Top 10 Black Inspirational Speakers to Hire in the UK

10 Black Inspirational Speakers to Hire in the UK

Whilst there were only 4 Black CEOs in the Fortune 500 companies as of 2020, there are countless leaders in the community who can offer their unparalleled wisdom.

Hiring a Black Inspirational Leadership Keynote Speaker can profoundly impact the audience, offering unique perspectives that enrich understanding and inspire action. Bringing a wealth of experience and insight into overcoming adversity, demonstrating resilience, and achieving success against the odds, they can connect on a deep level, appealing to diverse audiences by highlighting the importance of inclusion, equity, and empowerment.
Source: Forbes

Hire One of These Top 10 Black Inspirational Keynote Speakers for Events in the UK:

1. Tessy Ojo

Tessy Ojo CBE stands as a beacon of transformative leadership and an emblem of social advocacy. As the CEO of The Diana Award, she has not only elevated the organisation’s stature but has also imbued it with a progressive vision and direction, significantly impacting youth and social issues. Tessy’s remarkable achievements, including receiving The Martin Luther King Award, underline her commitment to diversity, women in leadership, and social justice.

Her role as Chair of the #iwill Leadership Board and involvement with prestigious boards like Comic Relief further amplify her influence across sectors. As a keynote speaker, Tessy Ojo brings a wealth of experience, passion, and a unique perspective on leadership and social change, making her an inspirational figure for individuals and organisations striving for excellence in the competitive corporate landscape.

Official Testimonial for Tessy Ojo:

“Thank you very much for your time to celebrate Black History Month. From the feedback and engagement on the call, the group definitely felt inspired and very engaged during your powerful talk today. We hope to continue our collaboration with you in the future and thanks again!” – Soumik, Senior HR Director, ICF

2. June Sarpong

June Sarpong OBE exemplifies an inspirational leadership keynote speaker with her extensive 25-year background in broadcasting and executive roles, enriching her presentations with cultural awareness, strategic business insights, and adeptness in current affairs. As a fervent advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), co-founder of the ‘Women: Inspiration & Enterprise Network’, and a trailblazer in corporate diversity as the BBC’s first-ever Global Director of Creative Diversity, June’s advocacy is deeply rooted in her professional journey.

Her experience interviewing prominent figures, including a former British Prime Minister, coupled with her engaging personality and proven track record in advising leading organisations on DEI best practices, positions her as a compelling orator. June’s ability to connect with a wide audience and influence meaningful change makes her an exceptional choice for organisations seeking to foster an inclusive culture and empower leadership.

Official Testimonial for June Sarpong:

“The feedback was ‘through the roof!’ – secure to say, members loved June and the valuable insight/delivery! So, yes – all went very, very well and exceeded expectations!! A huge thank you to you, June and her team for working with me to get the positive message on D&I delivered this IWD!” – Sandra, Network Officer Treasurer, Windrush Team, UK Visas & Immigration

3. John Amaechi

John Amaechi OBE, a former NBA player turned organisational psychologist, epitomises transformational leadership. Transitioning from sports to a heralded career in consulting, John founded APS Intelligence, guiding corporations toward inclusivity and peak performance. His journey from the basketball court to the boardroom underscores his ability to leverage diverse experiences for organisational excellence.

A Chartered Scientist and Fellow, John’s evidence-based approach to inclusive leadership fosters environments where all employees flourish. His impact extends beyond corporate realms, advocating for LGBTQ rights and disability sport, demonstrating his commitment to societal betterment. Recognised by Harvard and the British Empire, John’s speeches inspire change, blending scientific insight with real-world applicability.

Official Testimonial for John Amaechi:

“John is a courageous and principled advocate who is consistently bright and challenging and generally raises us all up. He is a formidable addition to the Diversity Board I set up at London 2012 and we are lucky to have him.” – Stephen, CEO, Included

4. Makaziwe Mandela

Dr. Makaziwe Mandela, daughter of Nelson Mandela, emerges as an inspirational figure, carrying forward her father’s legacy through her commitment to diversity, inclusion, and the empowerment of African communities. Makaziwe’s directorial roles and her leadership as the Chairman of the House of Mandela reflect her dedication to promoting equality and female empowerment.

Her engagements as a keynote speaker, covering critical topics like social justice, conflict resolution, and the future of Africa, showcase her as a beacon of hope and change. With accolades such as the Jacksonville University 2019 Presidential Global Citizen Award, Makaziwe Mandela stands as a testament to visionary leadership, inspiring others to contribute towards a more equitable world.

Official Speaking Topics for Makaziwe Mandela include:

  • Female Empowerment
  • Service Leadership
  • Creating Wealth
  • Creativity & The Potential of Africa
  • Social Justice & Conflict Resolution
  • Collaboration vs Competition

5. Scotty Mills

Scotty Mills is a towering figure of resilience and leadership, having led an extraordinary career within the Royal Marines and emerging as the highest-ranking Black Officer in its storied history. His 32 years of dedicated service, culminating in the prestigious Commando ‘Green Beret’ Officer status, epitomise inspirational leadership.

Renowned for his capacity to thrive under extreme pressure, Scotty’s diverse roles—from Media Operations Officer to the Head of Physical Training—showcase his versatility and profound expertise. Transitioning from military to motivational speaking, he now leverages his experiences to inspire wide-ranging audiences. As an author and executive coach, Scotty continues to share his invaluable insights on resilience, teamwork, and leadership, making him a sought-after keynote speaker for those eager to learn from a life lived at the edge of human potential.

Official Testimonial for Scotty Mills:

“Now and again you go to a conference and a speaker comes on and takes command of the audience with their first sentence. Major Scotty Mills is such a person.” – Mike, CEO, British Institute of Innkeeping

6. Oona King

Oona King, from her early days as a trailblazing black female MP to her current role as Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer at Uber, epitomises the fight for diversity, inclusion, and racial equality. With a career spanning the UK Parliament to tech giants like Google and YouTube, she brings a wealth of experience to her compelling speeches on diversity in business and politics.

Oona’s journey, marked by overcoming racial abuse and spearheading diversity initiatives, not only inspires change but also showcases her as a pivotal figure in fostering a more inclusive society. Recognised as one of the 100 Great Black Britons and appointed as Baroness King of Bow, her dedication to societal improvement makes her an influential figure in fostering a more equitable world.

7. Kim Blue

Kim Blue, a beacon in human resources and organisational development, shines as an inspirational keynote speaker with a robust track record. As CEO of K Blue Consulting and with a storied career at Microsoft and ESPN, she brings over 15 years of hands-on experience in driving HR strategies, diversity, and inclusion initiatives.

Recognised as one of the Top 10 Diverse Leaders at the 2021 Tech Inclusion Conference, Kim’s presentations offer deep insights into change management, workforce planning, and the future of work. Her dedication and passion make her speeches not just informative but transformative, providing actionable takeaways for enhancing HR practices across industries. Kim Blue’s unparalleled expertise and inspiring approach make her an outstanding choice for any event seeking to empower and educate on leadership and inclusion.

Official Testimonial for Kim Blue:

“Kim is passionate, helpful and dedicated to her craft. Her expertise is unmatched. She doesn’t just give you the answer. She asks thought-provoking questions that allow you to think critically and arrive at your own conclusions. I’m grateful for her time and expertise.” – Ji’Shena, Senior Human Resources Rep, First Citizens Bank

8. Pauline Miller

Pauline Miller, the Chief Equity Officer of Dentsu International and former Head of Talent Development and Inclusion at Lloyd’s of London, is an exemplar of inspirational leadership in the realms of diversity and inclusion. With over two decades of HR experience, she has become a catalyst for change in corporate environments, advocating for inclusivity and equity across the global insurance sector.

At Lloyd’s, Pauline revolutionised HR practices, championing the company’s Cultural programme and ensuring opportunities for minority groups. Her commitment extends beyond the corporate sphere; as an advisory board member for the United Nations Foundation Girl Up organisation, she empowers women and girls worldwide. Renowned for her ability to inspire and implement change, Pauline Miller stands as a pivotal figure, demonstrating the profound impact of visionary leadership on creating inclusive workplaces.

Official Testimonial for Pauline Miller:

“Firstly the session today went extremely well and has been very well received by RGA associates across the region. Thank you for your help in arranging for us to have Pauline. I really enjoyed hearing her story and her insights and I know that this sentiment is shared based on the feedback received so far.” – Karen, HR Manager, RGA International Reinsurance Company

9. Derek Redmond

Derek Redmond embodies the quintessence of inspirational leadership, leveraging his illustrious career as an athlete and his profound experiences of adversity to motivate and guide. His journey from a world-class athlete, through significant Olympic challenges, to a high-performance motivational coach, offers compelling narratives that resonate with themes of resilience, perseverance, and overcoming obstacles.

As a keynote speaker, Derek’s focus on leadership, diversity, and inclusion, coupled with his firsthand experiences of discrimination, enriches his message, making it deeply impactful. Derek’s presentations are not just speeches; they are profound life lessons, inspiring audiences to embrace challenges, foster inclusivity, and lead with courage and determination. Hiring Derek Redmond as a speaker guarantees a transformative experience, empowering leaders to navigate the complexities of their roles with confidence and resilience.

Official Testimonial for Derek Redmond:

“I would like to say a personal thank you for the two excellent motivational speeches you delivered yesterday. We have had nothing but positive feedback. Everyone found it uplifting and will energise them all to think differently, and work better together.” – Jaguar Land Rover

10. Shola Richards

Shola Richards, with his remarkable journey from overcoming workplace bullying to becoming a celebrated leadership keynote speaker, embodies the essence of resilience and transformative leadership. As the founder and CEO of Go Together Global and a best-selling author, his speeches are powerful catalysts for change, advocating for compassion, competence, and accountability in the workplace.

Drawing on personal hardships and a formidable career, including impactful roles at UCLA Health where he trained over 11,000 individuals with a near-perfect satisfaction rate, Shola’s speeches resonate deeply with diverse audiences. Shola Richards’ keynotes transcend mere motivation; they are a beacon for leaders seeking to cultivate inclusive, respectful, and thriving workplace environments.

Hire a Black Inspirational Speaker today!

If you are interested in hiring a Black Inspirational Speaker, fill out our online contact form or simply get in touch with one of our dedicated booking agents on 0207 1010 553.

This blog post is based on official data & customer feedback collected from 425 events related to inspirational leadership across the UK between 2022 and 2024.

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