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Evette  Dionne

Evette Dionne

National Book Award-Nominated Author & Executive Editor of YES! Media


Evette Dionne, known across the internet as @freeblackgirl, is a journalist, critic, and magazine editor. She’s the National Book Award-nominated and Coretta Scott King honor author of Lifting As We Climb: Black Women’s Battle for the Ballot Box (Viking), a middle-grade nonfiction book about Black women suffragists. Her debut collection of essays, Weightless: Making Space for My Resilient Body and Soul, was released by Ecco in 2022. Presently, she’s the executive editor at YES! Media and a columnist for MSNBC. Read More >

Dionne also writes extensively about the intersections of race, gender, and size, for a number of print and digital publications, including HBO, BuzzFeed, The Cut, Andscape, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Time, the New York Times, Zora, The Guardian, Teen Vogue, Refinery29, SELF, Harper’s Bazaar, Mic, and The Toast. She’s also written book chapters in The Problematic Tyler Perry (Peter Lang, 2016); The Beyoncé Effect: Essays on Sexuality, Race, and Feminism (McFarland, 2016); Can We All Be Feminists?: New Writing From Brit Bennett, Nicole Dennis-Benn, and 15 Others On Intersectionality, Identity, and the Way Forward for Feminism (Penguin, 2018); The (Other) F-Word: Celebrating the Fat and the Fierce (Abrams Books, 2019); Burn It Down: Women Writing About Anger (Seal Press, 2019); and Sex and the Single Woman: 24 Writers Reimagine Helen Gurley Brown’s Cult Classic (Harper Perennial, 2022).

Evette’s expertise on popular culture, politics, and feminism is highly sought after. Her work has been covered in Mic, CNET, BuzzFeed, the New York Times, Teen Vogue, The Root, and the New Yorker. She has also appeared on Zerlina, Black News Tonight, She’s All Fat, Popaganda, Every Body, Woman of Size, Mindful Strength, Food Psych, and Bri’s Books podcasts as well as the BBC’s World Have Your Say, NPR’s 1A and Forum, and SiriusXM’s WokeAF. She’s delivered keynote speeches and lectures at the Schomburg Center for Black Research and Culture, the DC Public Library, Brown University, the University of Chicago, the University of Southern California, the University of Texas at Austin, and Stanford University.

Evette received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Bennett College, an incredible HBCU for Black women, in 2012. In 2014, she received a Master of Science in media management and women, gender, and sexuality studies from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Evette is based in Denver. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Beyond BMI: A New Book Embodies Fat Liberation

Evette Dionne On How Kendrick Lamar’s New Music Video & Album Speak Directly to the Black Community


Speech Topics

Lifting As We Climb

In this talk, Evette Dionne looks at the history of Black women’s civic engagement—from abolition until the present—to explore the systemic barriers that have prevented Black women from fully participating in America’s democracy. Read More >

You will learn: Read Less ^

  • The forgotten history of Black female activists who most of us have never heard of.
  • How to apply the lessons learned from these significant Black women into your activism.
  • The tiny steps we can all take that lead to bigger rewards.

Who Gonna Take Me Out?: From Freelancer to EIC & Beyond

Journalism and publishing are difficult industries to navigate, especially for first-generation college students swimming in deep waters with little help. In this talk, specifically tailored to journalism students and early professionals from marginalized communities, Evette traces her journey from being a freelancer to becoming editor-in-chief in less than 10 years, offering concrete tips for how to build a mission-driven career full of meaning. Read More >

You will learn how to: Read Less ^

  • Build a sustainable career.
  • Allow curiosity to guide your career.
  • Network across instead of upward.

Creating a Feminist Media Company

Feminism is a buzzword, specifically in media spaces that capitalize on the idea without actually investing in feminist policies. But as the former editor-in-chief of Bitch Media, Evette has helped orchestrate the impossible: pushing a media company in an even more feminist direction. In this talk, geared toward media professionals on all levels as well as students, Evette discusses how Bitch has put its stated values into action—from paying contributors as soon as their articles are published to putting people before profit. Read More >

You will learn how to: Read Less ^

  • Put equity into practice in your organization.
  • Scale your company while driving meaningful social change.
  • How to put feminism forward in your organization without losing sight of running the business.

How to Build a Meaningful Career

If there is one thing we’ve learned from the pandemic is that life is short and most of us don’t want to spend our time working at jobs that aren’t meaningful or align with our interests, values and strengths. And yet, according to a recent study by Gallup, only 50 percent of college graduates find purposeful work. In this talk, Evette helps you begin building that dream career. Read More >

You will learn how to: Read Less ^

  • Create a career you’re proud of.
  • Discover your work values and how to apply them in your job search.
  • Know when it’s time to leave a position.