About Us

OUR MISSION

Black Public Media supports the development of visionary content creators and distributes stories about the global Black experience to inspire a more equitable and inclusive future.

 

Our History

For more than four decades, BPM has addressed the needs of unserved and underserved audiences. BPM continues to address historical, contemporary, and systemic challenges that traditionally impede the development and distribution of Black stories. 

BPM BLOG

THE BLACK PAPER

Manifesto

Thank You To Our Supporters

OUR TEAM

Carol Bash

Program Coordinator

Diane Carr-Joseph

Director of Operations

Leslie Fields-Cruz

Executive Director

Denise Greene

Director of Program Initiatives

Eboni Johnson

Engagement Manager

DeLynda Lindsey

Contracts and Reports Specialist

Alisa Norris

Fund Development Manager

Lisa Osborne

Director of Emerging Media

Kat Walsh

Social Media Manager

Qiona Woffard

Special Programs Manager

Cheryl D. Fields

Director of Marketing & Engagement

Carol Bash

Program Coordinator

Carol Bash is the founder and president of Paradox Films, an award-winning documentary filmmaker with over 25 years of experience. Her most recent film — a short, titled Morning at Hemlock Hill Farm — showcases the natural beauty of a Peekskill, NY, local farm. The film was part of Putnam Arts Council’s Grass + Roots Exhibit (October 2021); Peekskill Arts Alliance “Re-emergence” exhibit (June 2021); and the Peekskill Arts Grants “Displays of Affection” exhibit (March 2021). Carol’s feature documentary, Mary Lou Williams: The Lady Who Swings the Band, about a renowned yet unsung jazz genius, was broadcast nationally on public television in 2015. The film screened at international and domestic film festivals, where it garnered multiple awards. Carol has worked with several prestigious documentary production companies in roles ranging from producer, director, cinematographer, archival producer, coordinating producer and associate producer. Most notably, she has worked as archival producer on Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universitieswhich was broadcast nationally on PBS’ Independent Lens series. She’s also worked on Freedom Riders, which won three Primetime Emmy awards and premiered on PBS’ American Experience series; on Beyond Brown: Pursuing the Promise, a one-hour PBS documentary; and on A Place of Our Ownwhich aired nationally on PBS’ Independent Lens series. Carol sits on the board of the Peekskill Arts Alliance and is an Organizer/Programmer of the annual Peekskill Film Festival. She also is a former Black Public Media artist-in-residence and a Firelight Media Documentary Lab fellow.

Diane Carr-Joseph

Director of Operations

Diane Carr-Joseph serves as the Business Manager for National Black Programming Consortium. She is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the organization including human resources, financial forecasting, resource allocation, fund management, accounting and control. Diane holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting from Baruch College New York.

Leslie Fields-Cruz

Executive Director

Leslie joined Black Public Media in 2001 to manage its program development fund, which supports the production of documentaries about the Black experience. She was named director of programs in 2005, to supervise the distribution of BPM-funded programs to public television. It was during this time that BPM created its award-winning anthology series of stories from the African Diaspora,  AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange, now in its 13th season. In 2008, Leslie was tapped  to serve as VP of programs and operations. In 2014, she was appointed BPM’s third-ever executive director. Under her leadership, BPM has cultivated new partnerships, diversified revenues, and initiated vital new programs (360 Incubator+, PitchBlack Forum, BPMplus, Black Media Story Summit) that support Black talent and content development. In February, Leslie made Crain’s New York’s 2021 list of Notable Black Business Leaders. She currently serves on the board of directors for New York Women in Film and Television and for New Era Creative Space.

Denise Greene

Director of Program Initiatives

Denise A. Greene is an Emmy and Peabody award-winner with producing and directing credits on a range of projects such a tribute video for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in honor of esteemed filmmaker, Charles Burnett, NY Times-Op Doc: When Music Turns Deadly (Orlando Bagwell, dir),  Free Angela & All Political Prisoners (Shola Lynch, dir) and  Pioneers of Thirteen,  Blackside series, I’ll Make Me A World , and  Blackside’s Malcolm X: Make it Plain. Alongside her independent film projects, Denise joined Black Public Media (then known as NBPC) as the Director of the New Media Institute, an extensive program training professional filmmakers in the latest digital technologies. Preceding her documentary career, Denise started in children’s programming working in Casting and as a Senior Researcher for Sesame Street. Her most recent recognition in children’s programming includes a Parents’ Choice Award for her Nick Jr. Black History Month interstitial. Denise is thrilled to return to Black Public Media to direct funding and training initiatives such as 360 Incubator+

Eboni Johnson

Engagement Manager

Eboni Johnson comes to BPM having served as director of education and outreach for the Denton Black Film Festival, where she helped launch the DBFF Institute, which offers interactive workshops, seminars and other educational programs. In that position, she worked closely with BPM staff to co-produce our Technically Brilliant Show, a DBFF and BPM collaboration.

Eboni holds a master’s degree in documentary filmmaking from the University of North Texas. Her filmmaking credits include having worked as director/producer on two short films, Songs Remembered and Unrequited Dreams; as director of photography/editor for The Last March; as sound recordist for The Straight Race and Somewhere In Between; and as producer/sound editor on Good Soil, Good Souls: The Story of Bonton Farms.

DeLynda Lindsey

Contracts and Reports Specialist

DeLynda Lindsey joined BPM as Contracts and Reports Specialist in 2022. She brings years of  professional experience as a grant writer and grant manager, having worked since 2005 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s rich foundation and nonprofit communities. Her professional aim is to advance the missions of nonprofits for the betterment of society and humanity through fundraising. Her passion for storytelling is informed by her experiences in human services, working directly with those in need and raising funds on their behalf.  DeLynda has spent most of the last decade fundraising for nonprofit public media by securing foundation, government and corporate grants on local, regional and national levels.

DeLynda currently resides in Pittsburgh, where she was born and raised. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and human services administration from Chatham College (now University), and her master’s in social work with a concentration in social administration from the University of Pittsburgh.

Alisa Norris

Fund Development Manager

Alisa is the fund development manager for Black Public Media. With a background in corporate outreach and sponsorship, she is strengthening the foundation of the department and maintaining relationships with funders, foundations, and private industry. Alisa is a native of the Washington, D.C. metro area and an alumnus of Virginia Commonwealth University (B.S. Mass Communications).

Lisa Osborne

Director of Emerging Media

Lisa Osborne believes that storytelling is a powerful change agent—for individuals, groups, and entire cultures. As Black Public Media’s Director of Emerging Media Initiatives, she introduces independent filmmakers to the storytelling potential of virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and similar technology. Her current priority is increasing Black creative participation in the VR industry. Early in her career, Lisa helped Turner launch its first online magazine, ran adidas.com while based in Germany and The Netherlands, and supervised productions at the American Film Institute’s incubator, working with ABC, NBC, MTV, ITVS, Cartoon Network, and PBS (Independent LensThe NewsHour with Jim LehrerDesign:e2) to create interactive prototypes. After AFI, she worked independently for film and TV clients, plus created and taught a digital marketing class for Carnegie Mellon University. She earned a journalism degree from Northwestern University and has a strong interest in developing family, YA, science fiction, and fantasy content.

Kat Walsh

Social Media Manager

Kat Walsh (they/them) is the social media manager for Black Public Media. The 2019 graduate of Ithaca College holds a B.F.A in film, photography, and visual arts. They also  minored in international politics.

As BPM’s social media manager, Kat works with marketing, communications and engagement partners Cheryl D. Fields and Eboni Johnson, and leads the planning, implementation and monitoring BPM’s social media strategy, which aims to increase brand awareness and audience engagement, and to improve BPM’s marketing and sales efforts.

Kat’s work as a filmmaker focuses on the discrepancies young people face regarding race, gender and sexuality. Their most recent film, Chick Flicks (where they worked as director of photography) is a documentary about the misogyny and sexism apparent in film school and how it translates into the entertainment industry.

Qiona Woffard

Special Programs Manager

Qiona Wofford is BPM’s manager of special programs. She joined Black Public Media in January 2020 as a program associate, working with Denise Greene, director of program initiatives. In that role she supported BPM’s Open Call, AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange, and the 360 Incubator+ Program, among other projects.

In 2021, Qiona was instrumental in securing a partnership for BPM with the National Network to Innovate for COVID-19 and Adult Vaccine Equity (NNICE). NNICE is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as part of their National Partnering for Vaccine Equity Initiative. BPM’s focus within the initiative is to host Black Media Story Summits to facilitate the creation of media stories that inspire increased vaccination rates within Black communities. As BPM’s team leader on the NNICE Initiative, Qiona works with Eboni Johnson, BPMs engagement manager, and members of NNICE to support Black creatives and communities in the fight against COVID-19.

Cheryl D. Fields

Director of Marketing & Engagement

Chery’s storytelling career began as a journalist, where her work covering business and education appeared the Washington Post, Los Angeles Business Journal, Los Angeles Weekly, and Diverse Issues in Higher Education, among other publications. After years serving as Diverse’s executive editor, she left the newsroom to join the Washington-D.C. based Langhum Mitchell Communications, where her clients have included Black Public Media, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The Education Trust, and think tanks at Harvard University, UCLA, Morehouse College, Clemson University, and the University of Southern California, among others.

An early entry into the world of podcasting led Cheryl to produce and host CLE OnAir for the Kellogg Foundation’s Leadership for Community Change initiative. She later served as producer and co-host of WOLB’s award-winning Lunch with Labor in Baltimore.

In her current role as director of BPM’s marketing, communications and engagement team, Cheryl spearheads efforts to broaden the organization’s reach, influence and visibility on the public media landscape, while also strengthening relationships with the Black media storytellers it serves as well as its funding and programming partners.

A Bryn Mawr College grad, Cheryl also holds a master’s in print journalism from USC, is a former media management fellow of the Poynter Institute of Media Studies, and an alumna of BPM’s New Media Institute. The proud mom of two teens serves her community as a county youth commissioner and a Girl Scout leader. She also is active in the music and dance ministries at her church, where she is a member of the parish board.

 

OUR BOARD

Guy-Max Delphin

Darryl Ford Williams

Chair

Steve Hissam

Deniese Davis

Valerie Williams-Sanchez

Antonia Carew-Watts

Eva-Marie Malone

Samantha Abrams

Guy-Max Delphin

After over twelve years of investment experience, Guy-Max Delphin opened Delphin Investments. Currently, he is the Senior Portfolio Manager heading Fundamental Research and Macro/Top-Down overlay. Mr. Delphin’s extensive experience includes the Yale-New Haven Health System as a leading Investment Strategist, Senior Analyst at Fortis Investments, and Senior Associate of Equity Research in the Small-Cap Industrials group, a division of Jefferies & Company, Inc. Mr. Delphin also held an Associate Analyst position within the Prudential Equity Group, LLC. Early in his career, Guy-Max functioned as a quantitative analyst in the Investment Product Design and Risk Management Group divisions of OppenheimerFunds, Inc. In 2012, he joined the NYC Special Education Collaborative, an organization working with charter schools advocating sustainable, high-quality special education programs. Mr. Delphin is on the Stony Brook Foundation Board of Trustees and serves as Chair of the College of Business Advisory Board. His philanthropic activities focus on education and healthcare. Mr. Delphin received a M.S. in Financial Engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of NYU, in addition to B.S. degrees in both Applied Mathematics and Economics from Stony Brook University.

Darryl Ford Williams

Chair

Darryl Ford Williams is the Vice President of Content for WQED Multimedia in Pittsburgh. In her current role at WQED, Ms. Ford Williams oversees the creation, development, production and delivery of all new and existing local, national, international and syndicated television, radio, interactive and educational programming for WQED Multimedia. She led the effort for the PBS series American Masters, August Wilson: The Ground On Which I Stand serving as Executive Producer for this highly acclaimed documentary. Under her leadership, productions have taken WQED documentary teams across the country and abroad to Kenya, Poland, Vietnam and Austria for productions distributed to the PBS system. She also launched an informational television station for the Government of Bermuda.

Prior to her work with WQED, she was the sole proprietor of the Ford-Williams Agency, one of the first companies in the nation to focus on minority recruiting for major market television stations. Throughout her career, Ms. Ford Williams led content and program development for broadcast groups across the country. Her background as a television news producer and news manager is extensive. The following are just a few examples of that work: managing site producer for CBS News in its coverage of September 11—focusing on the Pennsylvania crash site of United Flight 93; coordinating producer for ABC-TV’sGood Morning America; executive producer at WJLA-TV in Washington, DC; news producer at KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh and WBAL in Baltimore.

Ms. Ford Williams’ work has been recognized with many awards, including several Emmy Awards in addition to numerous Emmy nominations. She has been honored by the Easter Seals Society, International Association of Business Communicators, and has won multiple awards from Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters.

Steve Hissam

With roots in the Midwest, Steve Hissam mixes creativity and strategic agility with solid business acumen to deliver quantifiable results in the ever-changing marketing space.

He began his career on Madison Avenue where he worked on a range of product categories from Mercedes-Benz automobiles to Yoo-Hoo chocolate drink. At Kirshenbaum & Bond he propagated the agency’s distinctive under-the-radar approach to advocacy marketing for clients such as Duckhead apparel and CNBC cable network.

His pioneering social media campaign for Hennessy cognac not only garnered industry awards and praise from The New York Times and Business Week, but also changed the way spirit brands are marketed.

Accepting an offer to work for a client, Steve spent the next phase of his career working in brand management. Leading blue chip companies like Remy Cointreau and LVMH toward creative resolutions across a myriad of business challenges, Steve’s expertise in equity-building initiatives and innovative integrated marketing campaigns have become his hallmark.

Steve established film as an event marketing platform for Grand Marnier, and created strategic partnerships with major and independent film studios and film organizations. Sponsorship of the New York Film Festival achieved exceptional consumer outreach and awareness through a comprehensive public relations program that generated over 100 million impressions.

To fill in knowledge and data gaps in the multicultural space, Steve employed an anthropological approach to insight mining and leveraged his expertise to improve the cultural competency of the organizations.

At Geometry Global, Steve served as a key player in integrating and elevating best-in-class shopper marketing process and practice into the new Mondelez organization and SC Johnson.

Working directly with both brand and field teams, Steve identifies strategic opportunities to reinforce brand equity and drive category growth across multiple classes of trade.

Deniese Davis

Deniese Davis got her start in entertainment by producing indie low-budget projects including music videos, short films and digital content. In the web-series realm she is best known for producing Issa Rae’s award-winning web series “The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl”. She is currently a Producer on the HBO comedy series INSECURE and an Executive Producer on the upcoming HBO limited series THE DOLLS while continuing to produce and oversee content for Issa Rae Productions. She also serves as COO of ColorCreative, which provides access and opportunities for diverse and emerging writers and recently sold their first feature film LOVE IN AMERICA to Universal. Originally from Las Vegas NV, Deniese is an alum of CUNY-Brooklyn College and the American Film Institute Conservatory.

Valerie Williams-Sanchez

Valerie is a certified project management professional with a long career in the overlapping fields of communications, journalism and literacy. In addition to authoring three children’s books and being doctoral candidate (literacy), she has more than 20 years’ experience in marketing and communications, and has worked with private clients and for major corporate brands including Volvo, Disney and Deloitte.

In healthcare and medical communications and marketing, Valerie most recently worked at Columbia University Medical Center in the department of ophthalmology, where she also served on the CUMC Strategic Communications Task Force. Earlier in her career, Valerie served as a healthcare writer and marketing communications manager for Medial Data International.

In addition to her work in the healthcare and medical space, Valerie served as an educator and marketing communications consultant through her company Valorena Online, L.L.C. An off-shoot of this work, Valerie has led workshops on marketing communications and digital marketing, and published peer-reviewed articles and children’s books aimed at building literacy. Her Cocoa Kids Collection of books includes: Isaiah and the Chocolate Mountain, Eddie and the Hot Cocoa Hot Rod, and Lorena and the Magic Mocha Mirror. She also is the blogger behind Valerie’s Vignettes.

Valerie has written and contributed to articles and essays in Associated Press, The Los Angeles Times, National Geographic, Orange County Business Journal, and More magazine, online in the U.S. and in Spain. She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

Antonia Carew-Watts

Antonia Carew-Watts is General Counsel for WLIW21 and a senior attorney for WNET. WNET is America’s flagship PBS station, which operates New York’s channel THIRTEEN, Long Island’s WLIW21, and New Jersey’s NJTV. Ms. Carew-Watts advises WLIW21 on issues relating to production, intellectual property and new media, underwriting, and labor and employment, among other matters. In addition, she is counsel for THIRTEEN’s long-running award-winning biography series, American Masters. 

Ms. Carew-Watts joined the WNET family in 2013 and was appointed General Counsel for WLIW21 in January 2016. Prior to joining WNET, she was an associate in the intellectual property practice group at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP.  

She received her B.A. from Yale University in 1991 and her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2009. Prior to law school, she enjoyed a long career in entertainment and arts, working in development for non-profit performance space The Kitchen, and non-profit production company Rainbow Television Workshop, as well as serving on the design teams for numerous television series and features, and theme-parks for Walt Disney Imagineering.  Ms. Carew-Watts is a former Director of the Association of Black Women Attorneys.

Eva-Marie Malone

As the Opportunity Agenda’s senior coordinator for capacity building, Eva-Marie develops a comprehensive and strategically sequenced set of tools and resources to promote organization’s internal and external capacity building. Utilizing skills and expertise in organizational development, strategic communications, and technology, Eva-Marie creates innovative training programs.

Eva-Marie has extensive experience developing communications systems and strategic communications at nationally-known legal organizations and publications such as the Pro Bono Institute, New Jersey Lawyer, and American Immigration Lawyers Association. Eva-Marie has a B.A. from Wheaton College and a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center.

Samantha Abrams

Samantha is a Washington, D.C.-based corporate and nonprofit business leader. She has been recognized across sectors as a visionary who consistently integrates diversity and inclusion, and corporate social responsibility strategies to impact people and business goals.

Currently, Samantha is the strategy officer for Halcyon. She previously served as executive director at the March on Washington Film Festival; led strategy and development at the Black Women’s Health Imperative; and serve in several marketing an public affairs roles at GEICO Insurance Companies.

She is a board member of the Social Justice School and currently serves on the board of directors for Black Public Media.

Samantha is a proud mother to Zoie and Zion. She also enjoys her work with her family-owned and operated Caribbean restaurant. If she’s not doing Mommy, work or business, you can find her on a plane off to somewhere exciting!

Want to be a part of BPM?

Periodically, BPM has internships available for dedicated college or mature high school students who are interested in our work.

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OUR HISTORY

Founded in 1979 as the National Black Programming Consortium, Black Public Media (BPM), began because there was a need to encourage the development of films and television programs about the Black experience that involved creative risks and addressed the needs of unserved and underserved audiences.

Dedicated to creating a pathway for funding and distribution for Black storytellers, BPM provided seed money for projects along with opportunities for distribution through PBS. For many now acclaimed filmmakers, including Spike Lee, Julie Dash, Stanley Nelson, Shola Lynch, and Byron Hurt, BPM became a beacon of support at the earliest stages of their careers. Inspired by a spirit of excellence in stories about the Black experience, BPM’s thoughtful and compelling approach to selecting projects has resulted in supporting a host of award-winning and nominated films. With an expansion of funding support to include content exclusively for the web (e.g., Black Folk Don’t, Evoking the Mulatto, and Ask A Muslim), BPM is regularly engaging the public in necessary conversations about race, history, and social issues through short narratives and online properties.

Today, after more than four decades of historic work, BPM continues to leverage its expertise by investing in innovative content creators, and bringing dynamic programs about the Black experience that provoke, educate, and entertain on and off the screen.

Please join our regular mailing list here for updates on BPM funding initiatives and projects. Join our social media conversations on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Julie Dash feature film, 1991
From Julie Dash's Daughters of the Dust (1991)

CONTACT US:

Email: info@blackpublicmedia.org

Tel: (212) 234-8200