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Hundreds gathered at the Sheraton Hotel in Manhattan to honor Cathy Hughes, a woman who has blazed a trail for Black media in America.

The Equity and Parity luncheon, which was a part of Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition 17th Annual Wall Street Project Economic Summit, was moderated by Sharon Epperson, correspondent for CNBC, and featured remarks from prominent leaders across different industries, including Rev. Jackson, New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer, and Latondra Newton, Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer of Toyota Motor North America Inc.

The speakers shared how their personal experiences with racism inspired them to use their platforms as avenues to advocate for change. Both Rev. Jackson and Latondra Newton discussed the need to diversify corporate America. Comptroller Stringer stressed that diversity and inclusion is essential to creating a strong economy not only for New York City, but for the entire country.

cathy hughes

Cathy Hughes, Chairperson and Founder of Radio One, Inc, reflected on her journey in the media industry and addressed the issues concerning Black media. She shared that, since the beginning of her career, she’s witnessed the number of Black-owned media outlets drastically drop, which illustrates the silencing of the “Black voice.” Before leaving the podium, she encouraged those in the African American community to take control of their means of communication.

The luncheon closed with a performance from Grammy-nominated group SWV.

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