Sally Kohn makes audiences laugh and think.
One of the top progressive communicators in America, Sally is an
in-demand speaker at college campuses, business conferences
and leadership workshops worldwide. Whether moderating engaging discussions, leading group trainings, or delivering keynote speeches, Sally illuminates current events and big ideas with a humorous touch.
"I WAS INSPIRED BY HER SUCCESS AND
INVIGORATED BY HER HUMOR AND ENTHUSIASM"
— LOOMIS CHAFFEE SCHOOL
"A BRILLIANT PUBLIC SPEAKER!"
— MOUNT HOLYOKE
"I WAS LEFT SITTING IN MY CHAIR WITH SHEER AWE AND JOY!"
SAMPLE SPEAKING + TRAINING TOPICS:
In Defense of Political Correctness and Identity Politics
The word of the year in 2015 was "identity." But in 2016, the most popular political target is political correctness. That's not because political correctness and identity politics are the divisive, speech squelching roots of all evil—but the result of a powerful cultural and political backlash against the gains of racial justice, feminism and LGBT rights in the past decades. In this timely speech, Sally weaves together history and humor—as well as personal anecdotes—to show how political correctness and identity politics have not only made America better for women, people of color and the gay and trans community but for straight white men, too.
From Black Lives Matter to marriage equality, political correctness and identity politics are vital tools for leveling the cultural playing field in ways that lead to political and economic change. That doesn't mean they're perfect—when political correctness goes to far to silencing dissent, it's not a tool but a weapon. Still, let's not through the social change baby out with the bath water. Recognizing and celebrating our diversity and treating each other with respect is a good thing and essential to a more equitable world.
Takeaways from this talk include:
- The full history of political correctness and how it's only now being applied to white men;
- An analysis about how free speech and political correctness can and must go hand-in-hand;
- How identity politics isn't about division but unity based on leveling the playing field; and
- An understanding of where you fit within, and benefit from, identity politics even if you're not "a minority."
Don't Drink The Kool Aid: Emotional Correctness In A Mean And Ugly World
Based on her hit TED talk, Sally explores the practical application of finding compassion for others—including, or even especially your enemies and haters and trolls — when they barely seem to deserve it. How do you not just talk the talk of "emotional correctness" but try to walk it every day — treating others with the compassion you want them to have for you and others? It's not easy.
In this personal and powerful talk, Sally reads from her epic folder of hate mail and hate tweets and shares her own internal and external strategies for combatting the meanness everyone experiences on some scale every day. Useful for everyone from young folks struggling with the emotional gauntlet of social media to adults struggling with the emotional gauntlet that is their kids, Sally shares spiritual and practical tools we can all use.
Takeaways from this talk include:
- How to distinguish hate from constructive criticism and how to respond to both;
- Three social media jujitsu strategies for dealing with haters without being hateful yourself;
- Ways to renew yourself and your faith in humanity, even on social media; and
- How to defin e— and stick to — your own public, moral code of conduct.
Four Things Every White Person Should Know
It's a tough time to be white in America. All the power and privilege white people have typically enjoyed without question is suddenly being challenged and we white people barely realize we have a race let alone know what to do about that awareness. In this funny and refreshing talk, Sally tells white people (and their non-white friends) the four things every white person should know:
(1) You're white.
(2) White privilege is real.
(3) It's not your fault.
(4) But it is your responsibility.
Perfect for corporate audiences and college assemblies looking to find an accessible way into this intimidating topic, Sally helps white and non-white audiences think more deeply about white privilege and their own lives by sharing her own deeply personal stories while being hilariously self-critical. This topic also works as a large or small group training format.
Don't Fear Change, Seek It: What Executives Can Learn From Organizers
Usually there are three attitudes to have about change. You can fear change. You can accept change. You can even embrace change. But none of those attitudes makes you a leader. Leaders seek change!
The basic principle of community organizing is to not just accept the world as it is but to create the world as you want it to be. A veteran community organizer who has transformed her own career into media and communications, Sally shares the insights of policy and political campaigns to help you be a change agent in your field. Weaving in some of the most powerful stories from her own career and throughout the history of social movements — from the abolition of slavery to gay rights — Sally inspires and instructs audiences on how to actively pursue change in their own lives, communities and business arenas.
Take aways from this talk include:
- How to turn fear of change into excitement;
- How to articulate an inspiring, change-oriented vision;
- How to win change using strategies from winning elections; and
- How to lead change — not just follow — and bring others along.
Animated with gripping stories and photos from social movements past and present, this talk is full of "aha" moments for every audience—connecting the goals and strategies of these world-changing movements to your own life and work and leaving every audience member changed.
"SALLY DID A GREAT JOB CONNECTING WITH OUR STUDENTS."
— SOUTHERN NEW HAMPSHIRE UNIVERSITY
SELECTED RECENT SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS:
* per that asterisk in the header... at least everyone who has heard Sally speak says she's great. You should book her and judge for yourself.