2019 UNA Conference Keynote

2019 UNA Annual Nonprofit Conference Keynote: We the People
Vanessa Wakeman, Vanessa Wakeman WebsiteFounder and CEO, The Wakeman Agency

We the People: Our current political climate has brought a number of pressing social issues to the surface. While civic engagement has increased, the demand for nonprofit services continues to swell, further evidencing just how critical organizations are to the sustainability of communities around the country. In this keynote, Vanessa Wakeman invites nonprofits to reimagine their role through a lens of power and influence, shaped from collaboration, connection and disruption.

About Vanessa Wakeman: Entrepreneurship and a passion for social change drive the trajectory of Vanessa Wakeman’s career.

As Founder and CEO of a leading social change agency, Vanessa is a trusted advisor and influential futurist in the nonprofit world. Her company, The Wakeman Agency, encompasses the full ecosystem of what nonprofits need to thrive: strategic counsel, public relations, events and fundraising. In 2016, Vanessa created She Roars, the first thought leadership program for women working in social change.

During her early career at Morgan Stanley, Vanessa re-engineered a technology department, while creating significant career opportunities for women and people of color. When her entrepreneurial spirit compelled her to leave the corporate world, she founded The Wakeman Agency in 2003. As one of the few black women to own a social change agency, she is known for her innovation.

With a focus on building support for mission-driven causes, Vanessa has led campaigns for clients that include: U.C.L.A.’s Civil Rights Project, Metropolitan College of New York, YWCA of NYC, New York Urban League, Africa-America Institute, Harlem Education Activities Fund, ChemoCars, Help for Children and many others. She was named one of “50 PR Game Changers” by PR News and to PRWeek’s list of “Champions of PR.”

As a thought leader on social change, Vanessa has been quoted by major media on critical issues and also hosts “The Social Change Diaries” podcast. A sought-after speaker, she has recently presented to UN Women, Hive, Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits and the Women’s Leadership Institute of New York.

Thank you to our generous Keynote Sponsor!

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More in this category: UNA's Nonprofit Leader Awards