Author and journalist A’Lelia Bundles is director of talent development for ABC News in Washington, DC and New York. Among her responsibilities are monitoring the transition of new correspondents to the network, the creation and coordination of a news division wide performance review process for editorial production staff, establishing training seminars for junior staff and overseeing various career development and mentoring initiatives.
Her critically-acclaimed, best-selling biography, ON HER OWN GROUND: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker [Scribner/Lisa Drew 2001/S&S Astria 2002], was named a 2002 Borders Books-Hurston/Wright Legacy Award finalist, a 2001 New York Times Notable Book, the 2001 Letitia Woods Brown Book Prize winner by the Association of Black Women Historians for the best book on black women’s history and a 2002 Honor Book by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. The first truly comprehensive account of Ms. Bundles’s great-great grandmother’s life, this nonfiction book is based on nearly three decades of her meticulous research in the libraries, historical societies, courthouses and private homes of more than a dozen U.S. cities. Her young adult biography, MADAM C.J. WALKER: ENTREPRENEUR [Chelsea House 1991] received an American Book Award.
Ms. Bundles was deputy bureau chief of ABC News in Washington from 1996 to 1999, after twenty years as a network television producer with ABC and NBC News. From 1989 until 1996 she was a producer with ABC’s “World News Tonight with Peter Jennings” on many award-winning “American Agenda” segments. While at NBC News from 1976 to 1989 in New York, Washington, Atlanta and Houston, her assignments for “Nightly News,” “Today” and several primetime specials and magazine broadcasts included Jesse Jackson’s 1984 presidential campaign, the 1984 Democratic Convention, the Atlanta youth murders and several hurricanes.
Ms. Bundles’s speeches about Madam Walker, media and journalism have been well-received across the country by audiences at conferences, libraries and educational institutions including the U.S. Postal Service, Harvard University, the National Archives, Spelman College, Princeton University, the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress and several book festivals. She has appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning, America,” NBC’s “Today,” “CBS Sunday Morning,” NPR’s “Morning Edition” and “Fresh Air,” C-Span Book TV’s “Public Lives,” WNET/13’s “A Walk Through Harlem” and other national programs. Her articles have been published in the New York Times Book Review, O (The Oprah Magazine), Parade, Essence, Fortune Small Business, Black Issues Book Review, the Radcliffe Quarterly, several other magazines.
She is a member of the board of Madam Walker Theatre Center of Indianapolis, of the Dean’s Council of the Radcliffe Institute for Advance Study at Harvard, of the advisory board of the National Women’s History Museum in Washington, DC and of the Harvard Alumni Association Nominating Committee for Overseers and Directors. She chairs the National Association of Black Journalists Authors Showcase. She has served as president of the Radcliffe College Alumnae Association, a Radcliffe College trustee, Radcliffe Quarterly advisory board member, a Board of Governors of the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy member, a Harvard Alumni Association director, a Harvard Club of Washington director and a National Women’s Hall of Fame board member. She has been a visiting faculty member at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies and the Hurston/Wright Foundation’s Writers Week.
Among Ms. Bundles’s journalism awards are a du Pont Gold Baton and an Emmy. As well, she spearheaded the national campaign that led to the 1998 U.S. Postal Service’s Black Heritage stamp of Madam Walker. She was inducted into the Black Memorabilia Hall of Fame in 1991 and received a 2002 Harvard Alumni Association Award for outstanding service through alumni activities. In 2002 she created the 100 Books, 100 Women campaign to expand the library at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility of Women in New York.
Ms. Bundles graduated magna cum laude from Harvard/Radcliffe College, received a masters degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and an honorary doctorate from Indiana University. She is a member of the Alpha Iota Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at Harvard College. She lives in Washington DC.
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