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Erika Alexander is an actress, trailblazing activist, entrepreneur, creator, producer, director and one of the country’s boldest, most daring, and powerful voices. Recognizing the power of storytelling, Erika believes that though content must be entertaining, stories have tremendous capacity to create impact and meaningful social change.  As co-founder of Color Farm Media, she is on a mission to bring greater equity, inclusion, and diverse representation to both media and electoral politics.

Erika is beloved for her iconic acting roles including:
     • Maxine Shaw (LIVING SINGLE, garnering two NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Actress/Comedy Series)
     • Detective Latoya (GET OUT)
     • Cousin Pam (THE COSBY SHOW)
     • Perenna (BLACK LIGHTNING)
     • Linda Diggs (WUTANG: AN AMERICAN SAGA)
     • Barb Ballard (RUN THE WORLD; nominated for NAACP Best Guest Actor)
     • Meredith Lockhart (SWIMMING WITH SHARKS)
     • Abby Keegan (SHINING GIRLS, the critically-acclaimed Apple+ series with Elisabeth Moss)
     • Miss Carmen (EARTH MAMA which premiered at Sundance 2023)

Erika has recently stepped boldly into the arena of film director, with her debut film THE BIG PAYBACK, co-directed with Whitney Dow. The film debuted at Tribeca Festival and premiered on PBS on MLK Day 2023. The documentary chronicles the story of the first reparations bill for African Americans in U.S. history.

She is also creator/writer/producer of 2022 Audible Original’s Best True Crime Series and DuPont Columbia award-nominee, FINDING TAMIKA, and producer of the three-time, Emmy-nominated Best Documentary and winner, NAACP Best Documentary, JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE.

Her upcoming projects include THE UNTITLED NOVELIST project, directed by Cord Jefferson; with Jeffrey Wright, Tracy Ross, Sterling K. Williams and Issa Rae.

A critical thought leader on racial and gender equity and leadership, she serves as a board member for One Fair Wage and is highly involved with social and racial justice organizations including The Poor People's Campaign, Color of Change, NAACP, UNCF, among others.


"We had the great pleasure of hosting Erika for a panel conversation at the University of Chicago, and she was among the most engaging, dynamic and thoughtful speakers we have had address our community. Her energy and creativity are contagious and inspiring, and she has such important perspectives to share on the complicated issues of race, inequality, and systemic injustice. We hope to have her back soon when - as we all hope - her next project enlightens the world."
— Adrian Talbot, Associate Dean for Civic Engagement, University of Chicago

"Erika Alexander's candor, intelligence and her deep well of compassion have allowed her to do some of the most important work in the current media landscape. She is a resource whose insights are consistently valuable, timely and important. A crucial perspective."
— Jelani Cobb, Dean, Columbia Journalism School, New York

"Erika Alexander is smart, thought-provoking, energetic, humorous, and so much more. You know that Erika Alexander is an incredible speaker when on the same day after a speech, young Black women who are graduating seniors from Bennett College ask Erika to be the commencement speaker. Erika holds the audience in the palm of her hand because she has full command of the topic and an insatiable curiosity that is infectious. People lean in and yell out (in the best sense) when Erika is speaking. She encourages call and response as needed and sometimes the audience just cannot help but to audibly respond because Erika is a natural storyteller who brings us all into the topic in a visceral way. She causes us to think and to feel and to empathize when we least expect it. Erika doesn’t just give a speech for the sake of talking—she speaks to encourage action, deep thinking and learning. Prepare to be challenged, inspired and ready to act."
— Suzanne Walsh, President, Bennett College


Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
As the producer and director of award-winning documentary films, including John Lewis: Good Trouble and The Big Payback, Erika Alexander brings a wealth of experience and insights around the benefits of building truly inclusive communities, institutions, and workforces.

Leadership & Communication
In this master class, Erika applies the insights and learnings she has attained from 40 years of professional acting in film, stage, and television to teach university students and employees critical skills and strategies to help them excel in their professional and personal leadership and communication. Learn from Erika about how to infuse the power of storytelling into presentations and communications to maximize the impact of your message upon stakeholders, both within and outside your organization or institution. Strategies range from confidence-building techniques to breathing and mindfulness, from voice projection to excelling at verbally-communicated presentations.

Erika on The Tamron Hall Show on 2.8.23
Erika's acceptance speech for 2023 DuPont Columbia Award for FINDING TAMIKA
Erika at Howard University School of Law: A Conversation About Missing Black Women and Girls