How Hip Hop Producer Lisa Cunningham Remixed her Career to Human Rights Influencer

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Lisa Cunningham started in hip hop, ultimately producing music videos for artists such as Ludacris, Missy Elliott, and Young Jeezy.  But one day, she realized her life and career had a higher purpose, and she decided to produce her own remix. She’s now a human rights advocate, LGBTQ influencer, and proponent of Black women’s health.

Lisa Cunningham is the Digital Content Manager of the Black Women’s Health Imperative, Director at Radiant3, and part of Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens’ transition team.


Jackie: Thank you for listening to Diversity Beyond the Checkbox Podcast. My guest today is Lisa Cunningham. Lisa is a motivational speaker, diversity event producer, and LGBTQ influencer. After almost 20 years on the film and video side of entertainment, she pivoted into a successful career and digital media and diversity events for companies that are looking for an edge with content that appeals to diverse communities. Lisa, thank you so much for joining us. 

Lisa: Jackie, it’s just a pleasure to be here. Thank you for having me. 

Jackie: Of course. So, Lisa, I always like to start by asking our guests to just tell us a little about yourself, whatever you’d like to share about your family or your background or your identity. 

Lisa: Jackie, you know what? I am a native of Atlanta and have been in the film industry for longer than I’d probably want to admit. I I’m going to date myself if I, if I say. And I’m just proud to be in Atlanta, in a city that I think is just a hotbed of topics. There’s so much going on in the city that relates to social activism, health and wellness, politics, everything. And so for me to be at this kind of epi center, I I’m just loving it to be quite frank. It’s never, it’s never been a better time to be, than to be an ATLien.

Jackie: That’s awesome. So, Lisa, you know, I’ve certainly done quite a bit of research on you, but just for the excitement of our listeners, can you tell us a little bit about your early career in some of the highlights?

Lisa: You know, it’s so interesting growing up in Atlanta, you know, my family wanted me to be an, an engineer and I snuck and changed my major at the University of Georgia, unbeknownst to anyone, and it was a film video major. I think they had only had it for a few years and I came to Atlanta during the summer, got a job at an athletic club and met a guy who was a, you know, production designer. He took me on a music video set, and I like to say from then I was hooked and never left. 

You know, my very first video I ever got a check for, it was a whole hundred dollars. I thought it was worth, I was quitting school. You hear me? Jackie? I was quitting school. I said, if I’m going to make a hundred dollars in a day and it was for TLC’s, What About Your Friends music video.

Full Episode Transcript

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