Team Member Profile

Lisa McNair

CEO of Speak Lisa

Birmingham native Lisa McNair is the oldest living daughter of Maxine and the late Chris McNair who are the parents of Denise McNair. Denise is one of the four girls killed in the infamous 1963 bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Denise was an only child at the time of her death. Almost exactly one year from the day of Denise's murder, Lisa was born.

Raised in Birmingham, Lisa attended public and private schools, and later attended college at the University of Alabama, both Tuscaloosa and Birmingham campuses. She worked 18 years at the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau promoting tourism and was instrumental in helping to develop Civil Rights Historic Tours in the Greater Birmingham area. Later Lisa spent 7 years working in her family's business, the Chris McNair Studios & Art Gallery.

Presently she is a professional photographer with her own business, Posh Photographers. Lisa is a consultant for Sojourn to the Past, an organization based out of California that utilizes a mobile classroom format to teach students details about the Civil Rights Movement and the principles of non-violence, during a seven-day journey across five states. To Sojourn with other groups, Lisa Shares the story of Denise's life, her heinous murder, and how it affected her parents and the city of Birmingham.

While Denise lived in a segregated south, Lisa's life was very integrated. "I came to know later in life how the sting of racism is still alive and well here during present times: same hate, different methodologies of implementing it. My goal in speaking to others is to make everyone aware that we still have work to do; be honest about our past in order to end racial hatred; and strive toward reconciliation and a more inclusive America. I use stories from my life experiences to help people to remember lessons of the 4 Girls' death as a springboard to foster reconciliation, and to let my audience know to never lose hope."

Lisa aspires to present the lessons learned from the Civil Rights Movement and the lives lost to help us to never repeat the horrible evilness of that time. "I also want the memories of Denise and the other three little girls to live on in history as a reminder that although we have come a long way, we still have a way to go. But along this journey we must find reconciliation too."