As we approached 2018, our society experienced a shift in consciousness which materialized in numerous movements against personal, community, social and workplace injustices, including the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. More people than ever before were speaking out against the injustices committed both publicly and privately by some in positions of power. Those who once felt powerless to speak now felt an urgency to have their voices heard, despite looming threats of personal and professional ruin. But even before this shift took place, before we collectively agreed that speaking truth should not be rewarded by shame, there were some who had already begun sharing their stories. They were courageous in the face of unrelenting fear, speaking out against injustices even while knowing that in doing so they might lose everything they have. Attempts to quiet them only made their voices stronger and today they remain sought-after speakers, continuing to evoke change in a world they have fought so hard to transform. Executive Speakers Bureau is proud to represent some of these most brave and daring speakers whose sacrifices have brought us to the place we are today.
After receiving her J.D. from Yale University, Anita Hill began her law career in private practice before moving into a position at the U.S. Department of Education and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. She went on to become the first tenured African American professor at the University of Oklahoma, College of Law and yet all of these professional accolades would not be what ultimately made her a household name. Hill’s name and face would become instantly recognizable as those associated with the fight against sexual harassment in the workplace when she publicly testified against her former boss, Supreme Court judge Clarence Thomas, during his confirmation hearings. She is currently Of Counsel at Cohen Milstein and advises on class action workplace discrimination cases.
Elizabeth Smart has used her life’s most harrowing experience to give a voice to so many others who, unfortunately, have gone through similar pain. She was abducted from her home at the age of fourteen and spent nine months in captivity before being rescued by police during one of the most publicly followed child-abduction cases ever. Smart has helped in nation-wide efforts to fight crimes against children, including going before Congress in support of the AMBER Alert system and contributing to the U.S. Department of Justice book You’re Not Alone.
In a male-dominated work environment at what was once North America’s largest seller of natural gas, Lynn Brewer risked both her reputation and livelihood by becoming, as The Economist calls her, “the real Enron whistleblower.” She is the author of Confessions of an Enron Executive: A Whistleblower’s Story in which she discusses her tenure at Enron Corporation, an energy company that was at one point rated the most innovative large company in America before its collapse. She continues to speak out against ethical misconduct and workplace injustice, advocating for corporate integrity at every level and in 2003 earned a “Woman of Influence” award nomination.
Despite no formal law education, environmental activist Erin Brockovich was instrumental in a lawsuit against the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) of California that in 1996 resulted in a $333 million settlement against the company, the largest sum ever paid in a direct-action lawsuit in the United States. Her relentless pursuit for justice in not only this case but many others that followed has earned Brockovich global recognition for her efforts, including the Academy Award-nominated feature film Erin Brockovich. She continues to fight for community and environmental justice through her work as president of Brockovich Research and Consulting and director of environmental research at Masry & Vititoe.
Last week, on the 33rd annual observance of Martin Luther King Day, the world watched as Dr. Bernice Kingspoke from the pulpit of Ebenezer Baptist Church, the church where her father the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. served as co-pastor and where, in 1968, his funeral was held. She “called for a peaceful revolution…to do 50 acts of service and kindness between now and the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in April.” Her words are reflective of the community and social activism she has embraced while building upon the legacy which her father and mother, Coretta Scott King, firmly established before their deaths. Considered by many to be profoundly gifted, creative and courageous, King has been speaking since she was 17 years old, delivering messages that urge us to examine how we, too, might make a difference in others’ lives.
Once our eyes have been opened to the injustices that have taken place around us it is impossible to “unopen” them. Lives and reputations have been put on the line so that we can all work and thrive in environments conducive to creativity and growth, free of harassment and feared backlash when such harassment is spoken out against. We see those faces of the movement, brave women- and men- who have come forward to shed light on changes that must be made, yet are also aware that behind the scenes there even more who are standing up for what is right and guiding the trajectory of personal and corporate transformation. We are proud to represent these change makers, too, whose work shows how far we’ve come and the continued progress we seek.
With a bestselling book, Liespotting: Proven Techniques to Detect Deception, and a TED talk (How to Spot a Liar) that has been viewed millions of times, Pamela Meyer is considered one of the country’s leading experts on the science of deception. Her techniques are critical to business leaders who want to maintain a fair and ethical workplace by helping them to identify truth and focus in on crucial facts which lead to better “negotiating, selling, protecting and interviewing.”
Dr. Bruce Weinstein, “The Ethics Guy”, is an immensely sought-after speaker whose presentations on the power of personal character have been shared with clients such as the National Football League, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and Northrop Grumman. He writes an online column for Fortune magazine that is published twice a week and has been a guest on NBC’s Today Show and ABC’s Good Morning America, among many others. Weinstein, who asserts that “character is the missing link to excellence”, remains consistently in high demand, a welcomed indication that leaders are listening and seeking positive ways to engage in both the conversation and corrective actions pertaining to today’s movements against injustices.
Change begins with conversation and best-selling author Susan Scott understands the magnitude of change such conversation can bring about. Her book Fierce Conversations-Achieving Success at Work and in Life, One Conversation at a Time, has been published in four countries and was one of USA Today’s top 40 business books of 2009. For more than two decades now Scott has been “challenging people to say the things that can’t be said” and empowering executives with the tools needed for “vibrant dialogue with one another, with their employees, and with their customers.” She has worked with leaders in eighteen countries, establishing herself as a force in the movement towards positive change in the workplace.
For more information on these courageous speakers and business ethics speakers and more, contact Executive Speakers Bureau at (901) 754-9404.
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