March 2, 2021




By Leslie Fields-Cruz


Saluting the Black Women Making History in the Fight Against Covid-19


Hi BPM Family,

With Black History Month behind us and Women’s History Month underway, I urge us all to remember the 63,000+ Black Americans we’ve lost to Covid-19 so far. Black Americans have died from the virus at twice the rate of White Americans. And Black women have borne an especially high burden because they hold a disproportionate share of jobs at high risk for contracting the virus. But Black women are also among the bright stars leading the fight against the pandemic.

Dr. Kizzmekia Colbert played a key role in developing the first Covid-19 vaccine; mayors London Breed (San Francisco), Keisha Lance Bottoms (Atlanta), Muriel Bowser (District of Columbia) are leading their cities’ fights against Covid-19; Dr. Lou Edgi was an early volunteer in the vaccine trials; and Dr. Martha Dawson, president of the National Black Nurses Association, led her organization to launch the Re:Set and RETHINK campaigns to provide mental and emotional health support for Black nurses waging war against Covid, and to educate Black communities about vaccines. These are just a few of the thousands of sisters making history by guiding our nation through this excruciating crisis. Black media storytellers must ensure their contributions aren’t overlooked.

Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett
Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett

This week, we are pleased to announce the films featured in AfroPoP Season 13, which premieres on WORLD Channel Mon., April 5, and will be broadcast on PBS stations starting in May.

We’re also thrilled to invite you to join us on Fri., April 9, 7 p.m. ET, for the fourth PitchBLACK Forum and Awards, where acclaimed Producer/Director Marco Williams will receive the BPM Trailblazers Award. This year’s awards ceremony is being streamed virtually. The event is free and open to the public. Read our feature story to learn how you can secure tickets to attend our before and after networking mixers.

As a new addition to PitchBLACK, we're excited to introduce the BPMplus Showcase (April 9, 1 p.m. ET), featuring Black filmmakers and artists presenting their augmented reality, virtual reality, and motion capture projects.

These are just a few of the events happening this month. We invite you to join us and encourage you to share this newsletter with your network. See you soon!

Marco Williams

Marco Williams

Black Public Media is supported in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, with further funding from the MacArthur Foundation and the New York State Council on the Arts. Support for Afropop: the Ultimate Cultural Exchange and the 360 incubator+ Fund comes from the National Endowment for the Arts. BPM is the only nonprofit that offers training, funding and distribution for projects solely about the Black experience. We are seeking foundations, corporations and individuals to help our work. For more information about underwriting and contributions, please contact Alisa Norris (Alisa@ blackpublicmedia.org). To donate, click here! In addition, you can donate to BPM through your Amazon purchases by going to smile.amazon.com/ch/31- 1335950.

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