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Conference Flow. #ThirdCoast16

Categories: Blog, Radio Life | Posted by: TastyKeish

I.

It took me a month to fully decompress from Third Coast International Audio Festival in Chicago and I still feel like things are unfolding…

I attended Third Coast as an AIR New Voices Scholar, which is a scholarship opportunity for audio producers from different walks of life to attend and gain mentorship.

These are a few of my takeaways.

II.

Diversity in media was a topic that was repeatedly referenced over the three days, especially in the aftermath of the Trump election. We talked about the need for more reporters of color, how news shouldn’t be racial news- it should just be “news”, and who are the POC reporters that are going to spend the next 4 years following the President-Elect?

While the numbers of POC personnel in public media are increasing, one thing that is super real is that we need more POC in management and hiring. We need to be in decision making spaces, who understand the cultural nuance of  other radio people of color. Folks that know what/how/when to code switch and why we do it.

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Folks like my New Voices mentor, Andrew Ramsammy. Andrew is dope. He’s an award winning radio guy and he spends his days calling people/companies/news orgs out on their non-diverse, non-inclusive sh*t. My kind of guy. ::insert heart emoji::

 

If you imagine a public radio conference, you think it’s gonna be a ton of white dudes everywhere, that you won’t have anything in common with anyone, and that you won’t have a voice. My talks with Andrew were really empowering and motivating and helped me go into the weekend really confident in my mission and who I am as a broadcaster.

III.

Introducing yourself over and over really gets to the core of understanding what you want for yourself. If you feel confident every single time you give your elevator speech, that’s a great sign.

My mission is about normalizing the voices, tones, dialects, and language of POC. On my morning show to talk to different sounding people 3 times a week and aim to expand by creating independent and freelance audio stories that feature the lives of different (sounding) people.

BOOM.

Turns out people are into that sort of thing. Check out my day one thoughts…

A video posted by TK (@tastykeish) on

 IV. Stand out by being a useful loner. I made some great friends at Third Coast, many of them were fellow scholars that I foresee having life long relationships with. But, during the weekend I traveled from panel to panel alone and sat with new people every time I went to any meal. This forces you to say hello and meet someone new every single time. Little did I know that my penchant for oversharing was a useful tool for some of the conference go-ers. I live tweeted every single panel I went to. Sharing is caring. Here they are again compiled for your reading pleasure:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

V. Find the void. Fill the void.   cxpbvavuaaadzmm    

If you have a skill that you’re absolutely sure of and there is an opportunity to use it, use it. Don’t intrude. Figure out if the ship is sinking and offer your help.  For instance, I know I can cold rock a party. It’s part of the TK package. I love it and I live it. The DJ at one of the conference after parties was… struggling. So, after talking myself into it- I introduced myself to him and asked he would mind me being his “hype-man” or MC. From then we were a team. I tried to bring some cohesiveness to his playlist and crowd interaction to an event with several hundred of my industry peers. It was really fun and another great way to offer up another one of my skill sets to my peers.          

A video posted by TK (@tastykeish) on

This is just the tip of the iceberg. I haven’t even gotten into how my life has changed in the one month since Third Coast. That’s a whole other post.

Until then, I say thank you AIR, especially Karen and Emily for supporting all of us New Voice Scholars. 

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Effie Brown, Matt Damon, & Me.

Categories: Blog | Posted by: TastyKeish

I promised myself if I got my website together I would share more of my thoughts about things I encounter on a daily basis. Fun stuff, events, not so fun stuff like micro-aggressions against women and Black people. Two communities I am 100% a part of.

Knowing that about myself. That I am a Black Woman that lives in a world and culture that is vast and huge, I can not with good conscience allow someone from outside of my community dictate to me what I should consume as my media intake, what Black characters should be represented and how. Nor will I denounce those prevailing stereotypes to distance myself and become part of “The New Black” (ie: Pharell & Raven Symone).

There is immense power in the boardrooms of America. Power that we don’t have because we are not in those boardrooms. So,the people that are- White, often heterosexual males, make decisions on representations of People of Color daily. In music, in congress, in HOLLYWOOD. Especially Hollywood.

So when I saw that film director Effie Brown (who is a Black Woman that directed Dear White People ::insert irony here::) raised concerns about a White pimp character and a Black prostitute character and about diversity on the crew of films, I knew I wasn’t crazy when I  went on my “how-dare-you-tell-me-what-to-do-with-my- media” diatribe a few weeks ago on twitter. Matt Damon (Project Greenlight Executive Producer) basically talked over her about how the diversity in the film making process needs to be in the casting of characters and not the crew. Read that again.

Here’s how I took that:

Go head and put more Black, Asians, Latino, etc folks in the movies to shut folks up and keep the decision making to us White guys. 

He doesn’t even know he said that shit. He doesn’t even realize he thinks that shit.

And there’s the rub.

(Some-A Lot of- Not All) White folks get pleasure out of telling you the marginalized group “how to”. How to do better, make better films, music, media, food choices as if they didn’t have a hand in the way the current system is structured to fail People of Color on all levels.

Which takes me back to my diatribe, again. 

I engaged a post on FB about Saana Lathan discussing how she feels sad about the lack of diversity in the Hollywood boardroom. I agreed with Saana and then I was basically told by the poster of said thread that if Black People had supported a certain other movie that will remain nameless- then other Black movies would have a better opportunity to make it through.

Here’s how I took that:

If you want more Black movies, then let me as a White Person tell you that it’s your fault since you didn’t support a shitty Black movie, now not even your good ones can make it to the silver screen. Take what we give you. Then give us your money for it. And maybeeeee, just mayyyyybe we’ll let you have something a little bit better.

Which, for the 3rd time brings me back to my diatribe. You can read it here. These are all tweets, so please excuse the fast and furious nature of my typing and the typos. Effie Brown gave me a reason to share: 

See more on:
Matt Damon inadvertently demonstrates why Hollywood isn’t more diverse
http://www.vox.com/2015/9/14/9325989/matt-damon-diversity-project-greenlight

Matt Damon’s staggering meritocracy lie: What his “Project Greenlight” blow-up with Effie Brown really shows
http://www.salon.com/2015/09/16/matt_damons_staggering_meritocracy_lie_what_his_project_greenlight_blow_up_with_effie_brown_really_shows/

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The Genesis Project

Categories: Blog, Media, Multi Media Gallery, panels, Multi Media Gallery, Video, Youth | Posted by: TastyKeish

I was invited by my good friend Nick Florest, the facilitator of The Genesis Project an after-school program where he teaches podcasting to 3rd, 4th, & 5th graders at the Beginning With Children Charter School. What I thought was going to be a friendly sit down interview was a full fledged PRESS CONFERENCE and boy were these kids ready!!

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I loved having a dialogue with them as fellow media creators of color. Some of them have their own youtube channels and I could tell they really enjoyed the work they were doing and the ability to have these interviews and share their talent with real world professionals. This is why arts, music, and creative programs are so integral in the school system and youth development. Young people have to see themselves as adults doing a plethora of jobs in the world so they can see the possibilities for themselves.

I can’t wait to see what they become when they grow up!

Check out the full Genesis Project Q&A right here:

 

nick school collage

 

 

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