A Community Group of the National Speakers Association.
We exist to ensure professional speakers of African American heritage have a voice in the industry and feel supported. We are open to all races.
only for those serious about changing the world
Creating critical connections and increasing the opportunity for our members to be exposed to decision-makers, reputable vendors, as well as capitalizing on the power of speakers referrals is reflected in this principle.
Collaboration Principle: We facilitate specialized support groups which focus on helping community members accomplish strategic business goals. Includes: Think & Grow Rich Mastermind (3 times per year); Professional member attainment, Book Launch, CSP attainment, and more.
Power of Community: Our community will be promoting a Give/ Receive mindset, which translates as members providing one mastery skill which can help one's speaking business. In the spirit of reciprocity, members will also receive access to master skills shared by another colleague. Our community mindset is reflective in our Monday Mastery, Member Spotlights, and Virtual Summits. Additional forums which reflect our commitment to the community include our private Facebook group and In-Person events.
So many wonderful, speaking business growth initiatives ranging from quarantine growth based sessions, Power Players Series, our famous Think and Grow Rich mastermind, the launch of our Black Speakers Database and more!! PS: We are super excited about black speakers database launch taking place in in November 2020 - with pre-launch events kicking off in September of 2020!
Showcase your expertise to meeting planners and help them develop a pool of diverse experts!
It is not unusual for NSA members to ask and question the existence and mission of BlackNSA (BNSA). During these challenging times, when our country is mourning and being pulled apart, it seems counterproductive to support any group that differentiates itself from the broader community. After the death of George Floyd a week ago and the ensuing protests as a result of this tragedy, we felt it critical to look inward and share our BlackNSA voices within our NSA community.
In the absence of information, knowledge of the groups' history, or participation in our activities, it is understandable that some NSA members may be confused by the need for BlackNSA or how it serves the greater good for members of all races.
At the national conference 33 years ago, a small group of Black professional members of NSA gathered together to talk about the industry's challenges specific to speakers of color. Thelma Wells was the driving force behind this gathering working with several other speakers, who continue to support NSA today. Together, working alongside NSA, BlackNSA was formed. Its mission? To ensure every Black speaker who wanted to share their message could find a place to share it, and have support from others. The vision was to offer a forum where black speakers could discuss the unique challenges that speakers of color face in the marketplace. It was also crucial that speakers learn how to grow a successful speaking business and remain active and fulfilled as members.
Before the creation of BNSA, new members of color attended our annual conference but did not find affinity with the larger organization, resulting in them leaving the following year. When the small group of speakers of color reached out to these potential new members to find out why they did not continue membership in NSA, we were not surprised by the responses.
Black NSA was created with a purpose to address several critical issues:
The hope was that, over time, the speaking industry would evolve and the need for BNSA diminish as the marketplace would move forward. However, just as NSA is a mirror of the greater society, change has not come as quickly or as widespread as hoped.
Historically, Black speakers have been underrepresented on panels, overlooked by speaking bureaus, and rarely considered for decision-makers' main stage. Many speakers of color, new to NSA, have expressed frustration with being pigeonholed as a speaker for only diversity-focused sessions and not considered for other areas of substance and content.
It is not unusual to hear NSA colleagues express that the speaking world was different 33 years ago. However, today's panels still lack diversity when it comes to people of color – not to mention women and members of the LGBTQ community. People of color are still underrepresented when presenting as the main stage keynote at major conferences. Many of our BlackNSA members are exceptional subject matter experts –yet they sit in the audience rather than delivering the keynote.
What can you do?
We continue to partner with NSA, and we need every person to be part of the solution. All NSA members are encouraged and welcomed to become part of BNSA because we all have something to share. If membership in BNSA is not your choice of how to support our group, here are several other ways you can support our goal of having more speakers of color become members of NSA and find their platform in the market:
BlackNSA exists because an additional level of support for speakers of color is still needed in the marketplace. We want the relationships, skills, and resources to succeed made available to all who need them.
It starts with awareness and the decision to take a stand to become a part of the solution and not the problem. We need all of NSA to join BlackNSA – in voice, in solidarity and making our organization and our industry better.