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Diversity & Race Speakers

 

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.

 
34
Diversity & Race
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Casey Gerald

Former CEO of MBAs Across America | Closing Speaker at TED2016

As co-founder of MBAs Across America, Casey Gerald traveled the nation to discover how mission-driven entrepreneurs, far from Wall St. or Silicon Valley, were tackling the biggest challenges facing ou...

Suki Kim

New York Times bestselling author of Without You, There Is No Us, Expert on North Korea

Suki Kim is one of the only writers to ever go undercover in North Korea. An award-winning novelist, Kim’s obsession with the country led her to pursue journalistic assignments there beginning in 2002...

Vijay (Robert) Gupta

Founder of Street Symphony, TED Senior Fellow, and Mental Health Advocate

Vijay Gupta is a violinist whose interest in neurobiology and mental health issues has made him a world-renowned advocate for the regenerative power of music. A TED Senior Fellow, Gupta founded Street...

Eman Mohammed

TED Fellow and Photojournalist

What kind of courage does it take to become the only female photojournalist in the Gaza Strip? TED Fellow Eman Mohammed was only 19 when she began shooting photos for a local news agency—and then the ...

Ashton Applewhite

Anti-Ageism Activist | Author of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism

What if discrimination on the basis of age were as unacceptable as any other kind of prejudice? Ashton Applewhite is a leading voice in an emerging movement dedicated to dismantling ageism and making ...

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

Widely known as one of the most influential authorities on racial justice in America, Khalil Gibran Muhammad is redefining our understanding of diversity. Former Director of the Schomburg Center for R...

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

When we view race and justice through the lens of culture, we can enlarge our notion of citizenship, of who belongs and who counts. Sarah Lewis, an intellectual star and powerful speaker, has sparked ...

Reza Aslan

#1 New York Times Bestselling Author of Zealot and the New Book, God: A Human History | 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 the brand-new bestseller God: A Human History, and Zealot:...

Shaun King

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

Today, in greater numbers, people are talking about real empowerment and liberation for historically disadvantaged groups. When it comes to the Black Lives Matter movement, they’re talking specificall...

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 | 2017 MacArthur Genius Grant Fellow | Winner of the National Magazine Award

Nikole Hannah-Jones was named a 2017 MacArthur Genius Grant Fellow (one of only 24 people chosen, globally) for “reshaping national conversations around education reform” and for her reporting on raci...

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...

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...

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...

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, ...

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, Blind Spot, and Photography Critic for NYT Magazine

A prodigious novelist, critic, and photographer, Teju Cole was born in the US and raised in Nigeria—a biographical fact that informs much of his work. His first novel, Open City, won the PEN/Hemingway...

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

Celebrity Chef | Bestselling Author of Fresh Off the Boat | Host for Vice and MTV

Celebrity chef. Charismatic host of Huang’s World on VICE. Bestselling author of Fresh Off the Boat—adapted into the groundbreaking hit ABC sitcom—as well as Double Cup Love. Yes, entrepreneur Eddie H...

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 ...

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...

Kal Penn

Actor | 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...

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...

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,...

 

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...

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...

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...