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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.

 
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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...

Angela Rye

CNN Political Commentator | NPR Political Analyst | CEO of IMPACT Strategies

When Angela Rye speaks, she makes a difference. As an acclaimed CNN political commentator, Rye breaks down complex information and offers informed—and spin-free—perspectives on race and reparations, c...

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...

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...

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...

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 ...

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 ...

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...

Reza Aslan

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

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...

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

Senior Justice Writer for New York Daily News | Commentator for The Young Turks

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

Today, America is more multicultural than ever. So why are some neighborhoods becoming less diverse? To answer this question, Rich Benjamin spent two years living in some of the country’s whitest comm...

Ritu Bhasin

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

To Ritu Bhasin, authenticity is everything. As a leadership and inclusion consultant, she works to build cultural competence and accountability in the workplace—and shows how productivity, engagement,...

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, Aboriginal Human Resource Council

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 Documentary 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 Muslim-American Experience, New York Times Op-Ed Contributor

What does it feel like to be a Muslim today—especially in the era of Trump? How can we come together to overcome Islamophobia and harmful stereotypes? Award-winning playwright, lawyer, and TV host Waj...

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...

Minnijean Brown Trickey

Civil Rights Legend Who Helped Desegregate Public Schools

In 1957 Minnijean Brown Trickey entered 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 desegregate public ...

Shereen El Feki

TED Global Fellow and Author of Sex and the Citadel

In Sex and the Citadel, TED Global Fellow Shereen El Feki sheds light on a highly sensitive and still largely secret aspect of Arab society: the sexual lives of men and women. Linking sex to political...

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, and Weeds

A rising star, Maulik Pancholy is among a handful of Indian-American actors changing the character, and the face, of Hollywood. Taking on smart, select roles in hits like Weeds and 30 Rock, he is help...

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...

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...

Alison Stewart

Author of First Class: The Legacy of Dunbar and Junk: Digging Through America’s Love Affair with Stuff

Alison Stewart brings a sharp lens to today’s biggest issues. In First Class, she chronicles the rise, fall, and resurgence of America’s first black public high school, examining the pitfalls of the e...

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

Kwame Anthony Appiah is often called a postmodern Socrates, and for good reason: he asks probing questions about identity, ethnicity, honor, and religion during a time when these difficult notions con...

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...