Asking for myself. Asking for all the Black speakers and panelists out here doing the work. A few requests:
1. Book Early: Please don’t wait until January 15 to “remember” that BHM, which happens every year, is taking place. The in-demand speakers are just that. Don’t miss out on the luminaries you want because of poor planning.
2. Bring a Budget: As Mita Mallick and I have discussed many times: Free Is Cancelled, and Exposure Does Not Pay The Bills. So offer to pay, and pay generously. If someone lowballs themselves due to lack of knowledge, make up the shortfall rather than taking advantage. For the love of all that is holy, do not ask Black speakers TO PAY YOU for the “opportunity” to speak for “exposure.” That is all kinds of wrong.
3. Expand The Dialogue: It’s Black History Month, not Black Trauma Month. Black speakers are experts on myriad topics. It’s ok to set up panels that focus on Black joy, Black self-care, and Black excellence.
4. Perish the Pipeline Problem: Newsflash – there is no such thing. Feel free to reference the Black Speakers Collection, a resource with literally thousands of Black Speakers placed at your fingertips.
And with that: book me as a speaker.
P.S. Black speakers don’t only speak during BHM and don’t only speak about DEI. Please and thank you. We have the range.
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