Ambassador Andrew Young and new media entrepreneurs in music, television and entertainment: Will Packer (Rain Forest Films and Bounce TV), Ryan Glover (Bounce TV), DeVyne Stephens (UpFront Records), Stacii Jae Johnson (Office of the Mayor), Nick Nelson and Tirrell Whitley (both of Liquid Soul Media) participated on a panel that focused on social responsibility, profitability and how these business leaders can glean wisdom from Benjamin E. Mays, Martin Luther King Jr., Maynard Jackson and Young at the Leadership Center at Morehouse College. The public seminar was developed by the Andrew Young Foundation.
The event was moderated by BET’s Ed Gordon, an Emmy Award-winning broadcaster, and was followed by a screening of Luscafilm’s Double Victory, the story of Tuskegee Airmen in their own words. A salute to the Tuskegee Airmen in the audience and the presentation of the Phoenix Award – the highest honor presented by the Atlanta Mayor’s Office – following the screening brought the audience to their feet.
This insightful dialogue confirmed many preconceptions that Hollywood and the music industry, alike, are more focused on profits and less on preserving and promoting positive images of blacks. Stephens expressed that the formula for TV celebrity is to be “derogatory, comedic and sexual.”
Here are additional highlights.