Leila McDowell Keynote Speaker

  • Journalist, progressive communications strategist, political adviser and activist
  • National Communications Strategist for Reverend William Barber and the Poor People's Campaign
  • Former VP of Communications, NAACP

Leila McDowell's Biography

Leila McDowell Speaker Profile: 

Leila McDowell is a journalist, progressive communications strategist and political adviser and activist.  She is the National Communications Strategist for Reverend William Barber and the Poor People’s Campaign. Leila embraces journalism as a critical part of democracy and a vital key to informing the nation with facts and truth.  She has worked with Sirius XM, NPR, AP, CNN, Inner City Broadcasting, the ABC affiliate in Harrisburg, Pa and WPIX-TV in New York, she serves as chief DC correspondent for the independent international television network Arise TV which broadcasts in London and throughout Africa and is also a radio personality on Radio One’s Magic 95.9 in Baltimore. She is also currently on the air with I Heart Radio. Leila has covered numerous international stories including being embedded during the war with the Sahara based guerrilla group fighting Morocco and extensively covering the Palestinian Israeli conflict. She has interviewed controversial figures from the late Fidel Castro to the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.

In addition to journalism, Leila served as VP for Communications with the NAACP under then President Ben Jealous, and has been a communications strategist or VP with  nonprofits ranging  from immigrant rights  and civil rights groups to the political PAC Emily’s List.  She formed the nation’s first African American woman owned PR firm with former reporter Gwen McKinney dedicated solely to social change clients (now McKinney Associates).  She worked for Nelson Mandela, and several other heads of state as well as with many civil rights and progressive U.S. groups.

She is the co-founder of the National Alliance of Third World Journalists, an organization formed in the 1980’s to bring information about African liberation movements and countries or movements often vilified by the U.S. government during the cold war.  During that time, for example, the African National Congress headed by Nelson Mandela was considered a terrorist group by the U.S.

Leila has been an activist since she joined the Black Panther Party as one of its youngest members while she was in high school.

Speaking topics:

  • Journalism
    • Journalism and democracy
    • The evolution of journalism in the U.S. and corporate influence
    • Journalism as a career
  • International issues particularly the developing and third world
  • Activism and social change from the Black Panthers to movements today
  • The national discourse on race
  • Building political power: particularly among women and people of color
  • Developing winning communications strategies (this is a very interactive presentation involving audience role play focused on crafting and staying on message as well as techniques on how to garner media attention)

 

For availability and speaker fees, please contact Leila McDowell’s speaking agent at Chartwell here, or call +1 972 385 1021 for U.S. inquiries or +44 207 293 0864 for international inquiries.

Read More

Videos of Leila McDowell

Leila McDowell on MSNBC: Voter ID Laws and Disenfranchisement
Leila McDowell on MSNBC: Voter ID Laws and Disenfranchisement
Leila McDowell on MSNBC - No Armed Guards in Schools
Leila McDowell on MSNBC - No Armed Guards in Schools
Speaker Reel
Speaker Reel

Check Leila McDowell's speaking availability and fees

Interested in booking Leila McDowell to speak at an event? Please provide your details and we’ll get in touch within 24 hours.

    View our related Speakers

    Lucy Hawking Speaker
    Exclusive
    Lucy Hawking
    Influential Populariser of Science
    Andrew Sheng Speaker
    Andrew Sheng Speaker
    Exclusive
    Andrew Sheng
    Expert on Banking & Finance in Asia
    Adah Parris Speaker
    Adah Parris Speaker
    Exclusive
    Adah Parris
    Futurist, Keynote Speaker, Cultural Strategist; TED2019 Emerging Innovator
    Merryn Somerset Webb Speaker
    Exclusive
    Merryn Somerset Webb
    Editor in Chief, MoneyWeek, and Financial Times columnist
    Lucrezia Reichlin Speaker
    Exclusive
    Lucrezia Reichlin
    Co-founder and Director of Now-Casting Economics Ltd
    Lionel Barber Speaker
    Exclusive
    Lionel Barber
    Editor, Financial Times (2005-2020)
    Bonnie Glaser Speaker
    Exclusive
    Bonnie Glaser
    Director of the China Power Project at CSIS
    Dr John C. Hulsman Speaker
    Exclusive
    Dr John C. Hulsman
    Top Geopolitical Analyst
    Maelle Gavet Speaker
    Exclusive
    Maelle Gavet
    Chief Operating Officer, Compass Real Estate Group
    Camille Fournier Speaker
    Exclusive
    Camille Fournier
    Former Chief Technology Officer, Rent The Runway