+1 347 223 5128

+44 20 3744 5675

Our professional consultants are ready to guide you

Musician, Author, Internationally Acclaimed Conflict Navigator, Compelling Unifier & Klan Whisperer

Daryl Davis

travels from USA

Despite declaring a deep hatred for him, Daryl Davis sought to build bridges with leaders from the Ku Klux Klan. Daryl engaged in conversation to understand their views without judgement.

Request fees and availability
Non-binding request for Daryl Davis

Send a simple request. You’ll get a quick reply with fees and availability

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
About icon

About Daryl

Lecture icon


Video icon


Request fees and availability
Daryl Davis sparks positive change through conversation and bridge-building. He has engaged KKK and White supremacist leaders face-to-face for nearly four decades, asking them how they could hate him when they didn't know him. This question stemmed from his first encounter with racism at age ten when he was attacked during a parade. Rather than seeking to change minds, Daryl sought to understand, responding with civility, patience, and listening. Many of these conversations led to genuine friendships and even some individuals renouncing their hateful beliefs, giving Daryl their robes and hoods. Daryl is an exceptional storyteller who inspires audiences with tools to improve workplaces, communities, and relationships. His work is detailed in his book "Klan-Destine Relationships" and the documentary "Accidental Courtesy," and his TEDx talk has over 12 million views.

Why you should book Daryl Davis for your next event

  • Daryl’s keynotes are sobering yet inspiring, moving audiences across the country and demonstrating the power of simply having conversations with people we disagree with.
  • Audiences note the bravery that Daryl embodies, turning up at Klan rallies and putting himself on the line in order to build bridges and better understand the root of what drives the fear that Klan members have.
  • Daryl is an experienced and trusted speaker, often selected by the US State Department to share his knowledge on race relations and combatting conflict.

Daryl Davis, a graduate of Howard University’s Bachelor of Music Degree, is known as “The Rock’n’Roll Race Reconciliator” due to his obsession with improving race relations. After being confronted by a Ku Klux Klan member who refused to believe that the origin of his piano style was influenced by Black Blues & Boogie-Woogie pianists, Daryl began meeting and interviewing leaders and members from KKK, neo-Nazi and Alt-Right groups, which led to the writing of his highly acclaimed nonfiction book, Klan-Destine Relationships.

Daryl is the recipient of numerous Klan robes & hoods and other racist symbols, given to him by people who once hated him but have become his friends and supporters of his work. He is also the recipient of numerous awards for his work in bridging race relations, including the American Ethical Union’s prestigious Elliott-Black Award, Carnegie-Mellon’s Carl Sagan Award & Prize, Tribeca Disruption Innovation Award, MLK Award, and many others. Daryl’s impact on an audience is sobering yet inspirational, and he is often sought for commentary by major media sources.

When he speaks, Daryl Davis’s impact on an audience is sobering yet inspirational. More than a few members in every audience remember and ask him about the fictional character in Dave Chappelle’s comedic skit in which he plays a blind Klansman who didn’t know he was Black and attends Klan rallies. Daryl shares stories that would be comical, if he weren’t putting his life on the line for a purpose. Truth is indeed stranger than fiction might ever be in Daryl’s case. People will also point out how courageous Daryl was to actually turn up at Klan rallies himself. Inevitably they bring up Spike Lee’s film BlacKkKlansman. That film depicts a Black police officer who infiltrated the KKK over the telephone and would send a White subordinate officer to Klan rallies in his place to gather damning intelligence against the Klan. The difference is not lost on the audience. Daryl had his feet on the ground in the lion’s den and tells the story firsthand.

See keynotes with Daryl Davis
Keynote by Daryl Davis

Hate - Undone: Conversations that ignite change

Conversation can build bridges or walls. It’s up to us. Daryl Davis should know. The noted Black musician gained international acclaim by confronting, face to face, leaders of the Ku Klux Klan and other White supremacist groups who hate him simply for the color of his skin. Daryl’s was an effort to understand them, not to change minds, but those civil conversations forged unlikely and genuine friendships. Over time, many of his new friends changed their own minds and renounced their old beliefs.

What can we learn from Daryl’s inspiring and jaw-dropping experiences?

Sample Takeaways:

  • Apply universal tools to create positive change wherever conflict or disagreement exists.
  • Prepare: Understand the other person’s position and reasoning before you engage.
  • You needn’t respect what people say but you must respect their right to say it.
  • Learn to listen, understand, and keep emotions in check, even in incendiary situations.
  • How to recover/repair a relationship with a colleague, client, friend, or family member.
Keynote by Daryl Davis

Diversity Lessons from a Black Klan Whisperer

“We spend too much time talking about the other person, talking at the other person, and talking past the other person. Amazing things can happen when we spend some time talking with the other person.” So says Daryl Davis, whose jaw-dropping experiences engaging KKK and White supremacist leaders hold lessons that inspire audiences to think differently about how they engage others who don’t share their views, backgrounds, religion, etc. The more we talk, the more we understand each other and discover what we have in common. That’s when the possibilities open up and the importance of our differences diminishes.

Sample Takeaways:

  • Learn to build bridges and ignite positive change in the workplace, community, and at home
  • Everyone wants the same 5 things – learn what they are and how they drive behavior
  • Spend 5 minutes together and you will find things in common with even your worst enemy
  • A missed opportunity for dialogue is a missed opportunity for conflict resolution
  • The power of empathy – put yourself in the other person’s shoes
Keynote by Daryl Davis

2042 – What's Driving Hate and How to Stop It

The forces of hate are on the rise in America, making more headlines each day. What can be done about this troubling trend? With over 40 years of engaging KKK and far-right White supremacist groups as a Black man, Daryl Davis provides answers and tells audiences what’s driving this domestic terror, including fear of 2042, the year America is predicted to become a non-White majority nation. Fringe groups are stoking people’s worst fears about that – fostering hate that is very real and extremely dangerous. In this talk, Daryl reminds people, hate is learned – and what is learned can be unlearned.

Engaging and educating, not shunning those with toxic beliefs, is crucial. Sharing his powerful personal stories of building true friendships with the same people who once hated him simply for the color of his skin, shows how to build bridges and be a force creating a better world. Engaging those who don’t share our beliefs promotes understanding and respect, even in the face of serious disagreement or differences. Daryl believes we can all play a part in ending hate because, as he says, “There’s only one race – the human race.”

Audiences leave Daryl’s lecture understanding:

  • How fear drives hate and engagement overcomes it.
  • The key to changing another’s reality through perception.
  • Ways to overcome one’s own prejudices, biases, and fears.
  • How one person can make a world of positive difference.
  • How to navigate a world of ever-growing diversity.
Keynote by Daryl Davis

Hail, Hail, Rock'n'Roll - The Ultimate Bridge Builder

At its inception, Rock ’n’ Roll was called “the devil’s music” by its detractors. Some cities banned it altogether. Rooted in Black R&B and Blues, its infectious beat led young people in the South to leap over the rope that segregated Whites from Blacks in the audience. The 1957, Chuck Berry lyric, “Deliver me from the days of old,” in his hit song School Days, celebrated the music as a turning point in race relations. Daryl brings that history forward into his own story, using music as a common denominator and proving that musical and racial harmony go hand-in-hand.

Sample Takeaways:

  • How musical inspiration differs from musical appropriation
  • The Elvis conundrum: How he was crowned King of a genre he didn’t create
  • How Country and Blues are the same music, and why society separates them
  • How a Black musical genre improved race relations and elected a Black president
  • Why music is a cultural necessity and not a luxury
Watch Daryl Davis in action

Why I, as a black man, attend KKK rallies. | Daryl Davis | TEDxNaperville

Watch Daryl Davis in action

Klan We Talk? | Daryl Davis | TEDxCapeMay

See keynotes with Daryl Davis
Non-binding request for Daryl Davis

Send a simple request. You’ll get a quick reply with fees and availability

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Keynote topics with Daryl Davis