Chief Content Officer, theGrio.com & EVP Digital, Entertainment Studios
An award-winning content and branding expert, Amy DuBois Barnett has held senior leadership roles at ESPN, Ebony, Harper's Bazaar, Teen People, Essence and Honey magazine. She is currently the Chief Content Officer for TheGrio, a leading digital media brand that serves the African-American audience. She is also EVP, Digital for Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios, TheGrio’s parent company. In addition, Barnett is the author of an empowering advice book for women, Get Yours! How To Have Everything You Ever Dreamed Of And More (Doubleday/Broadway Books). Read More >
African Americans and the Media
Saving Our Sons
Lecture at Northwestern University
Embracing and using fear to drive toward your goals is the ultimate bravery. And such bravery is a core characteristic of the most impactful leaders. Read More >
Fear is the greatest dream killer. We are trained to believe that fear is a sign to step back from an opportunity, a decision, a person. In dangerous situations, obviously this is prudent, but when it comes to the fulfillment of our dreams, it is the exact opposite. Fear is the sign that we are growing, becoming the person we are meant to be, stepping out of our comfort zone to reach toward the unknowable. It is simply impossible to reach your full potential and not be afraid in the process. Fear is an indication that you are stretching into your best self, the self who is able to motivate to move toward personal and professional goals, and influence others to reach their greatest potential—which is the fundamental principle of leadership.
True leadership is driven by vision. And vision stems from originality and purpose, which is usually defined by a foray into the unknown. Leaders have to be willing to push their business and/or their art into uncharted territory; and they must inspire the people around them with passion, principle and tenacity.
Women are even more indoctrinated with the notion that we should be cautious, that we should never take risks. But women are the strongest and most creative people on the planet. We are natural leaders who only need to become comfortable with the notion that fear is growth and risk is integral to achievement.
In this speech, Amy will talk about her career and how she learned to be a brave leader by taking risks and leading through inspiration. Amy will also offer specific methods to embrace fear and channel it into creativity and motivation. Read Less ^
To be brave is to be curious, to ask questions, to take pleasure in the novel, to crave adventure. It is a willingness to step into the unknown, to blaze trails—and the ability to do so with creativity, purpose and joy. Bravery is a core characteristic of most successful people. Read More >
For much of her life, Amy was not brave. She was too afraid of displeasing her parents, disappointing her community, failing at her job, loving without reserve. Like many of us, fear drove most of her decisions. It limited her thinking and made her doubt herself when her decisions did not have the desired result. Then Amy's life changed: Her mother died; her first career was a bust; her marriage failed. Amy had to relearn all of her thinking around fear and limitations, and she became brave. How? Because she decided to embrace her fear and use it to become a better person.
Fear is the greatest dream killer. We are trained to believe that fear is a sign to step back from an opportunity, a decision, a person. In dangerous situations, obviously this is prudent, but when it comes to the fulfillment of our dreams, it is the exact opposite. Fear is the sign that we are growing, becoming the person we are meant to be, stepping out of our comfort zone to reach toward the unknowable. It is simply impossible to reach your full potential and not be afraid in the process. Recognizing that embracing fear and bravery are actually synonymous is the first step toward stretching into your best self, the self who is able to motivate to move toward personal and professional goals, and influence others to reach their greatest potential.
Leaning into fear and opening your arms to bravery will inspire you to take the risks that can yield the biggest rewards—in almost every area of your life: career, relationships, recreation, etc. This powerful speech will inspire everyone to leave their comfort zone, with the goal of living their best life. Amy will share funny and poignant stories from her own personal and professional life of times when risk yielded reward. Amy will also offer specific methods to embrace fear and channel it into creativity and motivation. Read Less ^
Yup, Amy DuBois Barnett has it all figured out. She's a successful media executive with a career that has gone nowhere but up. Her house is spotless. Her kid gets straight As and only eats home-cooked organic meals. She works out and drinks a gallon of water every day. She has standing brunch dates with all of her girlfriends. And she never gets impatient with her romantic partner after even the most grueling work week. Read More >
Amy would love to meet that woman. The life of every female executive Amy knows is riddled with both successes and failures. It’s a complicated mess of dueling priorities and responsibilities—and, often, a literal mess with a house and car and child that no one has time to properly clean.
In this insightful yet lighthearted speech, Amy will share stories from life where she's had to juggle impossible home life and professional situations—some successfully and others that she has miserably botched. However, women are expert multitaskers; it’s their super power and, Amy believes, the key to their achievements. She will offer tips for multitasking effectively, which include: embrace the mess, forgive yourself, lean on your girlfriends, stock up on frozen meals from Trader Joe’s, prioritize time over money, etc. Read Less ^
Parenting is special. Parenting a child with special needs is even more special. Amy's son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when he was nine years old. T1D is an incurable autoimmune disease in which the pancreas no longer produces insulin, requiring the patient to check their blood sugar and manually administer insulin throughout the day and night. The onset of T1D normally occurs in childhood, so parents and children must be united in vigilant maintenance to avoid dangerous blood sugar lows that can cause a seizure and instant death or dangerous highs that eat away at the functionality of the child’s kidney and heart, resulting in a shortened lifespan. Read More >
Her son is now 12, and the past three years have been a complicated morass of medical specialists, insurance battles and an emotional rollercoaster that has left her family both exhausted and strengthened. In this emotional and powerful speech, Amy will share her journey with her son to deal with his acceptance of the disease, her feelings of frustration and fear, her various challenges navigating the healthcare system, and the strength and tenacity being a T!D mom has given her. Read Less ^
Amy Barnett has been a journalist for 20 years. She has covered beats from politics to health. She's written a range of articles, from hard-hitting exposes to light lifestyle pieces. And she's run both venerable and start-up national media brands. So, she can comfortably say that what’s happening now in American media is unlike anything she has ever seen in her lifetime. Media is under siege in this country. And this war on journalism, on intellectual thought, on data and science threatens our freedom and our future. Read More >
In this impassioned speech, Amy will share her stories from the frontlines of journalism: controversial topics, threats from interview subjects, legal battles and more. She’ll talk about the recent shift in tone from investigative research to opinion-based writing, the international shift toward nationalism and how it relates to media, the anti-intellectual movement that has yielded a cross-section of American society uninterested in hard data, the multiple manifestations of fear and distrust in the media, how we may be moving toward the state-run media characteristic of fascist societies (using clear examples), etc. Most importantly, Amy will share her thoughts on the value of real journalism and how we can resist the rising tide of state-run fake news—for the sake of our country. Read Less ^