Inspirational Black History Month Speakers Popular For 2022
Black History Month is an essential celebration of Black achievements, and how such pioneering figures as Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. shaped society with their acts of heroism. In business, Black History Month should be recognised both internally and externally, to drive inclusion within the workplace.
Discover our top pick of motivational speakers for Black History Month in this post, then contact a booking agent to hire a powerful orator for your event.
What is Black History Month?
For over a century, Black History Month has been recognised across the globe, by Government leaders and organisations alike. As the achievements of Black people are often whitewashed in historical discussions, the event draws valuable attention to the achievements of equality campaigners, academic scholars and other key figures.
When is Black History Month?
Black History Month runs from the 1st to the 31st of October in the United Kingdom, while in America, the event takes across February.
During this period, companies reflect on the quality of inclusion within their workplace, and how to best serve their diverse employees. Through events led by Black History speakers, staff learn how to cultivate a culture of belonging, by recognising the strengths in their differences.
What is the Theme of Black History Month 2022?
The theme of Black History Month 2022 is Black Health and Wellbeing. This theme will focus on the achievements and breakthroughs of Black professionals, as well as recognising the cultural richness of ‘non-traditional’ health and wellness practitioners.
Top Black History Month Speakers to Book
- Piers Linney
- Nicola Adams
- George The Poet
- Sharon Warmington
- June Sarpong
- Lord John Taylor
- Viola Llewellyn
- Kanya King
- Pauline Miller
- Samantha Johnson
- Shanaze Read
- Bokani Tshidzu
Black British Awards’ Entrepreneur of the Year in 2014
Former Dragons’ Den investor and serial entrepreneur, Piers Linney, has been widely hailed for improving representation in business. He was named in the 100 Most Influential BAME Leaders in Tech, Top 100 BAME Leaders in Business, and was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year at the Black British Awards. At events, Piers discusses with business leaders the importance of diversity in the workplace.
“We invited Piers to talk to our colleagues about diversity and its importance in business at our first ever digital internal conference. We’re at the start of our journey when it comes to talking about race and ethnic diversity in the workplace and Piers pitched his session perfectly for our colleagues.”
– The Very Group
Britain’s Most Successful Female Boxer
Nicola Adams is a former WBI Flyweight title holder Nicola Adams is a powerhouse. She is Britain’s most successful female boxer and inspirational figure. She has been the victim of repeat racist and homophobic abuse, coming out. Nicola has won 2 Olympic medals, winning Team GB’s first-ever Olympic woman boxing Gold. As a speaker, Nicola Adams is passionate, exciting, and full of life. She was awarded an OBE in 2017 for services to boxing. Her experience in elite-level sport as a black woman is inspiring and she is a terrific role model to people of all ages, genders, and ethnicities.
“Fantastic! Nicola was open, honest, and inspiring. It went amazingly well and we can’t wait to have her back.”
– Macquarie Group Services
George the Poet
NME’s Best Podcast for ‘Have You Heard George’s Podcast?’
George the Poet is an artist of many talents. The podcast host, spoken word artist and hip-hop rapper uses his powerful voice to spark social change, by discussing the importance of movements like Black Lives Matter. What sets George apart is his ability to resonate with audiences of all ages and demographics, through his award-winning podcast, Have You Heard George’s Podcast, and public speaking for Black History Month events.
CEO of the National Black Governors Network
Committing her professional career to improving diversity and inclusion within businesses, Sharon Warmington has led such organisations as the National Black Governors Network and Education Governance Solutions. She also founded the Unstoppable Women’s Leader Conference, an event that recognises the contributions of women in business. At Black History Month events, Sharon celebrates the achievements of Black female professionals to empower audiences.
Director of Creative Diversity for the BBC
Author, businessperson and former panellist on Loose Women, your audience will instantly recognise June Sarpong from her many media appearances. She published Diversify: Six Degrees of Integration and The Power of Women, two powerful books on the damage caused by discrimination from the perspective of a Black woman in business. June’s speaking topics explore her experience as the Director of Creative Diversity for the BBC, and how she ensures inclusivity in the workplace.
Named in The 100 Most Influential Black British People
Akala is one of the UK’s leading voices on racial equality. He is regularly booked for Black History Month events where he shares the discrimination he faced, as well as the statistics that indicate the dire need for transformative action. From award-winning hip-hop artist to the author of Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire, Akala continues to educate and inspire with his art, making him a popular speaker for events.
“Completely engaging, and the breadth and depth of his knowledge was amazing. He was a resounding hit.”
– Oxford Brookes University
Lord John Taylor
Was once the youngest and only Black peer in the House of Lords
Lord John Taylor made waves as the only Black person in the House of Lords in 1996 and only the third person of African or Caribbean descent to enter the House of Lords in history. He spent several years in the legal industry working as a barrister before transitioning into the hugely influential politician he came to be. Lord John Taylor is typically booked on topics such as racial equality, diversity inclusion, and leadership. Having transcended the ranks in his career he has first-hand experience in breaking new grounds.
“Can’t thank you enough. We loved having you and would certainly love to have you again soon.”
– Elise, FOX News
FinTech & Inclusion Innovator & Co-Founder of Ovamba
Viola Llewellyn is a vastly experienced businesswoman, co-founder of Ovamba Solutions Inc an award-winning ‘TradeTech” company that drives financial inclusion, particularly within the African market. She is an inspiring leader and has been awarded a place on several FinTech Power lists by organisations such as Latice80 and Innovate Finance. As a speaker viola is heavily sought after, she is a seasoned TED speaker and was the first female African tech founder to deliver a talk for Slush and Helsinki. She has tremendous knowledge and experience and never disappoints.
“Viola is a leader in every sense of the word. Her organisational skills and focus is inspiring”
– Jessica, Search Manager, Razorfish
Founder of The MOBO Awards
When Kanya King identified a gap in the market for an awards show dedicated to Black-originated music, The MOBO Awards were established in 1996. Now a popular guest speaker, she reflects on this period of her career, inviting audiences behind the scenes of the award show’s creation. Kanya explores the hurdles she faced because of her race, and what business leaders can do to ensure that their Black employees feel respected.
“She gave us an amazing in-depth speech and answered all questions both coherently and comprehensively – so I think it’s fair to say Kanya was the best choice for our event. We have had glowing reviews from our participants who were impressed by her and also the fact that they were able to interact and ask her questions!”
– Kofi Deloitte
Head of Culture for Lloyd’s of London
As the Head of Culture for Lloyd’s of London, Pauline Miller has dedicated her career to improving diversity and inclusion in business. The specialist speaker is the perfect addition to Black History Month-themed events, as she can both reflect on important historical events, share her own experiences and leave audiences with a toolbox for equal opportunities.
International Sports Anchor For TRT World, Former Presenter For Sky Sports News, beIN Sports & Chelsea TV
International sports presenter for Sky Sports, Chelsea TV, and International Sports Anchor for TRT World, Samantha Johnson is presenting powerhouse. She has extensive experience as a presenter, she has delivered events for FIFA and Eurosport. She has been exposed to a variety of experiences working with people in different industries giving her a broad worldview. Her performances in front of the camera lend themselves to her speaking engagements where she shares her enthusiasm for inclusion, diversity and giving back.
7x Gold medallist, Three Times BMX World Champion & Access Sports Ambassador
3x BMW World Champion Shanaze Read is a supremely talented BMX rider. She was part of the first-ever BMX event included at the Olympic Games in 2008. She is known as a real powerhouse, earlier in her career, she won the British 19 and Over Men’s competition, at just 17 years old. She is frequently requested as a speaker to bring her experiences as an elite athlete to audiences, she covers mental resilience, self-belief, and achieving goals. For Black History Month-themed events, Shanaze is a fantastic choice, she adds her own highly unique experiences to the themes of diversity and inclusion.
Social Entrepreneur, Climate Campaigner
Bokani Tshidzu is a truly amazing artist with an inspiring story. She was the winner of the Public vote of BBC One’s ‘The Big Painting Challenge’. She was born in Zimbabwe and unfortunately, she lost both her parents as a child. She moved to London in her teen years before going on to complete her undergraduate degree before attaining a Masters in Fine Art. In 2018 she had her first big break with the BBC. She uses her art to share her ideas on her African heritage, promote environmental issues, women’s rights, and also express her grief at the loss of her parents. As a speaker, Bokani is personable and charming, she speaks on the issues around discrimination putting great emphasis on the creation of a more inclusive world. Her speaking topics also cover entrepreneurship, making it as an outsider, art and innovation.