02.06.2024 Diversity in Speakers Author: Kelly Campbell
black public speakers
Photo by Pavel Danilyuk

Top 15 Black Public Speakers for Any Month

Seeking the BIPOC perspective in your workplace should be a year-round curiosity. According to a review of top companies by the Washington Post in 2021, Black and Brown people make up only 8% of C-suite executives and 12% of corporate America as a whole.

With such underrepresentation in positions of influence, organizations of all kinds should want to gain greater insight into how to include more Black leaders in decision-making processes, as well as better understand and eradicate the disparate experiences of people of color in the workplace.

Below is our list of 15 Black public speakers your organizations should consider hiring as part of a commitment to create real change.

Breeshia Wade—Takes a grief-informed approach to DEI

This highly lauded author, speaker, and coach fuses her work as a lay-ordained Zen Buddhist Chaplain for hospices and hospitals with her passion for DEI to get to the heart of antiracism – grief. Breeshia strongly believes that the fear of loss faced by those who are losing the benefits of privilege must be addressed to alleviate the grief of those who experience systemic oppression. She has been featured in Reviewed: USA Today, Shondaland, Cosmopolitan, Fast Company, and more. Read more about Breeshia Wade »

A.C. Fowlkes—First transgender man to run a psychiatric hospital

Guided by his principle that “It’s hard to hate up close,” Dr. A.C. Fowlkes empowers organizations to create inclusive spaces for everyone, promoting understanding and respect through his keen insights and knowledge. Dr. Fowlkes’ consulting and workshop facilitation practices focus on diversity and LGBTQ+ inclusion, blazing a new trail of love and acceptance and leading others on it. Read more about A.C. Fowlkes »

Niani Tolbert—Trains Black talent to acquire corporate roles and promotions

Niani Tolbert (she/her) is a speaker, teacher, and coach who has led workshops at Advertising Week, the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, and NYU’s Stern School of Business. On the micro level, she founded HIREBLACK, which helps Black women get trained, hired, and promoted in corporate positions. On the macro level, Niani leads innovative workshops on organizational inclusion. Read more about Niani Tolbert »

Yemi Penn—Conscious leadership through the lens of trauma and mindset decolonization

Yemi Penn (she/her) is a global thought leader and keynote speaker on trauma who bridges the gap between analytical thinking and creativity to disrupt the status quo of inherited false belief systems. Her skillful navigation of corporal pain points paves the way for greater connection within organizations, showing team members how to transform their trauma experiences into power by changing their response. Read more about Yemi Penn »

K. Michael Slater—Applies decades of DEIB experience to organizational change

Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging may seem to be a new body of thought, but K. Michael Slater (he/his) has been consulting organizations on the topic for over 30 years. He is internationally recognized for his achievements in cultural integration, crisis management, executive coaching, and group facilitation. K. Michael works with a wide array of sectors, from academia to the federal government to hospitality and more. Read more about K. Michael Slater »

Nagela Dales—Focuses on creating flourishing equitable economies

Multihyphenated creative Nagela Dales (she/her) helps build radically comprehensive, multi-generational, and equitable economies by making inclusive innovation more accessible and more damn fun! She’s an unapologetic and colorful founder whose life mission is to show that dignity, healing, and self-actualization are not primarily for the individual, but for showing up for one’s community. Read more about Nagela Dales »

Future Cain—Equitable social-emotional leadership expert

An international speaker on workplace wellness, Future Cain (she/her) teaches organizational management how to optimize human potential through social-emotional intelligence. Her holistic approach to leadership, self-awareness, employee wholeness, and relationships has been featured in Forbes, Harvard Business Review, and the New York Times. With over two decades of experience, her career spans the private behavioral sector, education, small businesses, and large corporations. Read more about Future Cain »

Rasheda Williams—Youth mentor and advocate

Rasheda Williams (she/her) is an award-winning mentorship consultant, speaker, advocate, and author who is laser-focused on making a difference in the lives of children and teens. As “chief empowering officer” of Empowered Flower Girl, much of her work revolves around teaching mentors how to garner the attention of young people, build authentic connections with them, and connect them to financial resources that will fuel their passion. Read more about Rasheda Williams »

Paisley Demby—Motivational business speaker

Paisley Demby (he/him) is an executive coach and CEO trainer who is renowned for his keynotes on business leadership, dynamic presentations, in-depth seminars, and lively executive development training courses. Paisley is a gifted orator who inspires audiences to treat others how they want to be treated, a simple yet often underutilized concept in the workplace. Read more about Paisley Demby »

Lola Bakare—A no-BS approach to responsible marketing

Lola Bakare (she/her) is a top consultant on diversity in advertising, CMO advisor, a 2022 LinkedIn Top Voice in Marketing and Advertising, and a Forbes CMO Network contributor. She recently authored Responsible Marketing: How to Create an Authentic and Inclusive Marketing Strategy, a playbook for sincere advocacy and brand activism. She offers these concepts as an award-winning workshop “Maximize The Movement™.” Read more about Lola Bakare »

Glodean Champion—Black, female, queer, military veteran speaker leading with love

Glodean Champion (she/her) is an author and transformational leadership speaker who exists at the intersection of multiple marginalized identities. She works with individuals and organizations to get to the root cause of culturally-based challenges by transforming beliefs, behaviors, and assumptions. Glodean’s unique life experiences and perspective have shaped her guiding principles of “L.O.V.E. in Action” – Learning, Open-mindedness, Vulnerability, and Empathy. Read more about Glodean Champion »

Michael Anthony—Empowers trauma survivor leaders to be the hero in their own story

Michael Anthony (he/him) created the trauma and CPTSD curriculum and top 10 podcast “Think Unbroken” to equip leaders with practical and digestible tools to get unstuck, learn to love themselves, and reclaim their power. Drawing on his journey from “homeless to hero,” Michael is a highly sought-after keynote speaker on healing from childhood trauma, narcissistic abuse, PTSD, CPTSD, high ACE scores, anxiety, depression, and various mental health challenges. Read more about Michael Anthony »

LaTonya Wilkins—Teaches leaders how to build authentic and safe relationships

Author of Leading Below the Surface, LaTonya Wilkins (she/her) is a coach, speaker, and workshop facilitator whose mission is “to create real change in the workplace.” One way the founder of The Change Coaches is doing this is as a diversity and inclusion consultant. In 2019 LaTonya was recognized by her industry peers as one of the most inclusive HR influencers. Read more about LaTonya Wilkins »

April Dinwoodie—Navigates the impact of transracial adoption and foster care on identity 

April Dinwoodie (she/her) is an accomplished corporate marketing and branding professional and nationally-recognized thought leader and speaker who takes her perspective as a Black/bi-racial, transracially adopted person and applies it to organizational flourishing. Developing healthy identity, building strong relationships, and navigating differences of race, class, culture, and gender anchor all that she does to honor our collective humanity. Read more about April Dinwoodie »

Madison Butler—Deconstructs the status quo to rebuild corporate America

Recognized by LinkedIn as a Top Black Voice to follow, Madison Butler is a Black, queer woman and survivor who advocates for the prioritization of mental health and “being human” at work. Her workshops focus on designing spaces to achieve psychological safety, exploring topics such as code-switching, antiracism and allyship, and the intersectionality of race and privilege. Read more about Madison Butler »

About the author

Kelly Campbell is the founder of Consciousness Leaders and Trauma-Informed Conscious Leadership Coach to self-aware visionaries. She writes for Entrepreneur and has written for Forbes. They are the author of "Heal to Lead" (Wiley, 2024), a new book on transforming past trauma in order to uncover our innate leadership power.