top of page

Discover How to Make Your Next Teacher In-Service or School Assembly Meaningful and FUN!

 Let one of America’s top diversity speakers and storytellers empower your staff at your next event!

Let Motivational Speaker and Seminar Creator, Sue O’Halloran, show you how to feel confident about the diversity at your school and how to make your classrooms and schools even more welcoming and inclusive for all students!

Whether doing an opening keynote or a professional development seminar for your staff (or an assembly or classroom residency for your students), Diversity-Equity-Inclusion specialist, Sue O’Halloran, promises your group will learn how to:

  • Reject guilt and embrace inspiration

  • Stop stereotypes that limit everyone

  • Feel confident having cross cultural conversations with students, parents and staff

  • Appreciate the ways diverse people come together to create positive change

  • Create true transformation by approaching problems practically and comprehensively on all four levels of personal, interpersonal, institutional and cultural change

Do you want to discuss diversity and subjects such as unconscious bias and stereotyping in your school district, but struggle with how to do it in a way that will bring your students and staff together, not cause more division?

Have you observed students putting each other down or bullying others and you know it’s getting in the way of student learning and a positive school climate?

Or has there been a diversity incident in your district that has caused concern among the community or brought you unwanted press attention?

It is possible to help students appreciate each other’s differences rather than put each other down. It is possible to restore harmony when racist or other offensive remarks are made. It is possible to support your teachers in doing what they wanted to do in the first place: teach kids to love learning.

There was a time we thought if we could just open the doors to our schools, end the segregation and separation, we’d be on the path to equal opportunity. But now we know that, no matter how diverse our schools are, contact is not the same as connection.

Creating a true inclusive, culturally-competent school can:

  • Increase cooperation

  • Enhance learning

  • Close the achievement gap

  • Boost teacher and staff job satisfaction

  • Create a culture of respect

  • Increase student success

For Teachers and Staff

1 to 6-hour programs on topics such as…


How to Create A Welcoming School – A school climate of kind regard where true learning is possible starts with how the staff works together plus their level of cultural competency. Only when the staff has a clear plan plus the resources and skills to execute their best intentions can they consistently reinforce respectful behavior among students.

Discover what it takes to make each student feel welcomed and create a school where more learning occurs. There are proven ways to make your school even more inclusive. Classrooms can be calmer. Students can be taught how to treat each other with respect. Teachers can feel better about teaching and the “Achievement Gap” can close. 

Managing Unconscious Bias – What is it and how do we work with it? Our brains process over 11 million bits of information each second, but only 40 bits of information are processed consciously. That means that most of our thoughts wind up in our subconscious influencing our beliefs and behaviors toward our students and colleagues without our even realizing it! Good intentions are not enough. With increased awareness and practicing the skills of equity and inclusion, we can stop ourselves from treating others unfairly.

Cultural Competence: Focus on Race and Ethnicity – What is race? Why is it important to pay attention to race and ethnicity at your school? How do you benefit from so many cultures coming together in your learning environment and where are the potential places of conflict?

What to Do If You’re Accused of Racism (and Other Fun Teaching Moments) – What if someone accuses your school or you of being racist? You may want to discuss “difficult” topics but are afraid of causing more division instead of less. Or maybe you’ve already had an ugly incident at your school and found out how ill-prepared you were to respond. There are ways to break free of the legacy of past discrimination and mistrust. Stop feeling guilty, scared or helpless and feel confident and empowered instead. 

Creating and Presenting Culturally Relevant Curriculum – Lesson plans become relevant and engaging to students when their personal interests and learning styles, their family and ethnic cultures and an understanding of historical and sociopolitical contexts intersect with the core curriculum.

Valuing Different Religions – Discover what is universal and unique in different faith traditions and the confusion and fears that result when different religions mix. Learn to support your students who are in the minority and increase understanding and good will for all.

Creating a Safe Environment for LGBT and All Students – Topics include setting clear classroom guidelines, defining sexual orientation and gender identity, skills to take stands against bullying and other exclusive behaviors without impinging on student or staff personal beliefs plus the benefits to all with more inclusion.

Storytelling: Promoting Literacy and Enlivening Your Classroom Presentation – Techniques teachers can use stories in their classrooms to foster language skills and increase their own emotional expressiveness and engagement with students.

For Students

Student Assemblies, Classroom Residencies and Teen Conferences including themes such as:


  • Breaking Down Prejudices through Friendship

  • Whose Living Next Door? Stories of Recent Refugees and Immigrants

  • Celebrating Our Ethnic Heritages

  • How Did My Town Get So Segregated? The History of Housing Segregation in U.S. Cities

  • Untold Stories: Examples of People from Different Cultures Working Together Throughout History

I also produce a number of multi-cultural performances, workshops and panels with two or more performers/speakers:

Tribes & Bridges – choose a combination of tellers from different backgrounds: Latino, European, African American, Asian American, First Nations and so forth. Reflect your student body or introduce your students to new cultures through the power of sharing stories and bi-lingual conversations.

More Alike Than Not – interfaith themes dealing with misconceptions and all we have in common: Christian, Jewish, Muslim and others. Bring alive religions’ distinct histories and our common humanity to illuminate the experience of being an American in a time of religious tension and change.

Willing, ABLE and Ready – the challenges and contributions of people with different abilities.

Mothers and Other Wild Women – the gift we’ve received from our own mothers and the women who have come before us.

How to Survive Cliques – It’s natural to want to spend more time with some people than others.  However, when the halls, cafeteria or after-school activities get divided into turfs or even war zones, going to school becomes treacherous and a whole lot less fun. Steering clear of bullies – and not acting like one yourself – plus knowing how to handle divisions are skills that students need to do well in school and the wider world.

Being a Leader in a Global, Multicultural World – Leadership is not about telling people what to do, but inspiring people to come together to create amazing results! Students learn how the global leaders of tomorrow create diverse teams that work together for common goals and realize a much larger definition and appreciation of culture. We are all multi-cultural and the leader who is culturally fluent knows how to bring out the best in everyone.

Book this Award-Winning Author for your next event:

  • Conference Openings & Closings

  • Keynote Presentations

  • In-Service and Professional Development Seminars

  • Student Assemblies and Conferences



Yes! Please Contact Me...

Have questions, need more information, or wish to book Susan O'Halloran for your next event, conference or seminar? Complete the form below:

Thanks for submitting!

About Sue

 Recognitions and Awards

Susan O’Halloran has designed and taught seminars for over 40 years including diversity and inclusion seminars in Fortune 500 companies, Graduate Schools of Business, Colleges and Universities plus high school and elementary school districts. She is also designer and facilitator of corporate training programs in personal and business development for Door International, London, England.


Sue is author of seven books including The Smooth Traveler: Avoiding Cross-Cultural Mistakes at Home and Abroad, Diversity Is All Around Us in Our Schools Isn’t It Time We Get It Right? and Compelling Stories, Compelling Causes: Nonprofit Marketing Success plus a contributor to Restoring the Soul to Education, success stories in closing the “Achievement Gap.” She has designed scores of diversity curricula including Kaleidoscope: Valuing Differences and Creating Inclusion which has been taught in hundreds of high schools.

O’Halloran is co-producer of multicultural performances and internationally recognized films including Black, White and Brown: Tribes & Bridges at the Steppenwolf Theatre and More Alike Than Not: Stories of Three Americans – Christian, Jewish and Muslim.

Sue 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. She is producer of the website which totals over half a million visitors each year. RacebridgesStudio houses over 230 video stories by professional storytellers dealing with race and identity. The video stories are available to teachers free of charge along with downloadable discussion guides and resources.

Sue also facilitates an online membership site for teachers:  Stop Walking on Eggshells: 5 Steps to Becoming a More Racially-Skilled Teacher at: Sue lives in Evanston, IL and can be found at:

Sue was the host of the WTTW-TV Emmy-nominated town hall meeting on race as well as host of public affairs shows at KTCA-TV in Minneapolis, MN


Sue was featured on Nightline, the ABC Nightly News show, speaking about immigration and her Irish American heritage.


The New York Times interviewed Sue about how the ideals of the 1960s Civil Rights era live on into this new century.

The Chicago Tribune has covered Susan in several articles including a feature article in their Parade Magazine covering her appearance at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee and a feature article naming her “A Woman to Watch”


The Chicago Reader’s “Critic’s Choice” says: “O’Halloran has mastered the Irish art of telling stories that are funny and heart-wrenching at the same time”


The professional association of national and international story artists honored one of their own by awarding Sue the Service and Leadership Award and the Circle of Excellence Award for her work in diversity and storytelling.


Susan is the recipient of national and international video awards including the CINDY competition, the International Film & TV Festival of New York and Awards of Excellence from the U.S. Industrial Film Festival and the Los Angeles Education Film Advisory Board for her educational film scripts.


The Archdiocese of Chicago presented Susan with the St. Katherine Drexel Racial Justice Award as well as the Spirit of Peace Award. Cardinal George, Archbishop of Chicago commented, “Susan’s commitment to racial justice in the Church and in society has made a significant impact on the lives of countless people.”

It has been my honor and pleasure to give over 3000 presentations in schools – as far away as rural China and Bali to some of the smallest and largest school districts in the U.S.


What can a white, Irish, Catholic-raised woman who grew up in Chicago tell you about diversity?


It was a teacher who set me on my journey to see America’s promise of “equal opportunity for all” become a reality. I grew up in an all-white, working class neighborhood on the southside of Chicago where hearing prejudices against people of color and others was a daily occurrence.

Then, Toni Callahan, my math teacher, took a group of us high school students across Chicago’s “color line” to meet with adults and students of color and my whole world changed. Suddenly, I was hearing stories I had never heard on my “white side” of the dividing line.

I became part of a citywide young people’s civil rights group and was trained by adults who worked with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when he lived in Chicago in the 1960s. My quest for a way to bridge people’s different perspectives and experiences began.

Along the way, I discovered that storytelling is one of the most powerful ways for people to develop empathy and compassion for each other’s experiences. In addition to sharing stories, I have developed interactive, non-blaming, FUN Diversity-Equity-Inclusion books, seminars, curriculum and assemblies for students, faculty and school staff.

The people in my seminars are all people like you who know that our students don’t learn unless they feel that they belong and are valued. Diversity is the WHO and Equity and Inclusion is the HOW. Yes, it takes work for all of us to learn what we may have never been taught, but it is so worth it.

I also work in corporate America and with nonprofits of all kinds but, to me, our country will become all it can be because of what teachers and our schools are doing. Therefore, my main focus is on education.

I LOVE TEACHERS AND SCHOOLS! And I see schools getting blamed for all of society’s ills and expected to take on feeding, clothing and socializing students as well. And, now, they are supposed to end discrimination and stereotyping as well.

That’s why I’m dedicated to doing as much of the work for faculty and staff as I can. Diversity & Inclusion shouldn’t be “one more thing” by which educators feel burdened. Diversity-Equity-Inclusion learning is about PEOPLE and that should make it inspiring, thought-provoking and FUN!

More About Sue

bottom of page