Ryann Richardson Featured Keynote Speaker Miss Black America Activism Policy
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Available for

Keynote, Virtual Presentation, Fireside Chat, Panelist, Emcee, Moderator, Workshop & Training

Fee Ranges

Domestic In-Person (USA): $15,000*
International In-Person: Please inquire
Virtual: $12,500*

* Ranges are presented as a guideline only. Speaker fees vary by engagement type and are subject to change without notice. For an exact quote, please contact Gravity Speakers.

Traveling From

New York, USA

Tags: Business / Activism / College & University / Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) / Emcees & Moderators / Entrepreneurship / Innovation / Motivational / Politics & Policy / Social Change & Issues


Ryann Richardson made history when she became the 50th Anniversary Miss Black America, taking up the mantle of the country’s first pageant and nationally televised celebration of women of color. Before that, the tech marketer-turned-founder and Diversity & Inclusion leader spent 10 years building brands and shaping internal culture for companies spanning from early-stage startups (Victor) to billion-dollar “unicorns” (Uber) to the Fortune 500 (T-Mobile/Deutsche Telekom).  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 of discovering her unique purpose as a champion for underrepresented voices.

Ryann led East Coast regional marketing and partnerships at Uber. She’s credited with directing the company’s marketing presence at the 2016 Democratic National Convention and later developed Uber’s first comprehensive multicultural marketing strategy.  After experiencing the negative effects of the company’s, now-infamous, toxic culture Ryann co-founded Uber’s employee-led Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, a grassroots team dedicated to social and policy change within the organization. 

Ryann was previously Vice President and Head of North American Marketing for UK-based private aviation marketplace app, Victor, and early in her career, worked on the national expansion of the MetroPCS wireless brand after T-Mobile’s acquisition of the then-regional company.

Today, Ryann is a Keynote Speaker and host. Through her national speaking tour, she’s reached thousands of people of color, women, marginalized people, and allies with talks on social equity, representation, and culture. Her TED Talk on the Politics of Beauty and Power comes to in early 2020 and she stars in the upcoming feature documentary, Subjects of Desire, exploring the evolution of American beauty standards and the appropriation of Black cultural aesthetics.

Now in her second act as a founder, she’s building the Ellington Lafayette Co., a new type of tech incubator, focusing exclusively on startups that drive social equity for women, people of color, and other marginalized communities. 

Ryann also leads the TAKE UP SPACE MVMT, a social action campaign focused on building social, political, and economic power for historically marginalized communities through educational programming, grassroots activism, and commercial and non-profit partnerships. 

In 2020, Ryann endorsed and became a national surrogate for Pete Buttigieg’s Presidential campaign. She travels to key battleground states stumping for the former Mayor and advocating policies with specific impact on the lives of people of color. In 2021, Ryann was also featured in the documentary “Subjects of Desire”. The documentary explores the cultural shift in North American beauty standards towards embracing Black female aesthetics and features while exposing the deliberate and often dangerous portrayals of Black women in the media.


Pressure Makes Diamonds: Finding purpose and a new path in a time of crisis

When professional and financial adversity forced her to take a leap of faith, Ryann discovered the purpose that had been awaiting her all along and changed her life and her career forever. Learn to center your focus, spot opportunity in uncertainty, and leverage a moment of crisis into your turning point.

The Art of the Pivot: Re-assess, Re-define, and Re-direct

On the basketball court, the pivot is a fundamental skill every player learns; one that allows a ball-handler to maneuver around an obstruction -a defender- and find an opening to take a shot, make a pass, or dribble toward their destination, the basket.  In our careers, we face similar obstructions of our path to professional fulfillment and security (job dissatisfaction, layoffs, even sudden economic crises). This session coaches attendees to step outside of the confines of what they do to take stock of their unique skills, to hone in on their unrecognized expertise, and to navigate creative, new routes to their destinations.

Take Up Space: Our Right, Our Responsibility, Our Rebellion

“Your job is to take up space.” How a childhood sports lesson shaped her impact on Uber and evolved into a life’s devotion. Ryann recalls stories of humor, heartbreak, and heroism to deliver this motivational call-to-action for marginalized people everywhere.

Power and Duty in Our New Innovation Revolution

In October 1908, Henry Ford’s Model T introduced the mass market automobile to America and with it, a whole new world of possibilities. The Model T, like so many other products of the Second Industrial Revolution, fundamentally changed the way of life for average Americans. In this talk, Ryann argues that our modern innovation economy represents the next great Industrial Revolution and that in it, for the first time in American history, people of color (or women) have the unique opportunity and responsibility to fundamentally change the way of life – break the cycle of marginalization – for our communities.

The Truth About Beauty and Power

For years, Ryann hid her secret life in the beauty world from colleagues, clients, and prospective employers out of fear that the social stigma around “frivolous” beauty (and women who invest in it) might undermine her professional credibility.  In this talk, Ryann challenges conventional wisdom by highlighting the sociological basis for regarding beauty as the ultimate tool for power and makes the feminist case for women stepping boldly into dual roles that reject the requisite binary decision between beauty and intellect.

2020 Vision: It’s Time We See an Actual “Black Agenda”

A DC native with parents who led careers in the Federal Government and News Media, respectively, Ryann grew up entrenched in the culture of politics. In 2020, she combined that life-long passion with her advocacy on behalf of marginalized communities and her platform as Miss Black America to chart a new path of political activism as a national surrogate for Pete Buttigieg’s Presidential campaign. In this talk, Ryann draws on insights from the campaign trail to give voice to long-neglected Black voters, shines a light on the modern-day tactics being used in 2020 to exploit the Black experience for political control, and calls for Black Americans to mobilize behind a singular Black political agenda to dismantle systemic inequity.

Workshop: Build Stuff that Matters

They say “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it”.  Nowhere is that truer than in crowded product and service markets where consumers’ connection to a brand’s mission and message separate the massive successes from the major flops. Ryann shares how she found her “Why” and learned to build businesses that matter as a founder. This hands-on session explores how entrepreneurs build organizations that are both profitable and impactful, examines real-world cases of businesses that win by leading with their “Why” and coaches attendees on how to craft their own guiding missions for businesses that actually matter.

Ryann works with clients to craft bespoke presentations for their unique audience needs.




  • “Ryann Richardson was an absolute delight to work with. Her infectious spirit and positivity is something she is able to exude both on and off the stage. Our audience loved hearing her speak about her personal journey, which she wove together with her expertise and humor. Ryann is one of those forces that you have to sit back in awe and just watch. What I most appreciated about working with Ryann is how down-to-earth and approachable she was with not only my team, but with the audience and anyone else who crossed her path. I highly recommend Ryann Richardson. She is strong, confident, and impressive, and she is a gift to any program, event or initiative.” Lisa Mae Brunson Founder, Wonder Women Tech
  • “Thank you so very much for your time, talent and the outpouring of your wisdom. I think I can speak for not only myself, but also for all of the attendees, when I say we all left full, and encouraged. No matter where each woman is in their career, I am positive that they left feeling more empowered, with more clarity.” Shana Bryant Founder, HUSTLEx2 Conference
  • “Ryann Richardson was a huge asset and contribution to our most recent Fashinnovation conference held at FIT during NYFW. Her words of enlightenment on being a woman enhancing Women’s Empowerment and her stance on inclusivity in a space that is mostly male dominated (tech space) was extremely inspiring! Thank you SO much for shining your bright light on our stage.” Jordana Guimaraes Co-Founder, FASHINNOVATION
  • “We really enjoyed having Ryann at BITCON2019! She brought grace, intelligence, and beauty to the stage. Her talks resonated strongly within our program.” Elizabeth Cotton Director of Strategic Partnerships, Blacks in Technology/BITCON
  • “We had the honor and pleasure to welcome Ryann in celebration of International Women’s Day. We talked about career, political engagement, inclusion, equality, and what it means when women deliberately take up space. Authentic and generous, Ryann inspired us all!” Valérie-Anne Demulier Founder, She for S.H.E
  • “Ryann Richardson is the quintessential balance of elegant perspective and powerful impact.I had the rare and incredible pleasure of highlighting Ryann as a glorified keynote speaker for a TEDx in Southern California. She is the perfect combination of entertainment, insightfulness, inspiration, intellect and globally sound reasoning. It is a joy to watch as she guides her audiences through transformational thinking and personal awareness; truly raising the collaboration and oneness of her audiences beyond imaginable limits. Ryann is at best, revolutionary lightning in a bottle.” Erica Morrison Global HR Executive and Curator of TEDxCitrusParkWomen

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