Dr. Derrick Gay is an internationally recognized consultant to organizations, both domestically and abroad, on issues of Diversity, Inclusion and Global Citizenship. Dr. Gay collaborates with thought leaders to foster empathy, enrich inclusion and cultivate cultural competency.
Dr. Gay has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, El Tiempo Latino and on NPR, The Brian Leher Show, and 60 Minutes. Dr. Gay has also produced two TEDx Talks: "The Double-Edged Sword," which explores the irony that the word diversity often undermines diversity goals ; and "Why Elephants Hold the Key to Success in the 21st Century," which explores the nature of racial discourse in the United States. In addition to his direct work in the nursery-12th grade world, Dr. Gay also advises Sesame Street; Carney, Sandoe, and Associates; KIPP Foundation; Peabody Conservatory; American Montessori Society; and the Einhorn Family Charitable Trust Foundation. He is also serves as a Board Member of The Caedmon School and The National Guild for Community Arts Education.
Dr. Gay is a proud graduate of Whitney Young Magnet High School; Merit School of Music; Oberlin College (BA in Romance Languages); Oberlin Conservatory of Music (BM in Opera); Columbia University (MA, Klingenstein Program, Educational Leadership in Independent Schools); and The University of Pennsylvania (Ed.D Educational Leadership).
Within the school world, Dr. Gay is equally comfortable and effective working with students, faculty and staff, parents, administrators and boards. He has partnered with scores of schools in wide-ranging work including facilitating parent meetings and workshops; conducting Inclusivity Climate Assessments; guiding administrative teams and Boards through Strategic Planning; presenting student workshops to Lower School, Middle School and Upper School students; training Boards on issues of community life; delivering keynotes to regional consortia; and providing faculty and staff professional development.
With non-profits and businesses, Dr. Gay has partnered with companies to cultivate organization-specific business rationales for engaging in Diversity and Inclusion work: hiring and retaining the best talent. Consultations have included delivering keynotes; providing executive coaching for leaders; designing and facilitating Inclusion workshop for employees; designing and executing Climate Assessments to measure the ways in which employees perceive a sense of belonging; partnering with HR to ensure that policies are inclusive; and evaluating recruiting, interviewing and onboard processes.
Recognizing the 21st-century reality of an interconnected global society, Dr. Gay intentionally deepens his own cultural competency through language study and extensive travel. He is fluent in English, Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese, and has pursued studies in Latin, Korean and German. Dr. Gay has recorded the audio exercises for Breaking the Barrier in English, French and Spanish. He has lived and worked in Argentina, Belgium, Spain, France, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Turkey, Australia, Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, Canada, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Ecuador, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Jamaica, Guadalupe, Lebanon, Uganda, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Indonesia.
Music has always been a vital part of Dr. Gay's life since the age of 7. He trained as a violinist, violist, vocalist as well as an orchestral and choral conductor at the MERIT School of Music, a conservatory in Chicago, IL that leverages music to promote peace and inclusion. His later studies at Oberlin College and Conservatory, an institution renowned for its long-standing commitment to inclusion, followed in this vein. Dr. Gay regards his current work as a continuation of the values instilled in him throughout his education and often incorporates music into student programs in addition to moderating discussions between young international musicians on the intersection of music and peace. As a vocalist, Dr. Gay also maintains an active operatic and oratorio career.