Robin P. Hickman, the CEO and executive producer of SoulTouch Productions, has a love for multimedia and an even bigger love for young people. As a young girl, she knew it was her duty to instill the same principles her mother taught her in succeeding generations.
What is your goal or mission with SoulTouch?
The mission of SoulTouch is to produce meaningful media and powerful social impact in experiences.
So here at SoulTouch, we produce multimedia and our social impact experiences come in the form of youth development initiative, and consulting with various organizations, primarily arts organizations around authentic community engagement.
What inspires you to do your work?
I think what inspires me to do my work — it comes from the wisdom of my mother that she raised us that we will take our rightful place in the world. We will take our rightful place in society. We will take our rightful place in institutions. We will take our rightful place in communities and institutions. A lot of them may work around working with organizations in the arts. We will take our rightful place in its institutions of arts, culture, history. So, it’s about being able to — prepare young people to take their rightful place in the world.
All of us to do that — mom would tell us you know, be humble but know your worth. So just growing up and being prepared to take our rightful place in the world — just having that imagination and being fueled by the knowledge of history. The knowledge of knowing that we came from greatness as a people. Therefore, we will be equipped to do great things.
So that’s really kind of the foundation of what I do. You know growing up in a very strong and healthy village that truly, the village, the way it sponsored children being very equipped to carry those values and those principles on. So that really fueled my work, and I pay it forward and instill those values in those young people that I have been left to walk with. So my work is really not just my work but it’s my calling.
What was the tipping point? What made you start SoulTouch?
I had a very long career in public television. And, I’ve always wanted to — again, walking in the footsteps of my great uncle, Gordon Parks, I just loved what he did. He was my vision of possibility to take my rightful place behind the camera. And, so I have as a young woman, as a girl, I loved media making and as a teenager jumped into it. And so at an early age, [I] started producing, started being a television host of our shows, as a teenager. I went to Howard University and majored in media. I’ve always loved public television.
I was able to do amazing things and become an executive producer at a public television station here, locally, and bring people in and bring young people in to take their rightful place behind the camera, as an executive producer of the community affairs department.
If there’s one thing in the world that you could change, what would it be?
I want us to have a deeper love as the first people. When the world sees how our humanity is playing first, out of [love for] one another. That’s going to change things in the world. I want us to matter to one another more. That is where my energy is now — trying to have the courage to lift that up, and even correct where I fall short in that.
What does success look like to you?
Success to me looks like when I get to see the seed that I have planted in young people I have walked with, pay forward. The seeds that were planted in me stirred my soul, so I knew those were the right seeds to plant in the young people that I’ve walked with. When I see a plant and I see you’re moving forward because of those ancestral seeds — the key’s being planted.