Media Portrayals: Looking Back, Moving Forward

So many events and programs took place in Richmond, Va. this past weekend and I am happy to have directed one such event and participated in a second. Thrilled that both events allowed me to be surrounded by numerous friendships, support and love. Thanks again to everyone who came out yesterday to support my BND Institute of Media and Culture symposium “Media Portrayals of African-American Women in Popular Culture and Reality TV.”IMG_1021

The program was at Virginia Union University’s Belgian Theater, and thanks to VUU journalism department chair Heidi Wilson and adjunct professor Jasmine Snead, a dozen VUU students and two UR students defied stereotypes by rising on a rainy Saturday morning to attend the session led by two seasoned journalists, academics and media industry professionals –Patrick L. Riley, a best-selling author and a former field producer for “Oprah,” (including the renewed 2005 Legends Ball),  and Dr. Sherri Williams, a frequent commentator on cable news whose day job is spreading knowledge and empowering students at American University as a professor of race and media studies.

Both of my guest lecturers are and were brilliant, and while everyone gained insight from the message shared, I KNOW that Patrick’s and Dr. Sherri’s words will resonate with the VUU students and Karla Peters’ University of Richmond mentees for decades to come. Truly, we could have spent the entire day listening to these two experts. So, what did Patrick and Sherri say? While I can easily write about the valuable lessons and industry insights shared, I won’t. Nor will I post videos or podcasts of the symposium. Months of work went into this program and tickets were reasonably priced. As the adage goes, “you snooze you lose.” However, I am available to consult with anyone who is interested in bringing this symposium to a university near you.

Shout out to my tribe for your part in making my Sunday night brainstorm three months ago a success: Karla E. Peters, Otesa Middleton Miles, Jazz “Senate Page” Miles, Renee Walston Johnson, LaTika Johnson Lee, Stacy Hawkins Adams, Chinae Massenberg, Charles Robinson, Heidi Wilson, Vanessa Coombs, Linda Conway, Marylinn Minor, Patrick L. Riley, Sherri Williams, Erin Stanley, Michael Harvey and Vinara Mosby, Tammie Smith, Cathy Gant Hill and Lynda Sharp Anderson. A special shout out to Teshana Gipson and Robin Farmer, who couldn’t participate, but were with us in spirit!
Part 2: Kym Marten: What can I say! You did it again, Soror! I’m so impressed by your KLM Foundation philanthropy and truly enjoyed your party with a purpose last night at the Richmond Convention Center. I was dead tired, but came out to support you because I admire the hard work executed by you and your team. Can’t wait until next year! Congrats!!








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