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Margarita Anderson and her family made history and dominated headlines as national media covered their year-long stand living exclusively off Black businesses, professionals, and products for an entire year. This first-ever real-life case study in self-help economics was called The Empowerment Experiment (EE). Their experiment resulted in a landmark study conducted by Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business which proved with the data from the Anderson’s journey how incremental support of Black businesses can rescue the Black community and improve the American economy as a whole.
Margarita, a first-generation Cuban-American, has a BA in Political Science from Emory University; and earned a Juris Doctor (JD) and Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Chicago, where President Barack Obama was her law professor and mentor. Before the experiment, she was an aide to civil rights icon, Congressman John Lewis, the speechwriter for the Mayor of Atlanta, a strategy executive at McDonald’s Corporation, and a strategy consultant..
Since the experiment, Margarita has become the face of a conscious consumerism movement uniting consumers, corporations, and the quality Black businesses that can rescue struggling communities and provide role models to Black youth. A sought-after speaker, she tours the country inspiring more consumer and corporate engagement of Black professionals and firms. Margarita appears on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, C-SPAN, PBS Newshour, and CBS Morning News, among many other national television and radio shows$and uses her growing platform to increase awareness about economic inequalities that starve Black neighborhoods and deny Black businesses, and how proactive support of Black businesses can create jobs and curb crime in America.
Maggie lives in Oak Park, Illinois with her husband John (AB, Economics, Harvard University, 1993; MBA, Finance, Kellogg Graduate School of Management, 1999) and their daughters, Cori and Cara.
“I want to extend my heartfelt “thank you” for all you did in helping us host Ms. April Ryan as our 2018 MLK, Jr. keynote speaker. Ms. Ryan was absolutely amazing last night!! She was captiva
“I want to extend my heartfelt “thank you” for all you did in helping us host Ms. April Ryan as our 2018 MLK, Jr. keynote speaker. Ms. Ryan was absolutely amazing last night!! She was captivating, insightful, and delivered a powerful message with words of hope, love, and a call to action to the audience. They were utterly enthralled by her presence and presentation.
I would like to also add that I thoroughly enjoyed the pleasure of meeting Ms. Ryan. She was so personable, pleasant, down-to-earth and very gracious and accommodating with the guests. She was patient with each question and stayed until every person had their book signed or picture taken. I would not hesitate to have her visit our campus again. I was so impressed and grateful for her contributions to our campus community in this role, but even more so for the work and accomplishments she is making in journalism, politics, and keeping integrity in the profession.
Lastly, I would like to acknowledge the wonderful and professional work of Ms. Kim Lowery in her role in ensuring a positive and successful program. She was thorough in providing the details of the travel itinerary and ensured that we had all the information necessary in preparation for Ms. Ryan’s visit. It was a pleasure working with her on this engagement.
Thank you again for the work you do and the rewarding collaborations we enjoy with your agency. I look forward to future interactions.”
“Meeting you both today was a great experience for me and my career development! I learned so much and truly valued your expertise, insight and probing questions. You really got my wheels turning and focused solely on the success of building my brand. As I mentioned, this was a new experience for me and it was a great opportunity to be ultra successful in 2015! As I recap my notes, I just wanted to send you a note of sincere thanks.”
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