• diversity

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.

 
35
Diversity & Race
Speakers
Sort By:
Wanuri Kahiu

Acclaimed Writer & Director of Rafiki | Co-Founder of AFROBUBBLEGUM

When Wanuri Kahiu’s second feature film, the Cannes-selected Rafiki, was banned in her home country of Kenya for featuring a romance between two women, she wouldn’t stand for it. An acclaimed filmmaker and co-founder of AFROBUBBLEGUM, Kahiu’s art and talks show that being fun and frivolous includes—and in fact necessitates—being fierce. 
 
Anthony Jack

Assistant Prof. of Ed. at Harvard University | Author of The Privileged Poor (March 2019)

 A student from a low-income background attends an elite university on scholarship, and finds herself burdened by that status. This is the paradox of the privileged poor student, says sociologist and speaker Anthony Jack. Upheaval like this will be addressed when modern institutions revise the policies of subtle, and not-so-subtle, exclusion that harden these divisions between students. 
Heather McGhee

Distinguished Senior Fellow & Former Pres. of Demos | Expert in Racial Healing

What if, in the middle of your live TV appearance, someone called in and asked for advice in overcoming racial prejudice? For public policy expert and speaker Heather C. McGhee, the response was natural—she helped. In the wake of that exchange (viewed more than 8 million times), Starbucks approached her to institute a company-wide anti-bias training program.
 
Susan Fowler

Time Magazine Person of the Year 2017 | Technology Editor of The New York Times Opinion Section

Susan Fowler is a central figure in the #MeToo movement. Named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year as one of the silence breakers, Fowler is the former Uber engineer whose viral blog post ignited an ongoing, worldwide conversation. The Financial Times named her Person of the Year as well, writing that her actions hold “the potential to improve the way women are treated at work permanently.”
 
Vanessa Grigoriadis

Author of Blurred Lines: Rethinking Sex, Power and Consent on Campus

Questions about power, consent, and assault on college campus have sparked difficult—but necessary—conversations. In this #MeToo moment, how do we engage in practical dialogue and move forward? For three years, the award-winning investigative journalist Vanessa Grigoriadis embedded herself in colleges across America, conducting hundreds of interviews with the survivors, the accused, the parents, the professors, and the administrators—listening with an unbiased ear.
 
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...

Carrie Goldberg

Victims’ Rights Attorney | Author of Fairer Sex (Forthcoming)

Fighting for victims of harassment online and off, Carrie Goldberg is the tenacious lawyer we need in a post-Weinstein, #MeToo world. Profiled in a major New Yorker feature, and with a memoir and TV show in the works, this charismatic advocate works at the intersection of social justice, cyber security, and human rights—and empowers victims, both men and women, to take back their lives.
Vijay Gupta

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

Vijay Gupta is a violinist and educator whose efforts to merge music with mental health are changing the world, note by note. Named a 2018 MacArthur Fellow for “providing musical enrichment and valuab...

Margaret Atwood

Booker Prize-Winning Author of over Fifty Books, Including The Handmaid's Tale and Alias Grace

Margaret Atwood has long been a literary titan, but “current events have polished the oracular sheen of her reputation,” says The New Yorker. With her 1985 novel The Handmaid’s Tale back on the bestsellers lists and its television adaptation awarded eight Emmy Awards, it seems Atwood’s sharp eye is more necessary—and prescient—than ever.
Eman Mohammed

TED Fellow and Photojournalist

Photographer Eman Mohammed knows what it feels—and looks—like to be deemed the other: she began her career as the youngest female photojournalist in Gaza, one of the most dangerous places on the plane...

Kate Bolick

Author of Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own

Kate Bolick’s blockbuster Atlantic cover story, “All the Single Ladies,” drew over a million readers and inspired a heated debate on modern notions of romance, family, career, and success. Now, she presents her book Spinster and invites us into her carefully considered, passionately lived life. Why do some women remain unmarried, she asks, and what are the cultural—and economic—implications of staying single? 
 
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

Journalist, educator, and diversity speaker Jelani Cobb writes about the enormous complexity of race in America. As recipient of the Sidney Hillman Prize for Opinion & Analysis Journalism for his

Heather Payne

Founder of Ladies Learning Code and HackerYou

Why should we care about how technology really works? Why aren’t more women and youth learning how to code? Heather Payne is asking—and answering—these essential questions. Payne is the founder of Ladies Learning Code, a national not-for-profit organization that runs popular workshops for women and girls, a traditionally underrepresented demographic in the programming world. phic in the programming world. 
 
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 a #1 movie in America—is the true story of the black women mathematicians at NASA who helped fuel some of America’s greate...

Angie Thomas

Author of the Black Lives Matter-Inspired YA Novel The Hate U Give, an Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller and Now a Major Motion Picture

Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give—widely known as the first Black Lives Matter-inspired YA novel—is currently a #1 New York Times bestseller, and a resident of the list for 85 weeks and counting. Describe...

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 | VP of Narrative, Arts, and Culture at Race Forward

“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

2018 MacArthur Fellow | 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). Named a 2...

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 former role in the National Inqu...

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, ...

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...

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...

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...

Spike Lee

Award-Winning Director of Do the Right Thing, When the Levees Broke, and BlacKkKlansman

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...

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...

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...