analysis Journalism for his New Yorker columns, in which he combine...

Khalil Gibran Muhammad

Professor of History, Race and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School

One of the most respected authorities on racial justice in America, Khalil Gibran Muhammad is redefining our understanding of diversity. Former Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black C...

Margot Lee Shetterly

Author of Hidden Figures: the #1 New York Times bestseller, and inspiration for the #1 movie.

Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures—a #1 NYT bestseller and inspiration for the #1 movie in America—is the true story of the black women mathematicians at NASA who helped fuel some of America’s grea...

Angie Thomas

Author of the Black Lives Matter-Inspired YA Novel The Hate U Give, an Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller

Angie Thomas is the author of the instant #1 New York Times bestseller The Hate U Give: widely known as the Black Lives Matter-inspired YA novel. Called “a stunning, brilliant, gut-wrenching novel tha...

Sarah Lewis

Author of The Rise, Guest-Editor of Aperture’s “Vision & Justice” Issue

Sarah Lewis is the bestselling author of The Rise, which is the biography of an idea—a big idea—that no current term yet captures. It’s about creative human endeavor, and how innovation, mastery, and ...

Reza Aslan

#1 New York Times Bestselling Author of Zealot, Host of CNN's Believer

Reza Aslan addresses topics of Islam, the Middle East, and Muslim Americans with authority, wit, and infectious optimism. He is the author of Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth—a momentou...

Jeff Chang

Social Historian, Author of We Gon’ Be Alright and Can't Stop Won't Stop

“Culture moves before politics,” says Jeff Chang, who writes on art, multiculturalism, and racial progress in post-civil rights America with the sweeping authority of the best social historians. In hi...

Nikole Hannah-Jones

New York Times Magazine Staff Writer | Winner of the National Magazine Award

Nikole Hannah-Jones is a National Magazine Award-winning journalist, writing on modern day civil rights for The New York Times Magazine. Her widely read articles on segregated housing and schools, as ...

Waneek Horn-Miller

Olympian, Activist, and Speaker on Indigenous Health and Reconciliation

Waneek Horn-Miller has overcome discrimination and trauma to emerge as one of North America’s most inspiring activists and Olympians. From her iconic TIME cover to her key role in the National Inquiry...

Titus Kaphar

Award-Winning Painter and Sculptor

With more urgency than a headline, Titus Kaphar’s artworks capture the spirit of social justice and change in America today (exemplified in his TIME cover portrait of the Ferguson protests). Working f...

Gabby Rivera

Author of the New Marvel Comic Series America and Juliet Takes a Breath

Gabby Rivera is an outgoing, outspoken creator invested in fostering better dialogue, inspiring radical creativity, and improving our most vulnerable communities. The author of Juliet Takes a Breath, ...

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Photographer speaking on family, communities, and environmental racism

For LaToya Ruby Frazier, art is a weapon—a catalyst for social justice. Her photographs and videos document today’s America: post-industrial cities riven by poverty, racism, healthcare inequality, and...

Minnijean Brown-Trickey

Civil Rights Legend Who Helped Desegregate Public Schools

Sixty years ago, in 1957, Minnijean Brown-Trickey changed history by striding through the front doors of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. As a member of the Little Rock Nine, she helped d...

Negin Farsad

Social Justice Comedian, Director of The Muslims Are Coming!

Negin Farsad is at the forefront of social justice comedy—a field that she insists totally exists (or should). A TED Senior Fellow, author of How to Make White People Laugh, and as one of few Iranian-...

Teju Cole

Award-Winning Author of Open City, Photography Critic for NYT Magazine

Teju Cole was born in the US in 1975 and raised in Nigeria. He is the author of two works of fiction: Every Day Is for the Thief, which was named a Book of the Year by The New York Times; and Open Cit...

Shaun King

Columnist at The Intercept | Writer-In-Residence at Harvard Law School’s Fair Punishment Project

Shaun King is one of many voices—though an increasingly prominent voice—within the Black Lives Matter movement. By using social media to highlight, amplify, and discuss news of police brutality, racia...

Rich Benjamin

Author of Searching for Whitopia

Even under the Trump presidency, America is more diverse than ever. And yet our neighborhoods don’t reflect this fact, divided as they are. To investigate the discrepancy, Rich Benjamin embarked on a ...

Ritu Bhasin

Speaker on Diversity & Inclusion, Women’s Advancement, Leadership, and Self-Empowerment | President bhasin consulting inc.

What happens when employees—who come from increasingly diverse backgrounds—hide their best selves at work? There is a bottom-line consequence: conformity spreads, innovation stagnates, and top talent ...

Eddie Huang

Bestselling Author of Fresh Off the Boat, & Host for Vice and MTV

Eddie Huang is the bestselling author of Fresh Off the Boat, the memoir ABC adapted into one of the most talked-about new TV shows in recent years. On stage, this hyper-opinionated diversity speaker s...

Priyamvada Natarajan

Yale Astrophysicist | Author of Mapping the Heavens: The Radical Scientific Ideas That Reveal the Cosmos

Priyamvada Natarajan is a charismatic astrophysicist from Yale who takes audiences on a tour of the most stunning breakthroughs of recent cosmology. Her specialty? Dark matter, black holes, and nothin...

Kelly J. Lendsay

President and CEO, Indigenous Works

Indigenous leader Kelly J. Lendsay talks about real social and economic inclusion for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities. By inspiring government, business, and Indigenous people to overcome ...

Parvez Sharma

Award-Winning Filmmaker of A Sinner in Mecca and A Jihad for Love

Parvez Sharma makes fearless, award-winning documentaries about faith, identity, and social justice. In A Sinner in Mecca, shot mostly with an iPhone, guerrilla-style, Sharma travels to Mecca to revea...

Bassam Tariq

TED Fellow and Director of These Birds Walk

Bassam Tariq is a TED Fellow and director of the acclaimed film These Birds Walk. Through his work—as a filmmaker, blogger, and halal butcher shop owner—he shares intimate stories of Muslims from arou...

Wajahat Ali

Speaker on the Muslim-American Experience, New York Times Op-Ed Contributor

What does it feel like to be a Muslim today, in the era of Trump? How can we come together to overcome Islamophobia and harmful stereotypes? Wajahat Ali—who regularly appears on CNN to discuss politic...

Randall Kennedy

One of the Preeminent Voices on Race in America

Randall Kennedy challenges us to confront our racial prejudices—whether he’s talking about loaded words like “nigger” or the inescapable politics of race that shape America's first black presidency. O...

Kal Penn

Actor and Former Associate Director at the White House Office of Public Engagement

Called “the world’s most famous Indian actor” by New York Magazine, Kal Penn is a rising Hollywood star. But what sets him apart is his off-screen eloquence, his passion for the intersection of pop cu...

Angela Davis

Legendary Human Rights Activist

Angela Davis is internationally known for her ongoing work to combat all forms of oppression in the U.S. and abroad. Her work as an educator—both at the university level and in the larger public spher...

Maulik Pancholy

Co-Star of Sanjay and Craig, 30 Rock, Weeds | Anti-Bullying Advocate

MAULIK PANCHOLY is changing the character, face, and political voice of Hollywood. Besides indelible (and SAG Award-nominated) turns on shows like 30 Rock and Weeds, Pancholy speaks out against injust...

Rev. Jeffrey Brown

Pastor and President of RECAP (Rebuilding Every Community Around Peace)

Rev. Jeffrey Brown was one of the key architects behind the “Boston Miracle,” which saw the violent crime rate among youth plummet by 79% over a decade. Today, he works with faith groups, cities, gove...

Mira Nair

Director of Queen of Katwe, Salaam Bombay!, The Namesake, and The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Raised in India, schooled at Harvard, and living in New York City, Mira Nair uses her natural grasp of identity conflict to make films that explore race, gender, inter-generational strife, cultural ap...

András Tilcsik

Co-Author of Meltdown: Why Our Systems Fail and What We Can Do About It

Due to their incredible complexity, our modern systems—from healthcare to travel, finance to media—are primed for failure. And things are only getting worse. In his fiercely anticipated book Meltdown,...

 

Kimberley Motley

First Foreign Litigator in Afghanistan, 2014 TED Speaker

Kimberley Motley is the only foreign litigator working in Afghanistan. Armed with an unwavering determination and a passion for justice, she navigates the country’s punitive and capricious legal syste...

Marcelo Suarez-Orozco

Worldwide Expert on Globalization, Immigration and Education

America has more immigrants than ever before, and debates over immigration are boiling over. Again. But how is this wave of immigrants vastly different from previous ones? Assured and reassuring, the ...

Bill Strickland

An Extraordinary Business and Community Leader

For thirty years, Bill Strickland has used his innovative arts and training centers to transform the lives of thousands of impoverished adults and teenagers. A commanding speaker, his resonant message...

Hooman Majd

Expert on US-Iranian Relations, Author of The Ayatollah Begs to Differ

Hooman Majd is a luminous new voice on Iran—America’s top foreign policy concern. Who are Iranians? What do they really think about America? And what can we take away from the historic nuclear deal? W...

Pedro Noguera

Expert on Public Education in America

A dynamic speaker, Pedro Noguera is one of America’s most important voices for healthy public education, focusing on the ways in which schools are influenced by social and economic conditions in urban...

Reggie Love

President Barack Obama's Former Personal Aide, Author of Power Forward

Drawing from his coveted experience as President Obama’s personal aide (the subject of his book, Power Forward), Reggie Love shares timeless—yet timely—lessons on crisis management, collaboration and ...

Spike Lee

Director of Do the Right Thing and When the Levees Broke

Spike Lee needs no introduction. In person, the provocateur and media icon is never at a loss for words. As one of the most outspoken African American voices, he talks candidly, and with authority, ab...

LZ Granderson

Senior Writer and Columnist for ESPN

LZ Granderson is a senior writer for ESPN: The Magazine—but he’s no ordinary sports columnist. Granderson is perhaps the most visible openly gay sports journalist in the nation. A candid, entertaining...

Kwame Anthony Appiah

One of America's Leading Public Intellectuals

When it comes to the most pressing social issues of the day, Kwame Anthony Appiah is a touchstone of reason and inclusivity. Asking—and answering—probing questions on morality, ethnicity, and religion

Bryant Terry

Author of Grub and Winner of a James Beard Leadership Award

Chef, food justice activist, and critically-acclaimed author Bryant Terry has spent the past ten years working to build a more just and sustainable food system. Using cooking as a tool to illuminate t...

Riaz Meghji

Host of Breakfast Television Vancouver

As Host of Breakfast Television Vancouver, Riaz Meghji wakes up the city every morning with humour and style. On the show and in his life, he has learned that a candid conversation can carry a profoun...

Andrea Elliott

Pulitzer Prize-Winning New York Times Investigative Journalist: “Invisible Child: Homeless in America”

Investigative journalist Andrea Elliott puts a human face to a wide array of topics, from child poverty to Muslim life in America. Her recent series on homelessness won the George Polk Award, and prom...

Daymond John

Author, Shark Tank judge, and founder of FUBU

As a celebrity investor on ABC’s Shark Tank, Daymond John helps turn dreams into realities by investing in projects that elevate innovative companies and products. Drawing on his cutting-edge experien...