Public and Community Relations
Livis Freeman graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1999 with a degree in psychology.
He started a public and community relations company called 4ourFans, Inc. in 2001 to help professional athletes create their charitable identities, give back to their communities, improve their image, manage their public and media relations, improve their marketability, show fan appreciation, rebrand and transition into executive management and broadcast careers. Through operating 4ourFans, he has worked with sports stars such as Jerry Stackhouse (NBA), Antawn Jamison (NBA), Juwan Howard (NBA), Brendan Haywood (NBA), Jarvis Hayes (NBA), Erick Dampier (NBA), TJ Ford (NBA), Kris Jenkins (NFL), Quentin Groves (NFL), Chansi Stuckey (NFL), Leroy Hill (PGA), James Butler (NFL), Tim Clark (PGA), Charles Howell III (PGA) and former two-time heavyweight boxing champion Riddick Bowe. Through 4ourFans, he created an internship program that has given over 60 students around the country the chance to get valuable experience in public and community relations.
Freeman currently serves on the board of directors for UNC's School of Social Work and The Daily Tar Heel (DTH). He also serves as the faculty adviser for the DTH. He has served on more than a dozen other charitable boards but his most passionate endeavor has been his role on the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill’s Board of Directors. He was involved with RMH-Chapel Hill for over 13 years and served in various roles including president, vice president, secretary and adviser.
Freeman has been recognized by the Triangle Business Journal as a recipient of their 2007 40 Under 40 Leadership Awards. He was also recognized by WCHL with a Carolina Pride “Hometown Heroes Award.”
In addition to running 4ourFans, Inc., Freeman is an associate professor at the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media, where he has taught courses including "MEJO 531: Case Studies in Public Relations," "MEJO 441: Diversity and Communication," "MEJO 240: Current Issues in Mass Communication," "MEJO 634: Public Relations Campaigns," “MEJO 379: Advertising and Public Relations Research,” “MEJO 141: Media Ethics,” "MEJO 377: Sports Communication," "MEJO 137: Intro to AD/PR," and “MEJO 544: Career Exploration and Preparation.” He created “MEJO 544” in the fall of 2018, designed for seniors to help them navigate and minimize the stress from the job application process; create professional portfolios, resumes, cover letters and LinkedIn profiles; connect them with graduates for mentorship; become more effective networkers and better interviewees; and think more critically about the role that race, diversity, inclusion and racial equity have in the workplace.
Freeman teaches two sections of “MEJO 634” each semester, which is a capstone and the most advanced course for the PR section of the school. It challenges students to produce usable and easy-to-implement campaigns for real-world clients. Class clients have included FOX SPORTS, Nike’s Jordan Brand, the Carolina Hurricanes, NASCAR, Chick-fil-A, GM (General Motors), the Nashville Predators, former Tar Heel and NBA player – Danny Green, Rameses - UNC’s Animal Mascot, UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, UNC’s Eshelman School of Pharmacy, UNC’s School of Dentistry and more.
Freeman serves as the director of the school’s Chuck Stone Program. The program, inspired by UNC Professor Emeritus Charles “Chuck” Stone’s lifelong commitment to increasing the voices of diversity in all areas of mass communication, is a centerpiece in the school’s efforts to recruit students of diversity. This workshop brings twelve rising high school seniors to Chapel Hill, representing varying diversity, including but not limited to religion, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, disability, sexual orientation and gender. A typical workshop comprises more than 50 hours of classroom time, including lectures, interviews, discussion sessions, guest speakers, story planning meetings, writing and editing sessions.
He serves on the school’s Access, Belonging, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Committee (ABIDE) and was asked to serve as chair during the 2020-2021 school year. As part of the committee, he created and leads two subcommittees – “Events Planning” and a “Student Diversity Board.”
He was selected to be a Teaching Fellow for the Institute of African American Research’s Initiative for Student Learning to Advance Truth and Equality (AAR-SLATE) and awarded a $15,00 grant for 2021-22.
He has also served as Honor Thesis Advisor for three students and on committees for 13 other students, including nine master's students.
In 2018, he received the Richard Cole Service Award, which recognizes one junior and one senior faculty member whom each strives to create a collaborative culture within the school.