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Speaker/Trainer

  • Live and Online Race Equity and Other Diversity and Inclusion Programs

  • Live and Online Power of Story demonstrations for families and organizations

  • Celebrating Our Cultural Heritages Interactive productions

  • Creating Community mixers and entertaining presentations

My Approach

It is my great joy to design and facilitate keynote addresses, live seminars and online webinars that inspire people to work in ways that result in a focused, fulfilled and inclusive workforce. I feel strongly that businesses thrive when their people and clients feel valued and appreciated. Having a sense of belonging and fairness isn’t a “nice to have” but a “must have” for any organization to fulfill its mission.

When it comes to “race”, most of us received condensed, partial versions of history and, therefore, we lack understanding of the roots of our current racial tensions and inequities. From the beginning, a two-tier system of inequality was set up to give advantages to some and disadvantages to others. We were each born into this system of racial hierarchies.

Through no fault of our own and without our consent, we inherited this dual society along with its segregation, division and disparities. There is, indeed, much to be proud of, but we can’t change something we don’t see.

Why can’t we leave race in the past? Because it’s not over. Systemic Racism created and now maintains inequality in nearly every facet of life for communities of color.

I help organizations trace the direct line from past discriminations to their present-day work environment where they may be unintentionally excluding people in their workforce and community. I show them how to be “Color Brave” actively searching for and dismantling the discrimination in their company’s seemingly race neutral policies and practices. My emphasis is on responsibility, not guilt. Response-ability means able to respond. We are able to respond because now we see.

Our radically different experiences in and of this country can breed misunderstanding and mistrust. I believe memorable sessions can produce lasting results when we have fun as we learn. I use storytelling and other interactive tools to increase empathy and communication resulting in greater confidence within individuals and understanding and unity between colleagues.

Taking on this sometimes-difficult issue of race in the workplace results in greater, long-term corporate profitability and contributes to a more prosperous, just and viable society. By opening people to greater possibilities, I believe we can create a world that works for everyone!

Programs

Keynote:

How’d We Get Here and What Do We Do Now?

A must-have for organizations that want to make sense of today’s racial tensions and intelligently craft a response. Sue helps your audience distinguish their good intentions from the true impact of their behaviors. She presents a comprehensive, common sense approach for your company to examine its policies and practices for unintentional exclusion. In an entertaining as well as thought-provoking presentation, Sue gives your audience a way to re-imagine their individual and company commitment to change so that your organization’s revenue, innovation, problem-solving and customer service exceed expectations.

Story Concerts and Panels:

Why not add a story sharing session at your next conference with one of Sue’s story concerts? Show your audience that uncomfortable topics such as dealing with racism can also be engaging and even entertaining.

Another story option clients have enjoyed: Sue interviews your leaders and/or co-workers and tells their stories or coaches them to develop and tell their own stories at a company event for a unique diversity program that models the appreciation of our differences. Story sharing breaks down stereotypes and builds empathy for people’s varying experiences. Give your colleagues an opportunity to see the world from someone else’s perspective.

Other Addresses, Seminars and Webinars:

Professional Development for Educators

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!

Click here to learn more.

 

The Business Implications of Unintended Exclusion
When an organization fosters feelings of insiders and outsiders – consciously or unconsciously – there are predictable results: lower morale, less teamwork, confused communications and harmful publicity not to mention the effect on the bottom line. On the other hand, diversity, equity and inclusion done right becomes an integral part of an organization’s identity and can be the missing ingredient to lasting success. 

Hiring Diverse Talent and Rolling out the Welcome Mat
Of course, everyone wants a more diverse staff. We know that our customers and clients feel extra comfortable when they see that our company is staffed by people who may have similar life experiences. But how do we make that ideal a reality? Discover best practices for Recruitment, Selection and Retention. Your company can attract the most talented people who want to contribute and stay with you.

How to Get Beyond Political Correctness to True Respect
Ever feel as though you don’t know what to say or not say anymore especially around race and other sensitive issues? Do you find yourself wishing that people could just relax around each other no matter how similar or different they are? While every group and individual are unique there are some common-sense guidelines for treating each other with respect. Discover frequent sore spots – words and actions that have the “ouch factor”- and how to predict beforehand what might be offensive to other people. Stop walking on eggshells and move from PC – Politically Correct – to PCC – Personally Caring and Committed. 

What to Do If You’re Accused of Racism (and Other Fun Moments of Learning)
What if someone accuses your organization 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 company and discovered 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.

Clients

Clients

I have worked with clients including:
 

  • McDonald’s Corporation

  • Emmis Communications

  • Starcom MediaVest Group

  • Hewlett-Packard

  • CNA Financial Corporation

  • The Northern Trust Bank

  • Caterpillar, Inc

  • Wharton School of Business

  • Novartis Pharmaceutical Company

  • Blue Cross/Blue Shield Association

  • Advocate Health Care Hospitals

  • Kellogg School of Management

  • Erie Insurance Group

  • Key Bank

  • IBM

  • Duracell

  • Control Data Corporation

  • Federal Home Loan Banks

  • Federal Reserve Bank

  • Sperry Univac

  • University of Chicago Graduate School of Business

  • Siemens
Healthcare Diagnostics

  • Arctic Cat

  • Equity Residential

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • John Deere

  • 7-Up

  • The Coca-Cola Company

  • Maytag

  • Federal Reserve Bank

  • Dupont

  • Ingredion American Ingredient Manufacturer

  • Exelon

  • Commonwealth Edison

  • Thrivent Financial

  • Walgreens

  • Ulta Beauty

Speaker/Trainer Testimonials

“Sue O’Halloran has an impeccable ability to capture her audience as a storyteller, speaker and facilitator. Her history and expertise around racial justice issues as well as her capability to make difficult and complex topics understandable keeps her and the content she develops relevant. She has consistently delivered high quality impact solutions to her clients and partners over the years. Sue’s knowledge on the topics of race, diversity, equity and inclusion is unmatched in the industry. It is an honor and pleasure to work with someone with such rich experience who openly shares their wisdom with the intent of creating positive change for all.”

Kelli McMiller,
SVP of Consulting
The Kaleidoscope Group

“I have had the pleasure of working with Susan for the past seven years. Throughout this time, we have collaborated to deliver workshops to law enforcement, school districts, Fortune 100 corporations and municipalities.  The passion, experience, perspective and authenticity she brings to this work allows her to connect with workshop participants in a very unique and effective way. While young at heart and very relevant in content and approach, Susan draws upon many years of work in the “vineyards” of equity, equality and social justice. I will continue to rely upon Susan for her valuable perspective, partnership and collaboration.”

Rick Harris
Principal, RJ Harris & Associates

“Sue has delivered over 2000 presentations. Her professionalism and commitment to client satisfaction makes your job easier. Susan’s presentations give concrete ideas that your audience members can use immediately plus her wit and enthusiasm create safety around hot button topics. Her depth of knowledge makes complicated racial issues easy to understand. She peels back the layers of how we got to where we are, so we can get to where we want to be.”

Erika Walker Thomas
Walker Thomas Group

“Your message to us was helpful and fit perfectly into the theme of our conference. Many participants asked me to express their appreciation for your inspiring words. We thank you for your valuable contribution to our organization. You made our conference a success!”

Samuel W. Milkes
Executive Director
Pennsylvania Legal Aid 

“It was a pleasure to partner with Sue in the development of a course on religion and culture in the workplace – a serious and potentially divisive topic.  Sue is a skilled developer and is able to bring her own knowledge and opinions and hear those of her partners.  Sue is also a skilled facilitator, managing content and audience with both balance and respect.  Sue is a caring professional and it was fun working with her.” 

Laurie L Krachmer
Diversity and Inclusion Manager

“Your presentation helped us discover how the ways we think and communicate may be hurtful or harmful to others without even knowing it and, more importantly, how to put an end to it. No one else could have handled all you did at our event. You were the easiest speaker to work with. I didn’t have to worry about a thing.”

Linda Barner
Former Vice-President of Multicultural Affairs
Key Bank

“What a fabulous thought-provoking conversation you provided for the group today. I know a webinar is successful when the chat box is on fire with side conversations where people are sharing like mad. We hope we can have you back for a deeper dive on some of the subtopics that you brought up such as mentoring and activities that encourage retention of minority employees. Thank you for providing all of us with such a wonderful and meaningful program. It was outstanding – and such a necessary topic.”

Susan Garrison
Fondren Library Rice University

“We had done a lot on diversity and we needed something different. Storytelling gave us a way to look diversity straight in the eye and have a powerful and inclusive conversation. Susan O’Halloran is a master storyteller and the speaker you want to hire to get real world results!”

Katy Lowe Schneider
Associate Dean of Students
Hanover College

“If you want your audience to walk in someone else’s shoes – Sue takes you there. Sue’s presentations explain the systematic reasons for discrimination so that we can come to terms with our history and create a much better future. She does all this with humor, clarity and immeasurable depth.”

Julie Landsman
Author of A White Teacher Talks About Race and
Growing Up White: A Veteran Teacher Talks About Race

“In a changing environment more of us are turning to online training. Susan O’Halloran translates her in person workshops to the online environment in a way that provides a rich learning experience. Sue is a seasoned and experienced facilitator who led discussions that allowed all voices to be heard. Having her seminar available online meant that I could participate and learn from an excellent teacher and leader.”

Millie Jackson, Ph.D.  LLC 

"Sue O’Halloran’s online workshop gave me new tools. Her engaging blend of instruction, gentle guidance and profound examples gave me deep learning and engagement that I have rarely experienced in other venues. Sue brings irresistible humor, empathy and expertise to her work—and she draws on a lifetime of brilliant experiences, sharing generously of her time and talent. Seek her out and be prepared for transformation!"

Dylene Cymraes, Author

“Without placing blame or making people uncomfortable, Susan was able to identify how our own experiences and perceptions lead us to act in less than productive ways.  A week later, people are still talking about the session and applying what they learned to their own behaviors and thoughts.”

Dr. Jean Kartje
Vice President of Instruction
Kishwaukee College

“Sue taught us how to listen, how to respond, how to make our hearts large enough to accommodate complexity and contradiction and how to name things honestly.  She gives the most coherent, thorough and elegant summary of our racial situation today I have ever heard. Our audience loved her and we looked smart for hiring her!”

Jo Radner
Sharing the Fire Conference

“I wanted to reach out to express my gratitude for sharing from your life’s work for all of our learning and inspiration. I was very impressed by how grounded, accessible and engaging your keynote was. I was moved by the stories you told.”

Susan Grove
Community Engagement Manager
Omega Institute for Holistic Studies

“Sue, you are the best keynoter and panel facilitator I have every had the pleasure of working with. You gave me ideas of how I might structure things differently in the future when I play a similar role.”

Lana R. Warren Ed.D., OT/L, FAOTA
Senior Vice President of Clinical Programs
Baltimore, Maryland 

“Sue far exceeded our expectations.  Even though we were there to talk about Cultural Diversity, the exercises and group work not only addressed cultural inclusion, but it also felt like a strategic planning and team building session wrapped into one retreat.”

Shawn Perrigo
Executive Director
Abbey Delray South Life Care Community, Florida

“Sue O’Halloran’s unique storytelling capabilities bring an aspect of real life to our programs and she creates an atmosphere where participants can become comfortable with the uncomfortable.  Sue’s vibrant personality shines through her presentation style and her knowledge/experience in the field of diversity, respect and inclusion is evident in the material she presents.”

Sandi Brown
Human Resources Director and Co-chair
Equity Action Team

“Your general session was absolutely one of the things I heard most positive ‘buzz’ about and really made a difference in first time conference attendees feeling comfortable and at home!”

Karin Hensley
Executive Director

 

“I’ve attached the rave reviews from Thursday’s delightful conference. I loved how you infused your presentation with humor and details from your own experiences. I found it awe-inspiring and overwhelming at the same time. I had so many ideas my head hurt! Please keep me on your mailing list. I want to attend every future performance and presentation I can.”

Zion Banks
Conference Organizer

“I just wanted to tell you that your ice breaker opener at the conference was brilliant. What a great start to a fabulous conference. You made us all feel instantly welcomed. I wish more conferences took the time to start this way. You set us up to make the most of our time together. Thank you.”

Leslie Vasquez
Story Artist

 

“Wonderful job at the LA conference.  I could see the progression of taking people from their inward thoughts, past the point of nervousness and into a mindset where they were ready to share thoughts they did not even know they had… well done!  You truly created a conference community!”

Mike Lockett

“Sue’s presentation was powerful and insightful.  I was especially impacted by her reminder that you can’t have a leader without a community and those who do the ordinary work make the engine move.”

Gwen Hillary

 

 

"Your keynote was skillfully and inspiringly done, and the Sunday workshop was really useful to me."

Andy Davis and Andrea Walsh
Co-Directors
World Fellowship Center

Anonymous Participants’ Comments from Post-Keynote, Seminar and Webinar Surveys:

  • Clear examples.   Afterwards, felt that I could do something

  • Very sincere – Susan is eager to help us improve

  • Very interesting; very well done

  • I gained new perspectives

  • Informative and introduced ideas I hadn’t thought of as a problem before

  • Wonderful! Very energetic!

  • Comfortable presentation of issues that could be very volatile

  • I learned some things I thought I already knew.

  • This information is presented in a logical and entertaining way. Even a ‘privileged white male’ would enjoy discussing racism n this setting

  • Appropriate “jolting” of awareness

  • Upbeat! I was never bored. The time went so fast.

  • She has a good grasp on the ways racism can go unnoticed.

  • Food for thought. I consider myself a “modern” woman with an “open mind” and I’d like to thank you for opening my eyes & my mind even more!

  • Excellent to heighten awareness and Sue presented skills I can use right away.

  • None of the material seemed repetitious. Sue kept advancing the topic.

  • I want to thank you for opening my eyes to the systemic set ups that give preference to the majority group. I hadn’t realized this. You didn’t make me feel guilty, you actually made me feel excited to do something. Now, I understand why things are stuck.

  • I felt I had a better understanding of feelings on the subject. I have to admit I was motivated to be more active on this issue.

  • Very good at increasing my comfort level for future initiatives

  • I feel very empowered, motivated and challenged. Sue has a non-blaming approach.

  • I enjoyed the presentation; we really laughed a lot.

  • Good information. I liked her personal examples to see how exclusion occurs without our knowing it.

  • I know I can do this, but it feels better to be prepared and, after today, I feel more prepared.

  • I’m so glad I was able to attend this webinar. Susan was an incredible, engaging informative presenter. The way she talked about these issues and offered suggestions was really helpful. I loved her reminders that the situation we find ourselves in now is because we have been kept separate for so long. It’s time to come together, and Sue gave us concrete suggestions for doing so.

Other Addresses, Seminars and Webinars

Contact

Write: Susan@SusanOHalloran.com
 

Call: (847) 691-6472

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