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Linda Johnson Rice, Business Speaker

Linda Johnson Rice

    • Chairman, Johnson Publishing Company
    • Chairman Emeritus, EBONY Media Holdings
Full Bio
Fee Range

$20,000 - $30,000

Travels From

Illinois

Ebony Exclusive

Ebony Exclusive

Linda Johnson Rice is Chairman of Johnson Publishing Company (JPC). JPC is comprised of a one of a kind archive of 4 million photographs, dating from the late 1940s to the present, featured in EBONY and Jet magazines, 200 works of art by modern African-American artists and Fashion Fair Cosmetics, a global prestige cosmetics brand for women of color. She is also Chairman Emeritus of EBONY Media Holdings, the parent company for EBONY and Jet brands. 

Rice has extensive corporate board service experience having served on Bausch & Lomb, Continental Bank, Quaker Oats, Dial Corporation, MoneyGram and Kimberly-Clark Corporation. Ms. Rice currently serves on the board of directors of Omnicom Group and Grubhub.

Ms. Rice’s leadership with not for profit organizations is extensive as well. She is a Trustee at the Art Institute of Chicago, President of the Chicago Public Library Board of Directors, Co-Chair of the Founding Council of The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, board member of After School Matters, Northwestern Memorial Corporation and the United Negro College Fund.

In recognition of her leadership and achievements, the Chicago Sun-Times named Rice among Chicago’s “100 Most Powerful Women” and one of the “Top 10 Women in Media.” Crain’s Chicago Business named her one of “The 20 Most Powerful Women in Chicago Business.” She also received the Women of Power Award from the National Urban League, the Trumpet Award from Turner Broadcasting, the Alumni Merit Award from the University of Southern California, and the Alumni of the Year Award from the Black Management Association at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Rice holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Education and Social Elevation: The Story of Johnson Publishing Company and Expanding African American Educational Opportunities

Education is the great equalizer, which is why the era of Civil Rights legislation began in earnest with Brown v. Board of Education. In the march toward equality, social justice and educational access must walk hand-in-hand in order to ensure a brighter future for all our children. Yet, economic and cultural barriers remain formidable obstacles for many minorities seeking to fulfill their academic potential and pursue the American Dream. These students need both knowledge and role models—education and inspiration—to succeed.

Ms. Rice will share how the history of Johnson Publishing Company, since its founding in 1942, has built partnerships between business, government and academia in order to expand access to education for minority scholars and widen the circle of opportunity for Americans of color.

Progress in Pictures: How Ebony and Jet told the story of the African-American Journey, From the Great Migration to the Present

When Ms. Rice’s father founded Johnson Publishing Company in 1942 thanks to a $500 loan, he sought to create an equivalent magazine to Life that would tell the story of the black experience in America. Over the next 75 years, in both vivid prose as well as indelible pictures, the pages of Ebony and Jet captured the stories of African-Americans, from the famous to the family next door. 

Ms. Rice will tell the story of how JPC helped shape the Civil Rights movement by informing and inspiring its audience, a mission which continues to reach millions of readers each month. Her speech will be punctuated by material from the company’s invaluable media archives – a treasure house of more than six decades worth of iconic cultural treasures, including feature interviews, photo profiles and performances from celebrities, newsmakers and famous Black Americans in the sciences, business, sports, politics, culture, civil rights, education, medicine, and more. Ms. Rice’s presentation tells a comprehensive and compelling story of America, its past and its present.

Don’t Brace for Change; Embrace It: Adapting to Change In a Transformational Business Market

As Chairman of Johnson Publishing Company (JPC), the largest African-American owned publishing firm in the United States, Linda Johnson Rice will take us through the choices she made to implement bold changes at her iconic company during a pivotal moment in its history. Learn how Rice made the critical business decisions to transition from CEO to Chairman, hire female senior
executive talent, and navigate the changing media landscape to maintain relevancy and market share. Leave the meeting inspired to embrace change in your professional life!

Dream, but Don’t Fall Asleep: a Message for Young People on What it Takes to Dream Big and Dare to Try

For many young people – especially young women – examples of large accomplishments are ubiquitous in popular culture. Yet, examples of how to reach them are not. Linda’s mother and father reached the heights of success and became examples of African American achievement for millions, especially to Linda as a young girl. More importantly, however, they gave her concrete examples of the hard work and the many middle steps it takes to reach such success. They set her on a journey to college and graduate school, and taught her to work her way up from the smallest jobs within the family company to ones of increasing responsibility and importance. Linda shares her story for younger audiences, particularly those in high school, about how to find the mentors that guide the way to success. And she encourages young people to earn the hard-won qualities necessary to realize their full potential. It is a story meant for strivers of all ages, and an inspirational message for everyone who dreams big and dares to try.

 

Speaking Topics:

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