Jamilah Lemieux is an unapologetic cultural critic, activist and writer. Her work has appeared in dozens of national publications including Ebony, Essence, The Nation, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Guardian.
A renowned cultural critic and writer with a focus on issues of race, gender and sexuality, Jamilah Lemieux is a leading millennial feminist thinker, influencer and game-changing media maverick.
Lemieux formerly served as the Vice President of News and Men’s Programming for iOne Digital, where she helped spearhead the creation of CASSIUS, a progressive digital lifestyle platform and as the Senior Editor for EBONY magazine, where she played a key role in launching the publication’s website in 2012 and modernizing the brand voice and identity.
She recently departed the 9-to-5 world to strike out on her own and launched The Lemieux Group, a consulting firm that provides communications, public relations and crisis management services. In this capacity, she served as the Communications and Engagement Strategist to Cynthia Nixon’s campaign for governor of New York and is currently working as a Communications Strategist for Girls for Gender Equity, a leading grassroots organizing, advocacy, policy and service delivery organization centering youth of color within the racial and gender justice movement of the 21st century.
Lemieux’s written work has been featured via a host of print and digital platforms, including Essence, Mic, The Guardian, Colorlines, The Washington Post, The Columbia Journalism Review, The Nation and The New York Times. She penned the forward for the 2015 anniversary of Michele Wallace's Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman and the 2017 re-release of Ann Petry’s Miss Muriel and Other Stories.
She has appeared as a commentator on various news programs for CNN, ABC, CBS, BET, Buzzfeed, MTV2, and MSNBC, as well as Comedy Central's The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Vice’s Desus and Mero, TMZ and The Breakfast Club, the popular nationally syndicated morning radio show. In 2018, after years of calling for accountability for the famed R&B singer known for his mistreatment of underage girls and women, she was prominently featured in Lifetime’s critically acclaimed docuseries, Surviving R. Kelly
Lemieux's previous public speaking appearances include panels, keynotes and hosting duties at Columbia University, Vassar College, Howard University, SXSW, Georgetown, NYU, the Brooklyn Museum, Penn State, Morehouse College, Emory, the Claremont Colleges, the University of Iowa, Washington University in St. Louis and Harvard University.
She has been featured on The Root 100 list of the nation's most influential African Americans, and has been honored by Planned Parenthood, the New York City Council, the New York State Senate, Black Women's Blueprint, Walker’s Legacy and the Delta Rho Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.
A social media influencer since before the term had been coined, Lemieux is among “Black Twitter’s” most prominent voices, engaging an audience of over 187k followers with her musings on politics, culture and motherhood on a daily basis. She also has over 31K followers on Instagram and 17k Facebook fans.
So You're 'Woke'...Now What? How to Fight for Social Justice in Your Day-to-Day Life:
Heady conversations about equity, justice and radical change have moved from the margins of our society to the 'Trending Topics' lists on our favorite social media platforms, and millennials are engaging with these issues with a level of passion unseen since the politically charged 1960s and '70s--but that doesn't mean that everyone is cut out to be an organizer, nor prepared to take to the streets and protest. Luckily, there are many ways that you can apply your newly-acquired or recently upgraded understanding of the politics of identity and transform the world around you. This presentation will give attendees practical tips for being a more compassionate, engaged and active citizen with the courage to stand up for what is right and challenge inequality in their daily lives.
Let's Talk About Sex Positivity: What You Need to Know About Consent and Communication:
The 'me, too' movement has brought sexual violence to the forefront of our national dialogue, empowering survivors to speak up about their experiences and transforming the ways that they are recognized and affirmed in the workplace, at school, in their communities and beyond. However, there is still a great need to engage young people about predatory and inappropriate sexual behaviors before an incident takes place. This talk is designed to help young people understand how to give, obtain and withdraw consent, communicate effectively with partners/potential partners, and make wise, informed decisions with the health, safety and comfort of themselves and their partners in mind.
More Than Mom: Bringing Yourself Back to Life:
Motherhood is a gift like no other...because few other 'gifts' would come with such a toll on the recipient! The expectations on us are incredibly high, but the resources and support needed to help us succeed are often quite elusive. Many women find themselves adapting to the unreasonable standards and the demanding workloads without making time to center their own needs, desires or identities in any meaningful way. This talk will help moms of all creeds, colors, social classes and backgrounds find ways to achieve a better semblance of balance and reintegrate their personal and professional interests into their new way of life.
I’m Not Okay, And It’s Fine: Breaking Up with “Strong Black Womanhood”
Women are so often praised for what they can endure and judged by their ability to care for and support others, from the workplace to the home and beyond. Black women in particular are routinely expected to perform Herculean tasks of emotional labor and forced to contort constantly in order to navigate the racism and sexism we face in personal and professional spaces—and our mental health is often neglected in the process. The toxic caricature of the “strong Black woman” who is, as late playwright Ntozake Shange wrote, “impervious to pain,” finds others unable to recognize the anguish, anxiety and sadness behind the mask of fortitude we often wear to protect ourselves, all too aware of the lack of empathy we can expect to receive if we open up about our struggles or simply convinced we are needed by too many others to require care for ourselves. There is also a particular stigma and shame that comes from sects of the Black church that have a “pray it away” approach to mental illness that discourages many Black women from seeking therapy. In this talk, I will address the importance of all people, Black women in particular, feeling empowered to seek mental health services as needed, as well as the power of taking off one’s superwoman cape and allowing herself the space to say “I’m not okay” without feeling that she will let others down by tending to herself.