Calling All Book Clubs!

RSVP at Eventbrite  Book Club with Michelle O


Kitchen Talk: African-American Holiday Cooking

When the holidays arrive,  families and foodies everywhere delight in mouth-watering home-cooked meals that feed mind, body and soul. Speaking of soul, that’s what you’ll find in the hearts and kitchens of many African-Americans who hold fast to holiday cooking traditions that have endured generations. Nowhere is this more evident than the 2018 release of the book, “Edna Lewis: At the Table with an American Original.” The book pays homage to Ms. Lewis, one of America’s beloved chefs who was born not far from Richmond in Freetown, (Orange County) Virginia.

9781469638553.jpgMs. Lewis, who died in 2006 at age 89, left a legacy and love of cooking that lives on in her seminal cookbooks that the New York Times says  “revived the nearly forgotten genre of Clarinex while offering a glimpse into African-American farm life in the early 20th century.” Her cookbooks include: The Edna Lewis Cookbook (1972), The Taste of Country Cooking (1976) and In Pursuit of Flavor (1988).

Join us as local and regional food experts discuss why chefs such as Ms. Lewis continue to inspire legions of novice and experienced cooks. Our panel of food experts will include Herman Baskerville, chef, owner of Big Herm’s Kitchen; Betty Thompson Morton, kitchen culinary consultant, cookbook author (formerly of Reynolds Kitchens);  Keva Miller, chef and owner of FEEDSHINE LLC.

The BND Institute of Media and Culture Inc.


Kitchen Talk: African-American Holiday Cooking


Inspired by the book: “Edna Lewis: At the Table with an American Original”

This program is free and open to the public.


Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018

6 p.m.

 Richmond Public Library

101 East Franklin Street

Richmond, Virginia 23219

Enjoy samples of holiday dishes following the discussion


Program sponsors: John R. Rich, Senior Investments Manager; Michael L. Harvey, MLH Assets LP;  NDUTIME Youth and Family Services.

Pens Up, Fears Down with Sadeqa Johnson



The BND Institute of Media and Culture Presents “Pens Up, Fears Down: Write Now!” led by award-winning author Sadeqa Johnson.In this class, we will massage the knots and unravel the tales traveling through your head. We will explore memory, character and story with writing exercises that will inspire you to put your fears down and get the writing onto the page. This class is for those who have a desire to write but need a gentle push and loving environment to get started, and for writers who need to dedicate some time to improving the craft of writing. All levels are welcome.

This class is limited to 10 people.

When: September 22, 2018

Time: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Where: Rolling Hills Subdivision (adjoining Chamberlayne Farms), Richmond, Va. 23227

Cost: $50 per person (includes lunch and beverages)

Register at Eventbrite by Sept. 15, 2018

Contact: Bonnie Newman Davis,



About the Author and Instructor

 Sadeqa Johnson, a former public relations manager, spent several years working with well-known authors such as JK Rowling, Bebe Moore Campbell and Bishop TD Jakes before becoming an author herself. She is the author of Love in a Carry-on BagSecond House From the Corner and And Then There Was Me. Her awards include, a Phillis Wheatley award for Best Fiction, Black Pearl Magazine Author of the Year, and the NBCC Author of the year for best fiction. She is a member of the Tall Poppy Writers, a Kimbilio Fellow, motivational speaker, half marathon runner, sometimes yogi, wife and mother of three wonderful children.

A Look Back: Summer Media Camp 2018


Johari Edwards discusses his poetry with Johnathan Dyer for a podcast episode.

The BND Institute-Ephesus Summer Media Camp has ended and what a great two weeks they were! Each weekday, from July 16-27 , 2018, our 12 students in middle and high school learned about journalism basics while exploring multi-platform reporting and new media technology, enabling them to create work to be displayed via a digital presence.

Mikayla Martin and Karina McClatchie discover the joys of urban gardening.

In addition, our students increased their confidence as they learned about media literacy and gained more awareness about their individual and collective communities.
In between writing, editing  and exploring their video skills with the assistance of media professionals, students visited Richmond media outlets such as NBC12-Richmond and Padilla, a global communications firm. Special treats included a visit to Sun Path Family Farm, an urban garden that is putting a dent in one of Richmond’s many food deserts, and a master class with Emmy-award winning filmmaker Jesse Vaughan. Students also enjoyed meeting Juan Conde of WRIC-TV8 Richmond, Clovia Lawrence of Radio One, Tammie Smith of The Richmond Times-Dispatch, and Kym Grinnage, general manager, NBC 12.
Our inaugural program would not have been successful without the support of so many friends, colleagues, supporters, parents and our students! We extend a special “Thank You” to sponsors John R. Rich, James A. Newman, Jr., Dr. Linnie S. Carter, Cheyenne Moss, Vinara Mosby, Michael Harvey and Linda Jackson Shaw.  We also appreciate the guidance and support provided by Dr. Gary Banks, senior minister, Ephesus SDA Church, Ms. Billie Webb,  and Mrs. Saundra Rollins, our lead volunteer. Thanks also to our instructors, Dr. Cathy M. Jackson of Norfolk State University, Dr. Randy Davis, Global Media LLC., and Dexter Johnson, a multimedia journalist who is a 2013 graduate of the Scripps Howard School of Journalism @ Hampton University.y Also, kudos to our hard-working volunteers, freelance writer Morgann Williams and Jay Adams of Collegiate School.

Campers learn how drones can help deliver news.

We TRULY appreciate Karla Redditte of NBC12 – Richmond for coming out to capture our camp for an amazing news segment that aired Aug. 3, 2018. Click here to view the video.



NBC 12’s Karla Redditte captured the media camp. She’s pictured with Bonnie Newman Davis, executive director of The BND Institute of Media and Culture.

Finally, please enjoy this excellent video created by Dexter Johnson.  A website featuring our campers’ work is being updated and the link soon will be made available for interested audiences.

Reminder: We will begin accepting applications for next  year’s media camp in March 2019.
Again, thank you for your support.
Bonnie Newman Davis
Executive Director
BND Institute of Media and Culture

Summer Media Camp for Students July 16-27, 2018

Amplifying Their Voices

The BND Institute of Media and Culture’s Multimedia Summer Journalism Program, in partnership with Ephesus Junior Academy, combines journalism and multi-platform media technology for students in grades 8 through 12 to create and display their work via an online presence. In addition, students will build their confidence as they learn about media literacy and gain more awareness about their individual and collective communities. This program will tap into and explore students’ creativity, writing, editing and video skills. Students will work with  professional media writers, editors, videographers and special guests who will lead them through various aspects of digital storytelling. Click HERE for application. For more information , contact Bonnie Newman Davis at

Summer Camp Flyer3

Color Him Father: A son reflects on his trailblazing dad

Color Him Father Podcast




“Some of his players include (the late) Sen. Dr. Benjamin Lambert Sr.and Kermit Blount, former head coach at Winston Salem State University to name just a few,” says Paul J. Lawrence, the son of the late Angier “Horse” Lawrence. “(My father) said what he meant and meant what he said. Everyone loved to hear him lay folks out… unless he was talking to you. And I was not immune to that because I was his son.” 


Paul J. Lawrence

Join us  June 16, 2018 @ the Richmond Public Library as Richmonder Paul J. Lawrence, president of the Richmond, Va. chapter of the N.C. A&T State University Alumni Association, reflects on the lessons learned from his trailblazing father, the late Angier “Horse” Lawrence. After Mr. Lawrence’s presentation, attendees may share their own reflections of their fathers or other significant men who helped shape  their lives.

Paul Lawrence

Born and raised in Richmond, Va., Paul J. Lawrence’s parents were two educators whose early emphasis on the importance of education and learning was not lost on their child. Paul attended Richmond’s Benedictine High School where he excelled in the military and academics. At Benedictine, Paul was the first black cadet to achieve the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the school’s history.  While there, he also was a three-time state discus champion and, upon graduation, he received a full ROTC Scholarship.

Paul used that scholarship at North Carolina A&T State University where he majored in mechanical engineering. With an career that spans some 22 years in the United States and internationally, Paul currently works as an engineer at AMF Bakery Systems in Richmond. His impressive design portfolio includes work with Walt Disney Imagineering with rides in Anaheim, California and Orlando, Florida. His aerospace work for Zodiac Aerospace has been used by Gulfstream Airbus and Boeing.

Paul currently is the president of the Richmond Chapter of the North Carolina A&T Alumni Association. He is also on the Stem Board of advisors of the Chesterfield County School system.

Most of Paul’s time outside of work is spent mentoring young people and following sports such as Formula One Racing and Football.


Angier “Horse” Lawrence


Mr. Lawrence was born in Durham, North Carolina and graduated from North Carolina College in 1949. He joined the coaching staff at NCC. He later earned his Master’s degree from New York University in Health and Physical Education and joined the faculty at Huntington High School in Newport News, Virginia. In 1953, Coach Lawrence began coaching football, basketball, track and baseball at Virginia Randolph High School. He was there for 15 years. In 1957 “Horse” became a CIAA Basketball Official, where he delighted spectators and players until 1988. He served as an official in many NCAA regional tournaments, VHSL tournaments, CIAA and MEAC tournaments.

In 1968 Coach Lawrence moved to Richmond Public Schools’ Armstrong High School to fill the head football coaching position vacated by the retirement of Maxie C. Robinson. He served until 1979, when he became head of the school’s Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. He served in this position at the time of his death.

Date and Time:

June 16

10 a.m.

Richmond Public Library

101 East Franklin Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219.

Refreshments will be provided.

Register @ EventBrite

*Sponsored by the BND Institute of Media and Culture, Inc., AfroEconomics with JB Bryan, Michael L. Harvey, MLH Assets Management, LP

Dreams on a Screen

COMING FALL 2018 : Writing Your Memoir

The BND Institute of Media and Culture presents award-winning authors who will coach novice and experienced writers who seek to polish their writing skills during  a writing workshop on May 12, 2018. memoir1Some attendees may need help with writing basics such as improving their language skills, grammar, spelling, word usage and diction. Others may require tips and techniques to structure their writing, develop their storytelling skills or need a nudge to get their creative juices flowing. Our coaches will answer questions, while guiding and providing workshop participants tools for writing a memoir or works of fiction and nonfiction. They’ll also lend advice about how to navigate the publishing world.







Telling Our Stories


From left: Dr. Cathy M. Jackson, Elvatrice Belsches, Brenda Dabney Nichols, Elizabeth Johnson Rice.  Photo by Tammie L. Smith.  Click here to view a video of the program.


Honoring Women Who Tell Our Stories

 Richmond, Virginia is fortunate to have numerous educators, historians, journalists and writers who routinely capture and record its fascinating legacy and traditions. On Saturday, March 31, 2018, the BND Institute of Media and Culture honored three Richmond-area educators whose thirst for knowledge about family, church, community, education and justice made history. Speakers and honorees Elvatrice Belsches, Brenda Dabney Nichols and Elizabeth Johnson Rice shared their most intriguing discoveries unearthed during years of research and curiosity. Cathy M. Jackson, PhD., a journalism professor and historian at Norfolk State University moderated the discussion.

The BND Institute of Media and Culture sincerely appreciates the support of its  patrons and sponsors: AfroEconomics with JB Bryan, Maxamus Insurance, John R. Rich, G.A. Carter and NBC12-Richmond. #women’shistorymonth.


About the speakers:

Elvatrice Belsches, a Richmond native, historian and researcher, is curator of the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia’s new exhibit, “Yesterday’s Stories, Today’s Inspiration,” which chronicles aspects of the African American experience. Mrs. Belsches, a researcher for the film “Lincoln,” has documented the African-American experience for decades. She also authored the pictorial publication, “Black America Series: Richmond ,Virginia” ( Arcadia Publishing). In 2017, Mrs. Belsches was asked to bring to life the Black History Museum exhibit. The exhibit opened in February 2018. It covers themes as diverse as the early years, education, the early worship experience,” Mrs. Belsches recently told Richmond’s NBC12. “(Museum visitors) are going to learn about the powerful roots of resistance and roots of success here. The exhibit has inspirational and incredible stories, told through photographs provided by repositories around the country, here in Virginia and by families themselves.”

Elizabeth Johnson Rice was among 34 Virginia Union University students who were arrested in 1960 after they staged a sit-in at Thalhimers department store for its refusal to serve African-Americans in its restaurants. This was the first mass-arrest in the civil rights movement. Mrs. Rice went on to represent the university on NBC’s Today Show, which was then hosted by Dave Garroway and Florence Henderson. Her brother, Ford T. Johnson, Jr., was arrested with her during the 1960 sit-ins. His 1962 Supreme Court case (Johnson v. Commonwealth of Virginia) resulted in the desegregation of all public federal facilities in the United States. Two years ago Mrs. Rice stood at the site of the former Thalhimers store for a more celebratory reason: The unveiling of a Virginia historical marker commemorating the VUU students’ heroic actions 58 years ago. The marker, erected by the state Department of Historic Resources, is on East Broad Street between 7th and 8th streets, where Thalhimers once stood. The store closed in 1992 and was demolished in 2004. During the installation ceremony Mrs. Rice said: “Just the fact we’re being remembered feels good. This historical marker will be here when we’re all gone.

Brenda Dabney Nichols, a retired Henrico County Schools teacher and music educator, is the author of “African-Americans of Henrico County: 1863-1993” (2010). The book explores the origin and history of numerous African-American communities during and after slavery. Churches and schools that served Henrico’s black population are frequently cited in Mrs. Dabney’s book. Several years ago, Mrs. Nichols and members of Henrico County’s Quioccasin and Westwood Baptist churches formed a committee to maintain and improve the status of three Henrico County cemeteries: Quioccasin, Westwood and Pryor (QWP) memorial cemeteries. The cemeteries also are final resting places for the late state Sen. Benjamin J. Lambert III, his brother, the late Richmond attorney Leonard Lambert, and the late Rev. Paul Nichols, Mrs. Dabney’s husband. Mrs. Nichols is the great granddaughter of Jesse Scott Pryor Sr. ,for whom the J.S. Pryor Sr. Memorial Cemetery is named and was purchased in 1939 by his descendants for family members’ burials. The QWP committee worked with the Henrico Department of Recreation and Parks and its Historic Preservation Advisory Committee to purchase and establish a historical marker for the cemeteries. The marker was placed on a median strip on Quioccasin Road in August 2016.

Photos from March 31, 2018 program.