Book Susan Taylor

Former Editor-in-Chief of Essence Magazine; Most Influential Black Woman in Journalism

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Susan Taylor Bio

Susan L. Taylor is synonymous with Essence magazine, the brand she built as its fashion and beauty editor, editor-in-chief and editorial director. For 27 years, she authored of one of the magazine’s most popular columns, In the Spirit. As the driving force behind one of the most celebrated Black-owned businesses for nearly three decades, Susan Taylor is a legend in the magazine publishing world.Susan Taylor was the first and only African-American woman to be recognized by the Magazine Publishers of America with the Henry Johnson Fisher Award—the industry’s highest honor and the first to be inducted into the American Society of Magazine Editors Hall of Fame. Susan Taylor is the recipient of the NAACP President’s Award for visionary leadership and has honorary degrees from more than a dozen colleges and universities.A fourth-generation entrepreneur, Susan grew up in Harlem working with her father in his women’s clothing store. Ms. Taylor founded her own cosmetics company, a first for black women, which led to the beauty editor’s position at Essence. She is the author of four books: “In the Spirit: The Inspirational Writings of Susan L. Taylor”; “Lessons in Living”; “Confirmation: The Spiritual Wisdom That Has Shaped Our Lives,” which she coauthored with her husband, Khephra Burns; and her most recent, “All About Love, Favorite Selections from In the Spirit on Living Fearlessly.” Susan Taylor is a much sought-after speaker, inspiring hope and encouraging us to reclaim our lives and create sustainable communities.Susan Taylor is an avid supporter of a host of organizations dedicated to moving the Black community forward, but her passion and focus today is the National CARES Mentoring Movement, a call to action, which she founded in 2006 as Essence Cares. The National CARES Mentoring Movement is a massive campaign to recruit one million able adults to help secure our children who are in peril and losing ground. “Not on our watch!” she says. “Our children are the mothers and fathers of our tomorrows, and their future is in our hands.” The goals of the CARES Movement are to increase high school graduation rates among African American students, and end the violence in Black communities and the over-incarceration of our young. “Creating safe, top-tier schools in every underserved community in this nation is the mandate—and it’s doable,” Taylor says.Susan Taylor is a co-founder of Future PAC, the first national political action committee devoted to providing a network of support and sources of funding for progressive African American women seeking federal and state-level political offices. She is co-chair with Danny Glover of Shared Interest, a capital campaign to raise money to build housing and encourage entrepreneurship in the rural areas of South Africa, and serves on the boards of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and Girl Scouts of the USA. She has worked passionately to help restore the lives of people in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region who were devastated by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.Contact a speaker booking agent to check availability on Susan Taylor and other top speakers and celebrities.

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