Communications Strategist

I'm a communications strategist.  I've organized, led, collaborated, co-curated, facilitated over 60 events in the last seven years. From state institutions, non-profit organizations to community projects, I've crafted the communications components for successful public programs and events. Here are a few images to reflect the breadth my work.


In 2018, I co-authored 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! 

Book Cover.jpg

Web & Graphic Designer 

I LOVE using text, color, imagery, and digital texture to create a visual experience. For these projects, I've worked carefully with clients and led teams of developers to ensure that each aspect of the design represents a unique vision. 

Cover page of toolkit
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Capitol Forum website
Moments of Justice_edited

National Communications Coordinator 

Essence has coordinated the national multi-media campaigns. She blends her expertise in creative design and digital branding with a vast 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 organizations, campaigns, and city-wide endeavors: 

Standard of Living
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MY Business Card for SJI - BACK SIDE-
RHE Logo mini

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