About Us

OUR MISSION

Black Public Media (BPM), formerly known as National Black Programming Consortium develops, produces, funds, and distributes media content about the African American and global Black experience. Our mission is to commit to a fully realized expression of democracy and we accomplish this by supporting diverse voices through training, education, and investment in visionary content makers.

For 40 years, 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. 

THE BLACK PAPER

Manifesto
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AfroPop Makes The New York Times

Afro Pop makes The New York Times "The 50 TV shows you need to watch this winter" list. The 12th season of the public-television film series focused on voices from the African diaspora begins with “My Friend Fela,” a documentary portrait of the Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti. (World, Jan. 20)

OUR TEAM

Leslie Fields-Cruz

Executive Director

Diane Carr-Joseph

Director of Operations

Denise Greene

Director of Program Initiatives

Lisa Osborne

Director of Emerging Media

Alisa Norris

Development Associate

Qiona Woffard

Program Assistant

Leslie Fields-Cruz

Executive Director

Leslie started at Black Public Media (BPM), then known as the National Black Programming Consortium, in 2001 managing grant making activities that supported the production and development of documentary programs for PBS. She was promoted to director of programming in 2005 and oversaw the distribution of funded programs to public television. Frustrated with the lack of content that spoke to the diversity of experiences within the African diaspora, Leslie curated the first season of BPM’s award-winning series AfroPoP: The Ultimately Cultural Exchange. Now in its 11th season AfroPoP is still the only national public television series focused solely on stories about the global Black experience. In the fall of 2014, Leslie became BPM’s third executive director. Though she keeps the pulse on the development of program content and its distribution across public media platforms, she is focused on growing BPM’s resources to enable it to support more stories about the Black experience. Leslie serves on the board of directors for New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT) and New Era Creative Space (NECS), a local community arts center in Peekskill, NY.

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.

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+

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.

Alisa Norris

Development Associate

Alisa is a development associate for Black Public Media. With a background in corporate outreach and sponsorship, she will help build the foundation of the department as well as maintain relationships with funders, foundations, and private industry. Alisa is a DMV native and an alumnus of Virginia Commonwealth University (B.S. Mass Communications).

Qiona Woffard

Program Assistant

Qiona Woffard is the newest addition to BPM’s staff. As a program assistant, she works with BPM  Program Initiatives Director Denise Greene to produce the National Media Story Summit and other media/event projects.  

Qiona is pursuing a master of fine arts degree at Sacred Heart University.  She has worked a number of years in higher education in various roles, including: teaching assistant, administrative support staff, student and alumni events coordinator, and academic advisor. She recently managed a $1.98-million federal grant that provided 275 underprivileged young adults with internship opportunities and assistance navigating the college application process.

In 2018, Qiona wrote, directed, and produced her first short film, The Violin, about a young Black girl who dreams of playing the violin. In May 2019, the film was screened at Sacred Heart University’s inaugural First-Year Student Film Showcase.  Qiona was recently selected to direct Sacred Heart’s Open SHUtter Project, a program that supports the growth and collaboration of all film and television graduate student cohorts on a department-sanctioned short film. Her latest project, which explores the life and works of Gloria Naylor, is in development.

OUR BOARD

Guy-Max Delphin

Darryl Ford Williams

Chair

Steve Hissam

Deniese Davis

Valerie Williams-Sanchez

Antonia Carew-Watts

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® working currently at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in the Department of Ophthalmology, where she directs, manages, and coordinates created and curated integrated marketing communications content, strategies, and solutions. In this capacity, Valerie represents the Department of Ophthalmology in Medical Center-wide Communications issues and liaises with other specialties, as needed, on internal and public-facing, traditional and digital communications projects and programs. 

With more than 20 years of experience in marketing communications, Valerie has worked with private clients and for major corporate brands including Volvo, Disney, and Deloitte. She is a blogger, independent educator, and marketing communications consultant for her company, Valorena Online, L.L.C. through which she has authored, illustrated and published the Cocoa Kids Collection©, a three-title series of books, featuring multicultural content and characters. 

A former journalist and daily reporter, Valerie have served as a staff writer, written, and contributed to articles and essays in Associated Press, The Los Angeles Times, The Miami Herald, National Geographic, Orange County Business Journal, and More Magazine, online in the US and in Spain. 

Valerie is currently a doctoral student in Literacy through St. John’s University, New York. She is also a proud mother to Lorena, 23,  and Aunt to Isaiah, 10, namesakes and inspiration for her children’s book titles.

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.

Want to be a part of BPM?

BPM is seeking dedicated college or mature high school students who can serve as interns for our fall, winter & spring programs.

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 filmmakers like 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. By 2006, with an expansion of funding support to include content exclusively for the web (Black Folk Don’t, Evoking the Mulatto, Ask A Muslim), BPM has been able to engage the public in necessary conversations about race, history, and social issues through short narratives and online properties.

Today, after nearly 40 years 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 NBPC funding initiatives and projects. Join our social media conversation over at Twitter, or Facebook.

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