What is your craft?
Helping organizations communicate effectively with diverse populations. As a strategist and client partner, I have deep expertise in multicultural populations, and 20+ years experience leading integrated Hispanic, African American and LGBT marketing initiatives for clients including Pfizer, Citibank, The American Heart Association and The Ad Council.
Tell us about a favorite projecT.
I’m very proud of an unbranded initiative I collaborated on for Pfizer to educate African Americans about diabetic nerve pain, and to motivate them to talk to their doctors (mistrust in the medical establishment is a key cultural barrier for African Americans) as a first step to diagnosis and treatment. We partnered with the American Diabetes Association on the campaign and utilized beloved comedian and actor Cedric the Entertainer (whose father suffers from diabetic nerve pain) as spokesperson to reach the audience in a culturally relevant and impactful way. The multi-channel effort drove a significant uptick in African American diagnosis rates…and also won a number of awards!
What is your secret power?
Four languages, three degrees, two feet I run on every day and dance on every week, and one extraordinary partner in life and in crime!
Describe a mentor of yours.
Maria Rosa Menocal: brilliant teacher, medieval scholar, author, and inconoclast. I met Maria in the Romance Languages department of U. Penn the week before my freshman classes started, and we developed a bond that spanned decades. Maria was the epitome of intellectual fearlessness, and taught me that the mislabeled Dark Ages could be a valuable model for society today, as embodied in the title of her book “Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain.” She taught me about personal fearlessness as well. “When life throws an impossible situation at you, decide who you would want to play you in the movie version and play that role to the HILT.”