The Black Speakers Collection was born out of the need to end the speculation that there are no Black speakers. “We aim to keep Black speakers booked, busy and paid. We are creating a safe community where we are rooting for every Black speaker and committed to supporting them.”
Those are the words of Madison Butler, founder of HR and DEI consultancy Blue Haired Unicorn. Butler launched The Black Speakers Collection website in December of 2021 after receiving a robust response to her LinkedIn post advocating early booking of speakers for Black History Month. Today, it attracts speakers from all over the world.
“There is no excuse in not having Black speakers. There is no excuse to ask us to speak for free,” wrote Butler in a subsequent LinkedIn post to her more than 86,000 followers and 500+ connections. “If you’re still hosting all white panels, all male panels, all cis-hetero panels in 2022, it’s intentional.”
The home page of The Black Speakers Collection easy-to-navigate web site shows a photo of each speaker and a list of their areas of expertise. These range from health care to LGBTQA and from travel to employee engagement. Users can also search the speaker data base by clicking the tabs of around 40 categories of expertise. Each speaker is linked to his, her or they LinkedIn profile with contact information; or to other professional contact information.
Butler created The Black Speakers Collection website with tech consultant Chris Dancy. Non-binary speaker and consultant Reese Byrne serves as the site’s events and inclusion coordinator. “Looking for speakers? We have them,” said Butler. “Looking for a community as a Black speaker? We got you.”
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