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”
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.