Marcia Ann Gillespie
Former Editor-in-Chief, Ms. and Essence
Marcia Ann Gillespie is a trailblazer in the magazine industry, a leader in the women’s movement, a champion of gender of racial justice. A provocative writer and thinker, hers has been a consistent eloquent voice affirming the human potential for good, challenging inequality, pushing herself and others to hope, dare and strive for a better…
Marcia Ann Gillespie is a trailblazer in the magazine industry, a leader in the women’s movement, a champion of gender of racial justice. A provocative writer and thinker, hers has been a consistent eloquent voice affirming the human potential for good, challenging inequality, pushing herself and others to hope, dare and strive for a better world.
She is the author of Maya Angelou: A Glorious Celebration, an authorized biography published by Doubleday in April, 2008, and is currently writing a memoir titled When Blacks Became Americans. Marcia is also the current Professor of Diversity in Residence for the Johnetta B. Cole Global Diversity and Inclusion Institute at Bennett College.
She has been a driving force behind two of this nation’s most important women’s magazines, as the editor in chief of Essence from 1971-1980 and most recently as the editor in chief of Ms. from 1993-2001. Named the Editor in Chief of Essence at the age of 26, Marcia quickly proved her mettle by rapidly transforming the then fledgling publication into one of the fastest growing women’s magazines in the United States. During her tenure (1971-1980), Essence became a trusted source of inspiration, information and affirmation for millions of African American women and won a National Magazine Award, the industry’s most prestigious honor. A vice-president of Essence Communications, Inc. and a member of the board of directors, Marcia was named “One of the Fifty Faces for America’s Future” by Time magazine.
Her association with Ms. dates back to 1980 when she became a contributing editor. She then went on to become a featured columnist and the executive editor before being named the top editor in 1993. Under her leadership the magazine reached an ever more diverse readership, attracting increasing numbers of younger women to the fold. In addition to her role as editor-in-chief, Marcia was named the President of Liberty Media for Women, a limited liability corporation comprised of women investors that purchased the magazine in November 1998 and successfully relaunched the publication in March 1999. To further secure the publication’s future, she helped negotiate the magazine’s transfer to the Feminist Majority Foundation and officially turned the reins over in 2001.
Marcia Ann Gillespie’s extensive knowledge about the national and international women’s movements, issues of racial and gender justice, the media and business, and her keen interest in history and observations about current events and the changes and challenges confronting the American society, and her deep faith in our ability to rise informs her life and her work. A rousing, eloquent and in-demand public speaker, who brings both wit and wisdom to her talks, she regularly appears on university and college campuses and as a keynoter at conferences and events in the United States and abroad. In addition to her numerous public appearances, she maintains a thriving consultancy advising corporate and other clients on issues ranging from diversity to communications.
An award-winning writer, Marcia has also received a number of awards from professional and civic organizations including the Matrix award from New York Women in Communication, and the Mary MacLeod Bethune award from the National Council of Negro Women. Awarded a Doctor of Letters by her alma mater, Lake Forest College, she is also a recipient of the Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism, from the University Of Missouri School Of Journalism. Marcia serves on the Board of Advocates of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and on the Board of Directors for the New Federal Theater in New York City.
Ernie was perfect for our Elders Conference at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. We will definitely be using PDA again!
LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS
Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!
Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – KANSAS CITY
I hope that this message finds you well. We had a phenomenal time with Atsuko this past Thursday. We wanted to just let you know how amazing she was. All those that were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed her and had nothing but amazing things to say about her. Thank you for working with us to make sure this happened!
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust were very special and we were moved that she was willing to share them with everyone. Thank you again, PDA for all your hard work and dedication to make this program such a success!
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Dear PDA Group, Thank you so much for your hard work in scheduling our speaker! From the moment we reached out to you the first time, you worked with us on all details and logistics and kept us up-to-date on the progress. Thank you for all your hard work on making our event such a success! We couldn't have done it without you and your team!
Thank you again, Dr. Kimbrough, for a great presentation, our attendees are still talking about it!
Dr. Henry Lee's presentation was entertaining, insightful and wise. I, and everyone at Pfizer, especially appreciate the remarks you directed about following your passion and preparing yourself to excel. Thank you, everyone, at PDA for helping to make this happen!
The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg's speech was."
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL BREAKFAST, BOSTON, MLK SPEAKER
Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!
CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on our campus! Thank you PDA Group for your help from the first phone to the last you were with us every step of the way.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and definitely will bring him back!
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we thank you PDA and Dan for a successful event!! Dan was magnificent! Students really enjoyed the presentation. I know I did. Can't wait to bring in more programs with PDA Group.
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Thank you, Peter, for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one of the best speakers we've ever had!
A Conversation With Marcia Ann Gillespie
Media Goddess, Marcia Ann Gillespie on the Importance of Paying it Forward
Guest Author Marcia Ann Gillespie speaks at CHAPTERS 6:14:13
1 HOUR OR LESS