Monday, March 2, 2015

Congratulations to the Wesleyan Gospel Choir of Savannah State University, as they are about to embark upon their spring concert tour, March 6-15, 2015.

During this period, the choir will represent Savannah State as ambassadors at concerts and schools to lend exposure to the Savannah State campus, display students' talents, recruit new students and spread the good news about Savannah State University. 

If the choir is coming to a city near you, please support this group of talented musical students, some of whom are Journalism and Mass Communications majors and minors.


Sunday, March 8, 2015 Worship Service
Salem United Methodist Church
2190 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd (at 129th Street)
New York, NY

Concert, Sunday, March 8, 2015 at 6:00 p.m.
Spirit & Truth Worship Cathedral
1801 North 32nd Street
Philadelphia, PA

Monday, March 9, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. (Recruitment Event)
New Media Technology Charter School
8034 Thouron Avenue,
Philadelphia, PA 19150

Concert at 5:30 p.m.
Lincoln University Gospel  Choir Fellowship
1570 Baltimore Pike
Lincoln University, PA

Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Concert at 7:00 p.m. SSU 
Alumni Association Washington D.C. Chapter
Fisherman of Men Church
3641 Georgia Avenue NW,
Washington, DC 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. (Recruitment Event)
Anacostia High School
1601 16th Street SE
Washington, DC 20020

Concert, Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.
Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal
240 Chatham Heights Road
Fredericksburg, VA 

Concert, Thursday, March 12, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.
Raleigh-Durham Alumni Chapter
North East Baptist Church
3205 Highway 55 
Durham, NC.

Concert, Friday, March 13, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.
GYF Gospel Extravaganza
Rucker Memorial Baptist Church,
2251 Floyd Road, Gainesville, GA

Concert, Saturday , March 14, 2015 SSUNAA East Atlanta Suburban Alumni 
Chapter Spring Scholarship Concert
Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church
397 Racetrack Road
McDonough, GA                                                                                                            

Sunday, March 15, 2013 at 11:00 a.m.
Greater Fellowship Baptist Church
3600 Midway Road
Decatur, GA

Concert, Sunday Evening, March 15, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. 
SSU Alumni Association Augusta Chapter
Trinity CME Church
2930 Glenn Hills Drive
Augusta, Ga.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The world has lost a voice of media diversity

Dori J. Maynard
American journalism has lost a valued voice of diversity. Many, many groups and individuals are expressing their sorrow over the loss of Dori J. Maynard, president of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. 

Dori and I were colleagues and friends. We traveled together to do media diversity training. We shared stages where diversity and awards for media diversity were topics of discussion. We had conversations about the importance of accuracy by reflecting communities served by professional media and standards. I worked with her father, Robert C. "Bob" Maynard at The Washington Post and at Columbia University in the Summer Program for Minority Journalists. 

Kudos and comments are coming in from all over. Social media is abuzz with sympathetic reaction from friends, colleagues and organizations that Dori touched. Here is a sampling:

American Society of News Editors
"The Board of Directors of the American Society of News Editors expresses our profound sadness at the death of our friend and fellow board member, Dori Maynard, president of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. 

" 'Dori was a passionate voice for journalism that truly reflected the richness and diversity of civic life'," said ASNE President Chris Peck. " 'She fearlessly challenged the media to explore the deeper issues of American society. Her courageous voice will be missed.'

"A longtime journalist and champion of diversity, Maynard strongly valued the work of bringing the diverse voices of America into news and public discourse, the Maynard Institute reported."

 National Association of Black Journalists
"The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) mourns the loss of Dori J. Maynard, President, The Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education.

"Earlier in her career Ms. Maynard was a reporter at the The Bakersfield Californian, The Patriot Ledger, and the Detroit Free Press. She had led the institute since 2001. The institute originally named the Institute for Journalism Education was later renamed to honor Maynard's late father Robert in 1993. Maynard's stepmother the late Nancy Hicks Maynard was the institute's first president. ...

" 'Dori fought to ensure that the journalists and newsroom managers responsible for coverage looked like the communities they are responsible for covering'," said NABJ President Bob Butler. "'Dori knew that if newsrooms represented the society then journalists would tell stories which are truthful, authentic, and compassionate'.'

Maynard Institute
"Dori J. Maynard, president of the Robert C. Maynard institute for Journalism Education and longtime champion of diversity in journalism and civic life, died Tues., Feb. 24, at her West Oakland home. She was 56. Maynard advocated tirelessly for the future of the institute and its programs, reminding all that the work of bringing the diverse voices of America into news and public discourse is more vital than ever. Under her leadership, the Institute has trained some of the top journalists in the country and helped newsrooms tell more inclusive and nuanced stories. New programs are empowering community members to voice the narrative of their own lives. On the morning of her death, she was discussing plans with a board member to help the institute thrive and to attract funding to support that work."

For more comments about the life and passing of Dori Maynard, click here: 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Seasoned journalists increasingly move into academia


Leave it to fellow journalist and venerable recruiter Reggie Stewart to pick up on the trend that some universities are hiring seasoned media professionals to lead their journalism and mass communications departments -- Dorothy Bland, DeWayne Wickham and yours truly among them.

Stewart's article appears in Black Issues in Higher Education. Here is the link:

Thursday, July 25, 2013

One company is backing Paula Deen

Much has been written and said, including in this blog, about the embattled Paula Deen, who admitted in a deposition that she has used a derogatory racial slur.

Now comes word that a company that manufactures furniture is sticking by Savannah's food diva with a furniture line in her name. Here is the report from the High Point Enterprise.

Furniture company sticking with Paula Deen

Monday, July 22, 2013

A dean of newspaper editors is departing the newsroom

It isn't often that I call someone the dean of some industry or group of people. The word doesn't always fit. But I have to say that upon hearing about the retirement of Bennie Ivory, executive editor of the Louisville Courier-Journal, Bennie Ivory is the dean of the club of people who are or have been executive editors of daily  newspapers, especially Gannett newspapers.

Bennie is leaving -- Friday. Yes, that's quick, this coming from a woman whose own retirement from a Gannett newspaper, went on probably a bit too long. I was trying to be kind by giving my bosses time to recruit a successor. Too long, I now know.

Bennie is a dean of our industry. He served long and well as a leader at several newspapers, including Florida Today, the Wilmington (Del.) News Journal and in Louisville. I met him in 1986, right after I arrived at  USA Today, my first Gannett newspaper. Bennie was on the way out to some great adventure to lead a newsroom as managing editor. I was just starting my first top management role as a deputy managing editor at USA Today.

Here is the story/video about Bennie's departure:

Here's what I remember about Bennie Ivory:
  • He was an early champion for newsroom diversity, one of the early ones who spoke up when he saw something inaccurate with the portrayal of people of color in content of newspapers, or to make sure people of color were represented in newsrooms.
  • He wears black -- every day. I never asked him why but if I had to guess, knowing Bennie, it was a matter of convenience. Never had to think about attire, what matches and what doesn't match.
  • He has a brilliant journalism mind, leading a newspaper that won almost all of the top awards in our business, including the Pulitzer Prize.
  • He is not always a happy camper. He complains. Curmudgeon comes to mind. That's Bennie.
  • He is from Arkansas and brother of Lee Ivory, one of my favorite people in the business,  himself an editor of great distinction.
  • He is gone from our business too quickly. To Bennie, retirement age is 62.
I expect we will keep hearing from black-wearing, thoughtful, talented Bennie Ivory. I expect he will continue to make Louisville his home. I expect he will get some rest for a time and then find a way to share his wisdom in a place where it matters.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Paula Deen: "Please forgive me for the mistakes that I've made"

No matter where I go, when I tell people my hometown is Savannah, Ga., one of the first things they ask me is if I have been to Paula Deen's Lady and Sons southern cuisine restaurant, or to her brother's Uncle Bubba's, a seafood eatery.

I always respond "Yes, but ... ," often adding "it's just fried chicken."

A friend called me the other night, just to check in. A former coworker, she wanted me to know that she had completed a series of classes as part of her sentence for a DUI offense some months ago. She was proud of the fact that she made it through the punishment and is now (she vows) reformed.

This kind of reformation and redemption reminds me of the years-ago mandatory diversity training that was rolled out across the media landscape of just about every newspaper and television station in the nation -- especially those owned by the big companies like Gannett, Knight Ridder, NPR, the New York Times newspapers and The Associated Press.

One media executive, the CEO of a major media company (not Gannett, the company where I worked for more than two decades) admitted to me once that when he formed a diversity committee to plan initiatives around overcoming certain biases in the workplace, he had to call in an expert to help the committee members understand why some of their own biases were preventing them from making progress in establishing diversity benchmarks and standards.

Now comes Paula Deen, the queen of the exaggerated southern drawl and comfort cooking. News this week that Dean and her brother were the subjects of a lawsuit alleging that she used the "N" word and other discriminatory practices knocked Deen off her culinary pedestal. The kitchen maven, who has become a cottage industry with cookbooks, food products and contracts with networks like the Food Network and QVC, immediately went into crisis management to defend herself against charges that she and family members might be racists. Rumors are flying, but the lawsuit's transcript is out there for all to see. She did not deny using the offensive word.

Friday morning, just as Matt Lauer was getting ready to interview her on the Today Show, Deen dropped back, saying through a spokesperson she was "exhausted." She later apologized to Lauer and to her fans.

"Please forgive me for the mistakes that I've made," Deen said in a Web video that went viral in seconds. But the fallout of her brand was already underway. The Food Network dropped her like one of her own delicious hot potatoes.

My advice? Just like the model of training for DUIs, political, sports and celebrity offenders who say and do things that are offensive as racist, anti-Semitic, gender-biased, homophobic and age inappropriate and just about anything else for which they stick their biased feet into their mouths, there ought to be a national center for bias reformation and  redemption. All celebs and public officials of a certain status would be required to go there for a month of total immersion in sensitivity training.

A leadership expert once told me that you may not be able to change attitudes but you can change behavior. If someone wants to set up this institute, call me. I'd be happy to help.

As for questions about the fare at the Lady and Sons restaurant, my personal observation includes  these three things:
  • Lines are too long and the Savannah sun is too hot to wait for hours to get in.
  • The food is decent but I've had better in Savannah.
  • I took a peep into the kitchen when the door was open with wait staff coming and going. Guess who was doing the cooking back there? African Americans, the very people Paula Deen offended with her use of the "N" word.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The next chapter: Going "home" to make a difference

When I retired in March from  Gannett and my role as executive editor at the Montgomery Advertiser, friends and colleagues said they would be waiting to hear about Wanda Lloyd"s "next chapter," so sure they were that I am not ready to settle down and completely rest in the near future. Even close  family members said something like "yeah, right," when I told them I was ready to retire.

Journalism and communications studies have been a lifelong pursuit for me. Ever since I was a high school student in Savannah, Ga., and later as a student at Spelman College in Atlanta, I have found opportunities to pursue my goal of becoming the top editor of newspapers. Now seven daily newspapers later and as a participant and leader in the transition from print to the digital revolution, I felt like I had done all I needed to do in newspaper newsrooms.

Even with a side step along the way as the founding executive director of the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute at Vanderbilt University, and lecturing more times than I can count in university classrooms, it took me a while to realize that my ultimate career destiny might be on a university campus.

I am able to report that my career has come full circle -- literally.

I left Savannah the day after I graduated from high school. Now Savannah State University -- where I participated in numerous communications workshops as a student, and where I have been a keynote speaker twice at the Southern Regional Press Institute -- has called  for me to return home.

In July I will return to the campus as chair of the Department of Mass Communications, and dedicate the next few years working with the faculty to ensure that students are prepared for a 21st Century world of communications.