Women in Society Speakers

According to the premise of many social theories, “male” and “female”, and “men” and “women” are constructed norms based on mutually accepted traditions and beliefs. There is no doubt that women, in every culture, are dynamic and vital to their community. But the responsibilities and roles of women are indeed changing: how do we, as individuals and society overall, understand and act on women’s place in society? Several GBS speakers are available to discuss new gender trends, norms and challenges at any speaking engagement. Click the list below to learn more about our experts on women in society.

Judy A. Smith         Judy is the Founder and President of Smith & Co, a leading strategic and crisis communications firm with offices in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles. Over the last 25 years, Ms. Smith has brought her unique combination of communication skills, media savvy, legal and political acumen to clients facing a wide array of issues and challenges throughout the United States and abroad. Ms. Smith honed her skills through her experien...


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Donna Brazile         Veteran Democratic political strategist Donna Brazile is an adjunct professor, author, syndicated columnist, television political commentator, Vice Chair of Voter Registration and Participation at the Democratic National Committee, and former interim National Chair of the Democratic National Committee as well as the former chair of the DNC’s Voting Rights Institute.Aside from working for the full recovery of her beloved New ...


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Lynn Whitfield         Growing up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Lynn Whitfield first watched the likes of Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and Bette Davis in “All About Eve” from her grandmother’s lap. She loved classic movies and with child-like confidence, she could see no reason she could not become an actress and some day play those same types of roles. Over the course of nearly three decades, the talent of the little girl who dreamed ...


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Taraji Henson

Academy award winning actress

Taraji P. HensonTaraji Henson earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress opposite Brad Pitt in David Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. She co-stars with star and director Tom Hanks in Larry Crowne alongside Julia Roberts and Cedric the Entertainer that is set to release July 1, 2011. She starred in the hugely successful Karate Kid opposite Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan and in Date Night with Tina Fey and Steve Carre...


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Jasmine Guy

Dancer, actor, singer, director, and writer - Star of A Different World

Jasmine Guy         Actor-dancer-director Jasmine Guy has enjoyed a diverse career in television, theater and film. She began her professional career at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York City. Jasmine starred on Broadway in the original productions of Beehive and Leader of the Pack, and reprised hit productions of Grease, The Wiz and Chicago (as Velma Kelly).After years on Broadway and touring the globe, Jasmine landed the role o...


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Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeeverAn authoritative voice on race, gender, politics, and the production of positive social change, Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever is widely regarded as one of the most engaging and informative political and social commentators in the US. Currently serving as the Executive Director of the National Council of Negro Women, the nation’s oldest organization devoted to the advancement of both civil rights and women’s rights, her work catal...


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Judge Karen Mills-Francis         Judge Karen has a colorful and engaging style that is as distinctive as her bold burgundy robe and her bright blonde hair. As quick to aid the helpless as she is to dismiss the hare-brained, Judge Karen confidently dished out justice to a national television audience with the half-hour syndicated courtroom series, Judge Karen. She is famous for the lines “Stay in your Lane, I know how to Drive”. For fall 2010 Jud...


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Marshawn EvansAs one of the nation's leading experts on the art of maximizing potential, Reinvention Strategist™, Entrepreneur and Entertainment Attorney, MARSHAWN EVANS is Founder of ME Unlimited®, a consulting firm focusing on reinvention, diversity, women’s empowerment, leadership and peak performance strategies. She is founder of ME University® - The Ultimate Business & Branding Bootcamp, the industry’s premiere summit for equipping entrepren...


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Sophia A. NelsonSophia is "redefining" the rules for 21st Century living and success. The award-winning author, journalist, political commentator and former House of Representatives committee counsel is working to change the game for a new generation of Americans in academia, the workplace, interpersonal relationships, and overall persona development.Prior to becoming a freelance journalist and former White House correspondent and political colum...


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MC Lyte

Undeniable queen of hip hop who supports worthy projects, events and fundraisers such as AIDS awareness, anti-violence and Rock-the-Vote

MC LyteLyricist, Pioneer, Icon, Inspirational Speaker, Veteran and Entrepreneur describe one of the most prolific and well-respected female Hip Hop artists of our time: MC Lyte. A pioneer in the industry, she opened the door for future female Hip Hop artists by daring to do what had never been done while doing something she loved.A role model to women and respected by men everywhere, Lyte never compromises who she is and consistently displays tha...


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Nikki Giovanni

World-renowned poet and thought leader on black social commentary

Nikki GiovanniNikki Giovanni is a world-renowned poet, writer, commentator, activist, and educator. Over the past thirty years, her outspokenness, in her writing and in lectures, has brought the eyes of the world upon her. One of the most widely-read American poets, she prides herself on being “a Black American, a daughter, a mother, a professor of English.”Giovanni remains as determined and committed as ever to the fight for civil rights and equ...


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Glenda Hatchett

Former Chief Presiding Judge of the Fulton County Georgia Juvenile Court and star of The Judge Hatchett Show.

Judge Glenda A. Hatchett          A graduate of Mt. Holyoke College and Emory University School of Law, where she was an Earl Warren Scholar, Hatchett completed a prestigious federal clerkship in the United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia. She then spent nearly 10 years at Delta Air Lines, where she was the airline’s highest-ranking woman of color worldwide. As Senior Attorney, she represented Delta in labor/personnel and ant...


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Dr. Julianne Malveaux         Recognized for her provocative, progressive and insightful observations, Dr. Julianne Malveaux, an economist, author and commentator, is the President and CEO of Last Word Productions, Inc, a multimedia production company. Described by Dr. Cornel West as “the most iconoclastic public intellectual in the country”, Dr. Malveaux’s contributions to the public dialogue on issues such as race, culture, gender, and their ec...


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T’Keyah Crystal Keymah

Award-winning Performer, Writer, Producer, and Director.

T’Keyah Crystal KeymahPerformer, writer, producer, director, T’KEYAH CRYSTAL KEYMÁH is her name personified: a prism of energy and vision, known worldwide for her acclaimed work on TV’s In Living Color, Cosby, and That’s So Raven. Keymáh voiced Bumblebee on Teen Titans and Trixie’s mom on American Dragon. Stage credits include Love Letters (w/ David Alan Grier), her critically acclaimed one-woman show, Some of My Best Friends: A Collection of Cha...


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Lucille O’Neal

Author of Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go

Lucille O’Neal         As the mother of one of the greatest athletes of all time, Lucille O’Neal’s journey is exceptional; but her story reveals that she is more than just “Shaquille O’Neal’s mom.” She is a woman you know; a woman you understand. Perhaps your own journey resembles hers. O’Neal has been a rebellious teen, a single mother, a wife, a college student, a divorcee and, above all, a woman of unique courage.   Acquainted early in life ...


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Phyllis Yvonne Stickney

Best Selling Author, Custodian of the Cultural Consciousness Award recipient, inducted into Black Hall of Fame in 1998

Phyllis Yvonne-StickneyPhyllis  has longevity and staying power in the industry. She has been at the vanguard for many of the improvements to the Theater and Arts Festivals that are presented annually such as THE NATIONAL BLACK THEARER FESTIVAL THE ANTIONAL BLACK THEATER FESTIVAL THE SHADES OF BLACK THEATER FESTIVAL THE URBAN WORLD FILM FESTIVAL, THE PAN AFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL among other contributions. She is a born leader. An ambassador of arts,...


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Lauren Maillian Bias         Lauren Maillian Bias is the Founder and CEO of Luxury Market Branding™, a strategic marketing company.A serial entrepreneur, at age 19, Lauren founded a boutique winery that quickly became an internationally recognized award-winning wine brand, making her the youngest self-made winery owner in the country. She served as the Chief Operating Officer of the company from inception through the brand’s acquisition in 2011.L...


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Hydeia Broadbent         At birth, Hydeia Broadbent was abandoned at the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas where Patricia and Loren Broadbent adopted her as an infant. Although her HIV condition was congenital, she was not diagnosed as HIV-positive with advancement to AIDS until age three. The prognosis was that she would not live past the age of five. Now at the age of 27, Hydeia spends her time spreading the message of H...


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Allison SamuelsAllison Samuels has spent the last 18 years as a writer for Newsweek magazine and now also writes for its sister site The Daily Beast. For nearly two decades Samuels has covered sports, entertainment, fashion and politics for the weekly publication and continues to focus a great deal on the impact of race in the worlds of sports, politics and Hollywood. Samuels has interviewed and written extensively about the likes of First Lady M...


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Sil Lai Abrams

Inspirational speaker, domestic violence awareness & prevention activist, and relationship expert for the online version of EBONY Magazine.

Sil Lai Abrams Truth in Reality Founder & CEO, Sil Lai is a NABJ award-winning New York City based writer, inspirational speaker, and domestic violence awareness activist. Truth in Reality is a grassroots media advocacy organization whose mission is to change the way Black women and interpersonal violence are portrayed on reality television. Sil Lai has appeared on ABC, FOX, BET, Court TV, and TruTV as an expert on relationships and domestic vi...


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Towanna Freeman

Award Winning Author • Life and Career Strategist • Advocate for Teen Girls

Towanna B. FreemanTowanna is one of those rare “Triple Threat Women.” She is an entrepreneur, mother of two, and a military wife. She is a successful life coach, inspirational speaker and advocate for young women. Freeman conducts workshops and conferences where she imparts a life-changing message that presents hope and inspiration. It is her purpose. It is her success. So much, in fact, that she has co-authored an award winning book, Purposeful ...


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Charreah Jackson

ESSENCE Magazine's Relationships Editor | National Love & Career Coach | Creator of BossBride.com

Charreah K. Jackson knows that love, success and happiness are possible for today's women and men. As ESSENCE Magazine’s Relationships Editor, she provides love and career insight for the publications 11 million readers and hosts events nationally including at the annual ESSENCE Festival. She is a certified family life educator and featured expert on CNN’s Headline News, VH1, WEtv and ABC News. The National Association of Professional Women named...


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Dr. Dawn DeLavallade

Advocate for the Female Breadwinner - the newest category of American woman. Her mission is to advance our society toward a place of acceptance and healing!

Dawn DeLavallade, M.D.         Dawn is a practicing physician and writer based in Orlando, Florida. As a radiologist, Dawn currently enjoys a “virtual” practice by providing radiologic interpretations from her home office for Emergency Room patients across the country. Her decision to choose a career in virtual medicine has allowed Dawn the flexibility to be a dedicated mother despite the demands of her profession.In addition to her commitment t...


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Linda Fondren

Linda transformed her life from poverty and disempowerment to success. Her book, “Shape Up Sisters!” is the practical, inspirational and accessible guide, -a get-healthy prescription for everyday women with jobs, families and real-life obstacles.

Linda Fondren            Linda transformed her life from poverty and disempowerment to success, and went back to her hometown of Vicksburg, Mississippi determined to make her hometown a healthier place after Mississippi was deemed the “fattest state” in the nation for several consecutive year.   In 2009, she spearheaded “Shape Up Vicksburg,” a City Hall-sanctioned weight loss challenge in which she convinced the local hospital to offer free h...


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