Leezel is a bridge journalist at the intersection of everything from editorial, product to audience development, marketing and more. Currently, Leezel is the Senior Editor for Membership and Innovation at HuffPost. In the past, she worked with the Associated Press in Audience Development and was at CNNMoney (now CNNBusiness) as Assistant Managing Editor of Programming where she led a global team of multiplatform editors. She received her Bachelor’s degree at Loyola Marymount University and a Masters degree at UCLA. She is a 2019 Filipino Young Leaders Program (FYLPRO) delegate and sits on the FYLPRO Board of Directors.
On this episode, we talk about Leezel’s journey into multi-media journalism, the power of storytelling and how she’s navigated the industry as a Filipina American. Harnessing her identity of being in-between Filipino and American to be a bridge reporter and bridge communities and stories, Leezel promotes embracing “being many things” and how Filipinos are some of the best bridge-people of the world. We learn about how Filipinos can embrace their history of adaptability and innovating in the present uncertain times. She also shares with us a project she’s working on around Blood Debt, a concept of owing debt transcending finances, such as time, love and obligations, due to being in the family line, challenging the traditional notion of “utang na loob.”
- Embracing being many identities, harnessing it to be a bridge for communities
- Reframing fear and discomfort as growth
- Blood Debt (debt of gratitude to our family and ancestors)
- The lens of a Filipina in the media reporting and journalism space of current events going on right now
- How communities of color are disproportionately affected by effects of Covid19
- Stopping spread of misinformation during global pandemic
- Identifying what lane to occupy as an activist and FilAM community in the current movement
- Amplifying the voices of the black community
- How Filipinos are used to chaotic change and can tap into our ancestral history of resilience to change
Leezel and I recorded this in the beginning of February. Since then, the world has changed drastically. We had a global pandemic, Covid19 and stay at home orders changed everything, the economy, work, jobs, society, our way of living. On top of that, the movement against racial injustice and Black Lives Matter has been reignited, after 3 more black lives have been taken at the hands of police brutality. Protests and demonstrations have sparked nation wide, crying for justice, and systemic reform. More importantly, it’s forced communities of color to look at their role as allies and activists against anti-blackness. Leezel and I reconnect on all this, so stay tuned towards the end of the show as we cover these current events and how our Filipino American community can play an effective and meaningful role.
Connect with her at leezeltanglao.com