2012 WURD SPEAKS INTERACTIVE SYMPOSIA SERIES


WURD Radio is the only African-American owned and operated talk radio station in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Taking a multi-media approach -- on-air, on-line and in-community -- WURD serves as the heartbeat of the African-American urban market, providing information and solutions that educate, uplift and inspire the heart and soul of Philadelphia.


In 2009 WURD launched an award-winning symposium series called WURD Speaks. This powerful event series gathers local, national and internationally renowned experts to share insights on issues ranging from health care, education and economic development to arts and culture and civic engagement. The inaugural program, held on November 5, 2009, was entitled “Change: Reflections and Conversations on Barack Obama’s Presidency.” Since then, other events have examined the connection between racism, stress and chronic disease (Health and Healing); economic empowerment strategies (Light at the End of the Tunnel); the power of poetry, rap, hip-hop and spoken word as mediums for education and social change (The Power of the Word); race and the criminal justice system (And Justice for All?); social activism and environmental justice (Green: The New Black); behavioral health (State of Mind: The Impact of Race, Culture and History on Body, Mind and Spirit); and most recently we looked at international women’s rights with “We Are the World: A Conversation With Activist Nontombi Naomi Tutu.” Each event has been a sold-out success.


In 2012, the WURD Speaks Series will feature 6 events over the course of the year plus a professional development series called “Dollars and Sense.” We will also introduce a new component called “Evenings With the Masters,” which will feature small group, intergenerational conversations with experts both young and seasoned.


2012 WURD Speaks Event Series


The Scottsboro Boys – January 22, 2012


900AM-WURD and The Philadelphia Theatre Company will partner on several outreach initiatives focused on their production of The Scottsboro Boys. Running from January 20-Feb. 19, 2012, this award-winning play explores a tragic, but history-changing legal case that laid the foundation for the modern Civil Rights Movement. This dynamic partnership will include:


  • A post-play lecture featuring Michelle Alexander, legal scholar and author of The New Jim Crow; Melissa V. Harris-Perry, founding director of the Anna Julia Cooper Project on Gender, Race, and Politics in the South at Tulane University and MSNBC guest host; and Mark Lamont Hill, a professor at Columbia University Institute for Research in African American Studies at Columbia University.
  • A screening of the powerful documentary “No: The Rape Documentary”;
  • A radio documentary examining the modern day implications of The Scottsboro Boys' case;
  • Interviews with key cast members, playwright and others involved in the artistic production of the play.

Black History Month – February 2012


Evening With the Masters

The Struggle Continues: The State of Black Art

Possible panelists include: Joan Myers Brown (Philadanco), Sonia Sanchez (Poet, Author), Spike Lee (filmmaker), Charles Fuller (Playwright), Greg Corbin (Philadelphia Youth Poetry Movement), Romona Riscoe Benson (African American Museum in Philadelphia), Jeri Lynn Johnson (Founder, Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra)


State of Mind – Examining the Impact of Race, Culture and History on Body, Mind and Spirit -- April 7, 2012


Due to the overwhelming success of this event last year, we will again partner with the African-American Showcase to present this groundbreaking conversation on behavioral health in the African-American community with some of the nation’s most powerful voices on psychological health and well-being. Invited guests include:


  • Dr. Robin L. Smith - national television personality, #1 best-selling author of “Lies At The Altar – The Truth About Great Marriages” (Hyperion Books, 2006), contributing author of “The Audacity of Faith”, an ordained minister, and licensed psychologist
  • Dr. Joy DeGruy - Assistant Professor of Research at Portland State University, member of the International faculty for London’s Department of Health and author of “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America's Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing” (Uptone Press, 2006).
  • Ruth King, MA - recognized international authority on emotional wisdom and author of “Healing Rage” (Penguin Group, 2007), which became an O Magazine Nugget July ‘07.

Black Music Month – June 2012


Evening With The Masters

A conversation between legendary songwriter and producer Kenny

Gamble and guest Love of The Roots fame.


Eye On Education -- September 2012


An examination of the state of public education featuring a diverse panel of education reformers including Jeffrey Canada (Harlem Children’s Zone), Walter Palmer (Walter D. Palmer Leadership Learning Partners Charter School, Arlene Ackerman (Former Superintendent, Philadelphia School District), Michelle Rhee (Former Chancellor, Washington, D.C. Public School District) and Rahiem Islam of Universal Charter Schools.


Obama 2012? A Post-Election Examination of President Obama’s Legacy - November 2012


A focus on civic engagement and education, this WURD Speaks event will gather some of the leading minds in politics and history to examine election 2012 and what it means for the future of African-Americans. Invited guests include:


  • Valerie Jarrett
  • Michael Eric Dyson
  • Ed Rendell
  • Rev. Al Sharpton
  • Alice Walker

“Dollars and Sense” Professional Development Series


In addition to our WURD Speaks symposia series, in 2012, WURD will introduce a quarterly Professional Development Series called “Dollars and Sense.” These small group gatherings will offer attendees an opportunity to learn from and interact with some of the leading business experts in our region. Seminar topics will include: personal finance (led by Steve Sanders, managing director of Stoneridge Investments and co-host of WURD’s Financial Voices); how to grow your small business (led by Tim Reese, CEO of Forge Intellectual Capital); how to use social media to expand your business (led by Alex King of Defined Clarity); and smart savings for your future (led by Jocelyn Wright, host of Money Matters on WURD After Dark).