When I set out to write my stories and document my journey in journalism, leadership and as an advocate for media diversity, one of my goals was to share my stories with young people, especially young women starting out in their careers, and also students who are aspiring communications professionals. I had the opportunity to do just that with a class of students at Baylor University in Texas.
I met Dr. Mia Moody-Ramirez in the Scripps Howard Academic Leadership Academy at Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Mass Communication, a week-long fellowship for professors to learn about academic leadership. At the time, I was a newbie as an academic leader after decades of newsroom leadership. After the program, Dr. Moody-Ramirez and I learned about some of our common ground — membership in some of the same service and professional organizations. So I was delighted when she invited me to share stories from my memoir, “COMING FULL CIRCLE: From Jim Crow to Journalism” with one of her classes.
With her permission, I’m sharing the following blog post after students in her Gender, Race and Media class at Baylor had a chance to blog about my presentation. Links to their blog posts and the class video are at the end.
Wanda Lloyd: Coming Full Circle: From Jim Crow to Journalism
Students learned what it’s like to come “Full Circle: From Jim Crow to Journalism” from Wanda Lloyd, an author and public speaker who visited our gender, race and media class to share her journey as a Black woman in the world of journalism.
“Lloyd’s story inspired me to knock down walls and break through glass ceilings,” said Cody Soto. “But not in the way that she was originally talking about. While she faced the obstacle of being both an African-American editor and a woman, I have to face being a Hispanic man in the sport public relations field today. Different scenarios but similar obstacles.
”One of the things that drove Lloyd to excel was being told that she couldn’t become a journalist during an era when educated Black women usually became nurses or teachers.
“My grandmother said I don’t think a colored woman can become a journalist,” Lloyd said.
Even though a lot has changed since Lloyd began her career in journalism, she sees many parallels between the Civil Rights Movement and the current Black Lives Matter movement.
Samantha Dietzler noted in her blog entry: “At the forefront of both movements, she has seen young people, rallying together. However, she has noted that many more white people are protesting and women are more at the front.
”Lloyd’s advice for aspiring journalism students is to embrace the opportunities to learn a little bit of everything whether that’s editing, photography, or public relations.
“I am truly grateful for women like Lloyd that allow women and people of color to follow their passions,” Chantal Canales said. “Although the challenges Lloyd faced still occur in today’s newsrooms, I know that I and many others won’t stand for those injustices. Classes like Gender, Race and Media and women like Lloyd are setting the course for my future in journalism, and I am so thankful for them.
”Kailey Davis was equally inspired. She observed that throughout her career as an editor, and even as a professor, Lloyd faced many adversities.
“As a person of color and a woman, Lloyd was often overlooked and dismissed, but she didn’t let that silence her,” Davis said. “Being a young woman who has spent some time in the workforce, I was inspired to hear her talk about how she learned to be comfortable with her opinions and share them more freely.
”Lilly Price summarized the presentation well: “I really enjoyed getting to know Wanda, and hear about her career journey and bits of her new book ‘Coming Full Circle: From Jim Crow to Journalism.’ She’s a very inspiring person and she speaks with purpose and quiet dignity.”
Here is the link to the video from the class discussion: https://youtu.be/jT1HqM40y5U
Links to some of the students’ blogs: