Blending culture and advocacy through writing and strategic communications.
Leslie D. Rose is a communications strategist, creative writer, and culture & advocacy journalist with two decades of experience. Through all areas of her work, she specializes in guiding purpose-driven campaigns and content to meet high social impact standards. She communicates with a healthy mix of candor and care to facilitate socially responsible dialogue and ensure people are comfortable having honest conversations. Her journalism focuses on equity and advocacy, criminal justice, women's health, music, celebrities, family, relationships, and mental health, among other topics.
Leslie has led grassroots, philanthropic, and higher ed communications, helping to garner positive press, shape social media presence, enhance internal and external media output, and cultivate donors. She's also been everything from a city newspaper aide to a digital media showrunner with bylines and video content across magazines, newspapers, major digital media outlets, and legacy publications. A few of her notable interviews include Mariah Carey, Maxine Waters, Kerry Washington, Chris Rock, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Common, Zoe Saldana, Will Ferrell, and Bootsy Collins. Leslie often lends an advocacy lens to her cultural pieces, giving a charge to the audience while presenting a new view. She has written extensively about the negative impact of using rap lyrics as evidence on trial. She moderated the panel discussion Hip-Hop & We Don’t Stop: Where Do We Go from Here, featured on the ABC documentary Rap Trap: Hip-Hop on Trial. She also served as the main voice journalist on the season 2 finale of VH1's Celebrity True Crime Story about former No Limit rapper Mac Phipps' wrongful conviction.
As a creative writer, Leslie’s focus is narrative poetry and creative non-fiction. She has competed in team and individual poetry slams at the national level. Her work has been published and featured on Passages North, All Def Poetry, and midnight & indigo, among other outlets. She is the author of the full-length journalism-inspired book of poetry, The Newsroom, which examines the emotional battle journalists often have within themselves as storytellers and humans. She also has four essays in The St. James Encyclopedia of Hip Hop Culture, 1st Edition. (2018, Gale/St. James Press).
Leslie is a proud HBCU graduate from Xavier University of Louisiana with a B.A. in mass communication. She has national awards in marketing for integrated campaigns and special videos, writing and editing awards in journalism, and community recognitions for her work in the arts and social impact. Leslie is available for freelance or contract hire in journalism, event/panel moderation, hosting, public relations and editorial consulting, photography, and as a teaching artist in poetry and journalism.
30 minutes to ask any comms-related questions you want. Questions can be specific to your project; however, prior research is not applicable to this offering. — $75
One hour to discuss your project for direction. Also referred to as the ramble session, clients generally toss ideas for clarity and action item creation. — $150
— Contact to discuss. (*Leslie does not write or edit academic papers.)
Feature-Style Bio Writing
What better way to tell your story than to have it written like a magazine article by a veteran features writer? — Starts at $200.
Turn your job descriptions into bite-sized, eye-catching achievement-based stories — $150-$200.
Xavier University of Louisiana, New Orleans
Bachelor of Arts, Mass Communication
Using the stage name Leslie D!, this Jersey-born poet whose work - primarily done in narrative form - addresses culture, ancestry, journalism, and Black womanhood. Leslie has been a member of two national poetry slam teams and represented Baton Rouge individually at the 2014 Women of the World Poetry Slam, where she ranked in the upper quadrant.
Her work has been published and featured in various outlets, including Passages North and All Def Poetry. Her work is also archived on IndieFeed: Performance Poetry, where you can hear seven poems, including this piece on immigration and this piece on journalism.
Leslie served as artistic staff for the 2014 run of the New Venture Theatre production, Love, Whitney - a choreoplay honoring the life and legacy of the late singer, Whitney Houston. This work included writing two poems for choreography and performing her piece, "An Open Letter to Whitney Houston from Every Woman who Understood Why the Flag Saluted You."
As an author, she has composed several chapbooks and a full-length book of journalism-inspired poetry titled, "The Newsroom." Contact to purchase. Leslie is available for hire as a performer and teaching artist.
The Picture of Health is an invisible illness awareness program inspired by Leslie's own struggles with fibromyalgia. It seeks to highlight individuals living with invisible physical, chronic, and mental conditions through the art of photography in an effort to normalize illness.
The first Picture of Health event was held in Baton Rouge in May 2019 in partnership with The Healthcare Gallery and Jones Creek Family Dentistry. The preview exhibit was then shown at Southern Cofe (Baton Rouge) through the summer of 2019. The work continues online with an Instagram community of invisible illness warriors.
Inspiration Behind The Picture of Health
Being so closely touched by a variety of invisible illnesses and having been misdiagnosed herself, shining light on invisible illnesses of all kinds became a passion project for Leslie. At the top of September 2017, a simple Facebook post asked people to comment with a selfie if they have invisible illnesses. Some 100 photos later, Leslie knew the project in her head was much bigger than she could imagine.
The Picture of Health in the News
Rose gives grace and patience to those who engage with her camera. How much or how little they reveal to the camera or to her is completely their choice. Some display their extensive arrays of medication bottles. Some smile boldly.
True BR: The rising art of spoken word poetry, The Advocate
With a new crop of poets rising from local high schools and universities, this art form has seen new life. Leslie D. Rose, a spoken word poet and journalist, shares an insider’s perspective on the culture of spoken word poetry in Baton Rouge.
Poetic Pair BR couple to showcase poetry, The Advocate
Modern poets tend to love the written and spoken word. For Leslie D. and Donney Rose, the spoken words include “I do.” Poetry helped bring the Baton Rouge couple together. They met at a concert and started seeing each other at poetry readings.
‘Artrepreneurship’ — 3 Tips for Turning Your Creative Endeavor into a Business, LA Tech Park
Leslie Rose, who holds a full-time job while also pursuing creative side projects and working on the Black Out Loud Conference, says she encourages entrepreneurs to not immediately put pressure on their art to support their lives. “Keep your full-time job as long as you can,” she says. “Have your benefits, save your money, go and network and meet people.”
Invisible Warriors: Photo Exhibit Reveals the Truth Behind Invisible Illness, The Jozef Syndicate
When photographer and writer Leslie D. Rose is told “oh, but, you look good! ” it is not a compliment. For many people living with invisible illnesses, very rarely do they “look sick.” And quite often, there is no celebration in looking like they are disease-free when beneath the surface their bodies are fighting debilitating conditions or chronic pain.
Their vacation in December 2016 came at the end of a particularly painful year, but Leslie Rose and her husband, Donney, found a spirit of rejuvenation in Puerto Rico.
Don't miss these events, Art, The Picture of Health, The Advocate
"The biggest thing is to elicit compassion," Rose says. Through her photos, she wants to show and educate that just because there may not be outward signs, doesn't mean that a neighbor isn't living with an illness. There is also the benefit, Rose says, that by showing others discussing their illnesses, more Baton Rougeans will want to speak up, showing there are many in the community with these medical conditions.
Artists aren't typically inclined to math, but they have a knack for aftermath, emerging with works both healing and buoyant in the wake of disasters. For the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria's devastation in Puerto Rico, the Baton Rouge Gallery hosts "Louisiana Artists for Puerto Rico," an evening of music, poetry, and dance led by area poet and media professional Leslie D. Rose, whose Puerto Rican descent prompted, in part, her effort to contribute to the country's reconstruction.
A group of local artists are coming together to benefit those impacted by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico a year ago nearing the one year anniversary.
Xavier names 40 under 40 award recipients, The Advocate
Gonzales Weekly Citizen and Donaldsonville Chief Editor Leslie D. Rose recently was selected as one of Xavier University of Louisiana’s Top 40 under 40 Young Alumni Awards. The awards recognize outstanding professionals under the age of 40 for their contributions to their organizations and to the community.
Rose, who lives in Louisiana but is originally from Mount Holly, has been performing for 9 years and started competing in 2006. "My interest in competing came from the sport feel of it," Rose said. "I have always been a very competitive person with no outlet — I can't play sports, I suck at board games, etc."
Please familiarize yourself with my work before pitching. Press releases and pitches may be sent using the link below or directly to EmailLeslieD@gmail.com.
**I do not respond to hate mail or disrespectful commentary.**