Advocate, Award-Winning Journalist, Author
Kimberly Seals Allers is an award-winning journalist, author of five books, international speaker, strategist, and advocate for maternal and infant health. A former senior editor at Essence and writer at Fortune magazine, Kimberly is a leading commentator on birth, breastfeeding and motherhood and the intersection of race, policy, and culture.
Co-founder Tangelo Technologies, Author
Rebecca Altamirano has dedicated her professional life to working within underrepresented communities to open up access to the culture of power. Her professional path has given her deep hands-on experience on working with the underserved and underrepresented. Many of these experiences she has shared as a co-author of “Be The Change: Reinventing Schools for Student Success”
Founder & CEO of Radical Health
Ivelyse Andino is an Afro-Latina health equity innovator born and raised in The Bronx. She is the founder and CEO of Radical Health and a Commissioner on the New York City Commission on Gender Equity. In 2015 she founded the first Latina owned Public Benefit Corp in New York State.
Visionary Entrepreneur, CEO of Black Star Fund
Kwame Anku is the CEO and Chairman of the Black Star Fund, an early-stage innovation fund. Kwame has worked extensively in business development and media marketing for over two decades, entering into the tech industry after being personally recruited by the late legendary rock star Prince to develop his mobile app, overseeing business and development teams on Africa, Asia, and the US.
Columnist, Author, Tech Entrepreneur
A sought after voice of inspiration, Mandy is a columnist, founder, and prolific influencer. Her breadth of work in mind+body connection and unwavering optimism has earned her global attention and positioning alongside elite social leaders and sports figures around the world. Mandy now travels the globe inspiring resilience through her recent and personal triumph in mental and physical wellness.
National Broadcast Journalist, Host of “Banmiller on Business”
Brian Banmiller is a national business journalist and public speaker who has spent more than 40 years in the news industry, covering business, politics and the economy on television, radio and in print. Currently, his “Banmiller on Business” reports and speeches are delivered to an audience of millions nationwide.
Co-Founder & CEO of O.school, Author
Andrea Barrica, author of Sex Tech Revolution, is CEO and Co-founder of O.school, a judgment-free multimedia platform to learn about sexuality and pleasure. Previously, Andrea co-founded accounting and tax platform, inDinero.com, where she led sales and operations. She also served as a venture partner and entrepreneur-in-residence at 500 Startups.
Master of Transformation, Author
Chris is a master of transformation. His unique energetic approach challenges businesses to embed a dynamic creative culture within their company ethos. Brands such as Nike, Coca-Cola, Diageo, Unilever, Sony, and WPP come back time and again as his results produce tangible returns on investment.
Mavericks Champion, Guinness World Record Holder
International Inspirational Speaker; Big Wave Surfing Mavericks Champion; Stand-Up Paddleboarding Guinness World Record Holder; Chris Bertish shifts boundaries, shatters perceptions and achieves what most people perceive impossible.
Founder and CEO of Seed&Spark
Emily Best is the founder and CEO of Seed&Spark. An advocate for equity inclusion in the entertainment industry (and the entire working world), Best regularly speaks at conferences and events about leveraging entertainment to build equity and sustainability for everyone, crowdfunding, and pitching, building equitable startups, and serves as an advisor and mentor to dozens of early-stage companies.
The Mathpath, Director of Equitable Design & Impact at Culture Amp
Aubrey Blanche is The Mathpath (Math Nerd + Empath), Director of Equitable Design & Impact at Culture Amp, and a startup investor, and advisor. She questions, reimagines, and redesigns the systems that surround us to ensure that all people access equitable opportunities.
CEO and Co-founder of Hearken, Award-Winning Journalist, Serial Entrepreneur, Innovator
Jennifer Brandel is an award-winning journalist, founder and organizer whose work spans journalism, civic engagement, democracy and entrepreneurship. She’s a dynamic, sought-after keynote speaker and workshop facilitator. Brandel began her career in journalism reporting for outlets including NPR, CBC, WBEZ, The New York Times, and Vice. She is the founder of Hearken, which helps institutions better listen and respond to their stakeholders.
Founder and CEO of Win-Win, Former Pro-Athlete
Mike Brown, a pro-athlete turned self-taught coder, transitioned from tackling to tech and went on to be the founder and CEO of Win-Win, a platform powered by gaming and giving. Win-Win enables pro athletes and influencers to monetize their fanbase and help brands engage with end consumers.
DEI Truth Teller, HR Change Maker
Madison Butler is a Black, queer woman, and a survivor. Her work is focused around designing spaces and creating scalable strategies to achieve psychological safety. An outspoken advocate for mental health, she is passionate about facilitating hard conversations through storytelling, data, and tough empathy, and removing stigma around trauma, and advisor for being “human at work”.
Co-founder & CEO of La Familia, Model, Actress
Cheryl Campos is the co-founder and CEO of La Familia, a non-profit organization focused on closing the capital gap for Latine founders and funders. Previously, she was the Head of Venture Growth and Partnerships at Republic, an investment platform for founders to raise capital from both accredited and non-accredited investors. Cheryl is a recognized speaker and is passionate about the intersection of finance, technology, and social impact.
COO & Partner at Tangelo
Tara Carter is a highly driven COO/Partner at Tangelo and a Partner at Backstage Capital, providing full circle guidance to startups and larger. She has over 25 years of experience in mentoring, growing and advising startups, investor relations, omni-channel marketing, business strategy, deep technology, and product development, diversity and inclusion, predictive analytics, data visualization, business intelligence, and activism.
Co-Founder & CEO of SHYFT Power Solutions
Ugwem Eneyo is co-founder and CEO of SHYFT Power Solutions, specializing in the use of IoT software and big data to improve access to clean, reliable and affordable energy solutions in markets that struggle with grid resiliency. Ms. Eneyo explores how we use tech to create ‘grids of the future’ but particularly in emerging markets. She’s given talks on the nexus of energy and sustainable development to global thought leaders, including the World Bank.
Founder & CEO of Change Catalyst, Author on Allyship
Melinda Briana Epler, author of “How To Be An Ally”, has over 25 years of experience developing business innovation and inclusion strategies for startups, Fortune 500 companies, and global NGOs. As CEO of Change Catalyst, Melinda currently works with the tech industry to solve diversity and inclusion together. Using her background in storytelling and large-scale culture change, she is a strategic advisor for tech companies, tech hubs, and governments around the world.
Award-Winning Journalist, Podcast Producer, Public Speaker, Consultant, Advocate for Hip Hop culture
Michael “Manny Faces” Conforti is an award-winning journalist, podcast professional, public speaker and independent scholar. Much of his work focuses on advocating for the use of Hip Hop music and culture as a tool to improve lives, livelihoods and communities throughout the nation and the world, in areas including education, science and technology, health and wellness, politics and social justice, business and entrepreneurialism, the fine arts, spirituality and self-help, and more.
Expansive Leadership Expert
Andrea Guendelman is a writer, speaker, and entrepreneur who specializes in Expansive Leadership—helping individuals and organizations unlock potential through openness. She is a leading force in creating platforms for minority professionals and the tech industry. Through her own experiences as a Harvard-trained corporate lawyer and an entrepreneur, she co-created Bevisiblelatinx, Wallbreakers, and most recently, Speak_.
Founder Backstage Capital & Runner, Author, and Venture Catalyst
Arlan Hamilton is a remarkable entrepreneur who built a venture capital fund from the ground up, while homeless. She is the Founder and Managing Partner of Backstage Capital, a VC firm dedicated to minimizing funding disparities in tech by investing in high-potential founders who are people of color, women, and/or LGBT.
Disruptive Innovation Speaker, Bestselling Author
Jim Harris is one of North America’s foremost thought leaders, management consultants, and authors on disruptive innovation. With 20 years experience as a professional speaker and consultant, Jim Harris speaks internationally at more than 40 conferences a year on and is ranked as one of the nation's top ten speakers by Association magazine.
Host of Do The Work, Producer, DJ
Denise Love Hewett is the host of the podcast, Do the Work, which focuses on redefining leadership to be more holistic. This was birthed out of her time as a founder of Scriptd, an entertainment tech company working to dismantle the inefficient and exclusionary practices of Hollywood. She comes from the world of entertainment, fashion, and hospitality, starting her career as the Director of Sales and Marketing at famed nightclub The Box.
Founder & Executive Director at Holistic Underground
Mazin Jamal is the founder of Holistic Underground: a leadership & organizational development agency for social movements & businesses. He honed his craft working with leaders and teams around the world. He has coached, consulted, and presented for executive leaders and teams from Apple, Google, Postmates, Atlassian, and more. He is also the creator of the PurposePlace™ Methodology.
Founder & CEO of Healthy Roots Dolls
Yelitsa Jean-Charles founded Healthy Roots after recognizing a need for more diverse toys and representation in children’s publishing. She has been recognized as Essence’s 50 Founders to watch and frequently speaks about entrepreneurship, social justice, and cultural competency.
CEO & Co-Founder Likeable Media, Host of "All the Social Ladies", Author
Carrie Kerpen an author, columnist, host of the popular podcast “All the Social Ladies”, and the co-founder and CEO of Likeable Media, a digital agency that was named Crain’s sixth Best Place to Work in NYC.
NY Times Bestselling Author, Cofounder, Writer & Producer
Jonas is a New York Times bestselling author, entrepreneur, and storyteller, and an award-winning writer & producer of books, documentaries, and branded entertainment at storytelling boutique Koffler Pictures. Jonas regularly presents at conferences, organizations, and events on personal innovation and unconventional thinking, the future of work, creativity and learning, community building, wellness, and resilience.
CEO of Drop, Creative Technologist
Russell Ladson is a creative technologist whose work sits at the intersection of emerging technologies, purposeful design, and visual art. His work investigates the use of emerging technologies like AR/VR (XR) to heighten the human-to-human experience through experimental concepts around information discovery in a post-smartphone world.
Marketing Innovator, Author, Founder
Max Lenderman has a pulse on the future so that you and your business can win today. As founder and chief creative officer, he is a pioneering authority on purpose-led brand building, experiential marketing, and large-scale advertising campaigns.
Employee Experience Pioneer, Globally Minded HR Leader
Mark Levy is a seasoned globally-minded Employee Experience Leader who has chosen to work for big-hearted companies and focus on how he can unleash the talents and passions of a company’s employees. Mark was the pioneer of designing the Employee Experience at Airbnb and most recently at Allbirds, showing organizations what is possible when you empower employees and rethink HR.
National Political Correspondent for NPR & FOX News Contributor
As the national political correspondent for NPR, Mara Liasson’s voice is unmistakable and her words memorable. Her reports can be heard regularly on NPR's award-winning newsmagazines All Things Considered and Morning Edition.
Founder and CEO of Culture Creative, Anthem Award Winning Diversity & Inclusion Leader, Author
Julian Newman is the founder and CEO of Culture Creative, an international award-winning leadership development and diversity & inclusion consulting firm. Julian is a certified and Anthem Award-winning Diversity & Inclusion leader based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. As a cultural intelligence strategist, author, and motivational speaker, Julian has spoken to more than 100,000 people nationally and internationally during the past 20 years.
Chief Vision Officer at Opie Consulting Group, Professor, Author
Whether as a keynote speaker or interactive workshop leader, Tina’s focus is on creating more diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplaces. Using her Shared Sisterhood framework and proven approaches for unearthing blind spots within individuals and organizations. Tina serves as a catalyst for new thinking and needed change.
EVP & COO of The Future Hunters
Erica Orange is Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of The Future Hunters, one of the world’s leading futurist consulting firms. She evaluates emerging social, technological, economic, political, demographic and environmental trends – and identifies the strategic implications of those trends for several of the most influential Fortune 500 companies, trade associations, and public sector clients.
CEO and Co-Founder of Revry
Damian Pelliccione is the CEO and Co-Founder of Revry, the world’s first LGBTQ Global Content Streaming Network. With over 15 years of experience in the digital and new media world and as an avid speaker, passionate about supporting the LGBTQ community in both authentic representation and entrepreneurship, Damian has spoken at more than over 250 conferences and film festivals around the world.
The Race Healer
Milagros Phillips designs strategic learning initiatives for clients seeking to enhance their diversity and inclusion programs by adding race literacy to their initiatives. With more than 25 years of experience in learning and development, Milagros has consulted with, designed and delivered customized programs across many industries and services, including financial/insurance, healthcare, higher education, and national and political leaders.
Early Stage Investor at Backstage Capital, Inventor
Christie Pitts is an experienced early-stage investor at Backstage Capital and co-founder of Backstage Studio. Additionally, Christie led the launch of the first global accelerator program for underrepresented founders. She identified a passion for working with early-stage companies while working as Venture Development Manager at Verizon.
TEDx Speaker, Writer, and Life Coach
TEDx Speaker, writer, and life coach Ranbir Puar helps adults and children break free of their limiting beliefs by providing the tools to tap into their inner strength and silence their inner critics.
Founder, Political Activist, Miss Black America
Ryann Richardson made history when she became the 50th Anniversary Miss Black America. The tech marketer-turned-founder and Diversity & Inclusion advocate spent 10 years building brands and culture for companies spanning early-stage startups to billion-dollar "unicorns" to the Fortune500. Her work earned her a spot as the youngest honoree on Savoy Magazine’s list of Most Influential Black Executives in Corporate America, and set her on the path to discovering her unique purpose as a champion for underrepresented voices.
IBM Master Inventor, AI & Technology Expert, Author
Neil Sahota (萨冠军) is an IBM Master Inventor, United Nations (UN) Advisor, Artificial Intelligence (AI) subject matter expert, Faculty at UC Irvine, and author of Own the A.I. Revolution. With 20+ years of business experience, he works with organizations to create next-generation products/solutions powered by emerging technology.
CEO of Opportunity Hub, Inclusive Startup Ecosystem Builder, Venture Capitalist, Economist
Rodney Sampson, of Opportunity Hub, is heralded as the leading inclusive startup ecosystem builder and is passionate about reducing poverty and wealth gap by advancing the cause of innovation, technology, entrepreneurship and investment as a way of life for all, with an emphasis on socially disadvantaged and under-estimated and sponsored communities in America and beyond.
Serial Entrepreneur in Social Innovation & Systems Change
Dr. Astrid J. Scholz is a serial entrepreneur in social innovation and systems change. As a recovering nonprofit executive turned tech entrepreneur, Astrid is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Armillaria, and Co-Founder and Capital Lead of Zebras Unite. Astrid’s work focuses on democratizing innovation and capital to solve today’s wicked problems.
Co-Founder & CEO of Fearless Fund, Entrepreneur, Author
Arian Simone is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, investor, best-selling author, and international speaker. She is the Co-Founder and CEO of the Fearless Fund, the First Venture Capital Fund built for WOC by WOC. She has been recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the “100 Women of Impact".
Geopolitical Strategist, Global Affairs, and American Politics Expert
John Sitilides, a Washington D.C. government affairs specialist and diplomacy consultant to the U.S. Department of State, shares his insights into the U.S. and global risk trends, international security flashpoints and geopolitical strategies. He explores the complex geopolitical decisions that impact markets in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, helping clients better understand and mitigate risk.
California Current Events and Politics Expert, Journalist, Author
Dan Walters has been a journalist for nearly 60 years and has written about California and its politics for a number of publications, including the Sacramento Bee and The Wall Street Journal. Mr. Walters frequently appears on CNN, Fox, and other networks, commenting about political developments in California.
Leading Futurist, EVP & Chief Strategy Officer of The Future Hunters
Jared is Executive Vice President & Chief Strategy Officer of The Future Hunters, one of the world’s leading futurist consulting firms. His work is industry-agnostic, and covers trend activity in the realms of science & technology, economics, politics, demographics and environmental issues.
Creator, Inventor, Tech Changemaker
Aniyia Williams is a creator, inventor, and tech changemaker. She serves as Executive Director of Black & Brown Founders, co-founder of Zebras Unite, and founded and led the fashion tech company, Tinsel. Aniyia addresses topics of diversity, equity and inclusion in tech, the economic future of creativity, self-awareness and mindfulness, alternatives to venture capital, fashion technology, hardware design, and parenting while building a startup.
TEDx Speaker, Founder, Strategist, Author, Tech Investor, Philanthropist, Coach
Ramona Wright, a TEDx speaker, author, tech investor, producer, tech investor, and philanthropist, has more than 15 years of strategic communication expertise. She’s a trailblazer who taught public relations and social media marketing to more than 200. Ramona is an accomplished speaker who has spoken on behalf of the American Heart Association, Google, and Microsoft. She worked with Emmy, Grammy, and Oscar Award-winning talent.
Serial Social Entrepreneur, Co-Founder of Cola Love & Zebras Unite
Mara Zepeda is a co-founder of Cola Love, a catalytic community and economic development design studio in Columbia, South Carolina. She is also the Co-Founder of Zebras Unite, an international and intersectional hybrid cooperative and non-profit creating a more ethical, inclusive, collaborative, and sustainable approach to building businesses. She is a systempreneur and serial social entrepreneur and she speaks about and leads workshops on education, trust, social networks, and the future of business internationally.