Cutting-Edge Strategy, Training, and Media Relations for Organizations Building a Better WorldMeet Our Team
Cutting-Edge Strategy, Training, and Media Relations for Organizations Building a Better WorldMeet Our Team
With close to fifteen years of political and communications experience, Smith has represented top officials at the local, state and national levels. She served as deputy press secretary in the Obama Administration at the U.S. Small Business Administration, and has worked as a publicist for TheRoot.com. She's also served as press secretary for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services, under Ranking Committee Member Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA). She spent four years working in Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley’s communications shop, and later served as chief spokeswoman during his second term. Born and raised in the D.C. metro area, she is a proud graduate of Morgan State University.
Jacqueline Lara is a director at Megaphone Strategies and prides herself on advocating for unheard voices of the community. She has worked in progressive public relations for more than a decade and was a contributing writer covering the intersection of arts and social justice for Adobe’s 99U, Adobe Create Magazine, i-D Magazine, OkayAfrica, and mater mea. Jacqueline’s distinctive approach has resulted in broadcast and print coverage that includes op-eds and interviews in The New York Times, CNN.com International, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, NPR’s “All Things Considered” and “Code Switch,” Salon.com, ESSENCE Magazine, Advocate.com, and Communication Arts Magazine. She got her start at Fenton Communications, and has provided strategic media support to She the People, Community Voices Heard, Working Films, Living Cities, New American Leaders, and Collective PAC. She is a proud graduate of University of Maryland, an alumni of the Urban Bush Women's Summer Leadership Intensive, and 2017 alumni of THREAD at Yale: Storytelling in Modern Media.
Cabot has over three years of progressive public relations experience, having gotten their start post-grad at Revolution Messaging in 2016. They’ve worked on a range of issues with a particular focus on worker’s rights, Wall Street accountability, health care, racial justice, and environmental justice, and have helped amplify important fights such as the continued struggle to hold Amazon accountable and the push for a better Green New Deal. They’ve booked clients on high-profile news sources like Hill TV, Bloomberg Radio, and CNN, and have written and placed op-eds in a variety of national sources including PopSugar, Blavity, and the Chronicle of Philanthropy. At the same time, they greatly value the power of local news and remain dedicated to amplifying community organizing through local TV, radio, and print media.
Cabot grew up in rural North Carolina, and is a proud graduate of Emerson College in Boston. Having seen firsthand as an openly queer person from the rural Bible Belt that the stories of real people have the power to authentically move our country forward, they’re deeply committed to continuing to uplift voices and issues not traditionally heard in the media.
Nicholas is passionate about amplifying activists working on critical issues like LGBTQ+ rights, immigrant justice, racial equity, and disability justice. Their background is in student organizing and they began working at the intersection of activism and communications with the University of North Carolina's Center for Social Justice. They also serve on the boards of the East Coast Asian American Student Union and Act to Change, two nonprofits focused on empowering Asian American and Pacific Islander youth.
Kawana Lloyd is a home-grown, veteran of the Washington, DC, progressive public relations scene. She considers herself a media advocate dedicated to amplifying the voices of African Americans, women and children, seniors, immigrant communities and working families. She has worked on high-profile issue campaigns, with organizations including the PICO National Network, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and in partnership with MoveOn.org, Families USA, and the NAACP. She has an extensive track record of broadcast and print coverage that includes op-eds and interviews on CNN, "The Rachel Maddow Show," "Good Morning America," The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Colorlines.com, TheRoot.com, NPR and the Huffington Post.
Molly founded Megaphone in 2016 with Van Jones, and now co-leads the firm as a Managing Partner. She has led winning communications efforts for dozens of state and national social justice organizations and political campaigns.
Molly specializes in transforming big progressive ideas into a practical reality and unknown voices into national names through storytelling, narrative benchmarks, and targeted media campaigning. She is an alum of FitzGibbon Media, PCCC, 350.org, and numerous local and national Democratic campaigns including Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential race. Originally from Fairbanks, Alaska, she got her start as a community organizer on LGBTQ rights.
Catalina Velasquez is the President and founder of Consult Catalina, a premier strategic policy, communications and diversity firm.
Fluent in English, Spanish, and Italian, Catalina is an alumnus of Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, where she majored in International Politics: International Law, Norms, & Institutions with a Certificate in Women and Gender Studies. Her thesis was titled "Immigrant Women: the Documented, the Undocumented, and the Invisible; The Female Face of Immigration."
Catalina has extended consulting and speaking engagement services for over a decade, and she recently finished her latest contract with People for the American Way leading their youth arm: Young People For (YP4). In this position, she created a policy shop and a public affairs communications department as well as restructure their training curriculum to meet the most cutting edge needs of an interconnected world and global economy. Among many of the organizations that Catalina has worked and consulted on strategic messaging and policy are the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, D.C. Mayor’s Office of Community Affairs, the AFL-CIO, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.
Kalleigh got her start as a student activist at Michigan State University focusing on issues including racial and environmental justice, women's and queer rights. After volunteering for President Obama's 2008 and 2012 campaigns, Kalleigh moved to D.C. and has been working to support high impact organizations ever since. Previously at Young Invincibles and currently with Megaphone, Kalleigh works to build financial, operational, and company management infrastructure to ensure the Megaphone team has a strong foundation to thrive and reach our highest potential.
Murshed Zaheed is one of the top hybrid legislative, policy, and digital strategists in American politics. Prior to leading Megaphone, he served as the Political Director of CREDO Mobile – a social change-oriented corporation renowned for being a progressive powerhouse of activism and philanthropy.
Murshed’s years of experience as a senior leadership aide in Congress include his position as Director of New Media for then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. He has worked and consulted for top nonprofit organizations, corporations, and national campaigns creating winning multi-channel grassroots advocacy campaigns and communications programs. He was also a member of Gov. Howard Dean’s groundbreaking digital team during his 2003–2004 presidential campaign. Murshed has a B.A. in political science from UCLA and a J.D. from Boston University School of Law. He is a member of the bars in Washington D.C. and in Massachusetts.
Louie Tan Vital is a Filpina American poet, community organizer, and graduate of the Master of Public Administration program at the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance. She has recently worked for the Washington State House of Representatives and the United States House of Representatives. At the intersections of migration, diasporic trauma, and bodily politics, Louie has dedicated her life to fighting for racially-equitable public policy and harnessing performance arts as a means for political activism. Her words have appeared in TVW, the Smithsonian, The Filipino Channel, Yahoo News, and various news and radio outlets in America and the Philippines.
Louie also gives workshops, lectures, and speeches on race in public policy, culturally-competent civic engagement, diasporic narratives, and combating anti-blackness racism in the Asian Pacific Islander community. You can find her poetry in TAYO Literary Magazine. Ultimately, Louie seeks to uplift all marginalized communities through political advocacy and eventually elected office while remaining true to herself, her community, and her ancestors.
Megaphone Strategies is a not-for-profit social justice media strategy firm. We offer cutting edge strategy, training, digital, and media relations services to high-impact social justice organizations and individuals. Our mission is to use PR as a tool to diversify the media and politics, and to provide services based on ability to change the world, not ability to pay.
We are run by and for the movement, profits are reinvested into the movement to provide services to up-and-coming groups who couldn’t traditionally afford our work.
Megaphone provides traditional cutting-edge media relations, strategy, training and digital services to causes doing high-impact work for social justice.
We provide strategic guidance and coaching to help you break through, get noticed, and win campaigns. From big picture storytelling to profile building, campaigning to messaging, and digital to political strategy -- we help you identify goals, strategies, and tactics to win.
Megaphone Strategies will work with you to build your story and share it with the media. We help connect the stories that matter to people who want to tell them. We work to connect our clients and spokespeople with the top media outlets and influencers across media platforms.
Media training can ensure you and your spokespeople are ready to make the most of big media moments. We tailor our training to meet the unique needs of the movement moment and your organization, and can scale them for distributed networks or big moments. Training topics range from how to break through in a tough news cycle to interview tips, oped writing, and beyond.
We offer professional development media coaching services to Executive Directors and communications staffers to maximize their ability to make an impact through media.
We provide media relations, media logistics, ad buys, and strategy for big actions, movement moments, and social justice convenings.
From email to social media, we ensure your message gets out across all communications channels in an integrated way.
We partner with high-impact groups working to build a better world, and provide them with cutting-edge PR, digital, legislative, strategy, training, and media coaching services.
We are a mission-first organization, and choose our clients based on their ability to change the world, not ability to pay.