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Ben  O'Keefe

Ben O'Keefe

Award-Winning Diversity Activist, Changemaker & Political Commentator


Ben O’Keefe is a Forbes 30 Under 30 award-winning multi-hyphenate and Chief Executive Officer of Chaotic Good, a social impact company. He is known for his transformative work in culture, politics, and entertainment as well as a social change activist, television personality, and progressive thought-leader. O'Keefe has worked with and advised many of the top leaders, celebrities, and brands in the world. Read More >

With an ability to create intimate conversations with large audiences, O’Keefe is a sought-after public speaker who discusses topics including racial justice, gender and sexuality, and other identity topics, as well as conversations and workshops on corporate social responsibility and organizational culture shifts towards inclusion and equity, and finding and using your power.

O’Keefe is perhaps best known for his viral campaign to hold clothing company Abercrombie & Fitch accountable for their past discrimination of plus-size and BIPOC young consumers. His work helped to contribute to the present-day body positivity movement and is the subject of the hit Netflix film WHITE HOT: The Rise and Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch. He is currently bringing a new brand to market that plans to revolutionize the plus-size fashion industry.

Ben has spearheaded countless impact and digital campaigns including the #TakeDownTheFlag campaign to remove the Confederate Flag from the South Carolina Statehouse and retailers like Amazon and Wal-Mart, Alicia Keys’ Vote Love campaign, and the digital movement to save death row inmate Richard Glossip from execution.

O’Keefe served as Senior Creative Lead and Advisor for Senator Elizabeth Warren’s 2020 presidential campaign and as the Impact Producer for the film ALL IN: The Fight for Democracy from Amazon Studios, featuring Stacey Abrams and her fight against voter suppression.

In 2021, O’Keefe launched an award-winning podcast “Anti-Racism at Work” which premiered on the Himalaya Network. With this podcast, O’Keefe explores the power people have to drive lasting human rights improvements and combat deeply ingrained racism in the workplace, and equips listeners with tools to build a workplace that gives all employees the opportunity to thrive.

O'Keefe is also an alum of Creator+ Studios and MoveOn.org where he served on their senior leadership teams and MTV News where he served as head writer of the Webby Award winning DECODED, a series on race and pop culture.

Currently, O’Keefe serves on the Board of Directors for the Chicago Media Project, a multifaceted organization that provides support and funding to documentary films and filmmakers and Project Heal, the leading national eating disorder treatment organization. He is an executive Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences & Judge of The Webby Awards as well as the NAACP Image Awards. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Benjamin O'Keefe, Netroots Nation 2015

Using Our Stories to Make a Difference ~ Benjamin O'Keefe on Eating Disorder "Recovery in Real Life"

Speech Topics

Be The Change: Unleashing Your Inner Activist

From a fat, Black, queer, poor kid to a leading changemaker and executive, Ben O’Keefe has built his career and life’s work by learning to harness the power of his own story. Ben believes that we all have a story, and our stories have the power to change someone else’s and–if we give them the chance–to change the world. Read More >

In this engagement, Ben shares the lessons learned from his campaign against Abercrombie & Fitch that helped launch the modern body positivity movement as we know it, his time working as a senior advisor for Elizabeth Warren’s 2020 presidential campaign, and the many intimate, vulnerable, and pretty darn funny stories in between. Read Less ^

Be a Man: A Fat, Black, Queer Feminist’s Exploration of Modern Masculinity

What does it mean to be a “man” in this day and age? The queer experience has become about much more than sexuality. Today, the 21st century Queer is challenging the many false choices that society has given us and what those choices have caused us to miss out on or repress in the process. Read More >

In this conversation---for people of all genders—Ben dives into masculinity in the modern age, trans-inclusive intersectional feminism, and how the gender binary keeps us from being our most authentic selves. Nothing is off-limits as Ben tackles everything from dating and sex to fighting anti-trans legislation and even J.K Rowling and the dangers of TERFs in a talk that leaves college audiences eager to explore their own identity and how they navigate our society. Read Less ^

Be a Better Boss: Leading in a Changing World

The world is changing, and with it, so is the future of work. Between the pandemic and an ongoing cultural and racial uprising, how we work, when we work, and what we work for has fundamentally changed forever. More than ever, workers are looking for disruptive workplaces that value them, give them agency and flexibility, and align around their purpose-driven life goals. Read More >

Ben takes from his experiences as a coach to Fortune 500 executives, building new equitable leadership models as a non-profit and for-profit executive, and his learnings from being on the other side to guide leaders in creating workplaces where everyone belongs and brings their best selves to work. Leadership isn’t about having power; it’s about empowering the people around you. People work harder when their leaders work hard for them. This talk will give audiences the tools and knowledge to be the leaders that people will want to follow. Read Less ^

Beyond a Black Square: The Abridged Guide to Becoming an Anti-Racist

The death of George Floyd and the subsequent national uprising for Black lives that followed exposed the wound of racism in the United States that can’t be ignored any longer. In this powerful talk, Ben intertwines his experience as a Black man in America and leading voice in the Movement for Black Lives, along with his expertise as a top DEI coach to Fortune 500 executives to guide audiences through this intimate and vulnerable conversation. Anti-racism is the topic on everyone’s mind that just about everyone has been afraid to talk about; until now. Read More >

This straightforward, challenging, yet hilarious conversation will help audiences understand their role in the systemic oppression that BIPOC people face in the United States while giving them the language and tools to join the fight for racial justice and make changes in their own lives and workplaces. Because it’s not enough to be “not racist,” it’s time to become anti-racist. Read Less ^