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Michelle Silverthorn keynote speaker

Michelle Silverthorn

    • Founder & CEO of Inclusion Nation,
    • Attorney,
    • Best-selling Author,
    • Inclusion and Belonging Keynote Speaker
Full Bio
In Person-Fee 🛈

$20,000 - $30,000

Virtual Fee:

$15,000 - $20,000

Travels From


Michelle Silverthorn | Diversity Speaker, Author, Consultant

Michelle Silverthorn | Diversity Speaker, Author, Consultant

We Are Not a Melting Pot | Michelle Silverthorn | TEDxLakeForestCollege

We Are Not a Melting Pot | Michelle Silverthorn | TEDxLakeForestCollege

Michelle Silverthorn Speaker Biography

Michelle Silverthorn is a trailblazer in the field of diversity and inclusion, advocating for new voices to be heard in an ever-changing workplace. With a wealth of experience as an organizational inclusion expert and a highly sought after global keynote speaker, Michelle has lent her expertise to Fortune 500 companies, banks, law firms, startups, Hollywood studios, universities, and non-profits. From small workshops to industry conferences, Michelle equips everyone with the necessary tools and skills to finally make real progress on inclusion.

After graduating from Princeton University and the University of Michigan Law School, Michelle worked as an attorney in New York and Chicago before founding the diversity consulting firm, Inclusion Nation. She is a TEDx speaker, developer of the Inclusion LAUNCH diversity e-learning series, and author of the best-selling book Authentic Diversity: How to Change the Workplace for Good."

Michelle now travels the world delivering over 100 speeches and workshops each year - in-person and online. Her expertise has been recognized in a variety of media outlets, including NPR, PBS, Bloomberg, the Chicago Tribune, and Fortune Magazine. Prior to Inclusion Nation, Michelle’s professional journey took her to many corners of the globe, including jobs in Trinidad and Tobago, Peru, Botswana, Kazakhstan, and Switzerland. She has experienced a wide range of cultures and lifestyles, from her childhood in the beautiful Caribbean to her current home in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Through it all, Michelle has remained committed to a singular goal – building inclusive spaces where everyone can belong and succeed.

Authentic Diversity: How to Interrupt Bias and Build an Inclusive Workplace
Our world has changed. The moment is here for real progress on diversity, to take the transformed workplace and the transformed globe and create a new paradigm for equity and inclusion. The calls are loud. Are you ready to answer them?

Join me in an engaging, interactive 4-level program that will shift your understanding on bias and microaggressions, help you recognize your contribution to the work of allyship and inclusion, and encourage action by every individual to build spaces of authentic diversity for all. Throughout, I use word clouds, audience questions, and reflective exercises to help attendees stay engaged.

I start with an eye-opening exercise, a "sit up and pay attention" reminder that everyone has unconscious biases. I then discuss Level 1 and the differences between diversity, inclusion, and equity, and the demographic data in workplaces that demonstrates the hurdles to change.

Next, I enter Level 2 and dive deep into unconscious bias. What is it? Why do we have it? How does it affect our perceptions of others? Using storytelling, audience participation, and numerous research studies, I address microaggressions and overcome the idea that pretending not to see difference is the way to achieve inclusion.

Then, I discuss Level 3 and the rules everyone should follow to interrupt bias and make equity and inclusion a reality for all in the organization.
Finally, I end with Level 4 and demonstrate how to design spaces of authenticity and belonging, where everyone is welcome to rise, thrive, and succeed.

This is the real work of inclusion. Let's begin.

This is How You Thrive: How to Use Authenticity as Your Superpower
Authentic is the Word of the Year! From fake pictures to AI videos, everyone is searching for authenticity in their world. But what does that mean for us in the workplace?

In this one-of-a-kind session, I'll share with you how to access the boundless potential of your authenticity at work to unlock true success. First, I'll share my own career journey - the highs and lows - and showcase how embracing your identities, values, and life stories is the real secret to career success. Then, I'll work with your participants to develop a comprehensive understanding of authenticity in the workplace, why it's not, "Be whoever you want to be," and what it means to be authentic in a work community where everyone wants to be their authentic self.

Next, I'll teach you my T.H.R.I.V.E. framework and the six necessary steps to unlocking authenticity as your superpower and opening doors to trust, loyalty, and enduring success in the workplace and beyond. Your attendees will learn practical tools and techniques for cultivating personal authenticity and practice strategies to build genuine and meaningful relationships with colleagues, clients, and leadership.

The goal? For each participant to leave with the certain knowledge of how to show up authentically and thrive in their careers for good.

What If I Say The Wrong Thing?: How to Communicate and Lead Across Differences
I know you want to run an inclusive team. I know you want to be part of an inclusive culture. But I know you’re worried. You’re worried about saying the wrong thing on race. You’re worried about offending the wrong person. You’re worried about making the wrong joke. You’re so worried, you say nothing at all.
We cannot move forward on inclusion unless we have difficult conversations. But having those conversations without the right preparation can lead to anger, frustration, and the belief that tackling difference is not worth all the conflict it brings. That’s where this program enters

We start with why it’s hard to interact across identity groups, formally and informally, inside and outside the office. We talk about the many reasons we avoid hard dialogue - fear of conflict, fear of cancellation - but also the many reasons why we need to choose to have these conversations at work.

Next, I provide step-by-step instructions on how to ground your conversations, from having goals in your dialogue, to centering those who are marginalized, to learning what you don’t know, to understanding your discomfort. I then discuss how to address challenging situations - delivering feedback, talking about race, committing microaggressions, discussing current events, resolving generational conflict - as I demonstrate how to model new behaviors for inclusive team-building and leadership.

At the end, all attendees will have been equipped with the skills to lead, manage, and communicate with empathy and equity, using the right tools to say the right thing at work.

WORK. LEAD. CHANGE.: How to Build an Inclusive Workplace That Works for Women
The work of change starts with each of us. But how can we design inclusive spaces that allow for belonging, equity, and success for women? That's where this program enters.

This interactive workshop focuses on actions each of us can take individually, and as part of our professional community, to build an equitable workplace. How can we re-examine the barriers to success for women and work to eliminate them? How can we ensure that authentic diversity - the utilization of differences for success - serves as the centerpiece of our organization? And crucially, how can we ensure we get buy-in for every part of this work from the allies who can promote real change - including each other?

Join me for this one-of-a-kind design-centered workshop. We start with the goal - what does inclusion and belonging look like for each of us at work? What would it mean for us to bring our authentic selves to the workplace? Then we each identify the barriers we have experienced and witnessed in our careers. Next, we re-examine those barriers as we determine the root causes of different challenges in the workplace. After that, we learn how to build easy-to-adopt habits that can lead to sustainable change using solutions that you propose. Finally, we will talk about to center your values so you can succeed with this community of leaders.

Are you ready to lead change for good? Then join me in this forward-thinking conversation on how to achieve success in a transformed workplace that works for all of us.

From Intention to Action: Ten Actions for Allyship at Work
Everyone says they're well-meaning. But well-meaning is only the start. Good intentions don't change behaviors or systems like real actions taken for change. That is the work of allyship.

But while many of us might think we are good allies, so much of allyship can be performative. Our real test is whether those with whom we are allying believe the same. Do they see your good intentions translating into active support at work? Would they want you to become a better ally through your words and deeds? If so, how can you? That's where this program comes in.

In From Intention to Action, I'll ask attendees to commit to becoming allies for change. I'll share with you what it means to be an ally in today's workplace and what inequities allies must recognize. Using storytelling, data, and exercises, I'll help you become aware of both the privileges of your identities and the power you have available to you. You'll then learn the ten actions needed to become a better ally at work. Finally, you'll address some real-life scenarios of allyship that arise again and again, and understand the language, actions, and tools to promote real, lasting change at work.

You Belong Here: What Everyone Should Know and Do About Imposter Syndrome
Do you ever walk into team meetings and feel out of place? Do you ever feel that no matter how perfect you do a job, it is never perfect enough? Do you constantly feel that someday, someone, somewhere will stand up, point their finger at you, and expose you for who you truly know you are – a fraud? This is impostor syndrome.

Impostor syndrome is the feeling that no matter how successful you are, those successes are undeserved, based not on skills or abilities, but rather on luck, timing, and the ability to hide oneself. The threats to both the individual and the workplace are clear, whether it’s self-doubt before an important meeting, lack of engagement in the workplace, or constant turnover from those who simply feel like they do not belong.

The upside to impostor syndrome is that there is a solution. That’s what I explore in You Belong Here.

I first discuss the roots of impostor syndrome and why high-performing professionals suffer self-doubt about their abilities, despite their demonstrated success in the workplace. I then address the effects of impostor syndrome, both on the individual’s performance and on the workplace itself.

I then introduce you to the five most common impostor syndrome types – the Perfectionist, the Superhero, the Genius, the Rugged Individualist, and the Expert. Using numerous interactive activities and small group discussions if desired, we work together to provide these “impostors” with practical, individualized solutions to transform their mindset and claim their workplace success.

My goal is to create a professional environment where everyone can be confidently told this truth: You Belong Here.

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