DR. Steve L. Robbins

Speaker, professor, writer, consultant… Dr. Steve L. Robbins wears many hats as a highly sought-after resource on issues of diversity, inclusion and cultural competence. Dr. Robbins works with numerous organizations across the country, assisting them in developing the necessary skills and environment that fully utilize the diverse human resources that abound in our world. Some of the organizations he has worked with include; Microsoft, Toyota, PepsiCo, Nordstrom, NASA, NSA, General Mills, Pfizer, Benjamin Moore Paints, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Herman Miller, Gerber Foods, the Federal Reserve Bank, National Cancer Institute, Trinity Health system, and a host of others.

A published author and highly requested keynote speaker, Dr. Robbins received his undergraduate degree in communication from Calvin College, and obtained his master's and Ph.D. in communication from Michigan State University. He presents at numerous conferences and workshops across the nation inspiring people with moving stories, humorous anecdotes and a powerful insight into human behavior. He also writes and edits the premier weekly Enewsletter on diversity and inclusion, Inclusion Insights! and is currently authoring a book, "Teachable Moments: Short Stories to Spark Diversity Dialogue."

His unique approach to creating diversity and inclusion challenges and inspires audiences to rethink their own realities and the realities of others. Often praised for his resonating, humorous style, his messages and stories bring a fresh and insightful perspective to the sometimes-dreaded subject of diversity. Dr. Robbins' life experiences have equipped him with an array of useful knowledge that he competently transfers to his audiences. Invariably, those who have heard him walk away motivated not only to think differently, but to behave differently.

Dr. Robbins is heavily involved in his community and has served on myriad organizational boards and committees. He was recently selected to serve on the Grand Rapids Mayor's Commission on Civil Rights Recognition. A former news producer at the NBC affiliate in Grand Rapids, MI, Dr. Robbins obtained his B.A. in Communication with Honors from Calvin College, and received his M.A. and Ph.D. from Michigan State University.

Dr. Robbins was recognized by the Knights and Ladies of Peter Claver in 2003 with its annual Racial Justice Unity Award. In 2002, Grand Rapids Magazine named Dr. Robbins one of its "20 People to Watch." Under his direction, the Woodrick Institute for the study of Racism and Diversity was recognized by the City of Grand Rapids in 2003 for its work in healing racism and diversity, and in 2002 the Institute was named a "Champion of Diversity" by the United Way's Project Blueprint. Dr. Robbins received the Grand Rapids Jaycees "Outstanding Young Grand Rapidian" award in 1998. This award followed a "Tapestry Network! Achiever" Award in 1997.

Born in Vietnam, Dr. Steve L. Robbins immigrated to the United States when he was five years old. He and his mother faced many challenges as Vietnamese immigrants in a new land, during a time when there was much anti-war and anti-Vietnamese sentiment. Working through and rising out of the challenges of poverty, discrimination and the tough streets of Los Angeles, Dr. Robbins now brings an insightful perspective on issues of diversity, inclusion, and the power of caring. His talks and workshops are filled with intriguing stories, humor and a keen understanding of the human condition.

Here is a sampling of comments from those who have heard Dr. Robbins speak.

  • "… presents information that we all need. Love his style.". "Made difficult issues easy to understand."
  • "Speaker was phenomenal!"
  • "Steve is able to present threatening information in a non-threatening manner."
  • "Speaker was great... would love to hear more from him."
  • "The best workshop on diversity I've ever been to, and I've been to a lot."
  • "Really got my attention and stimulated a lot of self-reflection."
  • "Speaker was great... knowledgeable and entertaining."
  • "Steve is an excellent and dynamic presenter."
  • "Great style... group felt comfortable with material that frequently causes discomfort."
  • "... very lively and interesting."
  • "I could listen to him for days… very knowledgeable, humorous and challenging.
  • "Lots of aha moments… I'm going to have to rethink my position on many issues."
  • "Great ability to relate presentation to real life... great examples."Quotes by Dr. Robbins:
  • "Justice requires those who suffer the least to speak up the most"
  • "Diversity is sometimes about counting people. Inclusion is always about making people count."
  • "When it comes to diversity, it's probably a good idea to minimize our certainty and maximize our curiosity."
  • "If it is true that a colorblind society is the end goal, we will never get there by being colorblind."
  • "We can strive for unity without expecting uniformity."
  • "Divesity, like life, is a journey of error correction."

Currently, Dr. Robbins resides in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He may be contacted for keynotes, presentations and workshops at the following: 
  Steve L. Robbins, PhD
  S.L. Robbins & Associates
  2469 Grand River Dr
  NE Grand Rapids, MI 49525

  Ph: 616.915.8424, Fax: 309.417.0515, Email: steve@slrobbins.com