Change Conversations

Passionate co-hosts. Inspiring guests. Unfiltered conversations.

Co-hosts Jimmy Etheredge, CEO – North America, Accenture; and Emmanuel Acho, FS1 Sports Analyst, former NFL Linebacker, and The New York Times Bestselling Author & Host, Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, tackle tough topics with purpose-driven leaders who are shaping a more equitable future. Hear from these change makers and leaders who are making a difference.

If we would just listen and talk to people that don't look like us, we could better understand where everyone is coming from.

— Emmanuel Acho

EPISODE 04

You have to see it to be it

Representation matters in sports, music, advertising and entertainment. When you see yourself on the big and small screen, in ad campaigns and leadership roles, it creates a wider sense of possibility; you can more fully envision that doors are open to you.

More diversity on screen, in ads, on stage and in decision-making positions goes a long way towards inspiring the next generation – the notion that we have to “see it to be it.” It also makes good business sense. Equity is not only important, it’s also good for the bottom line. It’s estimated that there are billions in untapped revenue given the lack of representation for all stories – and faces. So, what’s stopping these industries from achieving it?

Guests

Kevin Kwan, The New York Times Bestselling Author, Crazy Rich Asians; Executive Producer

Cynthia “Cynt” Marshall, CEO, Dallas Mavericks

More about the guests

Kevin Kwan, The New York Times Bestselling Author, Crazy Rich Asians; Executive Producer
— Author of Crazy Rich Asians, the international bestselling novel that has been translated into more than 30 languages. China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People Problems are the second and final books in the trilogy. For several weeks in 2018, the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy commanded the top three positions of The New York Times bestseller list - an almost unprecedented single-author trifecta, and the film adaptation of Crazy Rich Asians became Hollywood's highest grossing romantic comedy in over a decade.

 

Cynthia “Cynt” Marshall, CEO, Dallas Mavericks
— A dynamic force for inclusion and diversity within the Mavericks organization and over a 36-year career at AT&T. Widely recognized for her visionary leadership and ability to get things done, Marshall was touted as one of Adweek’s 30 Most Powerful Women in Sports and was selected as one of the 2019 Women of Power Legacy Award honorees by Black Enterprise. As the new CEO of the Mavericks in March 2018, she embarked on a culture transformation for the Mavs organization to become the NBA standard for inclusion and diversity.

 

EPISODE 03

Invisible disabilities

Invisible disabilities aren’t immediately apparent to others. They include developmental disabilities like autism and ADHD, visual or auditory impairment, and more. Because these disabilities can fly under the radar, a segment of the workforce lacks on-the-job support or, even worse, they can’t get their foot in the door because the hiring process just isn’t designed for them.

Companies are starting to understand how to break down employment barriers and retain different types of employees by highlighting their strengths and providing them with the support and accommodations they need to be successful. This episode will explore how to attract and retain job seekers with invisible disabilities – with a focus on underscoring the real value they bring to organizations.

Guests

Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Chief Accessibility Officer, Microsoft

Thorkil Sonne, Founder, Specialisterne & Specialisterne Foundation

More about the guests

Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Chief Accessibility Officer, Microsoft
— Jenny’s team is at the forefront of creating positive experiences that apply technology to make a difference in the world and the lives of individuals – from how Microsoft hires and supports people with disabilities in employment, to innovative technology that aims to revolutionize what’s possible for people with disabilities. Jenny was recognized as a “Disability Employment Champion of Change” by the White House in October 2014 and one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business in 2017.

Thorkil Sonne, Founder, Specialisterne and Specialisterne Foundation
— Thorkil Sonne founded Specialisterne in Denmark in 2004 after his youngest son was diagnosed with autism. The purpose was to create an environment in the workplace where autistic people can excel. Based on overwhelming international interest, Thorkil founded Specialisterne Foundation with the goal to enable one million jobs for autistic people by 2025. The foundation is associated with the UN Department of Public Information and the World Economic Forum.

EPISODE 02

Setting the stage for inclusion and innovation

Becoming an entrepreneur is tough. When it comes to launching new and innovative business ideas, you need the right types of support to turn dreams into reality. That’s why making inroads into industries like tech can be especially hard for African American, Black, Hispanic American and LatinX entrepreneurs. With less access to networks of mentors and investors, the odds of success are not in their favor.

This episode of Change Conversations was recorded at the Apollo Theater in New York City on June 17th, 2021, the day Juneteenth became a federal holiday in America and focuses on the systemic barriers to success that African American, Black, Hispanic American and LatinX entrepreneurs, creatives and founders continue to face… and what needs to be done to remove them.

Guests

Kamilah Forbes, Executive Producer, Apollo Theater

Kathryn Ross, Global Open Innovation Lead and Black Founders Development Program Lead, Accenture

Pharrell Williams, Artist, Producer & Founder of Black Ambition

More about the guests

Kamilah Forbes, Executive Producer, Apollo Theater
— Cofounder and artistic director of HiARTS, Kamilah Forbes, is an award-winning director and producer. In her diverse body of work, Forbes is noted for having a strong commitment to the development of creative works by, for, and about the Hip-Hop Generation. Her talent in the range of aforementioned endeavors has been said to “cast a vivid and evocative spell on both the national and international stage.”

Kathryn Ross, Global Open Innovation Lead and Black Founders Development Program Lead, Accenture
— Kathryn is the Global Open Innovation Lead where she works to connect Accenture’s Ecosystem partners to clients to drive growth, and to help clients innovate and rotate to the new. She is also the lead for the Accenture Black Founders Development Program, focused on elevating black entrepreneurs through investment and community. Kathryn is passionate about working with cutting edge technologies and has translated that interest into delivering innovative solutions for clients.

Pharrell Williams, Artist, Producer & Founder of Black Ambition
— Visionary recording artist, producer, songwriter, philanthropist, fashion designer, and entrepreneur Pharrell Williams has been a creative force in the music industry and beyond for more than two decades. From his beginnings as a teenage prodigy and multi-instrumentalist in Virginia Beach back in the early ’90s, through enough hits to earn him Billboard’s Producer of the Decade in 2010, to his current status as multi-media superstar, Williams has never stopped creating.

EPISODE 01

Let’s get uncomfortable

Emmanuel Acho has changed the nature of conversations around race and equality in the US. Jimmy Etheredge has built his leadership agenda for Accenture North America on the commitment to doing well by doing good. In this mind-opening inaugural episode of Change Conversations, they get honest and real about their motivation and commitment to inspiring action from leaders, employees and communities that leads to equality for all. With a little humor and a lot of grit they show they are not afraid to tackle hard topics head on to build bridges, open hearts and minds, and inspire change.
And, it all starts with uncomfortable conversations.

More about the hosts

Jimmy Etheredge, CEO – North America, Accenture — As chief executive officer for Accenture North America—the company’s largest market—Jimmy Etheredge inspires 65,000-plus Accenture people in the United States and Canada to harness technology and human ingenuity to drive value and responsible change for clients and communities. Passionate about doing well and doing good, Jimmy encourages businesses to improve business value while simultaneously using their power and platforms to create opportunity for all.

Emmanuel Acho, FS1 Sports Analyst, former NFL Linebacker, and The New York Times Bestselling Author & Host, Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man — Emmanuel Acho, the son of Nigerian immigrant parents, grew up in Dallas with his three siblings. He is a New York Times Bestselling author and the Host/Producer of Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man.  His ground-breaking online series to drive meaningful dialogue around racial insensitivity and ignorance launched in June 2020 with more than 80 million views to date. 

Emmanuel is a 2021 Sports Emmy winner, Fox Sports Analyst (Co-Host, FS1 “Speak for Yourself”) and television personality. He is a former NFL linebacker and has a master’s degree in Sports Psychology from the University of Texas.

Coming Soon

Here’s an upcoming conversation you can look forward to joining.

UPCOMING EPISODE
Mental health at work: It’s okay to say you’re not okay

Mental health has emerged as one of the most pressing and discussed issues in both our personal and professional lives today. Many business leaders have put this at the top of their agendas and developed programs to create more supportive working environments. But are they making an impact? Are businesses doing enough? Significant challenges persist—especially the stigma surrounding mental health. What will it take to view mental health in the same light as physical health?

The goal of this episode is to inspire business leaders to talk openly about mental health and wellness in the workplace, and to create a work environment and game-changing programs that meaningfully support their employees. When CEOs, community leaders and influential public figures share their own experiences with mental health—and normalize the discussion, it invites others to do so as well.