I Touch the Future; I Teach!

“I have the best of both worlds. I teach what I do and do what I teach, to paraphrase a fellow professor. In the Department of Media, Journalism and Film, we tell stories. And we nurture those skills, and the theories behind them, across multimedia platforms in our students. We nurture them holistically, too, instilling that trademark sense of confidence steeped in history, legacy and purpose; that ability to walk on air. We help to prepare them for the good, the bad and the ugly so that they can rise above it.”

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Gwen Ifill’s Impact on Women Journalists

Gwen Ifill’s death is especially profound for African-American journalists, especially women. The pool of black journalists covering national politics is small, and it’s even tinier for coveted beats like the White House and presidential campaigns, of which Ifill covered seven.

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Dealing With Dementia: Caring for My Mother

Todd Shurn has had to learn how to bathe his 83-year-old mother, brush and floss her teeth, feed her, clothe her and comb her hair into something more or less presentable. Today, her silver locks are hidden beneath a gray flapper’s hat with a matching wool flower on the side. Dressed in gray pants with a red-orange sweater over a white turtleneck, she smiles adoringly whenever she glances over at her son next to her in the booth. Alice Shurn was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia, requiring round-the-clock care. “My life is dedicated to making her happy,” Shurn says. “The loss of my personal freedom — I’ve accepted that. I can’t do anything.”

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Daddy, Barack and Me

Sibling rivalry was never really a problem for me, but all that changed when my father stood me up for Thanksgiving. On the eve of Turkey Day, I developed a case of Obama envy.

You’ve heard of “outside children?” Well, President Barack Obama has an outside family. He has two dads: Barack Hussein Obama Sr. and a surrogate, William Radford Rice, the father he “stole” from me during his first run for the White House. Daddy Rice helped him get there.

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“Dream big, and always protect your dreams.”

— Yanick Rice Lamb

Launch of Jim Vance Media Academy

STRONG LEGACY — I’m honored to be on the board of the new Jim Vance Media Academy at Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington, D.C. The Vance Scholars show great promise, and it gave us chills to hear them recite their journalism pledge of ethics. Our future is...

50 Years After the Kerner Commission, Little Progress for People of Color in Media

I didn’t know that my family was “broken” until I heard it on the news. Although my parents divorced when I was five years old, my father was still in my life. So, too, were my attentive stepfather, a doting grandfather, wonderful uncles, cousins and neighbors. My siblings and I grew up in an all-important “village” filled with caring people who still care about us as adults, now with our own children and grandchildren. I’m also the first-born of an immigrant family from a “shithole” country, according to the president of the United States. In addition to what the president dreams up on his own, his views and other stereotypes held by too many people often stem from media portrayals that are distorted or nonexistent. Fifty years ago, the Kerner Commission blamed such media portrayals, or lack thereof, for contributing to nationwide uprisings in the summer of 1967 by African Americans who were sick and tired of being sick and tired, to paraphrase Fannie Lou Hamer. The National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, as it was officially called, appointed by President Lyndon Johnson to investigate the underlying causes of the unrest, made some sobering findings, concluding, “Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white — separate and unequal.” It also found that the media presented a fragmented picture to the public that failed to show the everyday lives of black and brown people and that underplayed disparities in areas such as education, housing, employment, income, health, and policing. To mark the 50th anniversary of the report, commemorative conferences, studies, and other research have assessed progress, or lack thereof,...

Gwen Ifill’s Profound Impact on African-American Women Journalists

Gwen Ifill made it easier for Sonya Ross to cover the White House. She set a great example, provided pointers, and boosted her confidence. “She blazed a trail,” said Ross, a White House reporter at the Associated Press for nearly seven years who is now AP’s race and ethnicity editor. “She didn’t just teach me how to do it; she showed the world how to do it.” Indeed, people around the world were stunned by reports of the 61-year-old Ifill’s death from cancer in mid-November—two days before she was to receive the 2016 John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism at Columbia University. Everyone from President Obama to people on the street praised the way in which she protected “the public’s right to know” throughout her career, most recently as moderator and managing editor of Washington Week as well as co-anchor and managing editor of PBS NewsHour. However, her loss is especially profound for African-American journalists, especially women. The pool of black journalists covering national politics is small, and it’s even tinier for coveted beats like the White House and presidential campaigns, of which Ifill covered seven. “She showed that, number one, black journalists can do that,” said Vanessa Williams, a national reporter at the Washington Post who covered the recent election. “There are not a whole lot of us, but there are more because of Gwen.” Click here to read more...

Request an Interview or Book Yanick Rice Lamb to Speak at Your Next Event

Black History Month keynote speech at the University of Toledo.

Yanick is available for interviews, speaking engagements, conferences, commencements, Women’s Day Programs, workshops and other special events.

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Check Out an Exciting Digital Network

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Yanick Rice Lamb is co-founder of FierceforBlackWomen.com, the centerpiece of a digital network that fills a void in the media landscape. Fierce has been well received by the public and industry, winning a Salute to Excellence Award from the National Association of Black Journalists and a Clarion Award from the Association for Women in Communications.

FierceforBlackWomen.com