RVA Entrepreneurs Host Inaugural Gala!


The RVA Entrepreneurs Association will host its  inaugural RVA Entrepreneurs’ Dinner, Dance and Networking Event on Dec. 16, 2017 at the Willow Oaks Country Club in Richmond, Va. This event will highlight the achievements of our members and other Richmond-area entrepreneurs who have worked tirelessly to build and create businesses that help boost our local, state and regional economies.

We anticipate having more than 100 entrepreneurs, who represent finance, healthcare, media, real estate and other professional services, celebrate their excellence during our inaugural event. Along with these entrepreneurs and their guests, we will welcome and recognize outstanding individuals and leaders who embody our core mission and objective to impart knowledge, understanding and unity among all communities, while displaying high ethical standards of conduct and sound discernment.

Also, in sharing our combined business acumen, expertise and resources with current and future entrepreneurs, the RVA Entrepreneurs will identify a charitable, nonprofit organization (FeedMore) to receive a portion of proceeds raised during our Dec. 16 event. Your assistance in this fundraising endeavor will be greatly appreciated.

For details, please visit Eventbrite.


Remember the Ladies Recap!

Journalist and author Angela P. Dodson discussed her new book, “Remember the Ladies” on Nov. 4, 2017 at the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia. The riveting program was presented by the BND Institute of Media and Culture.


Angela P. Dodson

Event sponsors included AfroEconomics with J.B. Bryan and The Walthall Family. We salute Ms. Dodson for her diligence in providing such a valuable resource that adds to our nation’s ongoing conversation about politics, culture, gender equity and society. To view the YouTube video please click “Remember The Ladies”.


Angela P. Dodson’s ‘Remember the Ladies’

Drawing her title from Abigail Adams’ admonition to her husband as he prepared for the Second Continental Congress in 1776, Angela P. Dodson has compiled a rich history of women in American politics since the country’s beginning. In her new book, “Remember the Ladies: Celebrating Those Who Fought for Freedom at the Ballot Box,” Dodson focuses on women’s fight to gain the vote, which they won just 100 years ago. 51C517r1qlLInformative and inspiring, Dodson’s Nov. 4 book discussion at the Black History Museum and Cultural Center in Richmond, Va. will draw comparisons to women’s past roles in politics to Hillary Clinton’s historic bid for the U.S. presidency in 2016. Ms. Dodson will sign copies of her book after her talk. This FREE program, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., is sponsored by AfroEconomics with JB Bryan and The Walthall Family.

Angela P. Dodson Bio

Ms. Dodson is an independent editor, writer and consultant. She founded an editorial services company, Editorsoncall LLC, http://www.editorsoncall.com in 2012, to link freelancers to clients in need of writing, editing, graphic and photographic services.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism at Marshall University and a master’s degree in journalism and public affairs from the American University.

Ms. Dodson is a former senior editor and former Style editor for the New York Times. She has most recently been an online editor and book reviewer for DIVERSE: Issues In Higher Education, diverseeducation.com and diversebooks.net. She is the former executive editor of Black Issues Book Review. She has worked on several start-up publications and websites.

In recent years, Dodson has edited and ghost-written books for major publishers and numerous self-published authors of fiction and nonfiction. As an editor, Ms. Dodson has worked on such books as “In Charge: Finding the Leader in You,” by Myles Munroe and “He Is Risen: Reflections on Easter and the Forty Days of Lent,” by Richard Abanes. Her book development projects have included “Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority” by Tom Burrell, and most recently, a history of reporters covering the Civil Rights Movement and the memoir of a pioneering female journalist.

1731623-294x300Ms. Dodson also has written and edited for various newspapers and magazines, including Essence and Heart & Soul. She has been a consultant for the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education and the Hampton University School of Communications. She has taught workshops on writing and editing for many organizations, including the National Black Writers Conference, the National Association of Black Journalists, the American Press Institute, the American Society of Newspaper Editors and various colleges. She has also been an adjunct instructor in media studies at Mercer County Community College.

A native of Beckley, West Virginia, Ms. Dodson was reared mostly in western and south-central Pennsylvania and returned as a teenager to West Virginia, where her father, William A. Dodson Sr., worked for the Federal Aviation Administration in Charleston and her mother, Kira Evelyn Dodson, worked as a seamstress.

Ms. Dodson is married to Michael I. Days, editor for reader engagement and vice president of the Philadelphia Media Network and author of “Obama’s Legacy: What He Accomplished as President.” He was most recently editor of The Philadelphia Daily News, and has served as managing editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The couple raised four sons, brothers they adopted in 1991.

Ms. Dodson is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., the National Congress of Black Women, the National Association of Black Journalists and the Central New Jersey Chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America.

She was also the host of an award-winning, radio program, “Black Catholics, Yes!” about black Roman Catholics for the Diocese of Trenton, NJ., formerly heard on 1300 WIMG and other stations, as well as on the Internet. She is a member of the Church of the Blessed Sacrament/Our Lady of the Divine, where she is in the gospel choir and is a lector and parish council member. Dodson is also a founding member and trustee of Commandry #598, Ladies Auxiliary of the Knights of St. John International. She was a recipient of Bishop John Smith’s Nostrum Ecclesiam Tempus (Our Time to Be Church) Award in July 2007 and the National Black Catholic Congress Servant of Christ Award in 2012.

Her interests include collecting art, black collectibles and antiques. She enjoys reading history, researching genealogy, cooking, and line dancing.


An anniversary with Jazz!

How exciting for some Richmonders to have two phenomenal musicians rock the house while also teaching youngsters about the importance of jazz and preserving its legacy in our own communities! Thank you James Saxsmo Gates and Ms. Taylor Moore for sharing your talent and commitment during the BND Institute of Media and Culture’s one-year anniversary program on Sept. 30 at the Richmond Performing Arts Alliance on Grace Street in downtown Richmond.  David Dormeus and Andrew Webb, thank you as well for your skills on piano and bass guitar. Thanks, also, to everyone who came out to the Richmond Performing Arts Alliance (RPAA) to help

make this program a success. A special thanks to my sponsors, Michael Harvey of MLH Assets Management LP and Zarina Fazaldin of L&Z Historic, LLC. You are AMAZING!

A Master Class in Jazz

RICHMOND, Va. — Legendary saxophone player James “Saxsmo” Gates and percussionist Taylor Moore continually regale audiences throughout the globe with their spectacular crowd-pleasing performances in jazz and other musical genres.

James Gates - Together We Can Make It-2

James “Saxsmo” Gates

On September 30, 2017, these two talented musicians will discuss the impact of music and media that led to their success during a lecture/demonstration, “A Master Class in Jazz for the Young and Not-So- Young.”

Presented by the BND Institute of Media and Culture and MLH Assets Management LP, the program is designed to spark an interest in jazz among students ages 10-16. However, all generations are encouraged to attend. The free program will take place from 10 a.m. – noon at the Richmond Performing Arts Alliance, 600 E. Grace Street, Richmond, Va.

Growing up in Richmond, Va., Gates was constantly surrounded by jazz. His father, the late James Bryant “Boo” Gates Sr., played saxophone for Della Reese’s band, and other


Taylor Moore

well-known musicians. Gates graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in 1978. He attended Virginia State University and later transferred under a full scholarship to the prestigious Berklee College of Music where he graduated in 1984. Gates received his master’s degree in Jazz Studies from North Carolina Central University in 2011, and is the director/coordinator of the Dr. Billy Taylor Jazz Studies Program at Virginia State University.


Beloved by a legion of fans in his hometown, Gates has played and traveled extensively throughout the United States and abroad, performing with such notable artists as Joe Kennedy, Jr., Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, Walter Davis, Jr., Walter Bishop, Jr., The Temptations, Dianne Reeves, Jimmy Cobb, Hod O’Brien, Larry Willis, Roberta Flack, Marvin Gaye, Larry Carlton, Billy Kilson, Jeff Lorber, Alex Bugnon and The Main Ingredients.

Gates credits the forefathers and Masters of Jazz for his musical foundation and passes it along every chance he gets by serving as a teacher and instructor of jazz. He has released several CDS featuring artists such as Fred Wesley, Freddie Fox and Walter Beasley. Gates celebrated the release of his single, “Together We Can Make It,” on Sept. 8, 2017.


Born and raised in Chicago, Taylor Moore’s home was filled with various musical genres, whether it boomed from the radio or emanated from the record collection owned by her mother, Trudy Moore, a former entertainment writer for Jet magazine.

A graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Taylor received her bachelor’s degree in music performance and production.

Dubbed The Princess of Percussion, Moore has played with a multitude of great musicians such as Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Famer Shirley Alston Reeves of the Shirelles, jazz fusion artists Roy Ayers, Boney James, Shelia E. and Patrice Rushen, gospel greats Marvin Winans and the late Andre Crouch, as well as jazz icons Kurt Elling, Jimmy Cobb and Grammy Award-winning vocalist Cassandra Wilson.

“Taylor Moore has a rare and glorious gift! I’m enthralled with her technique, movement and passion,” exclaims Wilson.

Saxophonist Boney James shows equal excitement and praise for Moore’s talent.

“When she is performing, she’s IN IT and that comes off the stage,” says James. “She has a lot of charisma and stage presence!”

Contact: Bonnie Newman Davis


804 683-7203

The BND Institute of Media and Culture, Inc. provides programs, services and training dedicated to educating
and engaging diverse audiences about contemporary news media and its impact on African-American life and culture.

Spending time at Anna Julia Cooper




Bonnie Newman Davis, Melissa Harris Perry, Sherri Williams

Bonnie Newman Davis, founder and CEO of the BND Institute of Media and Culture, spent some time in early June 2017 at the Anna Julia Cooper Center’s Faculty Writing Retreat at Wake Forest University.  Melissa Harris Perry, the Maya Angelou Presidential Chair at Wake Forest University, is the executive director of the Pro Humanitate Institute and founding director of the Anna Julia Cooper Center.

Faculty members from several universities assembled for a week at the AJC to either catch up on or fine tune writing projects. What an amazing opportunity to kindle the imagination and intellectualism while surrounded by dedicated scholars in a lovely facility that commemorates Anna Julia Cooper.

Cooper, 1858-1964, was an  American author, educator, sociologist, speaker, Black Liberation activist, and one of the most prominent African-American scholars in United States history.  Professor Perry and her staff, who exemplify and epitomize Cooper’s work, were wonderful hosts and made themselves readily available for questions while dispensing pools of knowledge and wisdom both humorous and serious.  I took plenty of notes with the intent of soon having  The BND Institute of Media and Culture host a similarly rewarding fellowship program!



Epic Tales Update

What a great time we had on May 11 at the gorgeous Libbie Mill Library where the BND Institute of Media and Culture hosted a lively discussion about the ups and downs of digital dating. Stay tuned for some takeaways from the discussion. Thanks so much to our guest panelists: Dr. Teshana Henderson, Alphonso “Matt” Mathis, Janna M. Hall, Heidi Wilson and our moderator Raymond Hawkes. Special thanks to Michael Harvey of MLH Assets Management LC and Vinara Mosby of Maxamus Insurance for their sponsorship and support. Thanks also to Jay Ell Alexander for her marketing finesse! Finally, a huge thanks to our attendees who braved the rain and chilly temps to join our discussion!

Epic Tales of Dating Matches and Mismatches


Dating in the Digital Era: Epic Tales of Matches and Mismatches

You accidentally texted a message about her TO her.

She prefers to communicate via online or texts. He craves long telephone conversations.

For years, you feigned disinterest in looking for love online. When you finally gave in, the experience left you ecstatic —for a while.

It’s no secret that the art of dating has been turned upside down in today’s world of online dating, texting and social media.

Sure, lots of singles have found their soul mates by mastering the steps of digital dating. Yet, many young and more seasoned singles recoil at the thought of any form of online dating. Fear, clumsiness, lack of confidence or shyness often feed such thoughts.

The BND Institute of Media and Culture Inc. believes that spring is the perfect time to cancel all “lonely hearts club” memberships. Share your stories about how you met your match or mismatch online on May 11 from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Libbie Mill Libray, 2100 Libbie Lake East St. Talk to us about the good, the bad and the outrageous in a relaxed, fun-filled setting. RSVP HERE


Raymond Hawkes

Raymond Hawkes of WTVR will moderate as a panel of media and mental health experts  discuss current dating trends that will help you connect –or disconnect — with that special someone.  Our panelists include Dr. Teshana D. Henderson, LCSW, CSOTP and CEO,NDUTIME Youth & Family Services, Inc.; Janna M. Hall, Urban Views Weekly, Social Media Expert, and Heidi Wilson, Interim Chairwoman, Journalism Department, Virginia Union University.

From left: Dr. Teshana D. Henderson, Janna Hall and Heidi Wilson.

This event is free, but donations are welcome. Door prizes and light refreshments will be available thanks to our sponsors, MLH Assets and Maxamus Insurance. For more information, contact bonnienewmandavis@gmail.com



A Master Class in Entrepreneurship (and Life) with Miko Branch


Miko Branch of Miss Jessie’s              Feb. 11. Master Class Video 

Miko Branch, co-founder and CEO of Miss Jessie’s, the national hair-care products company for natural hair, came to Richmond, Va. on Feb. 11, 2017, radiating beauty, brains, talent and tenacity. For nearly an hour, Miko captivated a capacity audience at Virginia Union University with words and wisdom about starting a business and prevailing against some of life’s  toughest storms. She also talked about the process of writing and publishing a memoir that details her story: “Miss Jessie’s: Creating a Successful Business from Scratch – Naturally.” The best-selling book is now available in paperback. The BND Institute of Media and Culture was proud to sponsor Miko’s visit, along with Virginia Union University’s Center for the Study of the Urban Child, Jade Multicultural Salon,  MLH Assets Management, LP, and  Vinara Mosby, Maxamus Insurance, LLC.

Hurry back, Miko!!

Here’s what attendees had to say:


Miko Branch and Erin Danielle Stanley

i remember when @erinmademedoit and i first tried this natural thing during our sophomore year at spelman. and we couldn’t get products right to save our lives 😂. @miss_jessies products saved our lives and opened the door for us and other girls breaking away from the perms and trying out something new. and look at the natural hair care market now! mike and titi pioneered that! i’m so grateful that i met miko’s beautiful self (again!) yesterday. her book, “Miss Jessie’s: Creating a Successful Business from Scratch—Naturally” comes out in paperback on tuesday. thank you, mike. 👑 — ERIN DANIELLE STANLEY


Still on a high from my weekend outings…Shoutout to Bonnie Newman Davis, Founder of BND Institute of Media and Culture ,for bringing the CEO and Founder of Miss Jessie’s natural haircare line to Richmond. Her workshop for creating a successful business was phenomenal! Miko was not only sweet and humble, but also very insightful and transparent. I also admire her strength when discussing mental health issues in families and how the untimely, tragic death of her sister Titi (co-founder of Miss Jessie’s) affected her family. She is definitely an inspiration! – NECI HILL


Miko had a fabulous time in Richmond, VA this past weekend, hosted by my sister girlfriend from NABJ, Miss Bonnie Newman Davis who created “A Master Class with Miko Branch, CEO & Founder of Miss Jessie’s” via her BND Institute of Media and Culture and The Center for the Study of the Urban Child. Virginia Union University housed the event at its Wall Auditorium. Participants got to sit in on a chronicle the life and work of Miko her late sister, Titi with whom she launched their successful multi-million business in 2004. NBC 12’s Karla Redditte facilitated the class – posing questions to Miko that covered all aspects of starting and sustaining a business. Following this valuable lesson, audience members did Q&A. Everyone received a FREE full-sized Miss Jessie’s hair care product and gift bag. Moreover, Miko got some great press while there – including Unionite Magazine and REAL TALK with Monica L. Hall. — PATRICK L. RILEY


NBC 12’s Karla Redditte (left) and Miko Branch


God is good and family and friends are amazing. While I slept for nearly 13 hours straight, exhausted after hosting a magical and wonderful event featuring the fabulous Miko Branch of Miss Jessie’s hair products, friends have been posting, tweeting, messaging, emailing and instagramming warm words of appreciation and photos of the event. So many good people stepped in to support this second program hosted yesterday by my BND Institute of Media and Culture at Virginia Union University. I will not attempt to list everyone who helped make the event possible. However, I must thank my beloved brother-in-life & friend Patrick L. Riley for his work in helping me bring Miko to Richmond. Karla Redditte, who not only is always camera-ready but research-ready, too, knocked it out of the park with her interviewing skills that gave the audience a true sense of Miko Branch’s journey. My daughter, Erin Stanley, once again made me proud with her marketing finesse and ability to keep me on track, as did Stacy Hawkins Adams, whose soothing calm and pleasantry helped smooth my habit of being blunt. (lol) Diane Walker (Lady Di), my special sister-friend and soror, thanks for the financial pitch! A very special thank you to sponsors Dr. Lisa Moon of VUU and the entire Virginia Union University family, Jade Cureton of the Jade Multicultural Salon in Churh Hill, Michael Harvey of MLH and Associates, Vinara Mosby of Maxamus Insurance, and Robin Walston for your BENEVOLENCE and PHILANTHROPY. LaTika Johnson Lee, Tasha Chambers, Clement S. Britt, Bill Barksdale, Albani Baker, Monica L. Ball and the WCLM team, Raymond Hawkes, Whitney Harris Whitney Alison and Southern Kitchen,THANK YOU!!  –BONNIE NEWMAN DAVIS


Bonnie Newman Davis, Founder & CEO, BND Institute of Media and Culture



Dear Bonnie

Thank you so much for inviting me to your wonderful event. The fellowship and good vibes were flowing and we felt the love. We reached Norfolk safely and I have been posting from my personal Twitter and IG accounts.

Thank you again for your kindness and hospitality. Everything was perfect. Lets stay in touch.




It was a great event, Bonnie. Thanks for having the vision to bring her to Richmond! She was both gracious and giving.    — STACY HAWKINS ADAMSbdn_branch-317


Thank you, thank you, thank you Bonnie for inviting me to this awesome event. I’m so glad Mrs. Rollins put me in contact with you. I was truly inspired by Miko’s story and her entrepreneurial rise and spirit. I can’t thank you enough.    —— UNICIA BUSTER


Excellent event! People left inspired and with an action plan. – DIANE WALKER


Thank YOU for turning your idea into reality! I think we all walked away a little bit wiser from the experience! ——  KARLA REDDITTE


Bravo Bonnie & crew. Wish I could’ve been there. Looking forward to picking up the book.



Miko Branch and Jade Cureton of Jade Multicultural Salon, RVA.

Media Coverage

The Richmond Times-Dispatch

Urban Views Weekly

Upcoming Issue of Unionite Magazine (Virginia Union University)


A Master Class with Miko


Miko Branch, Founder & CEO, Miss Jessie’s

The BND Institute of Media and Culture and The Center for the Study of the Urban Child at Virginia Union University are proud to present “A Master Class in Entrepreneurship with Miko Branch,” the co-founder and CEO of Miss Jessie’s LLC, the company behind the premium hair care product line, Miss Jessie’s. The class will take place February 11, 2017 from 10 a.m. until 12 noon in Wall Auditorium at Virginia Union University.

Participants will find this exciting class to be intriguing and inspiring as it chronicle513ail9euzl-_sx328_bo1204203200_s the life and work of Ms. Branch and her late sister, Titi Branch, who launched their successful multi-million business in 2004. The sisters, daughters of an African-American father and a Japanese mother, wanted a quality product that would allow them to wear their curly hair naturally. After several trials and errors, they eventually developed a product that proved effective. Since then, the business, which is named after the sisters’ beloved and fiercely independent grandmother, Jessie Mae Branch, has thrived. Miss Jessie’s hair care products, designed for all textures and curl patterns, are sold at major retailers such as Walmart, CVS and Target.

In 2015, Ms. Branch wrote a best-selling memoir, “Miss Jessie’s: Creating A Successful Business from Scratch – Naturally.” The book is dedicated to Miss Jessie’s co-founder Titi Cree Branch, who died in 2014. It will be relkarlareased in paperback on Feb. 17, 2017.

NBC 12’s Karla Redditte will facilitate the class by posing questions to Ms. Branch that will cover all aspects of starting and sustaining a business. Following this valuable lesson, audience members will participate in a question-and-answer session.

Donations are welcome for this FREE program. Registration is required by emailing bonnienewmandavis@gmail.com or via Eventbrite