Leslie Fields-Cruz
SEPTEMBER 27, 2022




By Leslie Fields-Cruz

We're in Good Hands

I've worked in the nonprofit world for most of my adult life. So, I know how fortunate I am to have a board of directors who genuinely get Black Public Media's mission, are generous with their time and talents, and know how to work hard while also having a good time. This past weekend, the BPM board members and I met in Los Angeles for our annual in-person meeting. The board meets quarterly, but three of the four meetings are virtual. This year's in-person convening began Friday evening with a casual cocktail reception that also included a few of our West Coast partners and friends. We then spent Saturday hosted at the American Film Institute, where we reviewed BPM's triumphs and challenges from FY21-22 and previewed plans for FY22-23. All eight of our current board members were present (two attended virtually) and all remained attentive and engaged for the duration of the meeting.

I'm not going to rehash everything we discussed, but I want you to know that these smart and busy professionals lend their time and talents to BPM because they believe in you. Whether you are a media storyteller, a funder, a programmer, a public media executive, or someone who just enjoys stories about Black people, this board believes you deserve to be in partnership with an organization that is forward looking, fiscally sound, and dedicated to creating opportunities for Black stories to be distributed as widely as possible.

BPM staff and board members, l-r: Diane Carr-Joseph, operations director; Denise A. Greene, programs director; Alisa Norris, fund development manager; Darryl Ford-Williams, board chair; Cliff Charles , CFO; Guy-Max Delphin, board member; Samantha Abrams, board member; Leslie Fields-Cruz, executive director, Lisa Osborne, emerging media director; Antonia Carew-Watts, board member; and Valerie Williams-Sanchez, board member. Photo credit: Cheryl D. Fields

Rest assured, they keep me and the rest of our staff on our toes. So, as we close out the final quarter of FY21-22, I extend deep appreciation to Samantha Abrams, Guy-Max Delphin, Antonia Carew-Watts, Deniese Davis, Steve Hissam, Eva-Marie Malone, Valerie Williams-Sanchez, and special thanks to board chair Darryl Ford-Williams, who in addition to asking great questions, always runs such smooth and productive meetings. The board's enthusiasm, support, and willingness to cheer the staff and me on are exactly what we need to forge ahead with confidence. We know we're in good hands.

Before I go, I also want to applaud all the makers who responded to our annual Open Call, which closed Monday evening. We look forward to reviewing your submissions and announcing who will participate in next year's 360 Incubator+. Best of luck to you all.


Black Public Media is supported in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, with further funding from the MacArthur Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts, and Acton Family Giving.  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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