Actor. Activist. Creator.
Bennett College is pleased to announce that ERIKA ALEXANDER, actor, activist, and creator, will be the Commencement Ceremony speaker for the graduating Class of 2023. The Commencement Ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 13, 2023, at 11:00 am on the campus quadrangle. Faculty, staff, trustees, family, and friends will gather on the lawn in front of the iconic Annie Merner Pfeiffer Chapel to witness young women stepping confidently into their roles as global leaders.
Erika is beloved for her iconic acting roles as Maxine Shaw (Living Single; garnering two NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Actress/Comedy Series), “Linda Diggs” (Wutang: An American Saga), “Barb Ballard” (Run The World; nominated for NAACP Best Guest Actor), and most recently as “Meredith Lockhart” in (Swimming with Sharks), the critically acclaimed Apple+ series starring Elisabeth Moss.
Erika wears many hats; actress, trailblazing activist, entrepreneur, creator, producer and director — and is one of the country’s boldest, most daring, and powerful voices. As a creator, she recognizes the power of storytelling and 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, with partner Ben Arnon, she is on a mission to bring greater equity, inclusion, and diverse representation to both media and electoral politics.
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 orgs; The Poor People’s Campaign, Color of Change, NAACP, UNCF and others.
She is also creator/writer/producer of 2022 Audible Original’s Best True Crime Series, and duPont Columbia award winner, “FINDING TAMIKA”, and producer of three time, EMMY nominated Best Documentary and winner NAACP Best Documentary, “JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE”.
Erika has boldly stepped 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 premieres on PBS January 16, 2023 MLK Jr. Day. The documentary chronicles the story of the first reparations bill in American history for African Americans.
Other entertainment credits include: Shining Girls as “Abby Keegan.” Upcoming projects for Alexander include the independent films WILDFLOWER (Toronto Film Festival, starring alongside Jean Smart, Kiernan Shipka and Alexadra Daddario), “EARTH MAMA” (Sundance 2023) for A24, and T-Street / MRC’s “THE UNTITLED NOVELIST” project, directed by Cord Jefferson; with Jeffrey Wright, Tracy Ross, Sterling K. Williams and Issa Rae.