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Minal  Bopaiah

Minal Bopaiah

Founder of "Brevity & Wit" & Author of Equity: How to Design Organizations Where Everyone Thrives


Minal Bopaiah is an author and strategic consultant with nearly 20 years of professional experience. Her areas of expertise include human-centered design, behavior change psychology, and the principles of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA) as they relate to media, marketing, communications, and organizational design. Read More >

As the Founder and Principal Consultant of Brevity & Wit, Minal is passionate about designing for equity. Her work includes working with NPR’s news managers to design a system for diversifying news sources. She is also the creator and facilitator for the DEI Executive Forum, a six-month cohort learning experience for general managers in public media that helps them become more equitable leaders and develop a strategic plan to accomplish their IDEA goals.

Minal’s previous work includes being an educational content specialist for Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind Sesame Street and its international co-productions, where she was first exposed to the power of media to promote social and cultural change. She also served as a press intern for Doctors Without Borders and the Executive Editor of a B2B subscription website.

Minal is a sought-after speaker, and has delivered memorable talks at numerous conferences and companies, including Salesforce, NPR, and SXSW. Her thought leadership has been published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review and TheHill.com, and she has been a guest on several podcasts and radio shows. Her first book Equity: How to Design Organizations Where Everyone Thrives (Berrett-Koehler, 2021) was hailed as “a succinct jewel” by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Jody Williams and won the 2022 Terry McAdam Book Award. Minal is also collaborating with Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole to publish a non-fiction book on leadership and social justice.

Minal has a B.A. in English from Bowdoin College, a Master’s degree in clinical psychology from Fordham University, and was formally trained in organizational development and change leadership at Georgetown University. She is an Advisory Board member for Dent Education, a nonprofit teaching entrepreneurship, design thinking and making to Baltimore high school students, and for Bring Change to Mind, the nonprofit started by the actress Glenn Close and her sister Jessie Close to end mental health stigma. She lives with her family in Silver Spring, MD. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Unconscious Bias in Marketing, Branding, Communications, and Design

Diversity, Equity, and Sustainability

Embrace Equity: An International Women's Day event at Pew recap video

Speech Topics

Debunking the Model Minority Myth: A Systems Lens on the Asian American Experience

Asian Americans are the most affluent minority group in the United States. While the experience of different Asian American groups — from South and East Asian immigrants to first and second generation Americans — is not monolithic, the myth of being a “model minority” follows most of them. And yet, it’s still a myth, formed by an inequitable system. Read More >

Drawing on her own family’s experience, as well as research and data, award-winning author and Asian American entrepreneur Minal Bopaiah illuminates the system behind the Asian American experience and shows how it leads to both oppression and privilege. Her intersectional systems lens allows audiences to better understand their own stories of success, and how a systems lens is necessary for effective storytelling that opens doors in people’s minds.

Audiences will leave with: Read Less ^

  • A deeper understanding of the Asian American experience and how it’s been used to sow division
  • An understanding of equity, and why it must work hand-in-hand with equality
  • Concrete tips on when marginalized and privileged groups should share their story and when they should not

Gender & Equity in the Workplace

What does it take to design a workplace that works for all genders? In this compelling talk, equity strategist and award-winning author Minal Bopaiah unveils a human-centered design approach to redesigning work using its core ingredients: power, money & time. Discover how “embracing equity” (this year’s theme for International Women’s Day) will allow your company to get closer to your gender parity goals and create a workplace where everyone thrives! Read More >

Attendees will leave with Read Less ^

  • A practical understanding of equity and how it relates to equality
  • A deep understanding of why the current design of work is not working for most of us, including men
  • Concrete suggestions for designing a gender equitable workplace

Unconscious Bias in Marketing & Branding

More than any other time in human history, consumers are vetting companies based on their social and political values. Unconscious bias in your marketing and branding can lead to tone-deaf ads and PR nightmares, and keep your company in the dark ages as your competitors branch out into new markets and innovate to fit new consumer needs. Discover what unconscious bias is and inspire your team to adopt skills to mitigate bias in their work so that you can grow your brand with new, diverse audiences.

Designing an Equitable Organization

"Middle management is where diversity and inclusion go to die.” For years, leaders and consultants have touted this “fact” as if there’s nothing to be done except more training and motivational speeches. But what if we’re going about it all wrong? This talk provides an overview of unconscious bias and how it affects how organizations are designed and run. Attendees will be exposed to a theory of change for scaling DEI initiatives. Leaders will walk away with a greater awareness of the system they are trying to lead, as well as actionable ways to design for equity in their own organization.

Wise Warriorship: How to Advance DEIJ in a Complex World

What is your role in advancing diversity, equity, inclusion and justice? And can you keep it up? In this keynote talk, author and Brevity & Wit founder Minal Bopaiah discusses the importance of wisdom for anyone committed to this work. Discover how to be a nonpartisan warrior for DEIJ in public media, the benefits of a warrior lifestyle, and the three qualities you need to cultivate to have the energy to pursue this work. Drawing on her heritage, personal sheroes, and social science, Minal helps individuals and organizations identify the unique contribution they have to make to creating a more equitable, inclusive, and just world.