The Lavin Agency Speakers Bureau

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

Diversity Is the Oxygen for Innovation—and Curiosity Is the Rocket Fuel (4:31)

For Most Asian Americans, Diversity Is a Core Value—Even If a Loud Minority Contests It

Is Diversity For Asian Americans?: The College Admissions Crisis (8:18)

Pride Month and LGBT History Month: Celebrate Diversity and Joy with Our LGBTQ+ Speakers

June is Pride Month, and October is LGBT History Month—two occasions that offer us the chance to take inspiration from the immense contributions and achievements of the LGBTQ+ community. Lavin is proud to represent an incredible roster of LGBTQ+ speakers who celebrate queer joy and resilience.

Ep #38: How to Embrace and Elevate Diversity in the Workplace with Minette Norman

Why A Lack of Diversity Is Hurting Economics

On Diversity in Publishing, a Young Star Warms: Get It Right

Anthony Jack: A New Voice for Diversity in Higher Ed

On Diversity: Access Ain’t Inclusion (12:42)

A More Effective Way of Depicting Diversity (2:28)

Why Diversity Is the Key to a Workplace Culture of Synergy and Respect [2:46]

Your Fall ’23 Events: Our Top Diversity and Culture Speakers for Hispanic Heritage Month

Every year during Hispanic Heritage Month, from September 15th to October 15th, we celebrate the Hispanic and Latinx leaders and communities whose contributions have made this country what it is. This year, we want to help you bring one of our incredible speakers to your campus or organization.

Asian-American Heritage Month: Our Top Speakers on Diversity, Storytelling, and Leadership

HUA HSU Hua Hsu is the author of the hit memoir Stay True, which follows his university friendship with another Asian-American student. The New York Times named it one of the ten best books of the year, and Vulture called it “an evolutionary step for Asian-American literature.” In talks, Hua shows how we can not only accept but embrace our messy, complex cultures and identities. […]

Approaching Diversity with Humor and Storytelling: Wajahat Ali’s Memoir Out in Paperback Next Week

It’s easy to give up on the fight for true diversity, but TED speaker WAJAHAT ALI says we can’t give in to cynicism — if we remain resilient and invest in hope, we can still create the future we want. His memoir Go Back to Where You Came From, a funny and deeply personal look into his experiences […]

The Top 5 Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Speakers of 2022

Diverse perspectives in the workplace make your ideas better, your teams stronger, and your company far more successful. Our TOP DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION SPEAKERS don’t just show you how DEI can benefit you—they give you practical strategies for implementing true belonging in the workplace. If you’re looking to leverage the power of diversity, build a more […]

Protecting Democracy is Our Greatest Challenge—Diversity Is the Key! Yascha Mounk’s New Book

Never in history has a democracy succeeded in being both diverse and equal—and yet this is the central goal of democracies around the world today. At a time of rising political tensions, Yascha Mounk’s crucial new book The Great Experiment: Why Diverse Democracies Fall Apart and How They Can Endure reveals the key to building […]

Keeping Our Promise of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Why We Need to Create More Diversity in Science

Finding Unity in Diversity

Diversity of Life

Waneek Horn-Miller: Strength in Diversity

Regenerating Coral Reefs to Preserve Marine Biodiversity

On Diversity: Access Ain’t Inclusion

Finding Beauty and Diversity in Muslim Life

Why the ‘Business Case’ for Diversity Doesn’t Work: Rotman Professor Sarah Kaplan for Fast Company

Diversity is good for the workplace. The so-called “business case for diversity,” isn’t. Popular as it may be—trumpeted everywhere from the Wall Street Journal to the Financial Times—the “business case” is ultimately a failed strategy. Here to explain why is Rotman professor Sarah Kaplan in Fast Company. Despite its popularity, the “business case” for diversity […]

Author Gabby Rivera Explores Art, Diversity, and Joy in NPR Interview

In this portrait for NPR’s Latino USA, acclaimed author, activist, and artist Gabby Rivera explores the importance of representation in the arts, dealing with hate, and her remarkable work and career. “I must remember, it's not mainstream culture that I'm a part of. I'm part of these little pockets of good people everywhere, doing their […]

Want to Foster Diversity? Forbes Taps Ashton Applewhite’s Book as a Top Guide

When thinking about diversity, we tend to consider factors like gender, sexuality, and ethnicity. But what about age? Activist Ashton Applewhite has written a manifesto raging against the perils of growing older in a society that is, at its core, deeply ageist. Forbes calls it a must-read for anyone hoping to foster a more diverse […]

Does Diversity Training Really Work? Angela Duckworth and Katherine Milkman Explore in Harvard Business Review

Diversity is increasingly valued in the workplace, meaning that diversity training has become a commonplace offering for employees. But is it really yielding measurable results? Lavin speakers Angela Duckworth and Katherine Milkman explore in Harvard Business Review.  Though diversity training is available at virtually all Fortune 500 companies, surprisingly few of them have measured the […]

These Three Speakers Explain Exactly What Diversity Means and Why You Should Care About It

Companies do better when they embrace and support diversity. But diversity isn’t just about ethnicity. It’s about gender, age, ability, perspective and it’s different for every industry. Lavin’s diversity and inclusion experts—Ritu Bhasin, Minette Norman, and Ashton Applewhite, to name a few—come from the worlds of corporate law, theater, and social justice. These differences demonstrate just […]

Reza Aslan: Fighting Islamophobia, Championing Diversity, and Now, in His New Book, Writing a Human History of God

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Zealot and host of CNN’s Believer, Reza Aslan continues his investigation of our relationship to religion—historically, and in the 21st century—with his fascinating new book God: A Human History, out today.  As discussed on WNYC’s Leonard Lopate show, Aslan’s latest offers a history of how we understand the concept of […]

The Real Strength of American Diversity: Wajahat Ali on Unity in the Age of Trump

As the Trump era dawns, how can we preserve our welcoming nation? To renowned playwright and journalist Wajahat Ali, we can combat racism and Islamophobia. But we need to think beyond partisanship, he says, and celebrate the differences and commonalities that make our country great. Modern Islamophobia, Ali argues, is rooted in age-old anxiety—the fear of […]

Video: Comedian and Diversity Speaker Negin Farsad on Moral Courage

Social justice comedian Negin Farsad uses humor to talk about serious issues. In a video for the Moral Courage project, Farsad—who is a TED Fellow and the director of comedy documentary The Muslims are Coming!—takes on gender issues, sex, and women's equality in the Muslim community: I want to be a part of the culture […]

Black History Month is More Important Now Than Ever Before. The 12 Top BHM Speakers on The Past, Present, and Future

From a member of the Little Rock Nine to the award-winning author of one of the country’s most challenged books, these 12 top Black History Month speakers show us how to honor the legacy and history of Black communities across America.

Why Empathy Is a Vital Ingredient for True DEI: Stanford Psychologist Jamil Zaki

Empathy is a vital ingredient for thriving workplaces and for successful Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives, says Jamil Zaki, director of Stanford’s Social Neuroscience Lab. Drawing on his original research on the science of empathy, Jamil shows how you can learn this “soft skill” just like you’d learn a hard skill like coding: through practice, experience, and collaboration.

“Inclusive Leadership Is a Practice”: Daily Steps for Transforming Your Company Culture, from Minette Norman’s New Book

Building diverse teams is the key to breakthrough innovation. But teams can’t benefit from their diversity until everyone feels safe to bring their best to work—and inclusive teams require inclusive leaders. The good news? Inclusive leadership is a practice that anyone can learn—and in The Boldly Inclusive Leader, Minette shows you how.

Fighting Bias is Your Organization’s Superpower: Jessica Nordell, Author of The End of Bias

Bias has a real cost for your company in productivity and success—which is why fighting it is your organization’s superpower, Jessica says. She’s spent a decade studying bias, and her talks are packed with concrete methods to reduce it and unlock radical success.

Turn Collaboration Into “Creative Chemistry”: Fmr. Nike Chief Marketing Officer Greg Hoffman

Want to build a environment of radical risk-taking and powerful collaboration? “Never play it safe, play to win,” says Greg Hoffman. As Nike’s former Chief Marketing Officer, Greg’s insight-packed keynotes on leadership and innovation have lit up stages everywhere from Instagram to Adobe to EA Sports.

Lavin Welcomes Prominent Black Trans Activist Raquel Willis: Race, Gender, and the “Painter’s Palette” of Intersectionality

Co-founder of the Trans Week of Visibility and Action and former executive editor of Out magazine, Raquel shows how we can use our diverse talents and experiences to build solidarity in our fight for social justice.

Lavin’s Hua Hsu Wins 2023 Pulitzer Prize for Stay True—His Book on Friendship, Pop Culture, Asian-American Identity

Congratulations to Lavin speaker Hua Hsu for winning the 2023 Pulitzer Prize in Memoir or Autobiography for the memoir that catapulted him to literary stardom, Stay True.

The Secret to Breaking Rules and Finding Creativity? It’s All About Discipline. Lavin Welcomes Eddie Huang

Eddie is a director and producer, celebrity chef, and the New York Times bestselling author of the memoir Fresh Off the Boat, which was adapted into the longest-running Asian American sitcom ever. He shows us how to achieve success by cultivating discipline and staying true to ourselves.

The Psychological Safety Playbook: Minette Norman’s How-To Guide for Building Successful Teams

Congratulations to Minette Norman, former VP of Engineering Practice at Autodesk, whose book The Psychological Safety Playbook is out now! It’s the ultimate how-to guide on developing psychological safety—feeling safe to ask questions and take risks—which is the key ingredient for successful teams.

Stay True Named to New York Times Top 10 Books of 2022: Lavin Welcomes Author Hua Hsu

We need to tell diverse, messy, complicated stories—not only to achieve crucial representation in media, but also to help us figure out who we are and what is possible. In his bestselling memoir Stay True, named a Best Book of the Year everywhere from TIME to Pitchfork, Hua Hsu explores Asian-American identity and the importance of storytelling, plus grief, pop culture, […]

Building a Workplace You Want to Be a Part Of: Lavin Welcomes Bully Market Author Jamie Fiore Higgins

What does it really look like to recognize—and improve—an unhealthy workplace? Jamie Fiore Higgins, author of the acclaimed memoir Bully Market, has firsthand experience from her 18 years at a toxic Wall Street company. Today, Jamie draws on her experience to show us what it takes to change our workplace cultures, promote inclusion and diversity, […]

George M. Johnson

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

Anna Unites Bold and Brave Voices to Uplift Black America

Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman is behind The Black Agenda: the first ever book to bring together dozens of Black writers, scholars, and leaders to solve today’s most pressing social issues, from economics to education to climate change. The Black Agenda “will challenge what you think is possible” (Ibram X. Kendi, New York Times bestselling author). America needs help. […]

Margot Lee Shetterly

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

Honoring the Legacy of Edward O. Wilson, Pioneering Harvard Biologist

Upon hearing of the passing of immensely influential biologist

A Reckoning of Racist Ideologies: The Lavin Agency Welcomes Psychiatrist Jonathan Metzl

We are only just beginning to understand the deep impacts of racial resentment—including its fatal consequences on public health. In the era of Donald Trump, many lower- and middle-class white Americans were drawn to politicians who pledged to make their lives great again. But as Lavin’s newest speaker physician JONATHAN METZL shows in his explosive […]

Redefining Power and Profitability: The Lavin Agency Welcomes DEI Leader Deepa Purushothaman

In her deeply personal book The First, the Few, the Only (forthcoming), Deepa Purushothaman reveals her experience as an Indian-American woman in the corporate world. Joining The Lavin Agency as a new speaker, she offers this real-world experience as a guiding light for organizations looking to evolve—creating diversity, equity, and inclusion measures that actually work.  […]

The Power of Creative Leadership: The Lavin Agency Welcomes Former Nike CMO Greg Hoffman

There is perhaps no one more qualified to advise you on the ins-and-outs of creative leadership than new Lavin speaker Greg Hoffman. Throughout his 20+ years at Nike, Hoffman helped lead the sporting giant’s most innovative branding, marketing, and design efforts—from the Emmy Award-winning Colin Kaepernick campaign to the most remembered ad of the 2016 […]

Insights for Building a Positive Workplace Culture in 2021: Download Lavin’s Report

In 2020, our world changed overnight—and so did our workplaces. The Lavin Agency’s 2021 WORKPLACE CULTURE REPORT explores the lessons we’ve learned since the pandemic began, and how to apply them to our organizations in a proactive way. Informed by industry-leading experts and trailblazers, this report will provide you and your team with the right […]

Out Now—Heather McGhee’s The Sum of Us “is a book we all need.”

“The Sum of Us is a must read for everyone who wants to understand how we got here, but more importantly, where we can go from here—and how we get there, together,” says Alicia Garza, author of The Purpose of Power and co-founder of Black Lives Matter. In talks based on her highly anticipated book, […]

Centering the Black Experience: Introducing Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman

If we want to achieve an inclusive economy that works for all, we must begin by giving Black women a seat at the table, says Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman. An activist and emerging researcher, she specializes in data-driven solutions that address the future of work and its implications for Black people in both corporate and academic […]

The Awesome Power of Chance: Introducing New Speaker Sean B. Carroll

The Lavin Agency is proud to announce its new speaker and one of the most masterful science storytellers of our time, Sean B. Carroll. An internationally recognized Evolutionary Biologist and award-winning writer, film producer, and educator, he is a thriller raconteur and renowned scientist.    Carroll’s pioneering scientific research centers on the genes that control […]

How To Have Better Conversations About Race At Work

We, as a society, haven’t been the same since the horrifying video of George Floyd’s death circulated the Internet earlier this year. Beyond the international protests against police brutality, this tragic incident has sparked a wider conversation about racial bias in all areas of our lives—including at work. A new report by The Society for […]

The Top 10 Social Activist Speakers Changing the World Today

Lavin’s Top 10 Social Activist Speakers are the thought-leaders and advocates pushing for a better world. Whether it’s through art, history, education, or humanitarian efforts, these speakers are not only calling for change, but actively making it happen.  LaToya Ruby Frazier: LaToya Ruby Frazier treats art as activism. With her powerful images of post-industrial towns […]

How Can Entrepreneurs Get Through COVID-19? Business Journalist David Sax Reveals Two Essential Truths

If business owners can learn to embrace two certainties, they’ll be able to get through anything, says David Sax. In his new piece for Entrepreneur, he considers how the challenges presented by COVID-19 are showing us what we’re capable of. “The only way entrepreneurs will get through this is by embracing our two core truths […]

Lavin’s Top Women & Leadership Speakers Are Breaking Barriers—and Inspiring Others to Do the Same

In honor of International Women’s Day, we’re shining the spotlight on our Top Women & Leadership Speakers. These women are all powerhouses in their fields—from business and law to STEM and sports. They’re reshaping the worlds they work in, and as speakers, their stories and expertise empower other women to do the same.      […]

Lavin’s Top 10 Corporate Culture Speakers Changing the Workplace of Tomorrow

More than just a modern-day business buzzword, corporate culture plays an integral role in a company’s success. Whether it’s innovation, collaboration, diversity, or a commitment to taking risks, Lavin’s Top Corporate Culture Speakers will help you elevate your organization by championing strong values and putting people first. Stephanie Mehta: Few people know what makes an […]

Lavin’s Top Race Speakers Explore the Past and Present, and Share Their Solutions for the Future

As we enter a new decade, there’s a lot to look forward to—and a lot left to fight for. And unfortunately, racism isn’t a relic of shameful times past—it’s still very much alive today. Here at The Lavin Agency, our Top Race Speakers tackle this tough topic from all angles—public policy, pop culture, education, and […]

Lavin’s Top Happiness & Wellness Speakers Inspire Personal Growth and Positive Change

Everyone wants to be happy and healthy—but it doesn’t come easy. The pressure of performing well at work and having a fulfilling personal life can often be hard to manage—and that’s where Lavin’s Top Happiness & Wellness Speakers come in. Experts in how to actively enhance our inner lives and outer selves, they inspire audiences […]

The Anthropocene Project, Featuring the Acclaimed Photography of Edward Burtynsky, Launches New VR App

The Anthropocene Project—the cumulative work of a years-long exploration of humanity’s impact on the world—is embracing the future with a new VR app. A multidisciplinary endeavor combining a feature documentary (directed by Edward Burtynsky, Jennifer Baichwal, and Nicholas de Pencier), art photography, scientific research, and now VR, The Anthropocene Project engages viewers with its in-depth […]

Ashton Applewhite Talks Ageism with Katie Couric on Next Question

What if discrimination on the basis of age were just as unacceptable as other kinds of prejudice? Why is society’s view of aging so grim when the lived reality is so different? Author and anti-ageism activist Ashton Applewhite connected with Katie Couric on her podcast, Next Question, to discuss. Together, they tackle tough questions about ageism, […]

Reforming Education: Top Ten Teaching and Learning Speakers

From boosting economic growth, to living healthier and happier lives, the benefits of education are rich and plenty. Lavin’s Top Ten Teaching and Learning Speakers address how we can reform our public institutions, deepen our knowledge, increase productivity, and ultimately, achieve more success.   With a New York Times bestselling book and Viral TED talk […]

Top 10 Team-Building Speakers: Fostering Meaningful Connections in the Workplace

A company can’t succeed without its people, and people can’t succeed without each other. These Top 10 team-building speakers illuminate how to create long-lasting connections in the workplace—improving productivity, collaboration, and happiness in the process. Darby Allen is widely celebrated for safely evacuating the residents of Fort McMurray during Alberta’s 2016 forest fires. Today, the […]

Unforgettable Workshops & Interactive Keynotes from Our Leading Workshop Speakers

Does your event call for hands-on audience engagement? Expertly led workshops? An unforgettable interactive keynote experience? These speakers do it all—speak, teach, and get people out of their seats for entertaining and motivating interactive workshops and keynotes, tailored to your audience’s precise needs.   David Robertson – How Do You Lead Innovation? David Robertson, MIT professor […]

Lavin’s Most Powerful Voices in the Fight Against White Nationalism

White nationalism looks and sounds different than it used to—in many cases appearing, thinly disguised, in mainstream media and at the highest levels of government. Add to that the power of the internet, making it easier than ever to radicalize, and you’ve got a scary situation that needs strong, sensible, compelling voices on race, justice, […]

Lavin Speaker Lera Boroditsky Had the Most Popular TED Talk of 2018

Lavin speaker Lera Boroditsky had the most popular TED talk of 2018. Millions have watched her explain how language shapes the way we think. Watch it below. In her funny and fascinating breakdown of how language shapes the way we think, cognitive scientist Lera Boroditsky draws on examples from the field—an Aboriginal language rooted in direction; Russia’s […]

Black History Month: The Struggles of Our Past Teach Us About Our Present

February is Black History Month—a time in which we celebrate the important contributions and achievements of African Americans throughout history. Lavin speakers Titus Kaphar, Heather McGhee and Margot Lee Shetterly engage with this crucial history through a variety of lenses: art, policy, STEM. But most importantly they draw wisdom from it, in order to forge a better future.    […]

Fresh, Powerful Perspectives: Say Hello to Our Women in Leadership Speakers

Innovative ideas come from diverse leadership. That’s a fact. Minette Norman, VP of Engineering at software leader Autodesk was the only person who could demolish the silos restricting progress; Maureen Chiquet led Chanel and Banana Republic through a decade of retail disruption; and Margot Lee Shetterly is the author of the #1 bestseller Hidden Figures, about the black […]

“Fierce.” “Impassioned.” “Oscar-Worthy.” The Hate U Give Movie—Based on Angie Thomas’s #1 Bestseller—Opens Today.

Not content to spend 85 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list (where it’s currently enjoying a return to the #1 spot), Lavin speaker Angie Thomas’ phenomenon of a first novel is currently sweeping the nation as a feature film, collecting popular and critical praise—and even being touted as an “Oscar-worthy masterpiece” (Forbes). We’ve collected […]

Three Causes of Populism, and One Solution: Positive Nationalism

Yascha Mounk recently spoke as part of the Rotman School of Management’s #shiftdisturbers series. Drawing from his book The People vs. Democracy, his fact-packed talk explored the populist phenomenon, with examples from around the world: how it gains power, how it fails people, and the three alarmingly familiar similarities all populist uprisings share. 1. A […]

Transformative Organizational Change Isn’t Impossible. New Speaker Heather McGhee Has Done It and Can Show You How.

In the wake of two wrongful, racially motivated arrests in their store, Starbucks entrusted  HEATHER C. MCGHEE and her team at Demos to create and implement a groundbreaking racial bias training strategy. Now Lavin’s latest speaker, McGhee is a policy expert and natural storyteller who draws from her research and experience to help kickstart transformative […]

“One of the Strongest Artists to Emerge in This Country, This Century.” New York Magazine Lead Art Critic on LaToya Ruby Frazier

LaToya Ruby Frazier—photographer, MacArthur “Genius” and one of Lavin’s most compelling speakers on the entanglement of race, labor, family, and the environment—was described by influential New York Magazine art critic Jerry Saltz as a, “36-year old oracle … one of the strongest artists to emerge in this country this century.” (Vulture).   What do LaToya Ruby […]

The Lavin Weekly: America Is Guns, The Origins of Creativity, Disrupted Mayonnaise, and How to Raise Pro-Athletes

In this edition of The Lavin Weekly, James Fallows’ defeated take on the tragedy in Las Vegas; Edward O. Wilson’s colorful description of humanity; Bianca Bosker profiles a Silicon Valley superstar; and Karl Subban explains how he raised three NHL stars.  1. “This is who we are.” In the immediate wake of the tragedy in Las Vegas, […]

With Today’s Complexity, Tiny Errors Can Lead to Enormous Meltdowns. It Can Happen to Any Organization, Says András Tilcsik

Our world is a network of complicated systems—think travel, healthcare, finance, or media. But because these systems are now so dizzyingly complex, even the smallest of errors can lead to enormous disasters. Enter András Tilcsik. As co-author of the hotly anticipated Meltdown, he maps why our systems fail, and how we can check disaster at its source.   […]

A Town Wants to Secede From Its School District: Nikole Hannah-Jones’ NYT Mag Cover Story Probes the Return of Segregation

In her recent, rigorous, and heart-stopping cover story for The New York Times Magazine Education Issue, National Magazine Award-winner Nikole Hannah-Jones delivers a probing view into the black population of Jefferson County, Alabama, as they try to live freely in a town looking to resegregate the school systems.   

The Lavin Weekly: Instagram’s Hate Filter, Cracks in the Administration, A First for Marvel, & a New Innovator in Residence

In this edition of The Lavin Weekly, Nicholas Thompson explores the ethics of Instagram’s hate speech filter; Matt Taibbi questions the president’s sanity (for real this time); the latest issue of Gabby Rivera’s America is out just in time for Hispanic Heritage Month; and Jer Thorp is the 2017 Library of Congress Innovator in Residence. 1. […]

Repairing an Unequal Nation: Five Top Speakers on the Art of Change

Keynote speakers Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Jeff Chang, Gabby Rivera, and Reza Aslan hail from the middle east to the midwest, but they all have one thing in common: an infectious desire to make the world a more peaceful and equitable place.  Khalil Gibran Muhammad: Professor of History, Race, and Public Policy at Harvard […]

“We can’t erase this history. We have to know it.” Titus Kaphar’s New TED Talk Uses Art to Amend the Past

Titus Kaphar is a painter and sculptor, best known for his TIME Magazine portrait of Ferguson protestors, and for The Jerome Project, in which he explores the volume of black men trapped in the criminal justice system. In Kaphar’s TED Talk (released today), he applies an on-the-spot amendment to a classic painting, revealing a slave’s hidden […]

“Aging is a natural process that unites us all”: Ashton Applewhite, Anti-Ageism Activist

One of the freshest faces to the Lavin roster is the wonderful Ashton Applewhite, author of This Chair Rocks, whose energy and dry wit infuses her writing, activism, and keynotes. Addressing ageism in the worklace and society at large, she presents new persectives on aging, pointing to alternative ways of viewing ourselves and the world we live […]

Shifting Focus in Art and Life: Titus Kaphar Receives a Standing Ovation at TED 2017

“Painting is a visual language where everything is meaningful, important, and coded,” says new speaker Titus Kaphar in his TED Talk, which brought the Vancouver audience to its feet. How can we amend our visual intelligence? With no small amount of dynamism, Kaphar shows how we can acknowledge our past, while changing the gaze historically applied […]

Khalil Gibran Muhammad: Race, Education, and Rewriting the Legacy of the Invisible Man

“If we only search for a narrative that is most convenient to us, then we ourselves may be part of this nation’s going over the cliff,” says new Lavin speaker and Harvard professor Khalil Gibran Muhammad. Obscuring the nastier parts of American history may seem politically correct—but it also denies truths that encourage social growth. Khalil […]

Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures Is a #1 NYT Bestseller and the #1 Film in America

Huge congratulations to Margot Lee Shetterly—her book, Hidden Figures, is a #1 New York Times bestseller, and its movie adaptation was #1 at this weekend’s box office! It’s an epic Civil-Rights history, but also a story of innovation, technology, and women breaking through in STEM fields. Hidden Figures follows Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson, […]

“We need new heroes”—Time Features Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures, the Untold Story of NASA’s Black Female Mathematicians

Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures, the incredible true story of the black women mathematicians who helped America win the space race, is the subject of a lengthy feature in the latest issue of Time. The book is an instant bestseller, the film a star-studded affair out this Christmas, and the story—one of science, innovation, race, […]

Funding Your Dreams: Meet Kickstarter Co-Founder Yancey Strickler

The Lavin Agency is pleased to welcome our newest exclusive keynote speaker, Kickstarter co-founder and CEO Yancey Strickler!  Strickler co-founded Kickstarter to help bring creative projects to life. In the process, he has started an important conversation about how companies can stick to their ideals, resist conformity, and contribute to the public good. “I think […]

Jelani Cobb Explores Mass Incarceration in the New Netflix Documentary 13th

The much-talked-about Netflix documentary 13th shines a moving, galvanizing light upon the state of criminal justice in the U.S. Specifically, it examines a loophole in the 13th Amendment, ostensibly abolishing slavery, that has since allowed for the forced labor and mass incarceration of Americans (2.2 million, currently, and one in every three black men). Exploring […]

ABC Picks Up Bestselling Author Reza Aslan’s Iranian-American Family Comedy

On the heels of successful sitcoms like Black-ish and the Eddie Huang-created Fresh Off the Boat, ABC has purchased a new single-camera comedy from Lavin’s own Reza Aslan and former Friends executive producer/co-showrunner Andrew Reich.  Executive-produced by Aslan and Reich, the as-yet-unnamed show will center on an Iranian-American family living in San Jose, CA—one that […]

Design Evangelist John Maeda’s New Job: Promoting Inclusion and Open Source

Congratulations are in order for design speaker John Maeda, who’s moving on after three productive years as the Design Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Maeda will join Automattic, parent company of WordPress.com, WooCommerce, and Jetpack, as their Global Head of Computational Design and Inclusion, where he’ll oversee design efforts and ensure an inclusive […]

Trump Roundup: Ali, Fallows, & Francis

The Donald Trump-Ghazala Khan saga has evolved once again. Khan, the mother of slain U.S. military captain Humayun Khan, came under fire from Trump after remaining silent while her husband spoke at last week’s Democratic National Convention. “If you look at his wife, she was standing there,” Trump said. “She had nothing to say. She […]

Watch: Jelani Cobb Examines Newark, NJ Law Enforcement in Policing the Police

Jelani Cobb’s new Frontline documentary, Policing the Police, is now available online. The film follows Cobb as he profiles the Newark police force, a department known for its brutality despite being one of the most diverse units in the nation.    Frontline also interviewed Cobb—one of the country’s most prominent voices on race and injustice—about […]

A Classroom Divided: Nikole Hannah-Jones on School Segregation

It’s been 62 years since Brown v. Board of Education, but school segregation in America is very much alive. In a recent long-form feature for NYT Magazine, Nikole Hannah-Jones—winner of a 2015 George Polk Award for radio reporting for her This American Life story on school segregation—gives an intensely personal account of choosing a Brooklyn […]

NC’s “Bathroom Bill” and Segregation: Jelani Cobb in The New Yorker

Bill HB2 should jog your memory, says Jelani Cobb—and not in a good way. The controversial North Carolina bill—which requires citizens to use the restroom that corresponds to their assigned sex at birth—has drawn the ire of many, including businesses, other state governments, and popular musicians like Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam. And in The New Yorker, Cobb […]

First Look: John Elder Robison’s New Book, Switched On

John Elder Robison—bestselling author, neurodiversity scholar, and leading voice on autism—has a new book hitting stores on March 22. Switched On: A Memoir of Brain Change and Emotional Awakening tells the astonishing story of how Robinson underwent TMS, or Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: Harvard’s cutting-edge brain therapy that can “unlock” emotional intelligence in people on the autism spectrum. The […]

Avoid the Male-Dominated Lineup with Lavin’s Women of Distinction

Ever notice a conspicuous lack of women speakers at panels, symposiums, and conferences? You’re certainly not alone—a growing number of critics have pointed out the strange frequency of all-male panels, and their rather dismissive defenders. Now, we’re seeing some math proving that women really are being overlooked. In a new article in The Atlantic, Lauren […]

Driving Progress: Lavin Speakers Chosen for GOOD 100

The GOOD 100 is a compendium of people, ideas, and programs changing our planet for the better. We're so pleased to see Lavin speakers Negin Farsad and Cesar Harada on this year's list, alongside Randi Zuckerberg, Barbara Bush, environmental activist Ma Jun, and Moscow journalist Dmitry Aleshkovsky. Negin Farsad is one of the few Iranian-American […]

Civil Rights Legend Minnijean Brown Trickey’s MLK Week Standing Ovation

At a recent Martin Luther King Jr. Week for Peace event, civil rights legend Minnijean Brown Trickey received a standing ovation after her keynote address. A member of the Little Rock Nine who helped desegregate public schools, she spoke about civil rights and Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy, telling the audience: “Dr. King asked us […]

Preview: Black History Month Speakers Angela Davis & Minnijean Brown Trickey

Lavin has a powerhouse lineup of Black History Month speakers and diversity speakers perfect for your upcoming event. Whether you're celebrating this month (in The United Kingdom) or in February (for Canada and The United States), our keynote presenters deliver powerful and inspiring speeches that will surely resonate with your crowd. These speakers will also […]

How To Fight Stereotypes With Comedy: Social Justice Speaker Negin Farsad

“Something we could learn from the gay community's leaps and bounds in civil rights in the last twenty years was just don't hide it, tell people,” Negin Farsad tells NPR. The social justice comic and speaker recently released a documentary film, The Muslims Are Coming!, aimed at doing just that. She and her co-creator Dean […]

Social Change Speaker Jessica Jackley: We Need More Female Entrepreneurs

“We must increase the number of women entrepreneurs, of women CEOs, of women leaders in every field,” social change speaker Jessica Jackley tells The Wall Street Journal. In her Chelsea Clinton-approved article (the former First Daughter recommended it highly on her Facebook page this week), Jackley says that women in leadership roles are a huge […]

The Muslims Are Coming!: Negin Farsad Debuts Her Social Justice Comedy

“After September 11, being Muslim almost became an accusation,” comedian and diversity speaker Negin Farsad told Policy Mic. “It was almost like, 'How dare you be Muslim!'” She adds: “The idea of 'being Muslim' was used to galvanize another group of people.” Policy Mic calls Farsad “courageous” for her efforts to combat Islamophobia. In her new film, […]

Reza Aslan’s Zealot Is A “Fantastic Read:” John Oliver, The Daily Show

Religion speaker Reza Aslan recently stopped by The Daily Show to give an exclusive interview about his new book, Zealot. Host John Oliver conducted the in-depth discussion (check out Part One embedded above; Part Two here; and Part Three here).In Zealot, Aslan examines the life of Jesus the man through the lens of the historical […]

Zealot, By Reza Aslan, Debuts In The Top 3 On Amazon’s Bestseller List

Zealot, the new book from bestselling author Reza Aslan, was released today to wide public acclaim. On Amazon, Zealot has already been slotted into the top three of the bestsellers list. Publishers Weekly also chose the book as one of “The Best New Books for the Week.” PW writes that “Aslan offers a compelling argument […]

Starred Review: Reza Aslan’s Zealot Gets a Rave Review From Kirkus

Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, the new book by Reza Aslan, will be released later this month. His newest work has already been getting positive reviews. Recently, Publishers Weekly called the book: “Compulsively readable.” Below is another glowing recommendation, this one a starred review from Kirkus Reviews: A well-researched, readable biography […]

We Can’t Keep Microbes Out: Jessica Green On The New Era Of Design

You can't see it, but there's a diverse ecosystem of microbes sharing your office with you. In fact, as science speaker Jessica Green says in a Smart Planet article, “in the place where we spend 90 percent of our lives—indoors—there’s as great a diversity as you would see in a tropical rainforest.” These microbial ecosystems are […]

Being The “Other”: Director Mira Nair On Cultural Identity

“Living in America, in the 10 years since 9/11, it has been very disturbing to see how little we know of the other side,” says film director Mira Nair in an interview with the BBC News. In her new film, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, the diversity speaker shines a light on that “other side”, and addresses […]

Building Bridges: Reza Aslan Honored For Improving East-West Relations

Reza Aslan, a New York Times bestselling author and diversity speaker, doesn't pull any punches when tackling misconceptions about Muslims and Islam. His well-researched representations of these commonly misunderstood groups are accessible and provide clarity. In short, he builds bridges across gaps in understanding—mainly between the Eastern and Western worlds. That's why the Tanenbaum Center […]

Emily Bazelon Has Written an “Authoritative and Important” Book on Bullying Says NYT

“In its prescriptions Sticks and Stones shines,” the New York Times writes about Lavin speaker Emily Bazelon's new book. “That is why this authoritative and important book should not only be read by educators and parents alike, but should also be taught in law schools and journalism schools.” Bazelon argues that stamping out bullying involves more […]

A Standing Ovation For Civil Rights Legend Minnijean Brown Trickey

In 1957, diversity speaker Minnijean Brown Trickey was one of nine other black students to become the first to integrate into what was once an all-white school. In a new keynote, she says that the experience was hostile, at best. However, her reception was far more favorable years later when she walked through the doors […]