15 Top Inspirational Speakers for Black History Month.

7th Sep 2020

It’s Black History Month in October, so we thought we’d gather for you a sensational line up of Great British talent from a wide range of speakers including business, sport, media, technology and politics to help celebrate.

You’ll be pleased to know that given the current COVID situation they’re all available online able to deliver virtual and hybrid talks.

Dr Makaziwe Maki Mandela

Dr Makaziwe Maki Mandela Black History Month Equality Diversity Speaker at Great British Speakers

Dr. Makaziwe Mandela was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, growing up in Soweto, Johannesburg and is the eldest daughter of Evelyn Mase and Nelson Mandela. After matriculating from High School in Swaziland, she went on to study for her BA degree in Social Work at Fort Hare University in the Eastern Cape, and then her Honours Degree in Sociology at the University of Natal in Durban.

She has worked for a number of academic institutions in South Africa and abroad. She spent a number of years working for the Development Bank of Southern Africa as Executive Manager Corporate Services. Prior to that, she worked for Spoornet as General Manager Human Resources.

Dr. Mandela previously sat on the Boards of Rand Water Services, Myriad Medical, Envirosev and the Nelson Mandela Foundation. She is also a consultant in training development and life skills at Self Empowerment International.

To find out more and book Maki to speak go to her full bio page HERE

Sir Ken Olisa


Ken is Founder and Chairman of Restoration Partners, the boutique technology merchant bank and architects of Inogesis formerly known as The Virtual Technology Cluster model. Ken’s technology career spans over 30 years commencing with IBM from whom he won a scholarship while at Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge.

Ken is a Freeman of the City of London, Liveryman and Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists, Patron of Thames Reach (for which he received an OBE in 2010), and Chairman of charity Shaw Trust.

In 2015, Her Majesty the Queen appointed Ken as Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant for Greater London and he was knighted in the 2018 New Year’s Honours List for services to business and philanthropy.

Sir Kenneth is President of London Youth, a member network of 450+ community youth organisations working across London, supporting tens of thousands of young Londoners each year through their sports, arts, employment and social action programmes and outdoor learning at their residential centres in East Sussex and Buckinghamshire.

To find out more and book Sir Ken Olisa to speak go to his full bio page HERE

Dame Kelly Holmes

Dame Kelly Holmes Olympic Champions Health Mental Wellness motivational Speaker at Great British Speakers

A legendary female British Olympian who really does need no introduction!

Kelly set and still holds the British records in the 600m, 800m and 1000m.

An Olympic, World, Commonwealth and European Multi medallist.

She was BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2004 and awarded a Damehood in 2005 for services to athletics.

Kelly is passionate about raising awareness of mental health. Her own  experience led her to learn more and how to help others. A trained Mental Health First Aider, she assists corporates and individuals through both her commercial work and her charitable activities.

She continues to be President of the charity she founded in 2018, the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust.

To find out more and book Kelly Holmes to speak go to her full bio page HERE

Clive Myrie


Clive Myrie is one of the main presenters for BBC News on BBC One. He has anchored on location several recent key stories, including the Sri Lanka and New Zealand terror attacks, Donald Trump’s state visit to London, the resignation of Prime Minister Theresa May, and Boris Johnson’s first day as PM at Downing Street after the election.

Clive’s recent work on knife crime in the UK for the BBC’s News at Ten also garnered much praise.

Some of the topics Clive can cover are, Politics, The role of the media, Fake News, Impartiality in the media, Current national and International Affairs. Law and order particularly in relation to Knife Crime, and the subject of diversity in the widest sense.

All of these topics are punctuated with first hand anecdotes from Clives personal and professional life, always with great passion and of course wit!

To find out more and book Clive Myrie to speak go to his full bio page HERE

Tessa Sanderson CBE


On the 6th August 1984 at the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles Tessa Sanderson won the Gold in the Women’s Javelin and remains today the only British Woman to ever win a throwing Gold Medal.

In March 2004 New Years Honours list Tessa Sanderson was awarded the CBE by Her Majesty the Queen, in recognition of her services to sport and her role as Vice Chairman of Sport England.

Tessa is a keynote speaker, accomplished motivational presenter and awards host and TV & radio personality across sport, entertainment and media.

Tessa continues to be a corporate business ambassador helping to build brand awareness.


  • Overcoming Challenges & Determination
  • Leadership & Teamwork
  • Diversity & Equality
  • Adoption (Tessa adopted twins aged 58)
  • Health & Fitness

To find out more and book Tessa Sanderson to speak go to her full bio page HERE

Levi Roots


The phenomenal rise of Rastafarian musician Levi Roots is one of the most heart-warming business success stories to date.

Levi made the big time by producing his Reggae Reggae Sauce, a delightful mix of barbecue and jerk sauce that won an exclusive contract in 2007 and was soon stocked in Sainsbury’s stores across Britain – Levi’s sauce is the chain’s fastest ever selling product.

Before becoming a successful culinary entrepreneur, Levi was and still is, a successful musician, working with icons such as James Brown, Dennis Brown, Michael Rose and Black Uhuru. He was nominated for a MOBO award in 1998 for his ‘Free Your Mind album’ and sung  ‘Happy Birthday’ to Nelson Mandela when he visited Brixton.

The philanthropist in Levi sees him giving back to the community and the young people in the UK today by visiting hundreds of schools, universities and prisons every year.  Levi is also a proud ambassador of The Prince’s Trust.

To find out more and book Levi Roots to speak go to his full bio page HERE

Karen Blackett OBE


Karen Blackett OBE, UK Country Manager for WPP and Chairwoman of MediaCom UK & Ireland, is a renowned and proven business leader with a track record in creating vibrant cultures, energising teams and consistently delivering business growth and success.

With over 20 years’ experience at the forefront of the media industry, Karen rose to her current positions after an enormously successful period as CEO of MediaCom UK, which saw her in charge of over £1.2 billion of media billings and 1,200 employees.

As CEO, she also oversaw £790 million of new business and the successful capture of the coveted Tesco account, after 23 years with their incumbent agency.

Named by Vogue as one of the 25 Most Influential and Inspirational Women of 2018 and ranked top of the EMpower 100 Ethnic Minority Executive Leaders list, Karen was appointed the national Race Equality Business Champion by the UK Prime Minister in October 2018.

Karen was appointed Chancellor of The University of Portsmouth in January 2017.

To find out more and book Karen Blackett to speak go to her full bio page HERE

Trevor Phillips OBE

Trevor Phillips BAME Equality and Human Rights Commission speaker at Great British Speakers

Trevor is an award winning broadcaster, writer and former politician. He was awarded an OBE for services to television in 1999, as well as the French order of the Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur in 2006 for his work on integration and community cohesion.

He has been involved in some of the most talked-about programmes of recent years, including Has Political Correctness Gone Mad? and Things We Won’t Say About Race That Are True

Trevor has spent four decades in public life, including becoming the founding chair of both the Greater London Authority (2000), and of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (2007).

He has also chaired several charities, amongst them the Social Mobility Foundation. He is the current chair of Index on Censorship, which campaigns against censorship and promotes free expression worldwide.

An internationally respected expert on equality and human rights, Trevor believes passionately in forthright debate and free expression. Trevor shares his extensive knowledge and insight into the importance and value of data and the cultural impact of AI and machine learning. He is an expert commentator and adviser on diversity, leadership and inclusion both to government and within business.

To find out more and book Trevor Phillips to speak go to his full bio page HERE

Michael Fuller

Michael Fuller QPM former Chief Constable of Kent Police Chief Inspector Crown Prosecution Service BAME speaker at Great British Speakers

Michael came to prominence in 2004 when he became Britain’s first black Chief Constable.

He served as Chief Constable of Kent Police from January 2004 until March 2010. As Chief Constable, Michael successfully led the Force response to the Calais migration crisis and to the Channel Tunnel fire.

He worked with European police forces to counter Islamist radicalisation and avert terrorist incidents.

Michael has inspired and captivated audiences through giving a candid insight into his leadership journey during his distinguished police career.

Having qualified as a Barrister while serving as a Chief Constable, in 2010 Michael was appointed as Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of the Crown Prosecution Service.

He outlines how, having come from humble beginnings, he overcame setbacks and adversity as he rose through the ranks to the very top of the police service and became Britain’s First Black Chief Constable.

To find out more and book Michael Fuller to speak go to his full bio page HERE

Alex Scott MBE


Alex Scott MBE is a former professional footballer, pundit and presenter.

The former Arsenal Captain and England Centurion is the co-host of Sky Sports’ Goals on Sunday, a well-regarded pundit for BBC and Sky Sports, a regular on BBC’s Match of the Day as well as an ambassador for Nike and Mastercard.

Since her retirement in 2018, Alex has begun a successful broadcasting career and has quickly become renown for her insights into the game and sharp punditry skills.

In 2019, Alex returned to the Strictly Ballroom making it all the way to the Quarter Finals with partner Neil Jones.

She also opened The Alex Scott Academy in 2012 in partnership with Kingston College and Puma, the first of its kind for women in the UK.

To find out more and book Alex Scott to speak go to her full bio page HERE

Sir Lenny Henry


A comedian since the age of 16, Sir Lenny Henry has risen from a star of children’s television to one of the country’s most admired comedians. Over the years, he has also demonstrated his talent as a writer, singer, radio DJ. Lenny is also one of the co-creators of Comic Relief.

In 2015, Lenny received a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to drama and charity. Lenny has also received the BAFTA Television: Special Recognition Award in 2016.

Sir Lenny Henry shares some of his other stories from his early life in his autobiography “Who Am I, Again?” published by Faber & Faber.

Lenny hit the headlines with a witheringly funny speech at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta), taking the sector to task for its record on diversity. Not only was the television industry nowhere near as diverse as the population as a whole, but that the number of Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) workers was plummeting.

To help counteract this situation, The Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity is a newly established research centre, bringing together the expertise of established media professionals and academics.

To find out more and book Sir Lenny to speak, go to his full bio page HERE

June Sarpong MBE


June is currently the Director of Creative Diversity at the BBC, having been appointed in the role in 2019.

June has enjoyed a 20-year career, in which she has become one of the most recognisable faces of British television. June began her career at Kiss 100 and later became a presenter for MTV UK & Ireland.

In 2008 she hosted Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday celebrations in front of 30,000 people in London’s Hyde Park.

Acting as the broadcasting giants’ first ever DiversityDirector, June will work to increase representation throughout the company and ensure that the BBC’s content reflects the public they serve.

June was awarded an OBE in the 2020 New Years’ Honours List.

June is the co-founder of the WIE Network (Women: Inspiration & Enterprise).

To find out more and book June Sarpong to speak go to her full bio page HERE

David Lammy

David Lammy Labour MP BAME social activism diversity multi culturalism expert at Great British Speakers

David Lammy is the Member of Parliament for Tottenham, one of London’s most diverse constituencies. One of the leading agenda-setters in the fields of social activism, diversity and multi-culturalism, he was a member of the previous Labour Government (2001-2010), is respected across the party spectrum and a well-known figure amongst the general public.

A well-known advocate of social activism, diversity and multi-culturalism, David’s current position as an active backbench MP has enabled him to engage in his passion for tackling the big issues facing society 

His speaking topics cover how to challenge issues surrounding diversity in a progressive and effective manner and help to ensure that it has a positive impact on the workplace and your bottom line.

Also, learn how diversity, multiculturalism and multi-racial architecture play an integral role today and how they impact on activism and politics.

David writes for national newspapers, including the Guardian, the Times, the Independent and the New Statesman, is President of the British and Foreign Schools Association and is a former trustee of Action Aid.

To find out more and book David Lammy to speak go to his full bio page HERE

Kriss Akabusi MBE


Kriss Akabusi MBE is an engaging, inspiring and transformational speaker, ideal for keynotes, endnotes, and award ceremonies.

Kriss is famous for his achievements in athletics where his greatest individual triumph was his gold medal in the 1990 European Championships, beating David Hemery’s 22-year-old British record for 400m hurdles, a record which Kriss still holds to this day.

A one-of-kind speaker, who mindfully tailors his presentations with the clients’ goals in mind, Kriss Akabusi MBE’s enthusiastic personality, and motivational anecdotes will leave delegates inspired and ready to deliver success in their arena.

To find out more and book Kriss Akabusi to speak go to his full bio page HERE

Maggie Alphonsi MBE


Maggie Alphonsi is the face of international women’s rugby and arguably one of the most well-known names in women’s team sports on the planet.

Before announcing her international retirement in 2014, she represented her country an impressive 74 times, scored 28 tries, won a World Cup and helped England win a record-breaking seven consecutive Six Nations crowns.

Maggie is an excellent speaker and is well qualified to share her experiences.

Certainly, when she shares those experiences, you don’t need to be a rugby fan to be interested or inspired by how she has become a prominent figure in the challenging world of a male-dominated sport.

Delivering to a wide variety of audiences, from corporate businesses to sports events or going into schools to inspire the next generation, Maggie has a story you want to hear.

To find out more and book Maggie Alphonsi to speak go to her full bio page HERE

Ade Adapitan

Ade-Adepitan-inspirational motivational speaker from Great British Speakers

Having survived polio as a youngster, Ade Adepitan has since succeeded as an international Paralympic wheelchair basketball player and has built up a wealth of Broadcasting experience.

Flashback to his early presenting days and some of you may remember him from the CBBC series X-Change and the BBC ‘dancing wheelchairs’ idents.

An instantly recognisable face, Ade has travelled the world for his work including the BBC’s internationally known Travel Show exploring the history and cultures behind the globe’s most enticing countries.

Never one to hold back, Ade regularly goes undercover, investigating controversial and ground-breaking stories for Channel 4’s award-winning documentary series Dispatches. Recent episodes have seen him confronting the UK’s benefits system’s personal disability allowances.

Ade often engages in high profile public speaking including the launch of the 2012 Olympic bid. He works extensively in the UK giving motivational speeches to schools, charities and businesses.

We’d love to hear from you and listen to your speaking requirements for Black History Month or indeed any other hosting and live event needs.

Call Jane Farnham on 0044 1753 439289 or email



Other Articles

As we're all in various level of lockdown, we know just how much this could affect our Christmas celebrations this year. After spending most of the last 8 months working under challenging circumstances, it time ... read more
The 15th -21st November, is Global Entrepreneur and Enterprise Week. The week's aims to inspire people through local, national and global activities and discussion, to help them explore their potential as business entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, this year due ... read more
Great British Speakers is here with experienced sales-woman and Mindful Sales Speaker Anis Qizilbash. Hi Anis, so tell us how you got into speaking? I had a laughably terrible experience during a podcast interview. These ... read more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *