Episode #470

Finding Your Footing as a DEI Speaker

With Dominique Luster

“History doesn’t repeat itself. It’s just that humans tend to do the same thing in patterns even if 20 or 40 or 50 years ago they did the exact same thing when faced with the same inputs.”

This week on the podcast, Grant brought in Dominique Luster, a TSL alum and a professional speaker in the DEI space. Dominique’s speaking career started somewhat naturally as she was on a mission to share the history of minorities through working in the museum/education space for years before she was asked to do a TED talk.

“Any project or organization that comes to the table with the same feelings and beliefs that history is not passive and that African American history matters and should be uplifted and shared and preserved and told just like anything else.”

In this episode, Dominique and Grant dig into: 

  • How Dominique got into speaking
  • Figuring out what makes you unique and what your niche can be in the speaking world
  • How to find DEI gigs and leverage your network
  • What it looks like to get creative and find places to share your message
  • Learning how to leverage her impact when it comes to seeking out gigs
  • The ongoing symbiotic relationship of her speaking and consulting businesses growing together
  • What Dominique thinks the future of the DEI space holds for speakers and thought leaders


“I think the future of DEI is just becoming a part of what we do, a part of being a better world, about being a more mindful and care giving world, is just expanding it out so that it isn’t so separate all the time.”

Episode Chapters:

  • [00:03:07] Dominique’s background from Theather to Archival work and beyond
  • [00:06:37] Speaking for work all the time and being asked to present a TEDx Talk
  • [00:10:47] Are the opportunities in the DEI field limited?
  • [00:13:32] How Dominique got into speaking in the university space
  • [00:17:15] Who to approach when trying to get booked as a DEI speaker
  • [00:21:54] How the DEI space is continuously growing and changing
  • [00:27:27] What does the future of the DEI space hold?
  • [00:29:46] Where can you find new opportunities and connections
  • [00:32:31] Places to connect with Dominique online
About Dominique Luster

Kind of like National Treasure meets The Great Migration, Dominique is one part archivist -one part researcher – full parts natural-haired bourbon connoisseur, with a dash of genealogy for taste. Dominique has been working in the cultural heritage and archive field for over a decade, and in this time, she’s come to be known as a champion for Black history and Black-centered storytelling. Dominique started The Luster Company to help individuals and organizations uplift, honor, and tell stories that represent the lived experiences of the Black diaspora.

Want to know exactly what to say to land more paid speaking gigs?

We’ll send you the exact three email scripts you can send to conference planners and event organizers that Grant Baldwin (our founder) used to book over $2M in speaking gigs. 

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