02.12.20

10 speakers we're celebrating during Black History Month, and all year long

During Black History Month, we honor the pivotal contributions of African-Americans and others who represent the best of all of us. Meet the powerful speakers — from politics, sports, business, and culture — who are making and shaping history.

WSB Team

This post was compiled by WSB's team of writers.

Each year during Black History Month, we honor the pivotal contributions of African Americans who stand for their dreams and rights, and make a difference for us all. 

Since 1976, every American president has designated February as Black History Month and endorsed a specific theme. For 2020, the theme is “African Americans and the Vote” — in honor of the centennial anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment granting women’s suffrage, and the sesquicentennial of the Fifteenth Amendment giving black men the right to vote.

If you're looking for a game-changing speaker who is influencing industries and shaping history, explore these vital voices from politics, sports, business, and culture.    

 

1. Condoleezza Rice 

Widely considered to be one of the most influential people in the world, Secretary Condoleezza Rice shares her unparalleled expertise in global affairs, national security, and education. As Secretary of State, she proved to be a significant leader during a time of tumultuous world affairs, recognized for her efforts to foster freedom and democracy worldwide. Her great love of America and her faith in its core values are the foundational strength of her presentations regarding foreign policy and the empowerment of women.

2. Daymond John 

Daymond John rose from humble beginnings and a $40 budget to create FUBU, a $6 billion fashion game-changer. In addition to being a Shark and original cast member on ABC's four-time Emmy Award winning show "Shark Tank” and New York Times bestselling author, he continues to be one of today's most sought-after branding and marketing experts. John entertains and awes audience members with true-life tales of his incredible successes and numerous failures. He inspires audiences with his quintessential rags-to-riches success story of sacrifice, hard work, and perseverance — teaching them how to go after their own goals with renewed focus and determination.

3. Gen. Colin Powell, USA (Ret.) 

One of the most admired and respected leaders in America today, General Colin Powell offers his thoughts on domestic and world affairs, leadership, and a vision for tomorrow. The four-star general served as the first African-American chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and was appointed Secretary of State by President George W. Bush. Drawing on examples learned as a leader on the world stage and as an eyewitness to leadership in action, he illustrates precisely what it takes to be a leader — providing strategies for “taking charge” during times of crisis and great change.
 
 
Despite having her right leg amputated at age five, Bonnie St. John became the first African-American ever to win medals in Winter Olympic competition. She's achieved the highest levels of success in a variety of endeavors throughout her life. Hailed as “one of the five most inspiring women in America," she challenges people to question their limitations. Audiences leave St. John's spirited presentations with the ultimate competitive advantage: the confidence to challenge their comfort zones — and win.

5. Earvin "Magic" Johnson

Earvin "Magic" Johnson inspires audiences with the story of his stunning ascent, his philosophy for success, and his vision for a bright and promising future. As Chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises, he helps provide high-quality products and services that focus primarily on ethnically diverse and underserved urban communities. Moving from the basketball court to the boardroom, he parlayed the skills and tenacity he acquired on the court into a winning formula for his successful business ventures. 

6. Tony Dungy 

Tony Dungy, a former NFL defensive back, advanced through the coaching ranks following his playing career. He earned his first head coaching position in 1996 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and over the next 13 seasons, including seven years with the Indianapolis Colts, he racked up 148 total victories. The first African-American head coach to lead his team to a Super Bowl championship, Dungy shares with audiences the importance of goals, integrity, discipline, and overcoming adversity.

7. Michele Thornton Ghee 

Michele Thornton Ghee has worked at some of the world’s most powerful media brands — like CNN, A&E, The History Channel, and BET. She was instrumental in the rebranding of the Centric TV network as ‘The First Network Designed for Black Women” and then again into BET Her. Thornton Ghee helps organizations leverage cultural relevance, understand the importance of inclusion, and create smart programs that helps them connect authentically to consumers. 

8. Maj. Gen. Charles Bolden, Jr., USMC (Ret.)

Maj. Gen. Charles Bolden charted a pioneering career in the U.S. Marine Corps and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). He flew over 100 combat missions in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, and orbited the Earth on four separate occasions as a NASA Space Shuttle pilot and commander. In 2009, President Barack Obama asked Bolden to leave his position as CEO of his aerospace, national security and leadership consulting firm to serve as the 12th Administrator of NASA. He was the first African-American confirmed by the U.S. Senate to take on the role, a precedent that Bolden insists is only important if he is one day followed by women or other persons of color. With a focus on the future, he tells young people that he is just an ordinary person who has been blessed with opportunities to do extraordinary things as he challenges audiences to consider what can be accomplished when people dream big dreams together.
 

9. Eric H. Holder, Jr.

One of the most widely discussed political figures in America today, the Honorable Eric H. Holder, Jr. has been at the intersection of the law and public policy for over 30 years. As the nation's first African-American Attorney General and a leading progressive voice, he has been instrumental in shaping the direction of the U.S. on a number of critical issues. No stranger to controversy, Holder has demonstrated a willingness to express strong opinions, to engage in meaningful dialogue and to achieve lasting results. He provides audiences with valuable insight on a wide range of leadership issues, including conflict resolution, negotiation, and collaboration.

10. Carla Harris 

Carla Harris has extensive industry experience in the technology, media, retail, telecommunications, transportation, industrial, and healthcare sectors. In Aug. 2013, she was appointed by President Barack Obama to chair the National Women's Business Council. Today, at Morgan Stanley, she's responsible for improving the access to capital for female and multicultural founders. For the impact she's had over a 30-year career, she's received numerous accolades, including Fortune's list of "The 50 Most Powerful Black Executives in Corporate America," and Essence's list of "The 50 Women Who Are Shaping the World." 
 

Explore our full roster of Black History Month speakers, and contact us to discuss booking one of these formidable leaders for your next event.

wsb-form-figure

Subscribe to our blog.