Linda Johnson Rice To Headline Albion MLK Convocation

January 11, 2024

Linda Johnson Rice, Chairman and CEO, Johnson Publishing Company and former Chairman Emeritus of Ebony Media Operations, will take part in a Q&A moderated by Flint Beat founder and editor, Jiquanda Johnson at Albion College’s 2024 Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation and Community Celebration, held Monday, January 22, at 7 p.m. at Albion’s Bohm Theatre (201 S. Superior St.). The annual event is free and open to the public and will focus on the theme, “Shifting the Cultural Climate Through the Study and Practice of Kingian Nonviolence.”

Johnson Rice is a visionary leader known for managing the largest African American publishing company in the world and building global brands. She is currently Chairman and CEO of Johnson Publishing Company (JPC), the former founding company of the global beauty brand for women of color, Fashion Fair Cosmetics, and the former Chairman Emeritus of Ebony Media Operations, parent company of EBONY and Jet magazine brands.

Crain’s Chicago Business named Johnson Rice one of “The 20 Most Powerful Women in Chicago Business” and she is listed among the “100 Most Powerful Women” and “Top 10 Women in Media” by The Chicago Sun-Times.

In addition to her work in publishing and as a brand ambassador, Johnson Rice has served on 10 corporate boards, including Omnicom Group, Enova International, Kimberly-Clark, GrubHub, and Tesla, and in 2018, was named one of WomenInc. magazine’s “Most Influential Corporate Directors.” She also is Co-Chair Emeritus of The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, and Northwestern Memorial Corporation; a trustee at the Art Institute of Chicago; president of the Chicago Public Library Board of Directors, member of Adweek’s Diversity and Inclusion Council and is a member of The Chicago Lighthouse President’s Advisory Council.

A veteran journalist, Jiquanda Johnson launched Flint Beat in 2017 to fill news gaps in an underserved community after Flint, Michigan residents said they needed more from their news coverage. Since its debut, Flint Beat has taken the lead as a news platform for the Flint community to be heard.

The evening will include special performances by the Albion College Concert Choir and gospel singer, Pastor David Warnsley, an invocation will be given by Rev. Jacques Harris of Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, offerings from local NAACP representative, Mae Ola Dunklin, as well as a brief remarks by Dr. Taran McZee, vice president for belonging and culture at Albion College.

More than just a publication, EBONY Magazine captured the post-war optimism and aspirational dreams of multiple generations of African Americans. Centering narratives on a people with stories told by the people. So much so that from 1957 to 1958, Martin Luther King Jr. penned a monthly advice column called “Advice for Living,” where readers of the magazine could ask King his thoughts. Timely for the era, King responded to a myriad of questions from readers of the magazine.

Following the convocation, Albion College will feature a special “EBONY: Centering Blackness Throughout History” photo exhibit in the living room of the Kellogg Center as part of its Black History Month celebration, Feb. 1-29. Spanning the decades, sixteen covers have been selected for the exhibit to illustrate the diversity of African American life during the era.

Planning for the 2024 Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation and Community Celebration is led by representatives from the City of Albion, Albion’s NAACP branch, and Albion College’s Office of Belonging, the James L. Curtis Institute for Race and Belonging, the Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and Service, and the Office of the President.