Los Angeles-based writer and editor Liz Courquet-Lesaulnier is the managing director of Word In Black. She has written about racial justice, gender equality, education, health, and culture for several national websites and print publications, including Ebony, BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post, and Good Housekeeping.
She previously worked as the managing editor for BahaiTeachings.org, as the communications director for 826 National, and was the founding managing editor for Shondaland.com, a women’s empowerment and lifestyle website from television mogul Shonda Rhimes. Liz was also the education and culture editor for TakePart, the digital arm of Participant Media, where she specialized in coverage of equity and diversity in public schools, access to and preparation for college for children of color, and the intersection of public health and racism.
Prior to that, Liz worked as the education editor at GOOD magazine, and she was also the education ambassador for the $20 million-dollar Pepsi Refresh Project, a joint venture between GOOD and Pepsi. Before her career in journalism, Liz worked as a classroom teacher in both Guangzhou, China, and Compton, California, and on Teach For America’s Los Angeles staff, where she provided professional development and support to first and second-year K-12 teachers in the Compton, Lynwood, and Los Angeles Unified school districts. Liz is also one of the stars of the 2019 Depeche Mode documentary “Spirits in the Forest,” which premiered in more than 70 countries. She is a breast cancer survivor, has run nine marathons, volunteers in her community, and cheers for the accomplishments of her two sons, Olinga and Toussaint.
Education Data Reporter
Maya Pottiger is a data journalist for Word in Black. She was previously a data journalist for the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism at the University of Maryland, where she earned both her BA and Master of Journalism. Her work has been featured in publications across the country.
Alexa Imani Spencer
Alexa Imani Spencer is a health reporter for Word In Black. She’s a journalist and researcher with experience covering issues, including the Black maternal health crisis and the impact of gun violence on the lives of children. A former suburbs and breaking news reporter at The Commercial Appeal, her work has also appeared in The Washington Informer, The AFRO, Black Enterprise, USA TODAY, and more.
Writer and content creator Nadira Jamerson is the Digital Editor for Word In Black. Nadira graduated from Howard University with a B.A. in English. She has worked as a journalist for various print and digital publications for the past five years, and as a creative director with SiKK Magazine and Converse. Her focus is to create space for Black individuals to express the complexities of their communities and identities through an honest and inspiring lens.
Health Data Reporter
Anissa Durham is the health data reporter for Word in Black. She earned her bachelor’s degree in marketing from National University. As a former general assignment reporter for inewsource, Anissa reported on historically neglected communities and systemic racism. Her work has also appeared in The San Diego Union-Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Voice of San Diego, and more.
Aziah Siid is the education reporter for Word In Black. She graduated from Morgan State University with a B.S in multimedia journalism. Aziah is a journalist with a background in K-12 teaching, aiding young individuals with disabilities, and involvement in the betterment of underserved schools around New York City. Her focus is to highlight the topics impacting the Black community, specifically covering Black children and their families through an asset point of view. Her work has appeared in the Baltimore Business Journal, USA TODAY, The AFRO, and more.
Bria Overs is the finance reporter at Word In Black, based in the Washington, D.C. area. Her reporting is focused on financial literacy, wealth building, and the economic development of the Black community. Bria previously worked at Insider as a Special Projects Editor and has work published in the Los Angeles Wave Newspapers, Rewire.org, ENTITY Mag, and more.
Climate Justice Correspondent
Willy Blackmore is a freelance writer and editor covering food, culture, and the environment. He lives in Brooklyn.
Racial Healing Correspondent
A veteran journalist, political analyst, and essayist, Joseph Williams has been published in a wide range of publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Politico, The Boston Globe, The Atlantic, and US News & World Report. A California native, Williams is a graduate of the University Of Richmond and a former Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. He lives and works in metro Washington, D.C.
Local Media Association
Chief Executive Officer
Nancy Lane is the dynamic leader of Local Media Association, a thriving and innovative organization that works with over 2,800 local media brands (newspapers, TV stations, radio stations, digital news sites & more), as well as several hundred R&D partners in the industry. LMA’s mission is to help local media companies discover, vet, and test business models that will support news.
She is the 2019 recipient of the Borrell Award of Merit, presented each year to an executive who has done the most to foster innovation in the local media industry.
LMA assists media companies with digital and cultural transformation via cutting-edge programs, conferences, webinars, research, experiential opportunities & training. Lane is the author of numerous industry reports over the past few years on a wide variety of subjects. She blogs about disruptive innovation on a regular basis and is a sought-after speaker at media events in North America and Europe.
Lane’s top focus areas for 2020 are: the launch of three news collaboratives, that also focus on business transformation; three funds that have collectively raised $1.9MM to date — the fund for local journalism, the fund for Black journalism, and the COVID-19 local news relief fund; the launch of the Center for Journalism Funding including a lab with 15 publishers and The Branded Content Project with 24 beta partners.
She has developed LMA into one of the most progressive and forward-thinking media associations in the world.
Lane spent 13 years in the newspaper industry as publisher, ad director, and senior-level executive in Pa., Conn. and Mo. before taking over LMA in 2000.
She is also the Immediate Past President of the Villanova University Alumni Association.
Chief Operating Officer
Jay Small is Chief Operating Officer of Local Media Association. He helps guide and oversee key LMA programs serving the local media industry, including conferences, Innovation Missions and other events; Chief Digital Clubs and Chief Content Clubs; R&D initiatives; and enabling technology and content platforms.
He previously served as President of Cordillera Digital, a division of Cordillera Communications that drove digital strategy, sales, marketing, and operations for TV stations nationwide. A transformative executive with a background in business leadership and creative arts, Small held senior posts at The E.W. Scripps Co., Belo Corp., and Thomson Consumer Electronics. He has also driven digital growth as a strategic consultant, with clients including major media groups, trade associations, a global pharmaceuticals company, financial institutions and small businesses.
Small earned an MBA from Kennesaw State University and a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science from Southern Illinois University. A guitar enthusiast, he enjoys performing in rock/blues bands.
Branded Content Manager
Julia is a branded content strategist and innovative project manager who is leading a combined initiative focused on branded content for the Local Media Association, Local Media Consortium, and the Facebook Journalism Project. A former Gray Television executive with extensive branded content experience, Campbell is leading a group of 29 broadcasters, print, and digital publishers who are testing out promising business models. The ultimate goal is to report back to the industry and provide playbooks that publishers can use to succeed and grow revenue in their local markets.
Campbell spent nearly a decade at Gray Television, previously as vice president of media systems, where she created MomsEveryday, an award-winning television, digital, social, and OTT branded content initiative focused on helping local businesses connect with families across the country while creating profitability for the TV stations. In addition to extensive branding experience, Campbell is familiar with the challenges and opportunities of local news, having served in director and editor positions at a number of local and national TV stations, including CNN. Her media career has crossed through some of the smallest of markets, like Casper, Wyoming, to some of the largest such as Atlanta. Campbell earned her bachelor of science in journalism from the University of Colorado Boulder.
The Branded Content Project
With over three decades of marketing experience, Peter Lamb has worked with some of the world’s largest media companies and helped orchestrate some of their most impressive successes. As a strategy consultant, Peter transforms media companies to make them more efficient, more competitive, and more profitable. For Peter’s clients, this entails an unprecedented focus on NEW-NEW revenue, an approach that targets customers that have never used the client’s products or services.
Born in Cape Town, South Africa, Peter Lamb went on to become an internationally-known tennis star, competing at both Wimbledon and the US Open between 1975 and 1982. He earned an undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University and his MBA from the Harvard Business School. Peter then set about doing marketing work for big names like IBM and Harte Hanks Communications until 1991, when he founded Lamb Consulting and began harnessing his unique and proven approach to marketing and business to guide publications all over the world.
Since the inception of Lamb Consulting, Peter has worked with an extensive list of clients that span the globe. He has consulted with El Clasificado, the largest weekly Spanish-language publication in the US, the Wall Street Journal, Google, and Facebook. He has also advised the Black Press Media Group in Canada, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, and Star-Metroland Media. From Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Hungary, Great Britain, and Singapore to Toronto, Los Angeles, and New York— Peter has helped transform publications and empower them to become more effective and profitable. His speaking engagements, seminars and webinars have been endorsed by many national/international media events, including the WAN-IFRA World Newspaper Congress, International Classified Marketing Association, Local Media Association, and more.
When Peter isn’t busy transforming businesses, he spends his time with his family and enjoying the outdoors. He’s an avid reader and finds his inspiration from the stories of athletes, entertainers, and world figures that have overcome difficult circumstances to achieve something great.