Portfolio

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Communications Strategist

I most often work as a communications strategist. This means I collaborate with national and local institutions, non-profit entities and community organizations to develop impactful digital and print communications materials. As a strategist, I've also organized over 100 public programs and led communications campaigns for 65 successful conferences and events.

 

Below you'll find a few examples of my work.  

Author 

In 2018, I wrote Lifting As They Climbed: Mapping a History of Black Women on Chicago's South Side with Mariame Kaba. This guidebook features 48 Black women who contributed to the development of Chicago from the mid-19th century to today. It tells a story of Black women activists, educators and artists who lived and worked on Chicago’s South Side by taking readers on a tour of relevant landmarks and locations.  Visit: LiftingAsTheyClimbed.com

The book has been featured in Chicago Tribune, Rolling Out Magazine, Blavity, Southside Weekly, and many others! 

Lifting As They Climbed book cover

 Graphic Design & Campaign Creation

I love using text, color, imagery, and digital texture to create a visual experience. In an era of constant visual stimulation, elements that spark interest and encourage action is deeply important. Along with designing for organizational needs, I conduct virtual and in-person trainings on how to easily use free tools to make impactful campaigns and content.  

 Web Development

The website is one of the most vital aspects an organizations or business. I've worked carefully with clients and led teams of developers to ensure that the website's design represents a collective vision. 

Geographies of Justice website
Illinois Humanities Council Capitol Forum Website
Lifting As They Climbed website
Chicago Freedom School MOJ Website
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National Communications Coordinator 

I have led national multi-media campaigns by blending my expertise in creative design and digital branding with my knowledge of strategic publicity and targeted outreach.  

Marketing & Branding

Each organization and national endeavor must have a unique identity that communicates the mission. Check out some of the logos I've designed and branding campaigns I've led!

Writer & Editor

What we communicate is just as important as how we communicate. My background in journalism has given me the foundational skills to ensure strong written content for each project.

Sports Clip

Black Youth Aspire to Compete in Euro-centric Sport written by Essence McDowell for Afro American Newspaper

Interview with Victoria Rowell

A personal interview with Victoria Rowell published in the Afro American Newspaper

Press Release

Johannesburg Screening press release written by Essence McDowell for the Public Square

Humanities Month

Humanities Month press release written by Essence McDowell