Pass the Mic

Looking to make your next business event more diverse, inclusive, and welcoming? There’s no better place to start than with your speakers. We’ve hand-picked a few who may fly under the radar in the speaker circuit but raise the bar in making events more diverse — and way more interesting.

Kristen Przano

Przano leads strategy planning and execution in the Garage, an innovation hub in the Capital One Financial Services Division. She is passionate about workplace vulnerability issues and creating environments where people can be innovative. When vulnerability isn't welcome, ideas are held back. When our ideas are held back, so is innovation. That's because being innovative
October 2, 2018

Robyn Benincasa

Benincasa, also a triathlete and firefighter, holds three Guinness World Records for long-distance kayaking. Her book on teamwork and leadership, How Winning Works: 8 Essential Leadership Lessons from the Toughest Teams on Earth,  is a New York Times best-seller.  Project Athena is a foundation that helps women who have had life-altering medical setbacks live an adventurous dream as
October 2, 2018

Arwa Mahdawi

Concerned by the lack of meaningful diversity initiatives across industries, freelance writer and brand strategist Mahdawi launched Rent-a-Minority, a satirical website that brings attention to the issue of tokenism in workplaces and at events. The website has been covered by the BBC, NPR, and The Atlantic, among other publications. I think one of the issues
October 2, 2018

Abby Wambach

Wambach began playing soccer at the age of five and went on to become one of the greatest soccer players of all time. A two-time Olympic gold medalist and a FIFA Women’s World Cup champion, Wambach has scored more goals in international competition than any other player in the history of the sport, male or
October 2, 2018

Nadya Okamato

Okamato is a social activist currently on sabbatical from Harvard University to spearhead PERIOD: The Menstrual Movement, a global, youth-run nonprofit focused on menstrual equity. She’s a keynote speaker on topics of gender equality, homelessness, and activism — drawing directly from her own personal experiences. I hope that the [menstrual] movement can be so widespread
October 2, 2018

Molly Breazeale

AlignED teaches business leaders how to create safe environments for conversation and decision making to occur. Breazeale’s  also a facilitator for the development and leadership company founded by Susan Scott, author of Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work & in Life, One Conversation at a Time. I think we have substituted technology for conversation in some
October 1, 2018

Joshna Maharaj

Maharaj works with communities, organizations, and institutions to build value-based food services that prioritize good food, hospitality, and sustainability. Our decisions about food have to be connected to our understanding of our place on this planet and our relationship to each other. Joshna Maharaj Location: Toronto, ONTopic(s): Food, sustainability, food systems, hospitality, social gastronomy, climate change Connect
October 1, 2018

Von Diaz

Diaz is a self-taught cook who explores Puerto Rican food, culture, and identity through memoir and multimedia. She spoke at TedxPiscataquaRiver in 2015 and is currently a story consultant for Google. Oftentimes, folks of color are not given the opportunity to rise to a level where they might be noticed or speak on a panel.
October 1, 2018

Angelica Ross

TransTech Social Enterprises is an incubator for LGBTQ talent with a focus on economically empowering transgender people. [TransTech] is solving the issue that gender transition is different for everybody. Whether you’re skilled or not, being trans is a factor in whether you can get work because of discriminatory practices. Angelica Ross Location: Chicago, ILTopic(s): Transgender
October 1, 2018

Gabby Rivera

Best known for her young adult novel Juliet Takes a Breath and writing Marvel’s new comic "America," Rivera — who describes herself as a “Bronx-born, queer Latinx writer”  —  is also an activist and youth mentor.  America Chavez is Marvel’s first Latina lesbian character. Folks have been wanting intersectional representation in literature and the creative arts since
October 1, 2018

Tan Le

EMOTIV leverages large-scale brain data to build machine-learning models that advance understanding of the human brain.  A technology innovator, entrepreneur, and business executive, Le founded EMOTIV after stints as a lawyer and software engineer. I realized that I lived in a generation where technological advancement is going to drive the future and the future is
October 1, 2018

Jia Jiang

Jiang said he decided to face his lifelong fear of rejection when he realized that fear was holding him back from living a fuller life. Rejection Therapy started as a card game designed by a Canadian entrepreneur and was later  acquired by Jiang and is home to his blog and products and services aimed at
October 1, 2018