Speaker Series

Equity First Series

Our multi-part online speaker series featured interviews with key leaders, from Baltimore and across the nation, who recognize that sustainable change for people of color will only come when structural and institutional barriers are replaced with equitable policies, practices, and institutions. Our speakers have put Equity First in their careers and passions, and recognize how important true equity is in our journey towards collective humanity. Sponsorships and individual donation proceeds from Equity First directly support ABC’s mission to eliminate race-based barriers in the Maryland workforce.

Dr. Alex Camardelle

Dr. Alex Camardelle

Our latest installment of Equity First featured Dr. Alex Camardelle, Director of the Workforce Policy at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, in conversation with ABC’s immediate past president and CEO Diane Bell-McKoy.

Dr. Camardelle leads a program that centers Black workers in policy debates concerning the future of work, workforce development, and access to good jobs. He also serves as Principal Investigator for anti-poverty research at the National African American Child and Family Research Center housed at Morehouse School of Medicine.

A Conversation with Oprah Winfrey

Equity First Oprah Encore Presentation

For the fourth and final virtual session of “Equity First” on Tuesday, November 30th, we were honored to host global media leader, philanthropist, producer, and actress Oprah Winfrey in a one-on-one interview led by our President and CEO, Diane Bell-McKoy. The evening’s conversation explored Ms. Winfrey’s experiences in Baltimore and her search for career equity, her approach to creating and maintaining authentic relationships, and her perspective on finding one’s personal value within the imposed systems of our society.


Over the course of her esteemed career, Oprah Winfrey has created an unparalleled connection with people around the world. As host of the top-rated, award-winning “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” she entertained, enlightened, and uplifted millions of viewers for twenty-five years. Winfrey’s accomplishments as a global media leader, producer, actress, author and philanthropist have established her as one of the most influential and admired public figures in the world today.

Past Speakers

Clarence Wooten

Clarence Wooten

Clarence Wooten of X, and Revitalize

Nov 9, 2021: We met with Baltimore native Clarence Wooten. Clarence is presently an Entrepreneur in Residence at X, Alphabet’s the moonshot factory (formerly known as Google X) and co-founding General Partner at Revitalize. He shared personal perspectives of his journey from inner-city Baltimore to Silicon Valley. He is passionate about creating a world where Black and Brown people can “prosper in place”, rather than having to escape to succeed. He envisions a Baltimore that is an “equitech” city, and believes in holistic solutions for communities’ challenges.

Michele Fuller

Michele Fuller

Michele Fuller of Minerva Global Business Solutions

Sep 23, 2021: We featured Michele Fuller – CEO, President, and Founder of Minerva Global Business Solutions. In a one-on-one interview with Diane Bell-McKoy of ABC, Ms. Fuller shared her first-hand experience with the unique obstacles and challenges confronted by Black women in Corporate America. The evening’s conversation provided an empowering toolkit for other professionals who are striving to build an equity-centered career in a corporate world influenced by structural racism, micro-aggressions, and implicit biases.

Keesha Boyd

Keesha Boyd

Keesha Boyd of Xfinity Consumer Services

May 20, 2021: At our inaugural session of Equity First, we met Keesha Boyd, Executive Director, Multicultural Video & Entertainment, Xfinity Consumer Services in a one-on-one interview with Diane Bell-McKoy. The evening focused on Keesha’s personal journey as a woman of color in corporate America and Technology, and how equity has been essential to her career path at Comcast.

Thank You to Our Generous Sponsors

The Equity First Giving Circle