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Investigative journalist Alison Flowers Inside the Design Studio with David Peck

I couldn't be more thrilled to have my guest today Inside the Design Studio. An award-winning investigative journalist, producer, and author, Alison Flowers is one of those women you don't forget, and while we don't live in the same city or even state (she's based in Chicago), I'm so proud to call her a friend and that we have been able to stay in touch for all of these years.
We have similar backgrounds, having both grown up in Colorado. Alison and I met many moons ago while we were both living in Paris. She was one of the first people I met through St. Michael’s Anglican Church... the stories we could tell! What impressed me most about Alison was her intelligence. It's no shock that she has become the acclaimed investigative journalist that she is. She's not just another brain, though! She even modeled in one of my first fashion shows at Parsons Paris!

David Peck Alison Flowers Vintage Houston Texas Designers

Alison Flowers modeling in David Peck's first fashion show

David Peck Alison Flowers Vintage Houston Texas Designers

Almost a decade later, we reconnected in Chicago where I was in town for a trunk show, and Alison ended up meeting her future husband that same night!  I was so lucky to have designed Alison’s wedding dress three years later!

 David Peck Alison Flowers Vintage Houston Texas Designers Custom Wedding Gown

Alison Flowers custom wedding gown by David Peck

Alison produced and appeared in the spectacular 7-part investigative podcast “Somebody” about the 2016 murder of Courtney Copeland. Last year she co-produced the SHOWTIME documentary “16 Shots” on the police killing of Laquan McDonald, which received Television Academy Honors for documentary special, as well as Peabody and Emmy nominations!

Alison Flowers investigative journalist inside the design studio with David Peck

She is also the author of  the must-read book “Exoneree Diaries: The Fight for Innocence, Independence and Identity.” I'm so proud of all that she's accomplished and continues to fight for in terms of social justice and equality. I know that her work comes with a price and I'm thankful for the effort she is making to make the world a better place for all of us.  All that in addition to being a wife and mom to 2 adorable little boys!

Tell us about yourself?

I’ve always loved to write and to investigate. As a kid, I scribbled stories in spiral notebooks and pretended to be a detective. In 2005, I published my first story and then started freelancing for magazines before pursuing journalism full-time in graduate school at Northwestern University in 2008. I got my first general assignment reporting gig working in TV news where I found myself drawn to criminal justice stories. I left TV and turned to wrongful conviction work, investigating cases as a journalist, which I continue to this day.

Nancy drew detective nancy drew GIF on GIFER - by Keth 

Along the way, I realized that there was an under-reported slice of the Innocence Movement, with respect to the lack of resources and compensation for exonerated prisoners. I published my first book in 2016, “Exoneree Diaries: The Fight for Innocence, Independence and Identity,” after spending several years documenting the lives of four exonerees. In the meantime, I also reported on issues related to policing and mass incarceration, landing a job at the Invisible Institute, a small nonprofit journalism production company on the South Side of Chicago. I lead investigations at the organization and co-direct our journalism program. At Invisible Institute, I recently co-produced the documentary “16 SHOTS” for Showtime, as well as a 7-part documentary podcast, “Somebody” with The Intercept on iHeartRadio. The podcast follows a Chicago mom’s investigation into her son’s murder, and it explores the racial disparities and turbulent relationship between law enforcement and citizens.

Somebody Podcast with Alison Flowers

How have the times affected you as a business and as an individual?

I gave birth to my second child a few weeks before the pandemic was announced and shelter in place was instituted. It was a complicated birth, so it’s been challenging to recover while taking care of two kids at home while simultaneously launching a podcast. While the podcast stayed on the top charts for its entire two month run, it was daunting to distribute something that we all had worked so hard on for more than three years, only to see the national consciousness so radically shifted. I felt like people were so consumed by pandemic news that they couldn’t mentally digest the type of story we wanted to tell around police accountability. Then, we as a country were gripped by the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor (and so many others). And it has been intense for my family (my husband is Black. We protested together in our neighborhood in Chicago where many shops are boarded up with beautiful murals and Black Lives Matter messages. It’s a painful time, yet full of possibility as we reckon with these realities.

Alison Flowers in David Peck's Liberty print mask and Stevie Vote T-shirt

What is your most-used emoji?

🤷🏻‍♀️

 

What was the worst haircut you ever had?

Mushroom cut in the 80s which my mom alleges was a “Dorothy Hamill” hairstyle.

Dorothy Hamil Houston Texas

Who was your childhood actor/actress crush? 

He’s not an actor, but Paul Revere was my first crush. 🤦🏻‍♀️

 

Did Paul Revere really yell 'The British Are Coming'? | HowStuffWorks

What’s the most embarrassing fashion trend you used to rock?

I wore tan pantyhose for 2/3 of my life, and I regret it.

 

  

You have your own late-night talk show, whom do you invite as your first guest?

Ava DuVernay

 

 

 What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

"When in doubt, do nothing.”

  

When you die, what do you want to be remembered for?

Being a badass who did good things.

 

  

What was the worst job you ever had? 

Watching five children ages 9, 7, 5, 2, and 1

 

 

Which band/artist-dead or alive would play at your funeral?

Joni Mitchell

 

 

What’s your favorite place of all the places you’ve traveled that feels like home and is not where you currently live?

Paris 

Paris France Houston Texas David Peck

 What’s one thing we don’t know about you?

I used to have double vision

 

 

If you could hang out with any fictional character, who would you choose and why?

The Bride from “Kill Bill.” For combat tips.

 

 

If you could choose any person from history to be your imaginary friend, who would it be and why?

Mary Magdalene

 

 

What is your favorite curse word

F

 

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

Chef

 

 

What is your greatest fear?

Harm to loved ones. And knocking out my teeth

 

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Macaroni and cheese

 

David Peck Signature

 

Comments (1 Response)

14 August, 2020

Deanna Sommer

Alison inspired me when we were in high school and she still inspires me today! So proud to know this amazing woman and mother! She has always been so determined and even back then you could tell she was destined to change the world and do it in her own kick-ass determined way! PS she is one heck of a theater actress!!

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