Equity and Opportunity: Making Meaningful Change

Companies and organizations dedicated to creating a more inclusive culture have made strides in recent years and are focusing their efforts on creating more opportunities not just for their workforce, but for all stakeholders.

The CNBC Equity and Opportunity Forum will gather leaders and experts who are managing differently, narrowing the wage gap, creating new pathways to wealth and expanding the talent pool in innovative ways, resulting in meaningful change on the individuals and for society as a whole.

To join the chat and submit questions for our speakers, sign in or register here: www.cnbc.com/equityforum. If you would like to view the livestream only, you can watch it on CNBC LinkedIn, CNBC Events TwitterCNBC.com or CNBC TV YouTube.



Emmanuel Acho

Emmanuel Acho is a #1 New York Times Bestselling Author and the Host/Producer of "Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man". His groundbreaking 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 Fox Sports Analyst (Co-Host, FS1 “Speak for Yourself”) and television personality. In 2021, Acho was named the host of ABC’s “The Bachelor: After the Final Rose” and he received a Sports Emmy for Best Emerging On-Air Talent. He is a former NFL linebacker and has a master’s degree in Sports Psychology from the University of Texas.

Janis Bowdler

Janis Bowdler is the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s first Counselor for Racial Equity. She has spent the last two decades advancing economic equity solutions for communities of color and breaking down the barriers that underpin the disparities in wealth and financial security by race and gender. Growing up in Northeast Ohio, she saw firsthand how neighborhood conditions impacted the life opportunities of her family and neighbors, often resulting in an uneven playing field that has left communities of color and our most vulnerable communities at a stark disadvantage. Drawing on her lived experience and two decades of working in coalition with Black,
Latinx, and AAPI communities, Janis has dedicated her career to dismantling the structural and institutional racism that has allowed the racial wealth gap to persist and widen.

Janis’ career has spanned local service, national advocacy, and international philanthropy. Janis received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Malone College in Canton, Ohio and a Master of Science degree from Cleveland State University. She is a proud Latina, a yoga instructor, mom to one daughter, two dogs, and a bunny. She lives with her husband and her family in Takoma Park, Maryland.

Brian Lamb

Brian Lamb is the global head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) at JPMorgan Chase & Co. He joined on May 4, 2020, and reports directly to the President and Chief Operating Officer of the firm.

With an intersectional approach, he is redefining how the firm operationalizes DEI, leading changes to drive a more diverse, inclusive and equitable lens into everything we do — from uplifting employees to developing products and services, to helping external communities. He is also serving as an executive sponsor of the firm’s $30 billion Racial Equity commitment and Second Chance Coalition.

His oversight includes the DEI centers of excellence — Advancing Black Pathways, Advancing Hispanics & Latinos, Military & Veterans Affairs, Office of Asian & Pacific Islander Affairs, Office of Disability Inclusion, Office of LGBT+ Affairs, and Women on the Move — as well as Global Business Partner Diversity, the four senior Executive Forums and the ten employee Business Resource Groups.

Brian brings extensive business experience gained during 13-years with Fifth Third Bank — including national roles leading Wealth & Asset Management, Retail Banking and Securities, Middle Market and Business Banking. He was also responsible for the comprehensive strategic framework of the Bank’s civic commitments, inclusive of Community Economic Development, the Community Development Corporation, Corporate Communications, Ethics, and Diversity & Corporate Social Responsibility.

Throughout his career, Brian’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion continues to deepen and he has received numerous accolades. He serves as Chair of the Florida State University System Board of Governors and after serving as a Board Trustee member, is now Chair of the National Urban League’s Audit Committee. He had also partnered with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition to launch a $30 billion commitment focused on access to capital for small businesses, first-time home ownership and educational opportunities for underserved communities.

Notably, Business Insider named him as a DEI Trailblazer in 2021, Preserve Vision Florida named him as its 2020 Person of Vision and 2019 Man of Honor in Cincinnati, Savoy Magazine named him as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America in 2018, and he was named to the Tampa Bay Business Hall of Fame in 2016.

Brian holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting, an MBA from the University of South Florida and is also a graduate of the Stonier Graduate Banking School at the University of Pennsylvania.

He lives in New York with his wife Paulette and three children.

Nina Vaca

Nina Vaca is Founder and CEO of Pinnacle Group, a global workforce solutions provider focused on IT/Professional solutions for the Fortune 500. Pinnacle is among the largest and most successful firms in the industry and has twice been named the fastest growing woman-owned company of any kind in the US. Nina is a member of the Staffing Industry Analysts Hall of Fame, has been honored as part of the Global Power 150 – Women in Staffing for each of the past six years, and was recently named as one of 50 industry leaders for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. In addition to her leadership of Pinnacle, Nina serves as a Director on three corporate boards of publicly traded companies. Nina is also a civic leader and philanthropist, working relentlessly to expand educational and business opportunities for minorities and women in STEM. In 2014, Nina was appointed by the White House as a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship. She is also a German Marshall Fellow, a British American Project Fellow, a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute, and in 2019 became a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Nina is a recipient of the coveted Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for Technology & Communications and the Goldman Sachs Most Intriguing Entrepreneuraward.

Lindsay Artkin

Lindsay Artkin is President of the NHL Coaches’ Association. Based in Toronto, Lindsay is responsible for implementing the Association’s business strategy as well as developing and executing all marketing and communications initiatives. Lindsay also manages the Association’s corporate partnership and sponsorship business, including running all programming and activations.

Lindsay has over 15 years of corporate strategy, business development, marketing and communications experience across a range of industries including finance, bioscience, technology, education and sports. From 2006 to 2016 Lindsay held progressively more senior roles within the Canadian financial services industry before launching a consulting practice to assist companies with developing and executing their business development strategy. Lindsay has provided consulting services to the NHLCA since November 2016 before joining the Association full time as its President in January 2019. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University.

René Jones

René F. Jones is chairman and chief executive officer of M&T Bank, a diversified, community-focused banking franchise with more than $150 billion in assets and a network of 700 branches across states from New York to Virginia.

Before being named Chairman and CEO in December 2017, he served as Chief Financial Officer from 2005 to 2016, responsible for managing the financial actions of the company. In 2005, he was named to M&T’s Management Group, a group of senior executives responsible for the company’s strategic direction.

Born and raised in Ayer, Mass., Jones received a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Management Science from Boston College. He began his career in accounting at the Boston-based office of Ernst & Young, and later at a private equity firm, and went on to receive a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Rochester. In 1992, he joined M&T as part of the Executive Associates Program.

Jones participates in several organizations to help advance the business community, including as a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the boards of ACV Auctions, Boston College and the Jacobs Institute, as well as the advisory council for University at Buffalo. He previously served on the advisory council for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

As one of only a few Black CEOs in the Fortune 500, Jones is passionate about equity of opportunity, both in and outside the company. He serves as a steward of the Council for Inclusive Capitalism and on the capital advisory committee of Aux21, a seed-stage firm investing in the future of global commerce with a focus on companies led by immigrant founders.

Jones also works to advance arts and culture through his participation on the boards of the Burchfield Penney Art Center and Massachusetts Historical Society.

Flori Marquez

Flori Marquez is a Founder and SVP of Operations at BlockFi, a crypto financial services company with $10B assets under management that is building a bridge between traditional finance and the crypto ecosystem. In this role, Flori currently oversees institutional and retail operations, client service, project management, in addition to our APAC teams. At BlockFi, Flori has built and managed many critical functions including the Trading, Risk, Compliance, Marketing and People Operations teams. Flori has spent her career managing alternative lending products. In the marketplace lending industry, she helped build, scale, and optimize a $125MM portfolio for Bond Street (acquired by Goldman Sachs). As Head of Portfolio Management, Flori managed all operations from point of origination through default and litigation. Prior to Bond Street, Flori helped develop and maintain institutional partnerships at Oak Hill Advisors, a $30B fixed income asset manager.

As a founder and first-generation American, Flori is extremely passionate about driving inclusion within the crypto and financial ecosystem - from educating consumers about crypto to encouraging historically underrepresented talent to work for crypto and blockchain companies. She has been recognized as one of Inc. Magazine’s Top 100 Female Founders, Worth Magazine’s Top 100 Worthy Entrepreneurs, and Forbes 30 under 30 in Finance. Flori graduated from Cornell University, majoring in pre-law with a minor in economics and currently sits on the Executive Board of the East Harlem Tutorial Program.

Gorick Ng

Gorick Ng is the Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author of The Unspoken Rules: Secrets to Starting Your Career Off Right, a book published by Harvard Business Review Press. It is a guide to help early career professionals, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds, navigate the school-to-work transition and ascend to positions of leadership, based on 500+ interviews with professionals across geographies, industries, and job types.

The Unspoken Rules has been endorsed by Arianna Huffington, Cal Newport (Author of Deep Work), David Carey (Former Global President of Hearst Magazines), Edith Cooper (Board Director of Slack and Etsy and Former Global Head of Human Capital Management of Goldman Sachs), Ginni Rometty (Former Executive Chairman of IBM), Julie Zhuo (Former VP of Product Design of Facebook), Rich Lesser (CEO of BCG), and Ratan Tata (Former Chairman of Tata Group).

The Unspoken Rules is now used for employee and manager training and diversity and inclusion at companies such as Aon, GE, IBM, Kirkland & Ellis, Charles River Associates, Abiomed, Invesco, and others. It is also used by programs such as Questbridge, Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America, Rewriting the Code, ACE Women’s Collective, SEO, Africa.com, and others. Harvard Business School has also given Gorick’s book to every MBA student to give them an edge in the labor market.

Gorick is a career adviser at Harvard College, specializing in coaching first-generation, low-income students. He has worked in management consulting at Boston Consulting Group (BCG), investment banking at Credit Suisse, and research with the Managing the Future of Work project at Harvard Business School. He has been featured in Forbes, The Today Show, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BuzzFeed, New York Post, Fast Company, and CNBC. He was named by Thinkers50 as one of 30 thinkers to watch in 2022. Gorick, a first-generation college student, is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School. Find him at www.gorick.com.

Shivani Siroya

Shivani Siroya is the founder and CEO of Tala, the global technology company building the world’s most accessible financial services. More than 6 million people across Kenya, the Philippines, Mexico, and India have used Tala products to start and expand small businesses, manage day-to-day needs, and pursue their financial goals with confidence. Tala has raised more than $350 million from visionary investors including Upstart, the Stellar Development Foundation, RPS Ventures, the J. Safra Group, IVP, Revolution Growth, Lowercase Capital, and PayPal Ventures and has been named to the Fortune Impact 20 list, CNBC’s Disruptor 50, and Forbes’ Fintech 50 list for four years running. Additionally, Shivani and Tala have been recognized by the New York Times, Wired, TechCrunch, the Financial Times, and other leading publications.

Prior to founding Tala, Shivani worked as an analyst with UNFPA, conducting thousands of user interviews to understand the impact of microfinance programs in South Asia and Sub Saharan Africa. She has also held a variety of positions in global health and investment banking, including with Health Net, Citigroup, and UBS. Shivani is a member of the G7 Impact Task Force, an Aspen Institute Finance Leader Fellow, a WEF Young Global Leader, Senior TED Fellow and Ashoka Fellow. She holds a M.P.H from Columbia University and a B.A. from Wesleyan University.

Shivani grew up in New York City and Udaipur, Rajasthan. She currently resides in Los Angeles.

Julia Boorstin

Julia Boorstin is CNBC’s Senior Media & Tech Correspondent based at the network’s Los Angeles Bureau. She covers media with a special focus on the intersection of media and technology. Boorstin also plays a key role on CNBC’s bi-coastal tech-focused program “TechCheck” (M-F, 11AM-12PM ET/8AM-9AM PT) delivering reporting, analysis and interviews around streaming, social and the convergence of media and technology. She joined CNBC in May 2006 as a general assignment reporter and in 2007 moved to Los Angeles to cover media.

In 2013, Boorstin created and launched the CNBC Disruptor 50, an annual list she oversees, highlighting the private companies transforming the economy and challenging companies in established industries. Additionally, she reported a documentary on the future of television for the network, “Stay Tuned…The Future of TV.” She also helped launch CNBC’s ‘Closing the Gap’ initiative covering the people and companies closing gender gaps, and leads CNBC’s coverage of studies on this topic. She is currently writing a book called, “WHEN WOMEN LEAD: What they achieve, Why they succeed, and How we can learn from them,” about female founders that Simon & Schuster’s Avid Reader imprint is publishing in October 2022.

Boorstin joined CNBC from Fortune magazine where she was a business writer and reporter since 2000. During that time, she was also a contributor to “Street Life,” a live market wrap-up segment on CNN Headline News.

In 2003, 2004 and 2006, The Journalist and Financial Reporting newsletter named Boorstin to the “TJFR 30 under 30” list of the most promising business journalists under 30 years old. She has also worked for the State Department’s delegation to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and for Vice President Gore’s domestic policy office.

She graduated with honors from Princeton University with a B.A. in history. She was also an editor of The Daily Princetonian.

Sharon Epperson

Sharon Epperson, named one of “12 to Watch in TV News,” can be seen regularly on CNBC television and other media platforms.

As CNBC’s senior personal finance correspondent, Epperson covers the many facets of how people manage, grow and protect their money. Her expertise includes saving and investing for retirement, paying for college, managing mortgage, student loan, credit card and other debt, and building a financial legacy through estate planning.

Preparing your finances for the unexpected is another critical (and personal) aspect of her reporting. In September 2016, Epperson sustained a ruptured brain aneurysm and she nearly lost her life. She has become a staunch advocate for health and wellness issues, raising awareness about brain aneurysms and funding for research. In September 2018, she and her family established “The Sharon Epperson Chair of Research” through the Brain Aneurysm Foundation to provide grants for research on early detection and innovative treatments.

Epperson is a lead contributor to “Invest in You: Ready. Set. Grow.,” a multi-platform financial wellness and education initiative at CNBC in partnership with the micro-investing app Acorns, and developed its companion 8-week learning course and weekly newsletter, “Invest in You: Money 101.” She also contributes to NBC’s TODAY and NBC Nightly News as well as Today.com and NBCNews.com.

Her book, The Big Payoff: 8 Steps Couples Can Take to Make the Most of Their Money-and Live Richly Ever After, was a finalist for the Books for a Better Life Awards, honoring works that have “changed the lives of millions.” She also was a contributing writer for The Experts’ Guide to Doing Things Faster. Her personal finance expertise has been featured in numerous publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, USA Weekend, Self, Essence, Ebony and TIME, where she had covered business, culture, social issues and health as a correspondent prior to joining CNBC.

Epperson has numerous industry and civic awards, including the Special Achievement Award from the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) and the Savvy Inspiration Award from the non-profit, financial empowerment group Savvy Ladies. She won an Alliance for Women in Media’s Gracie Award for Outstanding Online Host for her “Financial Advisor Playbook” video series on CNBC.com. She has received the Vanguard Award for her distinguished career in business and personal finance reporting from the National Urban League Guild, and the All-Star Award from the Association of Women in Communications. She also has won awards from the New York Festivals, the New York Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Black Journalists.

Epperson is committed to improving financial literacy, particularly in underserved communities. She was invited to the White House during President Obama’s administration to speak about financial literacy and to moderate a public meeting of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability at the U.S. Treasury Department. She also speaks frequently at conferences and events for local and national organizations, colleges and universities about many facets of personal finance.

An adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, Epperson has also taught courses at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism. She enjoys teaching the importance of budgeting and building long-term savings as part of her professional development courses for graduate students.

Epperson received her bachelor’s in sociology and government from Harvard University, a master of international affairs degree from Columbia University, and an honorary doctorate from Carlow University in Pittsburgh. A Pittsburgh native, she has also been inducted into the Hall of Fame at Taylor Allderdice High School, her alma mater.

She currently lives with her husband and two children in Westchester County, N.Y.

Ylan Mui

Ylan Q. Mui is CNBC’s Senior Congressional Correspondent based at the network’s bureau in Washington, D.C., reporting on Capitol Hill and economic policy. She also plays a key role covering the power struggle between Big Tech and Washington as they continue to debate on Capitol Hill. Her reporting appears on television and CNBC’s digital platforms. Mui joined CNBC in February 2017 as a reporter focusing primarily on economic and regulatory policy.

Prior to CNBC, Mui spent nearly 15 years at The Washington Post, most recently as White House economic policy correspondent. She previously covered the Federal Reserve and the macroeconomy, subprime lending, consumer finance, retail and education. In addition, Mui reported on major international stories, including the Greek financial crisis and Brexit, as well as national disasters such as the BP oil spill and Hurricane Katrina.

Mui began her career as a receptionist and obituary writer at The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, where she was born and raised.

Mui graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans with a major in communications and a double minor in biology and philosophy. She is a member of the Asian American Journalists Association, where she is a past vice president of the Washington, DC chapter. She is also a graduate of AAJA’s Executive Leadership Program.

Kate Rooney

Kate Rooney is a technology reporter based out of CNBC’s San Francisco bureau, with a focus on financial technology, payments and venture capital. She also writes and reports for CNBC’s digital platforms.

Rooney joined CNBC in 2015 as a news associate before working as a producer for CNBC’s “Squawk Box” (M-F, 6AM-9AM ET) and was most recently a markets reporter for CNBC.com.

She graduated from Boston College with a bachelor’s degree in communication and earned her master’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University where she received an Eric Lund Global Reporting and Research Grant to film and produce a documentary in the Philippines. She also worked as a multimedia reporter in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2015 with a focus on housing and politics.

Rahel Solomon

Rahel Solomon joined CNBC in March 2019 as a general assignment reporter. She is based at CNBC Global Headquarters, and her reporting appears on television and CNBC’s digital platforms.

Most recently, Solomon was co-anchor of Eyewitness News This Morning and Eyewitness News at Noon for CBS 3 in her hometown, Philadelphia. She additionally anchored the station’s weekend morning news. Solomon first joined CBS 3 as a general assignment reporter in September 2015. Previously, Solomon was a reporter and fill-in anchor for KCNC-TV, the CBS-owned station in Denver. While there, she was named the Colorado Association of Black Journalists’ Broadcast Journalist of the Year in 2015. Prior to that, Solomon was a multimedia journalist for WSAZ-TV in Charleston, West Virginia.

Solomon graduated with high honors from St. John’s University, earning a bachelor’s degree in finance. She also earned a master’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

Jane Wells

Jane Wells develops features, special reports and series for CNBC and CNBC.com. Based in Los Angeles, she also contributes to CNBC’s breaking news coverage.

Wells assumed her current role after more than 20 years as a CNBC reporter. Most recently, she covered retail, agriculture and defense as well as reports on California’s economy, West Coast real estate and Las Vegas for the network. Wells joined CNBC in 1996, providing special coverage of the O.J. Simpson civil case for “Rivera Live.” During her career at the network, Wells also served as a senior correspondent for CNBC’s “Upfront Tonight.” She also helped create the “Strange Success” franchise for CNBC Make It, and produces a companion podcast.

Prior to joining CNBC, she was a correspondent for the Fox News Channel and Los Angeles reporter for NBC’s flagship television station, WNBC, in New York. Her television news career includes reporter positions with KTTV, Los Angeles; WTVJ, Miami; and KOB, Albuquerque. She has also contributed international reports for CNN.

Wells has received numerous honors for her work, including a 1992 Peabody Award and duPont Award for her role in the live coverage of the Rodney King Trial. That same year, she earned a Los Angeles Emmy Award for her investigative reporting. She also has received UPI, Press Club and Emmy Awards for feature reporting; three Florida Emmy Awards for news reporting; and the Investigative Reporters and Editors Award for team reporting.

Wells holds bachelor’s degrees in broadcast journalism and philosophy from the University of Southern California, where she graduated with honors. She and her husband have two children and live in Los Angeles.


Agenda subject to change

2:00pm ET

Program Begins

2:05pm ET

U.S. Treasury Tackles Racial Inequity

Many barriers still exist for underrepresented communities when it comes to accessing economic benefits and opportunities, and the pandemic has only worsened matters. We’ll learn about how and why the U.S. Treasury is looking to play a central role in tackling this problem.

Janis Bowdler, U.S. Department of the Treasury Counselor for Racial Equity
Moderated by: Ylan Mui, CNBC Senior Congressional Correspondent

2:20pm ET

Level Up: Fintech to Fight Financial Exclusion

When it comes to financial institutions, lack of access and discrimination have been consistent themes throughout the years. Fintech is looking to change this. We’ll examine how digital technology and crypto are aiming to level the playing field.

Flori Marquez, BlockFi Founder
Shivani Siroya, Tala Founder & CEO
Moderated by: Kate Rooney, CNBC Technology Reporter

2:35pm ET

What Leadership Looks Like Now

The traditional, hierarchal approach to leadership is being redefined to meet modern-day challenges and opportunities. We’ll discuss how agility, flexibility, equity, and opportunity have become essential components to the success of companies.

Nina Vaca, Pinnacle Group Founder & CEO
René Jones, M&T Bank Chairman & CEO
Moderated by: Sharon Epperson, CNBC Senior Personal Finance Correspondent

2:50pm ET

Executive Playbook: How to Ignite a Movement

An unlikely leader has emerged in making equity and inclusion a centerpiece of corporate America. He’ll share his evolving playbook, how he persuaded 150 other companies to commit to the cause and the daily reminders that there is still a lot of work to be done.

Tim Ryan, PwC U.S. Chair and Senior Partner
Moderated by: Rahel Solomon, CNBC General Assignment Reporter

3:05pm ET

Help Wanted: Tapping into Untapped Talent

As the labor shortage continues, talent pools that are highly qualified and ready to work remain largely untapped. We’ll discuss how to establish unconventional recruiting channels and why a diverse workforce is not only ethical, but profitable.

Brian Lamb, JPMorgan Chase Global Head of DEI
Gorick Ng, Author, “The Unspoken Rules”
Moderated by: Sharon Epperson, CNBC Senior Personal Finance Correspondent

3:20pm ET

Evening the Score 

Pro hockey’s head coaching ranks has traditionally been considered a boys club. But one woman is working to change that. We’ll discuss what organizations across all industries can learn from the NHLCA Female Coaches Development Program, including the power of networking, and how to get men to embrace allyship.   

Lindsay Artkin, NHL Coaches’ Association President
Interviewer: Julia Boorstin, CNBC Senior Media & Tech Correspondent

3:25pm ET

Race in America: Moving from Optics to Outcomes 

When it comes to achieving equity, one NFL linebacker turned best-selling author urges all of us to be a thermostat, not a thermometer. We’ll learn what he means by that, and examine solutions to the systemic and structural challenges that continue to plague corporate America.

Emmanuel Acho, Author, “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man” and Former NFL Player
Moderated by: Jane Wells, CNBC Special Correspondent

3:45pm ET

The Exchange: Continuing the Conversation

What is your company doing to create meaningful change in the workforce? Share your thoughts and exchange ideas with fellow attendees, and members from some of the most influential advocacy organizations in the country on creating equity and opportunity.

Esther Aguilera, LCDA President and CEO
Linda Akutagawa
, LEAP President and CEO
Tonie Leatherberry, ELC Board Director
Cid Wilson, HACR President and CEO
Moderated by: Sharon Epperson, CNBC Senior Personal Finance Correspondent