Erika Alexander

Erika Alexander

Actress, Activist, Film Director/Producer



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.

Building Inclusive Communities 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 is available to speak on a range of issues from storytelling, innovation, media, and social change.

  Topic Areas

High School Programs
African Americans/Black
Electoral Politics/Civic Engagement
Professional Development
Leadership Development
Race/Racial Justice/Racism

  Related Links


Erika Alexander’s Mission To Shine A Light On Missing Black Women


Finding Tamika duPont Awards


Finding Tamika: A Conversation About Missing Black Women and Girls

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

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