Deirdre Cooper Owens, PhD

Award winning author and reproductive rights justice activist, Dr. Deirdre Cooper Owens is THE expert on the intersection of race and medical history.

Past Speaking Engagements

The Schomburg Center
London School of Economics
The Sport Art Museum
Brooklyn Historical Society
Princeton University
Morehouse College
The National Archives
March of Dimes
University of Limerick
United Nations
The Federal Reserve
Myovant Sciences

Speaking Options


Bias and Anti-Racism in the Medical Field

Medical racism is inarguable. Dr. Cooper Owens will provide a snapshot of the dismal state of medical racism for people of color using an engaging historical lens. In this talk, she also offers up necessary solutions and calls-to-action on how to provide necessary anti-racist medical care. 


Beyond Black History

How do many Americans learn about black history? Sadly, it is often broached through a trivia style approach instead of treated as necessary history in academic classrooms and corporate programs. What Dr. Cooper Owens knows is the real impact and value of Black History is about more than “firsts” and “the only.” In this talk, she contextualizes how Black history offers a more holistic interpretation of American history by dispelling countless myths. The audience will walk away with a deeper understanding of the contributions of people of color. (And for the record, George Washington Carver didn’t invent the peanut or peanut butter!)

Selected Media


Coming Soon!

About Deirdre

Dr. Deirdre Cooper Owens is an award winning author and a historian most known for her writings on slavery and the history of reproductive medicine. However, her superpower is that she speaks with courage and comfort about deeply unsettling topics. She has spoken at the United Nations, London School of Economics, Morehouse University, Princeton University, Harvard University, The March of Dimes, University of Limerick, Cedars Sinai Medical Center and hundreds of other organizations.

Hailing from South Carolina’s Gullah/Geechee Low Country, she comes from a long line of storytellers and preachers. Her ancestors gifted her with skills that move audiences from hearing the unimaginable to open hearts through the power of her authentic voice and compelling tales. Along the way, Dr. Cooper Owens has lived all over the United States and South Africa, written an award-winning book (Medical Bondage: Race, Gender and the Origins of American Gynecology), and earned a Ph.D. When she’s not chronicling the country’s past or advocating for reproductive justice for birthing people, Deirdre enjoys being a global citizen and proud middle-aged fashionista.

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