Liz Dwyer, former founding editor of Shondaland.com, has been named managing director of Word In Black, a first-of-its-kind digital startup and collaboration powered by the nation’s leading Black publishers and managed by Local Media Foundation. Dwyer will start January 3, 2022.
Dwyer joins Word In Black at a moment of explosive growth, with more than 25,000 newsletter subscribers, hundreds of founding members, and expanding financial support from foundations and the corporate community. The collaboration, which started with one part-time director, will expand to a staff of six full-time employees in 2022, just as Dwyer joins the team.
Dwyer has written and edited stories about racial justice, gender equality, education, health, and culture for several national websites and print publications including Ebony, BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post, and Good Housekeeping, and was the founding managing editor for Shondaland.com – a women’s empowerment and lifestyle website from television mogul Shonda Rhimes.
“We’re extremely excited to have Liz joining the LMA team,” said Andrew Ramsammy, chief content and collaboration officer for Local Media Association and Local Media Foundation. “She is bringing her vision, leadership, and experience to Word In Black just as we celebrate the many successes of an important foundational period, and carry forward momentum for the digital startup as our proof of concept takes off.”
“The evil of racism is one of the constants of American life,” Dwyer said, “but so is the cooperation of like-minded individuals who seek to eliminate it. That’s why I’m so honored to join the Word In Black team and thrilled to collaborate with and amplify the work of the 10 titans of the Black-owned press that are our partners. As Dr. King famously said, ‘the arc of the moral universe bends towards justice,’ but we can bend it a whole lot faster when we work together, confront inequities, and uplift the truth. I look forward to bringing our audience solutions-based news grounded in love for Black people, our communities, and our heritage.”
Dwyer is based in Los Angeles. She is a breast cancer survivor, has run nine marathons, volunteers in her community, and cheers for the accomplishments of her two sons, Olinga and Toussaint.
About Word In Black
Word In Black is a groundbreaking collaboration of the nation’s leading Black publishers, deeply focused on confronting inequities, elevating solutions, and amplifying the Black experience by reporting, collecting, and sharing stories about real people in communities across our country. The Word In Black publishers joined forces and provided a platform to examine these experiences in one place, to shape how the nation understands and addresses systemic issues of race, justice, and equity. It is through collective understanding that we bring about collective impact.
About Local Media Foundation
The Local Media Foundation serves as the innovation and transformation affiliate of LMA. More than 2,000 local media executives have participated in progressive and innovative LMF programs. Incorporating our four strategic pillars — business transformation, journalism funded by philanthropy, industry collaboration, and sustainability for publishers of color — LMF helps provide local media companies the strategies and resources for meaningful innovation and impactful journalism projects.