Noting a Lack of Diversity, Vanessa Valenti Created an Org to Deal With the Problem

Vanessa-Valenti-WParticleRegular readers of PRNewser know the industry’s attempts to grapple with diversity is, to put it kindly, a work in progress. While on the speaker circuit, Vanessa Valenti of Valenti Martin Media, a consultancy that helps brands share their message to effect social change, looked at the problem as it pertained to the endless supply of white male speakers dominating the keynote landscape. She decided to tackle the problem herself, just as she’d done when she co-founded Feministing.com in 2004, at a time when there were no prominent online communities for young feminists.

Valenti spoke with Mediabistro for our latest So What Do You Do feature and discussed what she has learned at the helm of Fresh Speakers, an organization she co-founded to promote speakers who provide a departure from the industry’s default mode.

One of the big learnings we’ve had in our research is that a lot of folks are not happy with their speakers’ bureaus because they essentially don’t give them the time, energy and attention they want in terms of getting them more speaking gigs and really helping them hone their external identities and speaking skills. One of our speakers is a young man, Mohamed Ali, who is creating a peace movement and fighting terrorism through social entrepreneurship, which is incredibly unique. It’s something we’ve never heard of before.

For more, read: So What Do You Do, Vanessa Valenti, Co-founder of Feministing.com and Fresh Speakers?