Meet Liza Montgomery, a Fall 2023 Community Reporting Fellow

Montgomery will be doing community work in New Orleans this fall as part of the Lede New Orleans fellowship program.

Meet Liza Montgomery, a Fall 2023 Community Reporting Fellow
Liza Montgomery, Fall 2023 Community Reporting Fellow (Photo By Bryan Tarnowaki)

By Lavonte Lucas

Liza Montgomery, a Xavier University of Louisiana mass communications major from Chicago, seeks to disrupt racial stereotypes negatively affecting people of color in mass media. Her multimedia works promote critical thinking to understand the full spectrum of diversity. Montgomery says, “If [the public’s] only exposure to minority or disadvantaged groups is through media, without varied representation, it reinforces stereotypes.”

Her own family upbringing is an inspiration for her narrative work. Montgomery comes from a biracial family whose pride in their cultural identities kept her grounded as she navigated her own creative identity. Early into her creative career she only considered art mediums as a hobby. 

Montgomery was pursuing a degree in neuroscience but her experience with her storytelling class motivated her into seeking opportunities in creative arts. Some of her experiences include working as an Arts and Cultural Impact intern for Harvard's Alumni for Black Advancement and as a communications intern for the Mehari Sequar Galley. She aspires to be a driving force toward equitable media. You can find some of her published work on the Mehari Sequar gallery website. Here are some of the things she has to say about herself and the community.

Lede New Orleans trains creatives to make equitable media that inspires and informs our city. What does equitable media in New Orleans look like to you?

I just think that it's giving them a welcoming non-judgmental and really supportive and encouraging space for them. When you're vulnerable about things, then the truth is being shared rather than you feeling like someone's going to judge you or use your story in a way that exploits your community.

What do you hope to get out of your fellowship?

I just want to make sure that I’m improving the skills I already have to make sure they’re not things I have to refresh. It’s something that comes naturally to me. 

Imagine it's a perfect sunny and cool fall day in New Orleans. What will we find you doing?

I like being in nature. It's something that I realized grounds me and eases a lot of, like, stress and anxiety. And then also, making art would probably be something that I would be doing too. 

Lavonte Lucas, 23, A Bard Early College New Orleans Alum and New Orleans native, Vonnie found his passion for photography after participating in Gigsy’s photography training services through Bard. He advanced his photography skills as a contributor to the Dillard University newspaper and started a photography business.

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