Press Release

Social Justice and Electoral Politics

January 29, 2018 – by Cole Hatcher

Political Strategist Jessica L. Byrd to Speak Feb. 13 at Ohio Wesleyan University

Jessica L. Byrd

DELAWARE, Ohio – Jessica L. Byrd, one of Time Magazine’s “12 New Faces of Black Leadership” in 2016, will discuss “Building a Reflective Democracy: The Intersection Between Social Justice and Electoral Politics” when she speaks Feb. 13 at Ohio Wesleyan University. 

Byrd’s free presentation will begin at 7 p.m. Feb. 13 in Benes Rooms A and B of OWU’s Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave., Delaware. Her talk represents Ohio Wesleyan’s 24th annual Butler A. Jones Lecture on Race and Society. 

Byrd is the founder and principal strategist of Three Point Strategies, a Washington, D.C.-based political consulting firm supporting candidates and organizations of color. She describes herself as a black queer feminist and a “relationship-driven political operative working at the intersection of social justice and electoral politics.” 

Byrd was named one of the most influential millennials shaping the 2016 election by Rolling Stone Magazine and Essence Magazine’s January 2016 “Woman to Watch.” 

“I have found one small way to contribute by working to get more black women elected to office so that public policy meets the needs of our lives,” she told NBC in 2016. “It is an honor to build power for black people, even in small ways.” 

Previous to her work at Three Point Strategies, she worked at EMILY’s List, where she founded the first-ever homegrown candidate recruitment program. Byrd has worked on campaigns in 43 states and led national- and state-based programs to clear the pathway for underrepresented communities to engage in the political process. 

Byrd is a Columbus native and is a graduate of Chatham College for Women in Pittsburgh. 

Ohio Wesleyan’s Butler A. Jones Lectureship on Race and Society is sponsored by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and Social Justice with the International Studies Program, Department of Politics and Government, Women’s and Gender Studies Program, Associate Dean of Diversity and Inclusion, College Democrats, Sisters United, Student Union on Black Awareness (SUBA), Wesleyan Council on Student Affairs (WCSA), Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, Chaplain’s Office, and Black World Studies Program. 

The lecture was established in 1995 in honor of Jones, Ph.D., a former sociology/anthropology faculty member. In contributing to the quest for equality among races, Jones submitted 10 briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court in cases involving equal treatment of all citizens. Learn more at

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers more than 90 undergraduate majors and competes in 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through Ohio Wesleyan’s signature OWU Connection program, students integrate knowledge across disciplines, build a diverse and global perspective, and apply their knowledge in real-world settings. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives” and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at