A self-described nerd who wrote short stories and poems in grammar school and charged kids on the playground a quarter apiece to read them, in 2006, Shawn tapped into that entrepreneurial spirit to found Treetop Consulting, a boutique communications firm, following a successful career in newspapers that spanned the Midwest. Still a journalist at heart, Shawn has employed her interviewing and research prowess to examine the social, emotional and economic impact the early deaths of Black men have on families and communities in the documentary in progress “Gone Too Soon: America’s Missing Black Men.” In October 2019, she graduated from Kartemquin Films’ Diverse Voices in Docs program for aspiring filmmakers.
Shawn has built a reputation as a skilled writer and master storyteller, developing content on a range of topics including social justice; gender and racial equality; equal pay; equity in education; and entrepreneurship, among others. A trained flutist and master Hoola Hooper, Shawn's motto is, “Whenever possible, start at the top.”
This session is brought to you as part of the No Malice Film Contest, a partnership of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, the Roger and Chaz Ebert Foundation, and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation.
The Contest is funded by a grant from Healing Illinois, a racial healing initiative of the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) in partnership with The Chicago Community Trust.