born 1969

The youngest of 6 children, Mellody Hobson grew up in Chicago with a loving, encouraging mother who was also unflinchingly honest. About being black, about being a woman, about being poor. It gave her the determination to become ~ and stay ~ financially healthy…something she now helps others, especially people of color, achieve through financial literacy education. 

Mellody worked her way to the top of Ariel Investments. It's one of the only financial firms where you'll see women + minorities in the boardroom. She wants to see that repeated until it's no longer "weird." So, she's become a champion of "color brave" ~ a movement inspired by her 2014 TED talk. "We want to go there," she says of the diversity conversation. And, she is.

bio bits

her quotes

all quotes by Mellody Hobson (12)

"Although I don't have much (yet) what I do have is yours."

to sister Pat Hamel {quoted in Vanity Fair} | september 1987

"I'm confident in a very bright future, years down the road."

I'm No Fortuneteller | july 2009

"The first step to solving any problem is to not hide from it, and the first step to any form of action is awareness."

TED | march 2014

"Be brave for the kids who are dreaming those dreams today."

Color blind or color brave? | march 2014

"We cannot afford to be color blind. We have to be color brave."

TED | march 2014

"It would be lovely to think that success was a result of my being extraordinary, but the answer is far more boring. I worked hard. Really hard."

Own Who You Are | april 2014

"I have always been ambitious—and I say that with pride."

Own Who You Are | april 2014

"As often as she told me that 'life isn't fair,' she also told me, 'You can do anything.'"

Own Who You Are | april 2014

"I want my daughter to be proud of me, and because of that I work really hard for her."

Why Mellody Hobson stopped apologizing for being a black woman | december 2014

"Let's make sure we’re audacious enough to not leave anything on the table."

Starbucks Board Member Mellody Hobson: 'Let’s be Color Brave' | march 2015

"Do more than accept diversity: Seek out diversity. I promise it will make you more interesting, more informed, and more understanding."

commencement speech | may 2015

"Hard work plus bravery equals…success. Imagination plus bravery equals…creativity. Love plus bravery equals…happiness."

University of Southern California commencement address | may 2015
  • Quotabelle profile
  • Mellody Hobson

curated with care by Meghan Miller Brawley {may 2015}