Every February, many people across Canada host events in celebration of Black History Month to honour, highlight, and reflect on the legacy, contributions, and accomplishments of Black Canadians and their communities.
As we’re receiving more requests for Black History Month, we’ve put together a list of some of the most in-demand speakers and keynotes that explore a cross-section of topics, including leadership, diversity and inclusion, arts and culture, mental health, and anti-racism.
These speakers draw from their professional and personal lives to share insight into the Black experience, spark meaningful conversations, and help break down systemic barriers, both at work and within our communities. Contact us to learn more.
Building Strong Business Cultures
Masai Ujiri is one of the most influential leaders in the NBA. As president and vice-chairman of the Toronto Raptors, he led the team through their most successful period in franchise history. At the same time, he has helped develop the sport of basketball in more than 17 African countries as the founder of Giants of Africa.
Masai is known for building strong business cultures that foster greatness and is celebrated for his courage to take risks. He walks audiences through his journey to share key lessons on building strong and sustainable business cultures, emphasizing the importance equity and inclusion play in the success of any organization.
Masai also speaks to leadership, social justice, woman empowerment, and more.
The Interconnection Between Mental Health and Racialized Communities
Dr. Chika Stacy Oriuwa is an accomplished physician and advocate for racialized and marginalized populations. She is currently completing her residency in psychiatry and also serves on Indigo’s board of directors, advising their efforts in advancing equity and curating spaces of wellness and inclusion.
Through sharing her personal experience as a Black physician as well as her medical expertise, Chika enlightens audiences on the interconnection between mental health and racialized communities. She outlines actionable ways people can better support themselves and those around them all within the lens of mental health, wellness, and the BIPOC experience.
In addition, Chika speaks to diversity and inclusion, the power of authentic leadership, and women empowerment.
The Corporate World Reimagined
As one of the most influential businesspeople in Canada, and the newest “Dragon” on CBC’s Dragons’ Den, Wes Hall is dedicated to ending systemic racism in corporate Canada. He is the founder of Kingsdale Advisors, one of the most successful corporate advisory firms in North America, as well as BlackNorth Initiative, an organization dedicated to the removal of anti-Black systemic barriers.
In his keynotes, Wes not only shares his personal story of success, but reveals concrete steps that leaders and organizations can take to advance POC in the workplace and foster equitable workplaces.
In 2022, Wes released his memoir, No Bootstraps When You’re Barefoot, which became an instant national bestseller and explores his inspirational rags-to-riches story while sharing a profound message of hope and change.
Leadership for a World Disrupted
In today’s cross-generational, multi-cultural workplace shaped by a worldwide pandemic, leaders are faced with unique challenges that require unique solutions. Marc Lafleur is the co-founder of truLOCAL. Within five years, he grew his company to 60+ employees, expanded it across Canada and the US, secured funding on CBC’s Dragons’ Den, and successfully led a $16.7 million acquisition.
Through sharing his dynamic entrepreneurial journey, Marc relays his hard-earned learnings as well as his experiences as a young Black leader and founder. He also shares the DEI initiatives and talent engagement and retention strategies that helped build a workplace culture where people felt safe, included, and empowered to perform at their best.
Marc also speaks to sales strategies, entrepreneurship, and how Web3 is changing business as we know it.
Racism is far more complex and pervasive a phenomenon than how it is commonly understood. The co-founder of Black Lives Matter Canada, Sandy Hudson gives a comprehensive introduction to what racism is, how to recognize it, how it operates, and how to actively address it as individuals and as organizations.
Sandy has engaged in anti-racist work for over 15 years. She uses a participatory teaching style that incorporates interactive activities, case studies, and audience participation to create the ideal atmosphere to learn about the difficult topic of racism. Sandy also uses first-person storytelling to show participants how they can engage in anti-racist action throughout their lives.
My Trauma is Not a Trend: A Call for Meaningful Change
Etalk’s Tyrone Edwards used to moderate and adjust his behaviour to survive and fit in. Today, he shares his personal experiences with discrimination and prejudice to inspire others to join him in making meaningful change and building a truly diverse society where everyone is allowed to thrive.
With passion and hope, Tyrone shows audiences why now is the perfect time to see things in a new light and embrace discomfort to do our part for a brighter future. If we choose to engage and take responsibility for the spaces we already occupy, he says, a better world is possible.
Tyrone is also an experienced host and moderator. From conducting celebrity interviews to leading a panel through topical discussions, Tyrone is a natural at creating space for great conversations.
Creating an Urban Cultural Hub
Few people understand the importance of the arts and cultural sector better than Cameron Bailey. He is the CEO of the Toronto International Film Festival, one of the world’s biggest and most important film festivals that continues to grow in size and significance every year.
Before assuming his current role, Cameron worked as the artistic director and co-head of the Festival, and prior to that spent 11 years as a festival programmer. In his engrossing and highly customized talks, Cameron explores what it takes to grow a cultural organization, including how to engage staff at all levels, harness the energy of local citizens and politicians, and capture the attention of the world.
Contact us to learn more about the incredible Black leaders we represent and what they can bring to your next event.