About Jesse

Jesse Lipscombe is one of Canada’s leading keynote speakers. An expert on leadership, diversity, equity and inclusion, Jesse has inspired organizations to make a difference within their communities. A natural-born leader, he instills confidence in youth and challenges audiences to become more inclusive and accepting of all people.

Alberta-born, Jesse entered the spotlight at 14, starring alongside legendary actor Sidney Poitier in Children of the Dust. At 18, he shifted to athletic stardom after accepting a full athletic scholarship at the prestigious Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, where he became a breakout track star.

Following college, Jesse continued his acting career and has since produced many critically acclaimed films and television series (It’s Not My Fault, I Don’t Care Anyway, Tiny Plastic Men). Most recently, he starred in the Netflix hit show Black Summer.

Jesse is a passionate activist, investor, and entrepreneur outside the arts. He runs a consultancy inspired by the #MakeItAwkward campaign he launched in 2016 to combat racism, misogyny, homophobia and hatred. He works with organizations and leaders to help them understand and address racism.

Jesse is a recipient of the Obsidian Award for Top Business Leader in Western Canada. He was also previously named Community Man of the Year by Diversity Magazine. In 2023, he published his debut novel, Jars—a coming-of-age story about acceptance, self-discovery and the adventures of a young person struggling to find their place. Jesse is also the co-founder of Not That Funny, the first-ever tabletop game that gamified activism to draw people into dialogue around difficult topics. The game continues to sell thousands of copies worldwide.

Major institutions and leading speaker series’ trust Jesse to educate and inspire their audiences. A few of his former clients include Canadian Tire, Loblaws, Kraft, University of Alberta, Shopify, and Giants of Africa.

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