February 8, 2018

Last week, Visit Indy named Madam C.J. Walker as the 2018 Bill McGowan Leadership Award winner. The award is named for Bill McGowan, long-time president and CEO of the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association (now Visit Indy). 

Madam Walker created specialized hair care products for African-Americans in the early 1900s and built her empire in Indianapolis. Walker was one of the first American women to become a self-made millionaire.

Her great-great granddaughter, A’Lelia Bundles, who grew up in Indianapolis and has made it her life’s work to document and share the history of Madam Walker, was in town to accept the award on Walker’s behalf.

Bundles graciously accepted our invitation to sit down and reflect on her family’s legacy and share thoughts about what Walker has meant to Indianapolis and around the world.

Check out the video below: