Ashley M. Williams is the leading Millennial strategist, consultant, and speaker for brands that want to reach Millennials — helping brands to create the right campaigns, craft the right messages, and produce events that bring brands and Millennials together.
Ashley is the founder and CEO of RIZZARR, the social media platform built by Millennials, for the Millennial creator. She is also the founder of Millennials Change, an event series created to bring together Millennials and to inspire them to make endless ripples that can positively change the world. Ashley is passionate about using journalism, social media, and live experiences to inform and empower her generation.
Before starting her journey into entrepreneurship, Ashley was an award-winning journalist. She worked as a Multimedia Journalist for USA TODAY Network’s Nation Now. She helped create, produce, and host a show for the network called, Long Story Short, and helped with its video series, Inspiration Nation. Prior to working at USA TODAY, Ashley worked at WBAL Radio as a Multimedia Reporter and Web Producer. Before that, Ashley worked at NBC News as a member of its News Associates Program. There, she worked for the Today Show, the Grio, and MSNBC’s Politics Nation with Al Sharpton.
Just before joining NBC News, Ashley worked in South Africa as a digital reporter and producer for Cue Television as well as a print reporter for Grocott’s Mail Newspaper. After these experiences, she was granted a columnist position with Africa.com. Her columns sparked a series for the site called, My Journey, My Africa, which allowed readers to post stories about their experiences in Africa.
Ashley has received many accolades, including the 2011 Student Journalist of the Year Award from the National Association of Black Journalists; the Pat Tobin Scholarship from the Black Journalists Association of Southern California; acceptance into the Meredith-Cronkite Fellowship, and a Hearst Journalism Award Nomination. In addition, in 2013, Ashley and the rest of the WBAL Radio team were the recipients of the Associated Press ‘Outstanding Website’ award.
She graduated with honors from the University of Southern California. Ashley earned a bachelor’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism along with minors in international relations and Spanish. Ashley attended USC on a scholarship from the USC Trojan Debate Squad and actively debated on the team while in college. Additionally, during her time at USC, she interned for BBC Mundo, ABC Good Morning America, Dateline NBC, People Magazine, NBC Nightly News, and other media entities.
She began her career in high school, hosting television shows for an educational access channel. During her time there, she created, produced, and hosted a teen talk show out of her passion for addressing issues that her peers were facing.
Ashley is originally from Michigan.