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Monica Pearson

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5 out of 5

First Female & African-American News Anchor in Atlanta

First Female & African-American News Anchor in Atlanta

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Atlanta, GA, USA
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Monica Pearson Biography

Monica Kaufman Pearson is the first woman and first minority to anchor the daily evening news in Atlanta, Georgia, where she worked for 37 years at the leading station, WSB-TV. She now hosts and produces Monica Pearson One on One, a monthly personality interview program for Gray Media Group. The hour-long program is shown on Peachtree TV/ WPCH-TV in Atlanta. She has won over 33 Southern Regional and local Emmy Awards for reporting, anchoring and her Closeups celebrity interview show. She is also a member of the NATAS Silver Circle. When she retired, she was honored on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives by the bipartisan delegation of the State of Georgia for her years of service on and off the air to improve the lives of the citizens of Georgia.

Since retiring in 2012, she’s stayed busy. At the age of 67, she graduated with a Master’s Degree, Magna Cum Laude from the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication in 2014. She wrote a column, Monica Matters, for the quarterly magazine, Southern Seasons and taught at Atlanta Metropolitan State College. She is a much sought-after emcee and motivational speaker and for five years, she freelanced at KISS 104.1 FM, hosting This Week in Black History on their website. For five years she hosted a Sunday public affairs show on KISS 104.1. She also was one of three hosts of the Emmy nominated Georgia Public Broadcasting show, A Seat at the Table, GPB.org/ASATT. Recently she has become a radio and television spokesperson for businesses and institutions and a voice over actor. She is a member of SAG and AFTRA.

Pearson is a native of Louisville, KY, growing up in the Smoketown neighborhood. She is a graduate of the University of Louisville. She participated in the Summer Program for Minority Groups at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 1969. She was a reporter for the Louisville Times newspaper and a reporter and weekend anchor for WHAS TV in Louisville. For two years, she worked in public relations at Brown-Forman Distillers.

Pearson was inducted into the National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame, the University of Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame, the Georgia Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame, the Atlanta Press Club Hall of Fame and the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. In 2016, she was inducted into Georgia Trend’s Most Influential Hall of Fame. In 2019, she was inducted into the Trumpet Foundation International Civil Rights Walk of Fame, located outside the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta and was named the 2019 Woman of Purpose by Women United of the Greater Atlanta United Way. The Jeanette Rankin Foundation named her their Shining Star for 2019. In 2021, she was inducted into the National Black Radio Hall of Fame. In 2022, Pearson was given the Lifetime Achievement Award from the R.I.C.E. (Rising in Community Excellence Award) and the Visionary Lifetime Achievement Award by the Georgia Latino Film Alliance and Festival.

She is a Lifetime Trustee of Meals on Wheels Atlanta. In May of 2015, she chaired the Go Red for Women Luncheon of the America Heart Association and has served on the Executive Leadership Council and on the American Heart Association National Communications and Marketing Committee. She is also the first non-medical person to serve on the board of Americas-Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association Foundation, (AHPBAF.)

Pearson was the first African American and second woman to serve as Chairperson of the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta. She also was the first woman to serve as President of the Atlanta Tipoff Club, which first presented the Naismith Awards to outstanding basketball players on the high school and collegiate level, locally and nationally. From 2005-2021, she served on the Board of Jurors for the prestigious George Foster Peabody Awards at the University of Georgia and chaired the Board of Jurors in 2022, the first African American woman to hold that position. She is a 2016 University of Georgia Grady Fellow. The Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication awarded Pearson the John Holliman Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020. Pearson also has received an alumni Fellow’s award from The University of Louisville. She is a recipient of the 2018 University of Georgia Graduate School Alumni of Distinction Award. Omicron Delta Kappa, The National Leadership Honor Society, presented her its 2018 Pillar of Leadership Award, Celebrating Excellence in Communications.

Pearson has been recognized nationally for her reporting. The Women’s Sports Foundation and Miller Lite awarded her the Women’s Sport Journalism Award for Local Television Reporting for her investigative report on the Georgia High School Association, which in its 87-year history had never had a woman on its executive committee and did not have statewide competition for girls’ soccer and cheerleading. The report led to women being added to the committee and soccer and cheerleading being recognized as sports with competition statewide. That led to college scholarships for girls in both sports.

She was also awarded first place recognition by the Atlanta Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, Green Eyeshade Awards for Excellence in Journalism/Documentary for “Hot Flash! The Truth About Menopause,” in 1995. The documentary also won two National American Women in Radio and Television Commendation Awards in competition with network programs for Best Magazine Show and Best Program Produced by a Woman.

In 1992, her report “The Abuse Excuse” was named “Best News Story (Large Market) and received an Exceptional Merit Media Award—EMMA.

Pearson has been a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the nation’s first Black sorority since 1966 and is a member of the Kappa Omega Chapter in Atlanta, the oldest chapter in the state of Georgia. The sorority awarded her the Presidential Vanguard Award in 2016. In 2018, the Atlanta Dream of the WNBA presented Pearson with the Pat Summitt Inspiring Woman Award.

Pearson is a member of The Junior League of Atlanta. She is a breast cancer and liver cancer survivor.

Pearson has received honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters from Atlanta University, now named Clark Atlanta University; Oglethorpe University; American Bible University and a Doctor of Public Service from Young Harris College.

She is married to John E. Pearson, Sr., is the mother of Claire Patrice Deveaux and stepmother of John E. Pearson II.

Monica Pearson Speaking Topics

  • Re-wirement

  • Putting the "Pro" Back in Professional

  • Diversity: prized in nature, problematic elsewhere. Navigating and Appreciating Differences

Monica Pearson Videos

  • Monica Pearson One on One: Ryan Cameron
    Atlanta’s homegrown radio personality Ryan Cameron is the voice of America, having trademarked the title given to him by Atlanta Magazine.
  • Monica Pearson (MA '14) — 2020 Alumni Award recipient - YouTube
    AboutPressCopyrightContact usCreatorsAdvertiseDevelopersTermsPrivacy Policy & SafetyHow YouTube worksTest new features.
  • Advice from Monica Pearson (MA '14) - YouTube
    One of Atlanta's most respected journalists, Monica Pearson, discusses her advice for young journalists.

Speaker Lists Featuring Monica Pearson

FAQs on booking Monica Pearson

  • How do I book Monica Pearson to speak at my event?

    Our experienced booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure speakers like Monica Pearson for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment since 2002. Click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page to check availability for Monica Pearson, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get speaking fee information and check availability for Monica Pearson or any other speaker of your choice.
  • What are the speaker fees for Monica Pearson

    Speaking fees for Monica Pearson, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The estimated fees to book Monica Pearson are for live events and for virtual events. For the most current speaking fee to hire Monica Pearson, click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak directly with an experienced booking agent.
  • What topics does Monica Pearson speak about?

    Monica Pearson is a keynote speaker and industry expert whose speaking topics include Black History, Influential Women, Leadership, Virtual Speakers, Women, Women In Leadership.
  • Where does Monica Pearson travel from?

    Monica Pearson generally travels from Atlanta, GA, USA, but can be booked for private corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. For more details, please contact an AAE Booking agent.
  • Who is Monica Pearson’s agent?

    AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully booked keynote speakers like Monica Pearson for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Monica Pearson for your next private or corporate function.
  • What is a full-service speaker booking agency?

    AAE Speakers Bureau is a full-service speaker booking agency, meaning we can completely manage the speaker’s or celebrity’s engagement with your organization from the time of booking your speaker through the event’s completion. We provide all of the services you need to host Monica Pearson or any other speaker of your choice, including offer negotiation, contractual assistance, accounting and billing, and event speaker travel and logistics services. When you book a speaker with us, we manage the process of hosting a speaker for you as an extension of your team. Our goal is to give our clients peace of mind and a best-in-class service experience when booking a speaker with us.
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    If you’re looking for the best, unbiased speaker recommendations, paired with a top-notch customer service experience, you’re in the right place. At AAE Speakers Bureau, we exclusively represent the interests of our clients - professional organizations, companies, universities, and associations. We intentionally do not represent the speakers we feature or book. That is so we can present our clients with the broadest and best performing set of speaker options in the market today, and we can make these recommendations without any obligation to promote a specific speaker over another. This is why when our agents suggest a speaker for your event, you can be assured that they are of the highest quality with a history of proven success with our other clients.

Monica Pearson is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics such as Re-wirement, Putting the "Pro" Back in Professional and Diversity: prized in nature, problematic elsewhere. Navigating and Appreciating Differences. The estimated speaking fee range to book Monica Pearson for your event is $5,000 - $10,000. Monica Pearson generally travels from Atlanta, GA, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Xernona Clayton, Nikki Giovanni, Bethaney Wilkinson, Gail Harris and Ellen McGirt. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Monica Pearson for an upcoming live or virtual event.

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