By Falyn Page, Char’Nese Turner, Lily Cusack and Waverly Colville
Tarrah Cooper is a Managing Partner at Rise Strategies, and serves on the board of directors for Breakthrough, an urban ministry providing food, housing and other services for impoverished families living in the East Garfield Park Neighborhood of Chicago. We profile her perspective and the nonprofit where she serves in a leadership role via video.
Backstory. The XXTRA University of Missouri capstone reporting team met with Cooper during the Power Rising conference hosted in Atlanta and took a moment to record her perspective. Our capstone reporters identified Cooper as a kindred spirit, in that she, too, attended the University of Missouri where she received her bachelor’s degree in journalism.
Since graduation, Cooper has emerged as a leader to watch. She has worked in Washington, D.C., on Capitol Hill, and on the first presidential campaign for Barack Obama. Cooper also worked for the Department of Homeland Security and served as Press Secretary for Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Cooper believes the fundamentals she learned while at the University of Missouri equipped her throughout her career to be a great communicator, remaining objective, the importance of integrity, understanding the news and media and how to properly tell stories. Most importantly, she notes the relevance and importance of higher education to women of color.
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