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About Sue O’Halloran

Diversity Speaker & Seminar Leader
Professional Storyteller

Susan O’Halloran is recognized as a top speaker on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. She has given 100s of presentations to audiences worldwide.

What can a white, Irish American woman tell you about race?

Plenty.

Sue’s passion for the American vision of “equal opportunity for all” started in high school when she became part of an interracial Civil Rights youth group. She was trained by adults who worked with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when he lived in Chicago. With these adult mentors, Sue traveled to the Black side of Chicago’s color line and listened to radically different stories from those she had heard in her all-white, working-class neighborhood. Her quest for a way to bridge people’s different perspectives and experiences began.

Since then, Sue has continued to give keynote addresses plus design and teach seminars and webinars in diversity, equity and inclusion for Fortune 500 companies. She is a sought-after expert on racial justice issues and has appeared on such media programs as PBS and ABC Nightline and has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Boston Globe and The Chicago Tribune.

Sue is author of seven books including Avoiding Cross-Cultural Mistakes. In addition, O’Halloran is a producer and director of multicultural performances and internationally recognized films including Black, White and Brown: Tribes & Bridges at the Steppenwolf Theatre, More Alike Than Not: Stories of Three Americans – Christian, Jewish and Muslim.

Sue brings her storytelling expertise to her engaging keynotes and seminars. In the storytelling community she has been honored by The National Storytelling Network’s Circle of Excellence award for her entertaining and absorbing performances.

Sue splits her time between Chicago and Florida and anywhere else that has an airport to fly her to this work she loves and to visit friends and family, especially her three grandchildren. With the rise of online keynotes and webinars, Sue also enjoys reaching people across the country and globe.

Notable Associates

Sue has the honor of working with the best people - experts in the field of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and other effective trainings.

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Bea Young

Bea Young is a 50-year pioneer in the field of Educational Equity, Racial Justice and managing complex Cultural Change efforts in organizations. She and her team have consulted with many Illinois colleges and school districts using their unique Equity & Cultural Audit process.

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Dr. Carmen Ayala

Dr. Carmen I. Ayala has over 40 years experience in education. She recently completed four years as state superintendent for the Illinois State Board of Education serving almost two million PK-12 students in almost 4,000 schools in 852 districts across the state.

Bea Young and Dr. Carmen Ayala have partnered together to form Ayala & Young Associates, LLC, helping school districts and colleges identify practices to address systemic racism and achieve educational equity. Sue has a chapter in the book written by Young and Ayala, Restoring the Soul to Education: Equity Closes the Achievement Gap. To read more about Restoring the Soul to Education or to purchase a copy, click the button below. 

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Maylene Peña, PHR

Over the years Maylene has worked in various industries as a subject matter expert in the field of Human Resources, Operations, Process Improvement, Training & Development, Organizational Design, and Facility Management. Maylene is certified as an OSHA Trainer, A PHR and is also certified as an Instructor through the ACA (Association of Credit and Collection Professionals).

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Erika Walker

Erika is a native Chicagoan with over 23 years of professional experience providing Human Resource consulting to a variety of small businesses, Fortune 500 companies, colleges/universities and municipalities. She is a professor at LATAM Business School, author of A Woman’s Vault, and the creator of Wine, Women, and Woo along with various tools to close the gender gap for women.

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Brittany Connolly

Brittany works as a Co-Managing Director for Eth-Noh-Tec, a small Asian-American theater nonprofit based in San Francisco. She also does book layout design and web design for storytellers and writers countrywide and beyond. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing, but considers herself a Jill of all trades.

Biographies for Keynotes and Press

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PROFESSIONAL STORYTELLER 

Susan O’Halloran is a story artist, writer, television personality and keynote speaker. Her stories focus on family, a sense of place and how our past affects our present and future. She is author of several books and diversity curricula. Sue is a producer/director of multicultural performances and films including “Black, White and Brown: Tribes & Bridges at the Steppenwolf Theatre” and “More Alike Than Not: Stories of Three Americans – Catholic, Jewish and Muslim” and the website www.RacebridgesStudio.com. For her films, O’Halloran is recipient of national and international video/film honors including awards of excellence in training films. In addition, Sue teaches diversity and inclusion seminars in Fortune 500 companies and Graduate Schools of Business. Sue also works with non-profits to capture more press, volunteer and fundraising attention through the power of stories.

Sue has been seen on such media programs as PBS and ABC Nightline and has been interviewed by The New York Times and The Chicago Tribune. About her own storytelling skills, The Chicago Reader’s Critic Choice said, “O’Halloran has mastered the Irish art of telling stories that are funny and heart-wrenching at the same time.”

O’Halloran has been featured several times at the International Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee and is a frequent keynote presenter and seminar leader for the National Storytelling Network’s annual conferences. Within her own profession, she has received the Leadership and Service Award and the Circle of Excellence Award. One Fortune 100 company newsletter stated: “Sue’s presentation was a brilliant and entertaining synthesis of information. She made us feel as though together we could do anything!” Sue divides her time between IL and FL and can be found at: www.SusanOHalloran.com and www.RacebridgesStudio.com.

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DIVERSITY SEMINAR LEADER AND KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Since 1969, Susan has led workshops in corporate, religious and non-profit settings. She is author of six books and creator of the diversity curriculum Kaleidoscope: Valuing Differences and Creating Inclusion plus recipient of national and international video honors for her training films.

 

Sue produces performances and videos such as White, Black and Brown: Tribes & Bridges at the Steppenwolf Theatre and More Alike Than Not: Stories of Three Americans – Catholic, Jewish and Muslim. She is producer/director of the website www.RacebridgesStudio.com which hosts over 250 videos dealing with racial justice and belonging. For the past twenty years, Susan has led hundreds of diversity workshops in both Fortune 500 companies and the academic world such as Columbia, Wharton, Kellogg and the University of Chicago Graduate Schools of Business.

O’Halloran has appeared on PBS and ABC Nightline and The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. About her own storytelling skills, The Chicago Reader’s Critic Choice said, “O’Halloran has mastered the Irish art of telling stories that are funny and heart-wrenching at the same time.” One Fortune 100 company newsletter stated: “Sue’s presentation was a brilliant synthesis of information. She made us feel as though together we could do anything!” Sue divides her time between Illinois and Florida and can be found at: www.susanohalloran.com

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