Recognising the achievements and struggles of the Black community, Black History Month is a vital event in the fight against systematic racism. In our latest post, discover the top speakers on Black History Month available to book, whose passion for equality resonates with corporate audiences of all industries.
What is Black History Month?
First recognised in 1915 in America, Black History Month has since become a global event. It is honoured by several countries, including businesses, organisations and political figures across the United Kingdom.
The importance of Black History Month is evident from the inequalities in business. In 2021, it is reported that there are only four Black CEOs in Fortune 500 companies, reflecting the bias and lack of opportunities for Black professionals.
Professor of Public History at the University of Manchester
David Olusoga is a British historian with an invested interest in Black culture. As a speaker, he explores the role systemic racism takes in the workplace, referencing his personal experience of discrimination to engage audiences. David was recognised with a BAFTA for his documentary, 'Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners', a testament to his reputation for Black historical study.
"David was great, very inspirational and staff was really buzzing. The keynote sparked great conversations and hopefully we can continue those in the months to come." - Staffordshire University
Founder of The House of Mandela
As the daughter of Nelson Mandella, Makaziwe Mandela is continuing her father’s legacy through gender and racial equality campaigning. She founded the House of Mandela, an organisation that promotes a clear message of equality in the face of racism and sexism. For your Black History Month event, Makaziwe is a powerful addition.
"We are different, but in our differences, there is unity, there is camaraderie amongst all of us." - Makaziwe Mandela
Black British Awards Entrepreneur of the Year
Named among the 100 Most Influential BAME Leaders in Tech, Piers Linney is the ideal speaker for corporate Black History Month conferences. As he is a leading figure in business, with a former role on 'Dragons’ Den', attendees will instantly recognise Piers as an authority. Able to discuss racism in the workplace, his empowering talks resonate with audiences.
“Great talk last night, what really resonated was your insight into inevitable changes to industry that will affect and disrupt the current model and how adding value will be essential to every business model. Thankyou!” - DB Sports Agency
Former Fitness Instructor on GMTV
Many will recognise Mr Motivator from his appearances on GMTV, as their high-energy fitness instructor. However, following the #BlackLivesMatter protests in 2020, he revealed the racism he experienced while trying to break into entertainment, highlighting the historic discrimination in Britain. When booked for Black History Month events, he can recount this experience for audiences.
"I'd spoken to the guy on the phone. I walked in, and he asked me, 'why didn't you tell me you were black?'. And I said to him, 'because you didn't tell me you were white'." - Mr Motivator
Founder of ‘The Hip-hop Shakespeare Company’
Combining music and social activism, Akala is a leading voice on racial equality. He is a powerful addition to Black History Month events, as his ongoing exploration of British history educates audiences, while his visible passion leaves attendees inspired. A poignant speaker, this BAFTA and MOBO award winner talks extensively on Black history.
"As a Citi employee I’d like to thank Akala for speaking last week. I learned a great deal and am extremely grateful." - Citi Bank
Record Holder for Best Cricket Bowling Figures
When cricketing legend, Michael Holding, gave his powerful speech on Sky Sports, little did he know it would spark a movement in sport. In 2020, he spoke openly about his experience with racism and the discrepancies in British historical education that drives prejudice. When booked for events, Michael supplies an impactful and emotive discussion on race.
“We need to go back and teach both sides of history. Now, until we do that and educe the entire human race, [racist attacks] won’t stop.” - Michael Holding
Founder & CEO of The MOBO Awards
When Kanya King identified a lack of recognition for Black musicians, she founded the MOBO Awards, an annual ceremony dedication to jazz, soul, R&B and more. Named in Britain's 100 Most Entrepreneurial Women, Kanya spearheaded vital change in the music industry, a feat that makes her perfect for Black History Month events.
"Kanya is an inspiration to women around the world! Listening to her journey really kicked off the launch of our diversity & inclusion program. Her endless energy and positivity shines through in her speaking. Our employees left feeling motivated, invigorated and compelled to follow their dreams." - AOL International
George The Poet
Podcast Award Winner at Peabody Awards
Through the power of music, George The Poet has sparked valuable discussions on race, equality and Black history in Britain. George highlights the inequalities still prevalent in society through his lyrics, touching the hearts of all who listen – particularly audiences at Black History Month events. George’s captivating talks lead to meaningful change.
"Thank you very much for your incredible contribution to KPMG’s Global Storytelling Masterclass. We had more than 4,000 colleagues from over 50 countries around the world tune into the session, and from all corners of the globe the response and feedback to your session was incredible.” - KPMG
Author of ‘Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race’
Reni Eddo-Lodge encourages uncomfortable conversations through her literature, television appearances and speaking engagements. The author of ‘Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race’, a Sunday Times Bestseller, Reni’s comprehensive discussion of race makes her perfect for Black History Month events. She will dismantle myths around White privilege at your event, educating audiences.
“If you are disgusted by what you see, and if you feel the fire coursing through your veins, then it's up to you. You don't have to be the leader of a global movement or a household name. It can be as small scale as chipping away at the warped power relations in your workplace.” - Reni Eddo-Lodge
First Female Boxer to Win Olympic Gold
Nicola Adams is the first female boxer to win Olympic Gold, an achievement that catapulted her to the global sporting stage. As a Black, female, LGBTQ+ sportsperson, Nicola’s intersectional experience makes her the ideal speaker for a wide range of audiences, as can relate to attendees of all backgrounds. Nicola is an instantly recognisable addition to Black History Month events.
"Fantastic! Nicola was open, honest and inspiring. It went amazingly well, and we can’t wait to have her back.” - Macquarie Group Services
Head of Talent Development and Inclusion at Lloyd’s of London
As the Head of Talent Development and Inclusion at Lloyd’s of London, Pauline Miller is a popular speaker on workplace equality. Her experience within leading companies like Barclays makes Pauline an impactful speaker at Black History Month corporate events, as she tailors her guidance to business audiences.
“The biggest challenge [in diversity and inclusion] is having people recognise that diversity applies to them too; that it is no longer two-dimension or about somebody else, diversity is an organisation-wide issue.” - Pauline Miller
Ambassador for Show Racism the Red Card
Anita Asante is a beacon of Black representation in sport. The footballing icon played for England 71 times, competing on the global stage to win the FA Cup and Premier League with her team. At Black History Month events, Anita can discuss the progression of equality in sport, and as an Ambassador for Show Racism the Red Card, the impact of racism in football.
“Anita joined our final Festival of Football panel in July 2019 and was such a valuable participant. A passionate advocate for equality and anti-discrimination, Anita is an incredibly knowledgeable and eloquent speaker. Anita’s strength is in being able to articulate powerful and original thought in an accessible and engaging manner.” - Fare Network Ltd
Author of ‘Diversify’
As the author of 'Diversify' and co-founder of the Women: Inspiration and Enterprise Network, June Sarpong is dedicated to gender and racial equality. She presented the MOBO Awards alongside Kanya King, a testament to June’s influence on several different industries. Her impact at Black History Month events is evident through her ongoing work in diversity and inclusion.
“Believe in yourself and be proud of who you are. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. There is beauty in everyone, and no one should stop you from growing into a confident and strong young person.” - June Sarpong
Britain’s 1st Black Chief Constable
Hailed as one of the 100 Great Black Britons for his pioneering work against racial violence, Michael Fuller is the UK’s first Black Chief Constable. He recently published ‘Kill The Black Ones First’, a powerful memoir that recounts the adversity he faced as a minority in the forces. When booked for Black History Month events, he tells the story of rising through the ranks, despite racial prejudice.
"The talk was a huge success, with a great attendance. The audience found Michael’s talk truly inspirational and were amazed by his story of how he rose above all his challenges. Please pass on your gratitude to Michael, we were extremally humbled by his time this afternoon - didn’t want it to end!" - Kavita
World Cup-winning Former England Rugby Player
England rugby star turned powerful diversity and inclusion speaker, Maggie Alphonsi thrills audiences with her account of winning the World Cup and Six Nations several times. She also discusses the impact of racism on sport, and how important Black representation is for inspiring future generations. As a speaker, Maggie is regularly booked for equality-themed events, like Black History Month, to share her incredible story.
"Maggie was our guest speaker at our inaugural International Women’s Day event and it couldn’t have gone better. She was relatable to both the men & women in the room and her personal stories were both funny and inspiring. We were delighted with how the event went and we are very appreciative that she stayed behind to talk to our Associates." - Lockton LLP
Jack Hayes was appointed Director of the Champions Speakers agency in 2012 becoming one of the youngest Directors in the UK. A year later, Jack became a founding member of the European Association of Speakers Bureaux (EASB) collaborating with speaker... Read more
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