Vikki Millender-Morrow, the new leader the National Black Arts Festival, reveals her personal commitment to advancement of the arts and the contributions of artists of African descent.
Host: Tomeka M. Winborne
Description: Vikki Millender-Morrow, the new leader the National Black Arts Festival, reveals her personal commitment to advancement of the arts and the contributions of artists of African descent.
Runtime: 23 Minutes
Bio –Vikki Millender-Morrow:
After a successful 20 year corporate career, Vikki Millender- Morrow pursued her dream to make a difference in the Atlanta community by becoming a champion of the arts and Black artists.
Vikki is the new President & CEO for the National Black Arts Festival (NBAF), a nonprofit organization with a 30 year legacy of providing stellar artistic and educational programs in visual arts, music, dance, film and theater. She is a seasoned nonprofit leader with over a decade of effective operational and strategic leadership at nonprofits in Atlanta including Jane Fonda’s nonprofit, GCAPP.
Prior to joining NBAF, Vikki served as Chief Operating Officer for the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta. In this role she managed a team of 80 staff and provided operational oversight for membership recruitment and retention, product programs, and retail revenue generation, and girl programs for the organization. She led the organization through a massive transformation designed to improve the volunteer experience and to ultimately increase membership.
Vikki served as President and CEO of the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power & Potential and Girls Incorporated of Greater Atlanta, a statewide nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the overall health and well-being of young people in Georgia. She led the organization through an expansion of its strategic direction and rebranding of the organization.
She is a member of the 2009 Class of Leadership Atlanta and has received numerous recognitions including: Business to Business Magazine’s “Woman of Excellence”; Atlanta Dream’s “Inspiring Woman”; and a Nominee for the Turknett Leadership Group’s “Leadership Character Award for Integrity”.
Vikki has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and a Master’s in Public and Private Management. She and her family reside in the Atlanta, Georgia area.
In conversation, NPR’s Ailsa Chang sat down with Angie Thomas, the acclaimed author of The Hate U Give, and the movie’s director George Tillman Jr., to discuss how the book and film connected with their own personal experiences.
The Hate U Give tells the story of a teenage girl, Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg), who is a part of two worlds: the poor, predominantly black neighborhood where she resides, and the white, affluent prep school that she attends. Her worlds are turned upside down when she witnesses the fatal police shooting of her childhood friend, an unarmed black male teenager. Following the tragic shooting, Starr is drawn towards a life of activism to stand up for her friend, who is called a “thug” and other misinformed names by the media, and to protest the wrongful actions of police brutality.
George Tillman Jr., the director of the film, spoke with Chang about what it was like to base certain scenes from the movie on actual talks he received growing up. He discussed how emotional it was to bring these scenes to life, particularly because he now has a teenage son himself. “This deals with history,” he said. “This deals with survival and how we can continue to stay on this earth without police brutality or being shot or being killed. You know, this is part of the fear of the African-American community.”
Another significant theme in the book is how Starr navigates between her two worlds, and how she feels an internal pressure to erase her blackness while at her fancy prep school with her white classmates. Certainly, many of us can relate to this uneasy pressure growing up or currently in the workplace, and this double life is actually based on author Angie Thomas’s life experiences.
Growing up, Thomas also lived in a mostly black neighborhood while attending a predominantly white, private college in Mississippi. She described her own experiences as a struggle, and practiced the art of code switching. “I would make myself more presentable I thought. I was careful of how I spoke. I was careful of how much emotion I showed,” Thomas said. “And it was a struggle because so often I was silent on things that mattered to me. And I would experience microaggressions from my classmates, and I was silent about them. I never called out the racism.”. READ MORE........