DEIB Program: Intersectionality and Belonging
Award-winning author and filmmaker Marra B. Gad has been sought after for her profound insights and expertise leading conversations about belonging, equity, inclusion, supporting organizations and companies in their goal of building greater acceptance and connection in the workplace. Sharing her personal experience as a Black and Ashkenazi Jewish child adopted by a White and Jewish family in the 1970s, Gad unpacks the toll of racism, bias, and rejection on mental health, offering an unparalleled perspective on the reality of corporate DEI efforts. Gad tailors her talk to each audience and focuses on a powerful theme: how to expand the idea of what it means to belong and come together to embrace our differences and build more welcoming and resilient cultures.
Author Talk: The Color of Love
Based on her award-winning memoir, THE COLOR OF LOVE: A Story of a Mixed-Race Jewish Girl, author and advocate Marra B. Gad shares the powerful story of her experience as a transracial adoptee. Winner of the 2020 Midwest Book Award for autobiography, Gad is ‘a grateful child of adoption’, a gifted storyteller, and a thought leader on the expansiveness of identity and what it means to find belonging. For groups and organizations looking to engage on topics of resilience, inclusion, and to cultivate hope, Gad delivers a compelling and inspiring event.
Alzheimer’s and Caregiving
Award-winning author Marra B. Gad chronicles her experience as a caregiver for her great Aunt Nette, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, in her memoir THE COLOR OF LOVE. Gad overcame a strained familial relationship to provide this care and shares profound insights about the transformational nature of this disease on both the patient and for their loved ones. Gad’s message of resilience and her focus on embracing the possibility of change is uplifting for groups of all kinds.
Adoption Advocacy: A Constantly Evolving Experience
As a grateful child of a transracial adoption, award-winning author Marra B. Gad celebrates her family and speaks intimately to the constantly evolving experience of adoption and being raised in a transracial family. As a Black and Ashkenazi Jewish child adopted by a White and Jewish family in the 1970s, Gad unpacks her experience navigating her world and shares an uplifting message of embracing our differences to find belonging.
Author and mental health advocate Marra B. Gad shares a profound message that resonates with college audiences
The award-winning author of THE COLOR OF LOVE: A Story of a Mixed-Race Jewish Girl MARRA B. GAD shares a powerful message of resilience and belonging that resonates deeply with college and university audiences. Student audiences connect deeply with her experience of intersectionality – she is a Black and Ashkenazi Jewish woman who was adopted by an Ashkenazi Jewish family – as well as her authentic and courageous insights about mental health awareness. For groups and organizations looking to engage on topics of resilience, inclusion, and belonging, Gad delivers a compelling and inspiring event.
When Gad spoke at the University of Maryland Panhellenic Association, they shared this rave review:
"Although Marra is not the typical speaker that is brought to Greek Life across the country, she perfectly delivered a perspective that inspired my community to want to be better in our efforts of combating racism and other forms of exclusion that have existed in Greek Life for over a century. Marra engaged beautifully on what it means to belong and how to accept the honest truth when sometimes that is hard, especially for young adults. Through sharing personal experiences, truly being an open book, and answering any questions that came her way, Marra instilled confidence in me as a leader and in my community."
Success Story: Award-winning author Marra B. Gad received a glowing review from her event with FCB Global
Award-winning author MARRA B. GAD joined global agency network Foote, Cone & Belding (FCB) for a fireside chat and made a major impact on their team. In a talk titled ‘Between Three Worlds: Featuring Marra Gad’, the author of THE COLOR OF LOVE: A Story of a Mixed-Race Jewish Girl delved into her story of transracial adoption, and shared key actionable takeaways for the advertising industry about representation and cultivating inclusion in the workplace. As with all her sought-after events, Gad tailored her remarks for maximum resonance with the audience of 200 FCB employees, receiving a glowing review:
“On behalf of FCB, I wanted to let you know how delighted we were with Marra Gad. Her presentation was powerful, meaningful, and actionable. Her incredibly personal anecdotes had a large audience riveted from her opening reading through her last moment in the building. In 20+ years in the business, I have never seen a more attentive audience – or more appreciative. There were tears in the audience as advertising professionals engaged with her content. Then, in the 1:1s at the reception following, the personal interactions were deeply meaningful as well, with employees reacting to Marra as a mentor, leader, and friend. We had the most participation of any event this year, and I have heard nothing but wonderful feedback.
I would highly recommend Marra for any corporate event. Her preparation was evident, her message is powerful and needed, and her performance skills make for a one-of-a-kind presentation.” (FCB Global)
Marra B. Gad candidly discusses mental health and resilience
As a Black and Ashkenazi Jewish woman, MARRA B. GAD has experienced a lot of criticism, harassment, bullying and hate because of her identities and their intersections. Gad candidly shares her experiences with audiences about how the harassment led her to having suicidal thoughts as early as her teen years and connects her story to how belonging impacts mental health. This realization led her to become deeply committed to expanding and exploring the notion of belonging across multiple spectrums. Gad’s story is one of true resilience- being surrounded by negativity and both overt and “discreet” discrimination her entire life, growing through years of therapy, and finding her own happiness to become the person and advocate she is today. Audiences come away with powerful insights about mental health and personal growth, with a more empathetic perspective of those around them.
Marra B. Gad helps organizations have complicated conversations that move us closer to inclusivity and belonging
With the state of the world today, many organizations are thinking about diversity, inclusivity, and belonging, but don’t know where to begin in making real change. MARRA B. GAD understands the power a thoughtful conversation can have in creating unity, educating, and making positive changes.
A person with many marginalized identities as a Black and Ashkenazi Jewish woman adopted at birth, Gad is keenly aware that she doesn't fit into what are considered to be the traditional boxes we typically expect of people, overtly or subliminally. And she acknowledges that it can be challenging to talk about it. Instead, she encourages us all to take a step back from these boxes and look at each other as human beings with unique, nuanced experiences in life, but also with so much in common. Through disarming conversations and keynotes, Gad shows audiences that having these complicated conversations does not have to be all that complicated – we just have to start – and that examining our biases to become more inclusive is something we all have to do, no matter our identities.
From conversations on college campuses to discussions with corporations about where to start with inclusivity, Gad tailors her talk to each unique audience, but always shares one underlying theme – expanding on the idea of what it means to belong in order to come together based on our differences, embrace them, and embrace each other.
Marra B. Gad is an award-winning author, speaker and independent writer/producer. As president of Egad! Productions, she oversees the development and production of scripted television series and films.
A grateful child of adoption, Marra speaks internationally about her transracial adoption in 1970, and her experiences being Black and Ashkenazi Jewish through the lens of her debut memoir, THE COLOR OF LOVE: A Story of a Mixed-Race Jewish Girl, winner of the 2020 Midwest Book Award for Autobiography/Memoir.
Marra holds a BA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MA in Jewish History from Baltimore Hebrew Institute at Towson University. Deeply committed to expanding and exploring the notion of belonging across multiple spectrums, Marra is a member of Soho House International’s inaugural Inclusivity Board and a proud recipient of the 2022 Women of Reform Judaism's Women of Empowerment Award.