Raised in Newark, New Jersey and a proud graduate of Seton Hall University, with a degree in journalism, Lisa Durden is a brilliantly outspoken, sought-after, TV personality and subject matter expert in the areas of pop-culture, politics, social issues and matters of race, whose voice is her activism!! Frequently appearing on such nationally syndicated programs as TV One’s News One Now with Roland Martin; Hot 97’s Street Soldiers with Lisa Evers New; York’s My9 Chasing News; Fox News Channel’s The Kelly File with Megyn Kelly, Fox & Friends, Tucker Carlson Tonight; HLN’s The Daily Share with Melissa Knowles; PIX 11 Morning News with Sukanya Krishnan & Kori Chambers; ABC News 8’s CT Style with hosts Ryan Kristafer & Teresa Dufour; iHeart Radio’s American Now with Meghan McCain; Fox 5 News Live with Ernie Enastos; Arise TV; and WABC Radio’s Geraldo Rivera Show, to name a few.
Ms. Durden is best known as a Radical Woman In Media! Most recognized as a thought leader, social justice advocate, black lives matter supporter and feminist. In September 2015, she was featured in Rolling Out Magazine, as the months “Black Intellectual” who has blazed a trail in news with her intelligent, straight-talking commentary. After over 10 years as a working media professional, facilitating workshops, speaking on panels, and hiring students in coveted internships, Lisa added adjunct professor to her long list of credentials in 2017, where she taught Mass Communications & Popular Culture, Essay Writing and Effective Speech at Essex County College in Newark, New Jersey. Ms. Durden’s tenure at the college was however short lived. In June 2017, she was summarily suspended by the college and subsequently fired for her appearance on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight show for doing what she always does, she stood up in support of Black Lives Matter in Brooklyn, after exercising their right to create an intentional safe-space for black people at a private Memorial Day celebration and for boldly calling out those who wanted to use their “white privilege card” to invade safe-spaces. The very thing that got Lisa fired, is the very thing that Seth Kaper-Dale loved; “she was defending ‘the last,’ against the brutality of ‘the first!’ Lisa speaks truth to power! Lisa speaks for the people! Because she is with the people!” So, it was kismet when Seth asked Lisa to be his green party running mate for New Jersey Lieutenant Governor.
Growing up poor, Lisa became very familiar with economic struggle and that struggle led to one of her biggest accomplishments, becoming an entrepreneur at the tender age of 8. She started a local hair braiding business by word of mouth and quickly becoming the favorite go to person in the community for giving the best braid job in the neighborhood!! Unbeknownst to her, learning the value of hard work and tenacity at such a young age were the skill-sets that would follow her throughout her life as a high school championship track runner, being the first in her generation to graduate from college, and in 2005, launching, Lisa Durden Unlimited Productions, a Multi-Media Company, headquartered in the State of New Jersey, that specializes in creating award-winning content across multiple platforms for television, Film, the web and live audiences. The company’s mission is to is to produce award winning content about underserved communities, while telling compelling stories, with big, entertaining, characters!!
Ms. Durden has found ways to join her voice to the voices that cry out for justice through topics covered on her self-titled Cable talk show, writing incredible blogs that generates tremendous responses, as a regular on major networks—sharing her expertise, and by producing award-winning content that celebrate communities of color and that speaks to the racial disparities happening in her city and cities across the country. Projects include; Conceived & Produced the award-winning PBS Maya Angelou Film’s successful Live Twitter Chat, garnering 8 Million Impressions; Curator of the annual Reel Sister Of The Diaspora Film Festival & Lecture Series; Co-Produced the feature narrative, Title VII Film; Served as Broadcast Manager with the National Black Programing Consortium (NBPC), an organization that supports diverse voices by developing, producing and distributing innovative media about the black experience and by investing in visionary content makers; Senior-Producer of ImageNation’s annual, star studded, Revolution Awards, celebrating Black excellence, artistry, activism and independent film. Past Honorees included Oscar-nominated director for Selma, Ava DuVernay, MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry, #BlackLivesMatter & author/actor/activist Hill Harper of Limitless and CSI, NY and Playright/Actor Danai Gurira of Eclipsed on Broadway and The Walking Dead on AMC. Ms. Durden also served as Associate Producer of the award winning PBS’ feature documentary, Soul Food Junkies, which examines the culinary traditions of soul food and urban food deserts (Director: Byron Hurt); Associate Producer of the critically acclaimed, Sundance Channel’s, 5 part docu-series, Brick City 1, about Newark in transition, (Executive Producer: Forest Whitaker & Director: Mark Levin); Associate Producer of the upcoming 2 part docu-series, The Newark Project, about education reform in Newark, NJ; and Director of her controversial, award winning feature documentary, PROJECT WOW: Men On The Down Low, about men who are masquerading as heterosexuals but are secretly sleeping with men, possibly putting their wives and girlfriends at risk for HIV/AIDs, which broadcast on the BET J series, Black Stories and is currently being distributed in feature length by Echelon Studios Inc.
Over the years, Lisa Durden has received multiple awards and honors for her stellar work as a progressive academic, media-expert, and mentor to inner-city girls, including; the “Phenomenal Business Women Award," by My Sisters Keepers & Mayor Ras J. Baraka; the Vanguard Award for Excellence in Communications, by The Seton Hall University Black Alumni Association; the Woman On Fire Award For Outstanding Dedication To Media by The Newark Circle Of Sister; the Outstanding Journalism & Community Service Award by Project Redirect Youth & Family Services; the "Woman Who Claps In Media" Award by Girls; Live, Love, Laugh Inc.; the Leadership In Communication Award by Progressive Achievers; the Outstanding Contributions & Service to the Community Award by Essex County College Women’s Empowerment Forum.
Lisa Durden is happily single and child free because she wants to be!!