When two black men were unjustly arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks while waiting for a friend, a viral video of the incident sparked a public dialogue on what racism looks like today. The women responsible for that video, Melissa DePino and Michelle Saahene, share what they learned about why we need to leave shame and guilt behind and use the privilege we have for progress, and how the power of the individual has far-reaching implications for systemic change.
As speakers and conversation starters, they connect with audiences on a personal level, sharing their stories with vulnerability and openness. Participants leave the conversation with the inspiration and tools to effect change in their everyday lives.
Melissa DePino and Michelle Saahene continue the conversation they started that day in the Philadelphia Starbucks as speakers who create awareness and inspire action. Their work at P2P has been featured on Jada Pinkett Smith’s Red Table Talk, NPR’s Radio Times and Code Switch, Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien, MSNBC’s AM Joy, and in numerous television, print and online outlets. They have spoken nationally to audiences ranging from 8 to 800 at corporations, conferences and events, universities and non-profit organizations, and are currently in the planning stages of the first annual P2P Show Up Summit to be held in Northern California in Spring 2021.
Boston Business Women
EP & Co.
Friends Central School
National Small Schools Conference
Northern Nevada Black Cultural Association
Pennsylvania Prison Society
Western Carolina University
Tufts University Changemakers Summit
University of Nevada, Reno
University of Houston, Downtown
Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Melissa and Michelle are both very warm, honest and open women who made those who participated feel VERY comfortable with sharing their own experiences and leaving the floor open to ask daring questions. The turnout was amazing and it allowed people to leave feeling confident, motivated and excited to do their part, individually, in creating a more equal and just society. As a team, these two ladies work great together, the conversation flowed very well and emitted the exact impact I was hoping for - thank you so much Michelle and Melissa!
Michelle and Melissa were our keynote speakers for our Inaugural Changemakers Summit, and I couldn’t think of a better way to start the day. They gave our audience an open and honest account of their story, of which the moral is that we can all utilize our voices collectively for the greater good of society to dismantle systemic inequality. I am excited to see them flourish in the community and would highly recommend working with them.
Michelle and Melissa provided an interactive and change-inspiring conversation about race and justice. Their activism through a shared event birthed a well-matched partnership. Both relatable and attainable, they model a vision for sustained learning and understanding that can foster real transformation of the embedded structure of racism. We consider Michelle and Melissa to be very strong leaders in this space, having taught us to learn, speak-up and amplify.
Throughout the conversation, I was getting notifications from various employees saying that they were learning so much and loving the format. I wish this could have lasted much longer but I know it will make a positive impact and help us do better.
Ms. Melissa DePino and Ms. Michelle Saahene were authentic and engaging, thereby providing an example of how critical conversations on pervasive structural racism can be made accessible to students, faculty and staff. They engaged us with compassion and grace, resulting in a rich conversation across a diverse audience.
J. Akif Uzman
Michelle and Melissa are very informed and engaging facilitators. They conducted a very successful workshop that sparked crucial dialogue for my organization. I highly recommend them!