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Michaela’s parents and grandparents lived under Jim Crow segregation laws. Here she outs this era as the domestic terrorism that it was and celebrates her ancestors legacy through creative project, Mad Free, while not absorbing their pain.
About the speaker
Michaela angela Davis is an image activist. She is a writer, cultural critic, fashion, beauty culture editor, editorial brand director, commentator, speaker, conversationalist and community servant who engages in and expands the conversation of identity, race, gender and beauty across all media.
Michaela is the creator of MAD FREE an exclusive content creating, cultural curating service-premiere project is “ Liberating Conversations About Image, Beauty & Power” a multi-platform conversation project with revolutionary women of color, and has brought it to South Africa, India, France, Australia, New Zealand and beyond. The newest, The Hair Tales: Real Stories from Phenomenal Women delightfully explores the intersections of Black hair heritage, identity politics and pop-culture. She serves as the editorial brand director at BETNetworks and was the chief editorial creative consultant for the rebranding CentricTV – The First Network Designed for Black Women garnering the Promax Gold Award 2015.
A sought-after commentator Michaela frequently appears on CNN, offering her insight on some of the most controversial topics in the past decade, including Travyon Martin, Ferguson, Baltimore, the #BlackLivesMatter movement, Rachel Dolezal and images of Blacks in Hollywood and beyond. She’s been featured on other networks, including OWN, PBS, Fox, MSNBC, BET, MTV, VH1, BBC, NBC and ABC. Michaela is frequently quoted in The New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, Ebony, Refinery29 and Jezebel.
Michaela’s extensive work has been rewarded by renowned organizations and publications. The NAACP of New York rewarded her with the “Centennial Woman Phenomenal Woman.” The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) gifted her with the “Keeper of the Flame” award for her work as an image activist. Huffington Post named her as one of the “Top 25 Women of Color on Twitter” and named her as its “Most Amazing Activist” award, the City of New York named her a “Trailblazer,” and the Feminist Press honored her for her “Empowerment” of women. She is a Brooklyn Community Service Human Spirit Award recipient and sits on the BCS Board of Directors
As a community servant and conversationalist, she’s been in discussion with the Black elite from Academy Award-winner Lupita N'yongo to Attorney General Loretta Lynch. She’s hosted numerous dynamic panel discussions for students at Howard University, Yale University, Spellman College, Middlebury College and NYU. Michaela was also invited as a guest speaker to Promax an annual conference featuring the world’s most innovative creatives, marketers and thought leaders for her influential work. But, with her heart still in the community, she has hosted panels at community centers, salons and local institutions in New York. Michaela serves on the board of Brooklyn Community Services and volunteers with Black Girls Rock! and ImageNation organizations.
Michaela’s made her mark as a cultural icon in the 1990s and 2000s. She was Essence Magazine’s only executive fashion, beauty and culture editor and Vibe Magazine’s first fashion director. But, she’s widely known as the former fashion director and Editor-in-Chief of the groundbreaking Honey Magazine when it was the fastest growing women’s magazine in the country. A pioneer in fashion, Michaela was one of the few Black women editors and fashion stylists in the industry, styling media powerhouses, like Diana Ross, Oprah Winfrey, Beyoncé and Prince. Her fashion editorials have been published in Vanity Fair, New York Magazine and others.
She lives in the People’s Republic of Brooklyn and is the mother of her dope daughter, Elenni Davis-Knight.
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