BLACK MEDIA STORY SUMMIT

COVID & ADULT VACCINE EQUITY

March 3, 2023

PROGRAM

(Note: The following scheduled times are in Eastern Time.)

10:00 a.m. — Welcome

Black Public Media, NNICE,

10:15 a.m. — Keynote - It’s Been 3 Years… Now What?

Speaker: Santita Jackson, The Santita Jackson Show”

 

Partners & Friends

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10:40 a.m. — Session 1 - Breaking Through and Building Trust

Creating and building solutions to improve trust in the Medical Community.

Moderator: G Foster, The Diatribe

Panelists: Christine Plummer, Marcel "Fable" Price, Patrick McNeal

11:40 a.m. — BREAK - Baltimore Speaks

Screening of BMSS Baltimore award recipient Aphrochic's Baltimore Speaks

 

11:55 a.m.  — Session 2 - The Struggle is Real

The effects of the vaccine and the pandemic on our young adults' mental health.

Moderator: Crishna Murray, Alternative Learning Center and media maker

Panelists: Anthony Holley, Nyah Johnson, Yolanda Oxendine

12:55 p.m. — Small Group Discussions

1:25 p.m. — BREAK- Covid Conversations

Screening of BMSS Baltimore award recipient Fearless Video's digital series Covid Conversations

1:40 p.m.Session 3 -  Telling Our Stories

Baltimore Story Summit Awardees share their experiences of creating their projects.

Moderator: Crishna Murray, media maker,  Big Bam Productions

Panelists: Julian Hamer and Yessica Hernandez of Fearless Video

2:40 p.m. — Small Group Discussions

3:10 p.m. — Small Group Report Out

3:25 p.m. — Closing

3:30 p.m. — Adjourn

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WELCOME

Santita Jackson

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Dr. Heatherlun Uphold

SPEAKER

Leslie Fields-Cruz

SPEAKER

Santita Jackson

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

The Santita Jackson Show is a powerful compelling morning drive show hosted and produced by women of color. The show is focused on issues affecting our communities both locally and nationally. Santita Jackson is a multi-talented communicator on radio, television and on stage and is the newly-minted host of “The SANTITA JACKSON SHOW”, on the nation’s largest Progressive Talk Radio station, Chicago’s WCPT 820.  Her credits include on-air contributor on FOX News; acclaimed singer; television and radio host; producer; writer; actress; and, motivational speaker. Santita uses her voice to address the political, social, cultural and religious issues of our time and effectively communicates her views while reaching multitudes of audiences around the globe. Her talent exceeds expectations and crosses genres while removing ideological divides. Born in Greensboro, North Carolina, to the Rev. Jesse and Mrs. Jacqueline Jackson, and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Santita was immersed into a household that was home to the Civil Rights Movement and was a hotbed of political activism; participating in marches and campaigns as a young child and was deeply involved in the Church. Santita always had a passion for academics and music. Recognizing her nascent talent, Roberta Flack gifted her with a Steinway piano at the tender age of eight. As a high school senior, Santita became a nationally recognized scholar and was a recipient of the National Merit-Achievement Scholarship. Having tendered offers from Spelman College, Yale University and Harvard University, Santita opted to attend Howard University in Washington, D.C. on a full academic scholarship. In 2001, Santita expanded her career in communications to radio and television, as both a producer and on-air talent. She is the former Director of the P.U.S.H. Television Studio, located at the National Headquarters of the Rainbow/P.U.S.H. Coalition in Chicago, Illinois. At P.U.S.H. Studios, Santita was in charge of studio operations and was the producer of two weekly television shows: the P.U.S.H. SATURDAY MORNING FORUM—a “Live” Church Service/Community Rally; and, she was the inaugurating Senior Producer, Researcher, and Voice Over talent for the UP FRONT with JESSE JACKSON, community affairs television show addressing national and international issues. Telecast on the WORD Network, the nation’s largest urban religious television network, those shows continue to reach more than 85 million American homes, and more than 200 million homes throughout Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean. In 2004, she added to those duties and was tapped to become the executive producer/writer/and co-host of the nationally-syndicated KEEP HOPE ALIVE with REV. JESSE JACKSON radio show which is broadcast on the Premiere Radio/Clear Channel Network. In 2006, she became the midday host of the top-rated urban talk radio show in Chicago, WVON-AM‘s, “The Santita Jackson Show”. The show made national and international issues relatable to her local audience and connected local stories to international ones. From politics and religion to cultural and platonic, familial and romantic relationships, the show was unique as it amassed a strong following with “Urban” and “Mainstream” audiences. She also assumed the duties as host of the WYCC FORUM, an issues forum on Chicago City Colleges’ PBS television station. This heightened profile led to appearances on MSNBC as a social and political pundit, where she became a founding writer/contributor to their political and news website, theGrio.com. This led to her role as on-air Contributor on the FOX NEWS and FOX Business Channels.

Dr. Heatherlun Uphold

SPEAKER

Dr. Heatherlun Uphold is an Assistant Professor with Michigan State University in Flint, Michigan. Her research focus is community-engaged dissemination and implementation research. She works with community partners to get research evidence into the hands of groups and individuals who can benefit from it! She leads the National Network to Innovate for COVID and Adult Vaccine Equity (NNICE), founded by Dr. Debra Furr-Holden who is now the Dean of Global Health at New York University.

Leslie Fields-Cruz

SPEAKER

Leslie Fields-Cruz is the executive director of Black Public Media, the nation’s only nonprofit solely dedicated to the development of nonfiction Black content for distribution on public media. Leslie joined BPM in 2001 to manage its program development fund. She served as director of programs from 2005-2008 and as VP of programs and operations from 2008-2014 before being named BPM’s third executive director in 2014. Leslie is the creator of BPM’s award-winning anthology series, AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange, now in its 14th season, which features contemporary stories from the African diaspora. Under her leadership, BPM has cultivated new partnerships, diversified revenues, and initiated vital new programs (360 Incubator+, PitchBLACK Forum & Awards, BPMplus, and the Black Media Story Summit) that support Black talent and content development. In 2021, Leslie was named to Crain’s New York’s list of Notable Black Business Leaders. A graduate of U.C. Berkeley (BA) and NYU (MA), she is a board member of New Era Creative Space, and in September 2022, was named board president of New York Women in Film and Television.

SUMMIT PARTICIPANTS

Christine Plummer

PANELIST

G. Foster

PANEL MODERATOR

Marcel “Fable” Price

PANELIST

Julian Hamer

PANELIST

Yessica Hernandez-Cruz

PANELIST

Crishna Murray

PANEL MODERATOR

Patrick McNeal

PANELIST

Anthony Holley

PANELIST

Nyah Johnson

PANELIST

Yolanda Oxendine

PANELIST

Christine Plummer

PANELIST

Christine Plummer MSN RN is a nurse with over 20 years’ experience in a variety of nursing specialties that includes critical care, emergency room, surgery and community health. Ms. Plummer is the director of City on a Hill Health Clinic, a free medical and mental health clinic, located in Zeeland Michigan, that serves the West Michigan community. She is also an affiliate faculty member at Grand Valley State University’s Kirkhof School of Nursing. She recently received the 2022 AIM Immunization Champion Award for the State of Michigan for her work with promotion and administering vaccines in diverse populations in West Michigan.

G. Foster

PANEL MODERATOR

Foster aka AutoPilot is a professional orator who can be seen capturing hearts on movie sets, moving minds on panels, igniting spirits with spoken word, and commanding the city’s largest stages.

Foster is rich with humor and brings that joy into his work as a teaching artist with one of the city’s premier arts and culture non profit organizations “The Diatribe,” which he co-founded. He is a dedicated father that currently resides in Grand Rapids, but this Michigan Native was born in Detroit and raised in Muskegon.

AutoPilot is a graduate of Grand Valley State University, a playwright, lyricist, nightlife extraordinaire, and is the brainchild that co-curated “The Drunken Retort” one of the “Must Experience Events in the City” – Grand Rapids Magazine. Autopilot breathes impromptu truths and truly lives to connect people;  be that through community organizing, officiating weddings, or The Original Back to the 90’s party (which he co-founded) that has sold out nearly 30 shows.

He is also the Vibe Manager and Community Liaison of The Diatribe.

Marcel “Fable” Price

PANELIST

Marcel “Fable” Price is a North American writer, teaching artist, community advocate, motivational speaker, and Chief Inspiration Architect of non profit organization The Diatribe.

Fable is the 2016 recipient of a Community Advocate Award, a 2017 40 Under 40 Honoree, a 2020 Grand Rapids Area Black Businesses Black Bottom Community Builder Award winner, a 2023 Grand Rapids Business Journal Newsmaker of the Year, and was the 2017-2020 Poet Laureate of Grand Rapids, MI.

He is the author of “Adrift in a Sea of M&M’s” (2016) and is currently gearing up to release New American Monarch; an extroverted caterpillars guide to becoming an introverted butterfly. Among other goals, in 2024 Fable hopes to help launch The Emory Arts and Culture Hub; a space focused in performing arts, creative enterprise, and truly affordable housing in his neighborhood The 49507.

Fable was the youngest, first person without a college degree, and the first person of color to hold the title of Poet Laureate in Grand Rapids, MI his work has been heavily influenced by contorting personal experiences into a kaleidoscope used to examine glass ceilings for points of fragility.

He lives to be a beacon of vulnerability for those that can relate to his work.

His work has previously been used by PBS, The Flynn Foundation, Mental Health America, and Habitat for Humanity. His poems have appeared in Missouri Review, The Grand Rapids Grass Roots Anthology, The Spoon Knife Anthology, Button Poetry, and Write About Now.

Julian Hamer

PANELIST

Julian C. Hamer is an award-winning filmmaker, producer, cinematographer, director, and master storyteller passionate about sharing narratives that promote Black life and liberation. Born and raised in Baltimore, Julian’s first feature documentary—If Walls Could Talk—followed a group of artists during the curation of a mural project in her hometown’s Sandtown-Winchester community immediately following the untimely death of Freddie Gray and subsequent uprising of 2015. On election day of 2016, she left her job as a studio camera operator at a local news network to amplify unheard voices. Since then, Julian has worked in various freelance capacities in production, camera departments and as a producer for numerous television networks and production companies on live events and film productions. During the 2020 election cycle, Julian transitioned into political video content, working as the senior producer of video content and cinematographer for Vice President Kamala Harris and leading two teams composed predominantly of women of color. She co-directed and was the Director of Photography for Vice President Harris’ campaign introduction and Democratic National Convention video, “Kamala Harris is Us,” working alongside FEARLESS VIDEO co-founder Yessica Hernandez-Cruz and cinematographers from across the country. Julian is a member of the Producer Guild of America, Documentary Producers Alliance, Brown Girls Documentary Mafia, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.

Yessica Hernandez-Cruz

PANELIST

Yessica Hernandez-Cruz is a queer, bilingual producer and digital consultant creating stories that heal from the generational curses of colonization while inspiring others to reclaim their unapologetic power and voice. Born in Seattle and raised by her Mexican undocumented parents, Yessica grew her perspective to connect with various demographic groups and captivate intersectional millennial and Gen-Z audience. Yessica has served in various capacities, including as an on-air personality, host, show-runner, writer, photographer, director, and producer for Buzzfeed, Univision, Discovery & Viacom. After the country’s political climate shifted in 2016, she veered her focus from entertaining her community to embracing the responsibility of creating intentional, purposeful content.

During the 2020 election cycle, Yessica joined the presidential campaigns of then-Senator Kamala Harris, Andrew Yang, and Senator Bernie Sanders as a video content producer. She later joined the Biden-Harris ticket to lead the running mate’s digital content road team. In addition to co-directing and co-producing Vice President Harris’ campaign introduction and Democratic National Convention videos alongside FEARLESS VIDEO co-founder Julian Hamer, Yessica created historic and iconic content that inspired an organic wave of “FanCam” videos—generating millions of views on TikTok and Instagram.

Crishna Murray

PANEL MODERATOR

Crishna Murray is an author, script writer, actress, artist and all-around creative. She was born and raised in Connecticut, then moved to her family roots in North Carolina in 2006. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Services from Springfield College, and has over twenty years of experience working with children and has also worked as an educator.

Ms.  Murray is the CEO of Twin Attic Publishing House, Inc, a traditional publishing company established in 2012. Penned as CD Murray for her children’s books, she admits to loving both the book world and the film industry. She has recently started a movie production company, Big Bam Productions. Crishna has worked both in front and behind the camera.  She has acted in films such as The Available Wife, Holiday Heartbreak, A Rich Christmas, Big 50 The DelRhonda Hood Story, The Advocate, Hi Hope, Redemption, Wesley Christmas Wedding, and others.

In addition to her creative talents, Crishna founded a nonprofit, Alternative Learning Center and Community Engagement, Inc. Through her nonprofit, she is able to assist the community with personal growth and development, mentoring, and making environmental changes as it relates to substance misuse.  Crishna Murray has been a mental health professional for twenty-seven years and holds several certifications and credentials in her field of study.

Crishna has four children, ranging from adulthood to elementary school age.

Patrick McNeal

PANELIST

Patrick McNeal is the Lead Facilitator and Certified Life Coach for Frameworks Solutions.  A coaching and consulting firm based in Flint MI that seeks to help individuals, community groups, churches and nonprofits identify and engage with issues of poverty, access, racial reconciliation and others in the mission field near their physical location. He also serves as the Director of the North Flint Neighborhood Action Council (NFNAC).  The NFNAC brings together residents, block club and neighborhood association leaders, organizations and community stakeholders in some of the most economically disenfranchised areas of Flint, MI to plan, implement, and sustain comprehensive revitalization efforts that improve the lives of residents and provide them (residents) with the loudest voice in that change.  It is reminding them that in concerning decisions about their neighborhood that ‘nothing about us without us.’

A believer in lifelong learning, Patrick has earned both a Masters in Educational Leadership from Eastern Michigan University and a Masters of Divinity from Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA. Patrick also serves his community through the Conflict Resolution Center as a certified mediator.  His service to the poor, combined with his passion for telling and showing all that will see and hear that there is life in the Word of God, are so vividly illustrated in the verses that continue to guide his life: “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5, 6)

Anthony Holley

PANELIST

Anthony Holley was born in Connecticut and moved to North Carolina with his family while in elementary school.  Anthony attended and graduated from a college preparatory private school, Saint Andrews High School in Middletown, Delaware, and went on to attend college at Pembroke University.  Anthony followed his dreams as an entrepreneur and started his own company, Lilius.  At Lilius, Anthony worked to make technology and data easily available for underserved demographics.  Using blockchain technology, Anthony empowered individuals to utilize readily available data to improve their daily lives.

Nyah Johnson

PANELIST

Nyah Johnson is from Youngsville, North Carolina, and is currently a freshman at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (Go Heels!). Growing up, she always loved writing and, over the years, developed a profound love for journalism. Currently, she is a staff writer for the BlackInk organization on her campus, highlighting and amplifying Black stories and voices. Along with her love of writing, she enjoys being there for her community, working in social justice, and advocating for people of color. Today, Nyah is more than excited to join this panel, sharing her experience during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it influenced her to continue advocating for the greater good.

Yolanda Oxendine

PANELIST

Yolando Oxendine was born in Goldsboro, NC, and currently resides in Raleigh, NC. She is a vivid, intense and passionate Behavioral Health Agency owner of Lilyco Services LLC.  Yolando earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Saint Augustine’s College/University and her Master’s Degree Psychology from Walden University. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and an Army Veteran. She has a God given gift to serve the people who are struggling with Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders.

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The Black Media Story Summit: COVID & Vaccine Equity is supported in part by

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