Margarita Anderson and her family made history and dominated headlines as national media covered their year-long stand living exclusively off businesses, and professionals coming from the African American community for an entire year. This first-ever real-life case study in self-help economics was called The Empowerment Experiment (EE). Their experiment resulted in a landmark study conducted by Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business which proved with the data from the Anderson’s journey how incremental support of these businesses can rescue the African American community and improve the American economy as a whole. Margarita, a first-generation Cuban-American, has a BA in Political Science from Emory University; and earned a Juris Doctor (JD) and Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Chicago, where President Barack Obama was her law professor and mentor. Before the experiment, she was an aide to civil rights icon, Congressman John Lewis, the speechwriter for the Mayor of Atlanta, a corporate strategy executive at McDonald’s Corporation, and a strategy consultant. Since the experiment, Margarita has become the face of a conscious consumerism movement uniting consumers and corporations of all kinds, and the quality minority-owned businesses that can rescue struggling communities and provide role models to at-risk youth. A sought-after speaker, she tours the country inspiring more consumer and corporate engagement of unsung, top quality African American professionals and firms. Recently chosen by BET and Centric as one of the “16 Most Fascinating Women of 2016”, Maggie appears on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, C-SPAN, PBS Newshour, TV One, and CBS Morning News, among many other national television and radio shows…and uses her growing platform to increase awareness about economic inequalities that starve African American neighborhoods and deny their businesses, and how proactive support of the businesses can create jobs, curb crime, and improve the American economy.

Maggie is also the author of the critically acclaimed book, Our Black Year. Publishers Weekly called it “Dynamite!” and “an effective probe into how African Americans spend so much money that overwhelmingly leaves their communities.” Library Journal raved, “Anderson’s book successfully illuminates the racial divide that continues to persist in the U.S. economy... This book will appeal to those looking for inspiration to effect positive change in their communities.” And the literary critics from Book Page added that Maggie Anderson’s story was “Blistering. Honest…[O]ffering clear-eyed perspective on how African Americans got to where they are today and what they can do to support black business owners.” (www.AuthorMaggieAnderson.com) Maggie is creating Maggie’s List to help consumers of all backgrounds empower struggling communities by supporting the high-quality, local African American-owned businesses and banks; professionals, such as insurance agents, doctors, lawyers, accountants, contractors, realtors, mechanics, plumbers, etc.; as well as African American franchisees, products, dealers, suppliers and agents associated with partner mainstream brands and retailers. Maggie lives in Oak Park, Illinois with her husband John (AB, Economics, Harvard University, 1993; MBA, Finance, Kellogg Graduate School of Management, 1999) and their two girls, Cori and Cara, nine and ten.