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New Leaders Council

Communications Weekend

This weekend, Executive Board member Danny Norris welcomed fellows to Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law with a brief history lesson on TSU and historically black colleges and universities. The law school was the perfect setting for a weekend focusing on strategic communications.


Maya Ford kicked off day one with an inspiring introduction to the strategy behind messaging and framing. She stressed the importance of understanding and utilizing different new media platforms to target audiences.

Sarah Schimmer transitioned into concrete details about writing press releases. She tied her session to Ford’s presentation as well as the next discussion, when fellows broke out into small groups to develop their own press releases.


During lunch, print, television, and radio journalists Veronica Flores-Paniagua, Jeff FranksLisa GraySecunda Joseph, and Miya Shay provided insider information on how to meet and develop relationships with the media, and shared stories of their own experiences and careers. After a lively discussion, each reporter paired up with a small group to offer feedback on their press releases.

At the end of the day, Advisory Board member Juliet Stipeche led a discussion about crisis communications.

On Sunday, NLC co-founder Mike Moschella conducted an intensive workshop on public speaking and communications. The fellows were engaged and inquisitive about public perceptions and messaging, so Mike made himself available that evening and the next day for smaller meetings with fellows who wanted to dive deeper into aspects of his training.

The fellows dedicated time to their two key projects, their capstones and the fellows fundraiser, both of which you’ll be hearing more about soon.

Many thanks to Advisory Board member Kristen Brauchle for providing lunch for the weekend. We appreciate everyone’s support and willingness to help our fellows.

Atlanta - Augusta - Austin - Boston - Broward - Capital District NY - Chicago - Cincinnati - Cleveland - Connecticut - Dallas - Denver - Des Moines
Detroit - Houston - Kentucky - Los Angeles - Louisiana - Madison - Maine - Maryland - Miami - Montana - Nashville - New Hampshre - New Jersey - New York City
North Carolina - Oakland - Omaha - Orlando - Palm Beach - Philadelphia - Pittsburgh - Rhode Island - Sacramento - San Antonio - San Francisco - Silicon Valley