Keynote Speakers

In addition to featuring dozens of sessions and workshops, BLF2020 will be headlined by three keynote speakers discussing important issues affecting the nonprofit sector.


Jennifer Eberhardt   |   John Inazu   |   Starsky Wilson


Jennifer Eberhardt, Ph.D

Professor, Department of Psychology, Stanford University

What she will be discussing
Jennifer will speak about how unconscious bias can impact the decision making of organizations, and steps that organizations can take to mitigate unconscious bias.

A social psychologist at Stanford University, Jennifer investigates the consequences of the psychological association between race and crime. She is the author of Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do,  which addresses how racial bias is not the fault of nor restricted to a few “bad apples” but is present at all levels of society in media, education, and business.Through interdisciplinary collaborations and a wide ranging array of methods — from laboratory studies to novel field experiments — Jennifer has revealed the startling, and often dispiriting, extent to which racial imagery and judgments suffuse our culture and society, and, in particular, shape actions and outcomes.

Jennifer received a B.A. degree (1987) from the University of Cincinnati, an A.M. degree (1990) and Ph.D. (1993) from Harvard University. From 1995 to 1998, she taught at Yale University in the departments of psychology and African and African American studies. She joined the Stanford faculty in 1998 and is currently a professor in the department of psychology and co-director of SPARQ, a university initiative to use social psychological research to address pressing social problems.

John Inazu

Professor, Washington University School of Law

What he will be discussing
John’s remarks will share his thoughts on “confident pluralism” and how the nonprofit community can utilize patience, humility, and tolerance to move beyond divisions and stay focused on the public good.

John is the Sally D. Danforth Distinguished Professor of Law and Religion at Washington University in St. Louis. He teaches criminal law, law and religion, and various First Amendment seminars. His scholarship focuses on the First Amendment freedoms of speech, assembly, and religion, as well as related questions of legal and political theory. He is the author of Liberty’s Refuge: The Forgotten Freedom of Assembly and Confident Pluralism: Surviving and Thriving Through Deep Difference. John has written broadly for mainstream audiences in publications including USA TodayThe Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post.

John holds B.S.E. and J.D. degrees from Duke University and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He clerked for Judge Roger L. Wollman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and served for four years as an associate general counsel with the Department of the Air Force at the Pentagon.

Starsky Wilson, DMin.

President and CEO, Deaconess Foundation

What he will be discussing
Starsky served as the co-chair of the Ferguson Commission. He will discuss what he learned from that role and the price that communities pay when they allow racial inequities to exist and become entrenched in their neighborhoods.

Starsky is a pastor, philanthropist, and activist pursuing what he believes is God’s vision of community marked by justice, peace, and love. He is president & CEO of Deaconess Foundation and board chair for the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP).

After the police killing of Michael Brown, Jr., Starsky led the Ferguson Commission. In 2015, it released the Forward Through Ferguson: A Path Toward Racial Equity report, calling for sweeping changes in policing, the courts, child well-being, and economic mobility. In addition to NCRP, Starsky serves on the boards for Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, Chicago Theological Seminary, the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, and the Forum for Theological Exploration. He is also an advisor to the Democracy Fund, Let America Vote, and the National Voter Protection Action Fund.

BLF2020 Banner