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Tim Wise

Tim Wise

Keynote Speaker: Anti-Racist Essayist, Author & Educator; Expert on White Privilege & Advocate for Belonging

Tim Wise Biography

Tim Wise is a leading anti-racist writer and educator in the United States, with over 25 years of experience speaking at various venues, including college and high school campuses, conferences, and community groups nationwide. He has provided anti-racism training to professionals in corporate, government, entertainment, media, law enforcement, military, and medical industries, both in the United States and internationally.

As the author of nine books, including "Dispatches from the Race War," Wise explores topics such as racial inequity, privilege, and the impact of racism on society. He has been recognized as one of "25 Visionaries Who are Changing Your World" by Utne Reader and has contributed to numerous books and journals. Wise's work is widely taught in colleges and universities across the nation.

Wise's involvement in social justice extends to his advisory role at the Fisk University Race Relations Institute and his past work with the Louisiana Coalition Against Racism and Nazism. He has also been featured in documentaries, including "White Like Me" and "The Great White Hoax," and has participated in public dialogues on issues of race, class, gender, and militarism.

Regularly appearing on CNN and MSNBC, Wise is a sought-after commentator on race-related issues. He graduated from Tulane University in 1990 and received antiracism training from the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond. Wise also hosts the podcast "Speak Out with Tim Wise."

Contact a speaker booking agent to check availability on Tim Wise and other top speakers and celebrities.

Tim Wise Speaking Topics

In Defense of "Wokeness:" How to Fight Back Against the Right's War on Equity

From state legislatures to school boards to corporate boardrooms, the right has launched a war on so-called "wokeness," by which they mean any policies intended to address (or even acknowledge) systemic racial inequalities. This war involves dishonest attacks on Critical Race Theory, the banning of books in schools, and the prohibition of diversity training in government agencies and businesses. How can people dedicated to equity and fairness fight back? This speech addresses this question and provides participants with the rhetorical ammunition they need to fight back.

Among the issues examined:

  • Why is the right attacking wokeness now? What is the real agenda behind the assault?
  • How are they distorting Critical Race Theory, and why is CRT actually vital for understanding racism in America?
  • Why are they afraid of the concept of systemic racism? Why is that concept important for people committed to equity?
  • How can supporters of equity make the case in a way that minimizes defensiveness and backlash?

The Attack on Critical Race Theory — What’s It Really About?

In this presentation, Wise examines the recent attacks on anti-racist education and the real motivations behind them. Although those leading the attack claim they are simply pushing back against “Critical Race Theory” — which they claim is anti-white and suggests America is an evil nation — CRT teaches no such things, and isn’t actually being taught in K-12 schools to begin with. When we examine what books and lessons the right is seeking to ban — including children’s books about Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks — it becomes clear: this isn’t about stopping “radical” ideas from being taught; it’s about whitewashing history. As Wise demonstrates, this assault on truth is about three things: seeking to stem support for the movement for racial justice and Black lives, seeking to blame the victims of racial injustice for their position in American society, and undermining support for public education itself.

Racial Justice on Campus in a Post-Affirmative Action World: What Colleges Can (and Must) Do Now

With the Supreme Court poised to strike down affirmative action in admissions, colleges and universities will be faced with a dilemma: how to maintain and expand racial and ethnic diversity on campus absent the ability to explicitly consider race in the process of selecting students. In this presentation, Tim Wise explores the impact of the likely court ruling (due in June), and how colleges can and should respond. Although maintaining diversity and achieving equity will be more difficult in the absence of affirmative action as we’ve known it, the current moment also provides an opportunity for campuses to pivot and develop admissions policies that could, in the long run, facilitate even greater diversity and equity than had been previously achieved with the old policies. Why this matters, and how to make it work, is the subject of this timely new presentation.

What White Folks Should Do Now: Anti-Racist Solidarity in an Age of Backlash

Since the racial justice uprising of 2020, right-wing backlash and stalled progress on issues of racial equity have left many frustrated and worried about the direction of the racial justice movement. Although people of color are used to the long-term nature of the work, many white folks who only came into the movement after the murder of George Floyd are showing signs of fatigue and uncertainty. How can white people engage in racial justice work responsibly, without losing steam? What is their role in the work? What does real solidarity look like? This talk will help focus white antiracist efforts by grounding them in a historical context, and examining what it means to be conscious, connected, and committed to justice in an unjust world. How do we retain hope in hard times? And most importantly, how do we remain accountable as we engage with persons of color who have the most to lose if racial justice efforts fail?

DEI or DOA? How To Move Beyond Window-Dressing to Achieve Institutional Equity

In this presentation, Tim Wise examines DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) efforts in the workplace, and how those efforts either support real change or perpetuate institutional inequity. As Wise explains, much of what gets done under the rubric of DEI doesn’t challenge fundamental cultural norms or practices that contribute to inequity, rendering DEI efforts DOA (dead on arrival), regardless of the good intentions of those charged with implementing them.

Until those structural impediments to change are explored and altered, institutions are setting up their DEI officers for failure, letting down their employees of color, and doing real damage to the cause of equity. Wise will provide examples of structural changes and institutional norms that promote equity, so that participants can walk away with tangible ideas on how to move real DEI work forward.

Tim Wise Videos

Anti-Racism Educator Tim Wise Deconstructs "Pandemic-ing While White"
Tim Wise: Higher Education's Urgent Imperative to Become Antiracist
Tim Wise - Checking White Privilege

How do I book Tim Wise to speak at my event?

Our experienced booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure speakers like Tim Wise for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment since 2002. Click the Check Schedule button above and complete the form on this page to check availability for Tim Wise, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get speaking fee information and check availability for Tim Wise or any other speaker of your choice.

How much does it cost to book Tim Wise for a speaking engagement?

Speaking fees for Tim Wise, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The estimated fees to book Tim Wise are $10,000 - $20,000 for live events and $10,000 - $20,000 for virtual events. For the most current speaking fee to hire Tim Wise, click the Check Schedule button above and complete the form on this page, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak directly with an experienced booking agent.

What topics does Tim Wise speak about?

Tim Wise is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics such as Diversity, Authors, Writing, Education, Social Activism, DEI, Thought Leadership, Future Of Work, Commencement, College, Social Justice, Literary, Culture, Civil Rights, Human Resources and Belonging.

Where does Tim Wise travel from?

Tim Wise generally travels from Nashville, TN, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances.

Who is the agent for Tim Wise?

AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully secured keynote speakers like Tim Wise for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Schedule button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Tim Wise for your next private or corporate function.

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AAE Speakers Bureau is a full-service speaker booking agency, meaning we can completely manage the speaker’s or celebrity’s engagement with your organization from the time of booking your speaker through the event’s completion. We provide all of the services you need to host Tim Wise or any other speaker of your choice, including offer negotiation, contractual assistance, accounting and billing, and event speaker travel and logistics services. When you book a speaker with us, we manage the process of hosting a speaker for you as an extension of your team. Our goal is to give our clients peace of mind and a best-in-class service experience when booking a speaker with us.

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Tim Wise is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics including Diversity, Authors and Writing. The estimated speaking fee range to book Tim Wise for live events is $10,000 - $20,000, and for virtual events $10,000 - $20,000. Tim Wise generally travels from Nashville, TN, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Nikki Giovanni, Angela Davis and Jane Elliott. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Tim Wise for an upcoming event.

Tim Wise Speaking Topics

  • In Defense of "Wokeness:" How to Fight Back Against the Right's War on Equity

    From state legislatures to school boards to corporate boardrooms, the right has launched a war on so-called "wokeness," by which they mean any policies intended to address (or even acknowledge) systemic racial inequalities. This war involves dishonest attacks on Critical Race Theory, the banning of books in schools, and the prohibition of diversity training in government agencies and businesses. How can people dedicated to equity and fairness fight back? This speech addresses this question and provides participants with the rhetorical ammunition they need to fight back.

    Among the issues examined:

    • Why is the right attacking wokeness now? What is the real agenda behind the assault?
    • How are they distorting Critical Race Theory, and why is CRT actually vital for understanding racism in America?
    • Why are they afraid of the concept of systemic racism? Why is that concept important for people committed to equity?
    • How can supporters of equity make the case in a way that minimizes defensiveness and backlash?

  • The Attack on Critical Race Theory — What’s It Really About?

    In this presentation, Wise examines the recent attacks on anti-racist education and the real motivations behind them. Although those leading the attack claim they are simply pushing back against “Critical Race Theory” — which they claim is anti-white and suggests America is an evil nation — CRT teaches no such things, and isn’t actually being taught in K-12 schools to begin with. When we examine what books and lessons the right is seeking to ban — including children’s books about Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks — it becomes clear: this isn’t about stopping “radical” ideas from being taught; it’s about whitewashing history. As Wise demonstrates, this assault on truth is about three things: seeking to stem support for the movement for racial justice and Black lives, seeking to blame the victims of racial injustice for their position in American society, and undermining support for public education itself.

  • Racial Justice on Campus in a Post-Affirmative Action World: What Colleges Can (and Must) Do Now

    With the Supreme Court poised to strike down affirmative action in admissions, colleges and universities will be faced with a dilemma: how to maintain and expand racial and ethnic diversity on campus absent the ability to explicitly consider race in the process of selecting students. In this presentation, Tim Wise explores the impact of the likely court ruling (due in June), and how colleges can and should respond. Although maintaining diversity and achieving equity will be more difficult in the absence of affirmative action as we’ve known it, the current moment also provides an opportunity for campuses to pivot and develop admissions policies that could, in the long run, facilitate even greater diversity and equity than had been previously achieved with the old policies. Why this matters, and how to make it work, is the subject of this timely new presentation.

  • What White Folks Should Do Now: Anti-Racist Solidarity in an Age of Backlash

    Since the racial justice uprising of 2020, right-wing backlash and stalled progress on issues of racial equity have left many frustrated and worried about the direction of the racial justice movement. Although people of color are used to the long-term nature of the work, many white folks who only came into the movement after the murder of George Floyd are showing signs of fatigue and uncertainty. How can white people engage in racial justice work responsibly, without losing steam? What is their role in the work? What does real solidarity look like? This talk will help focus white antiracist efforts by grounding them in a historical context, and examining what it means to be conscious, connected, and committed to justice in an unjust world. How do we retain hope in hard times? And most importantly, how do we remain accountable as we engage with persons of color who have the most to lose if racial justice efforts fail?

  • DEI or DOA? How To Move Beyond Window-Dressing to Achieve Institutional Equity

    In this presentation, Tim Wise examines DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) efforts in the workplace, and how those efforts either support real change or perpetuate institutional inequity. As Wise explains, much of what gets done under the rubric of DEI doesn’t challenge fundamental cultural norms or practices that contribute to inequity, rendering DEI efforts DOA (dead on arrival), regardless of the good intentions of those charged with implementing them.

    Until those structural impediments to change are explored and altered, institutions are setting up their DEI officers for failure, letting down their employees of color, and doing real damage to the cause of equity. Wise will provide examples of structural changes and institutional norms that promote equity, so that participants can walk away with tangible ideas on how to move real DEI work forward.

Tim Wise Videos

Anti-Racism Educator Tim Wise Deconstructs "Pandemic-ing While White"
Tim Wise: Higher Education's Urgent Imperative to Become Antiracist
Tim Wise - Checking White Privilege
Tim Wise Lecture
Tim Wise at FORUM/Diversity 2018

Tim Wise Reviews

  • Green River College - Sep 22 2023

  • Tim was a perfect fit for our conference theme. He did an amazing job focusing on our conference theme. We all learned a lot from him. Thank you for everything!
    Brockport Student Government - Apr 04 2023

  • Association of California School Administrators - Nov 19 2018

  • Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington - Mar 31 2017

  • One of the most prolific speakers I’ve encountered. I heard students proclaim that Tim’s presentation changed their attitudes and helped them make a commitment to get involved with changing the system.
    Director of Diversity, Midland Lutheran College, Fremont, NE - Jul 29 2015

Tim Wise News

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