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immersive loving and living

FAMU 2016 William Hearst Visiting Professional 
I have to SHOUT OUT WENDY WILLIAMS for taking time out of her busy schedule (in preps for NEW SEASON: now back as of this week) to say HI and offer words of WISDOM to two of my FAMU mentees: Alexis Lockhart and Steven Byrd-Pitts – both Senior, Public Relations Majors at FAMU’s School of Journalism and Graphic Communications. They are in town for NYC Fashion Week…and I am hosting them (and curating opportunities) for these #HBCUScholars while they are in town. It’s been quite a whirlwind of fashion shows...and go-and-come-sees! LOL!Plus, LIFE OF RILEY plucked from our rolodex to create special moments and meetings for the kids – including WENDY and several others who Alexis and Steven got to see and/or contact during (and even after) their time here - shaping their own rolodexes to help carve out their respective career starts. The list is endless of folks who referred; responded; relayed...but I'm going to try to THANK a few who went above and beyond: supermodel Veronica Webb; Miss Jessie's Co-Founder, CEO, and Creative Director Miko Branch; Emmy-award-winning correspondent at GMA, Mara Schiavocampo; Tony-award-winning producer Randolph Sturrup (FAMU grad and Executive Producer of ASPiRE TV's new docu-series about 6 HBCU alums living in NYC - including my nephew Herman Riley III, rep'ing for our alma mater Morehouse); Fashion/Theater/Event Producer Carl Nelson ("Drums Along The Hudson");  international model  and Beyonce leading man from the video “Irreplaceable”, Bobby Roache; Creative Director Mykel Cortez Smith; Fashion producer/talent representative Ron Smith; celebrity stylist June Ambrose (who was at the TOP of Alexis and Steven's WISH-LIST); designer Edwing D’Angelo (and his publicist Michelle Pascal); Wendy's amazing stylist Memsor (who also let the kids follow him to a Fashion Week Presentation); entertainment publicists Theo Perry, Morehouse brother Trevor Julien (who arranged for Basketball Wives Laura Govan to share her style tips with the FAMU scholars), and Tagan Lee & Associates' Tagan Lee; digital diva Marcia Cole;  NBCBLK’s Amber Payne; entertainment journalist Alicia Quarles; New York Times’ Nikita Stewart Henderson; and many more! Though I’m a proud Morehouse Man, I consider it a total honor that Dean of Florida A&M University’s School of Journalism and Graphic Communications, Dr. Ann Wead Kimbrough, has added me to its impressive roster of 2016 William Hearst Visiting Professionals. I am third in a series of outstanding media professionals who bring value to the rich teaching within FAMU’s SJGC.This is an encore partnership with FAMU's SJGC. I was invited to Keynote its NABJ Multimedia Short Course a couple of years ago. Thanks young folks...and Dean Kimbrough!

Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Disney

So excited that I was invited to join the Boys and Girls Clubs of America family as an emcee for a spectacular, Disney-presented occasion -- on a recommendation from on high: dear sister friend, publicist/marketing expert, and Founder of www.idreamspeakers.comKelly Welborn who has enrolled me into hosting any project she's produced for 20 years now i.e. The High Museum, HBO's Blacklist, Spelman College Museum, etc. And it's always a great experience!This event was the Boys and Girls Clubs of America's 2016 National Military Youth of the Year Celebration. It was an awards luncheon in which the best of the best from military kid culture are honored --- including kids from military installations oversees. Not too unlike me, an Air Force brat born to now-Retired Chief Master Sergeant Herman L. Riley Sr. in Tokyo, Japan on Tachikawa Air Force Base, these young people are thriving against challenges i.e. deployed parents; constant moving; revolving door of friends; adapting to varying study levels location to relocation, etc. Through it all, there are the many youth centers and Clubs, providing life-changing programs and services to these kids who need it the most. Most of the youth centers are powered by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America --- even including an initiative that aids in the adjustment of kids after their parents retire from the military. CONGRATS to all of our scholars who are poised to do wonderful things in the world --- from Broadcast Journalism to Neuroengineering. The team at BGCA Headquarters rocks!!! They truly took care of me while in DC at the historic Army and Navy Club. I am thrilled to continue being a brand ambassador for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. I've hosted several programs for BCGA, New Rochelle, in New York. #BCGA#MilitaryYouthoftheYear #YOY



So LIFE OF RILEY knew and teased, but now I can SCREAM IT FROM THE RAFTERS - especially now that the artwork is soon to be released: my FAV NEPHEW Herman Lee Riley III is a cast-mate in docu-series THE GRADUATES NYC – a new show that will chronicle the NYC LIVING of HBCU ALUMS in the MILLENNIAL SET! COMING THIS FALL!!!! My nephew hails from our alma mater Morehouse College while each of the other cast members are alums of other #HBCUs. The digital show will also air on ASPIRE during the halftime of the live HBCU football games on ASPiRE. Check out ASPIRE.TV for episodes and more information! CONGRATS NOOT! SO PROUD! Here’s a PREVIEW: http://www.aspire.tv/videos/the-graduates-new-series-preview/. Esteemed Broadway producer Randolph Sturrup ("A Streetcar Named Desire", "The Trip to Bountiful" and "Eclipsed") and seasoned TV News exec Keith Michael Brown are producing this project along with Al Roker Productions. So, these kids are in great hands! Special THANKS to Herman and Randolph for making time for my #HBCUscholars from #FAMU: Alexis Lockhart and Steven Michael Byrd-Pitts.


ASPiRE’s HBCU Live Game and “The Graduates NYC” Schedule 

Saturday, October 8 at 2 p.m. ET
Tuskegee vs. Morehouse
The Graduates NYC #101 will premiere in halftime and following the game

Saturday, October 15 at 2 p.m. ET
Virginia State University vs. Bowie
The Graduates NYC #102 will premiere in halftime and following the game

Saturday, October 22 at 2 p.m. ET
Clark Atlanta University vs. Albany State University 
The Graduates NYC #103 will premiere in halftime and following the game

Saturday, November 5 at 2 p.m. ET
Winston Salem vs. Fayetteville State
The Graduates NYC #104 will premiere in halftime and following the game

Saturday, November 5 at 6 p.m. ET
Tuskegee vs. Miles

The Graduates NYC #105 will premiere in halftime and following the game
Saturday, November 12 at 2 p.m. ET
CIAA Championship
The Graduates NYC #106 will premiere in halftime and following the game

Saturday, November 12 at 6 p.m. ET
SIAC Championship
The Graduates NYC #107 and #108 will premiere in halftime and following the game




Shout out to Tagan Lee & Associates who always make sure LIFE OF RILEY is IN THE HOUSE for AMAZING OPPORTUNITIES! Was a panelist alongside journalist and friend Alicia Quarles for a Q&A that was moderated by NBCBLK's Amber Payne for an INVITATION ONLY influencer/tastemaker screening of Focus Features film LOVING, which comes out in November!

This much-buzzed about film tells the story of Loving v. Virginia, a Supreme Court decision that makes it legal to marry between races. One of my most recent assignments for "Oprah: Where Are They Now?" captured Richard Pryor's daughter Rain Pryor - referencing her parents' marriage (Her mother is a white Jewish woman) and what that was like four years after the ruling:

http://www.wherearetheynow.buzz/richard-pryors-daughter-describes-the-racism-her-family-endured. I'm excited one of my FAMU mentees Steven Byrd Pitts joined me for the special occasion in Tribeca as well as MISS JESSIE's Co-Founder, CEO, and Creative Director Miko Branch.

ABOUT THE FILM LOVING: From acclaimed writer/director Jeff Nichols, Loving celebrates the real-life courage and commitment of an interracial couple, Richard and Mildred Loving (portrayed by Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga), who married and then spent the next nine years fighting for the right to live as a family in their hometown. Their civil rights case, Loving v. Virginia, went all the way to the Supreme Court, which in 1967 reaffirmed the very foundation of the right to marry - and their love story has become an inspiration to couples ever since. Loving will open form Focus Features in theaters in select cities on November 4, and will expand across the country later in November.

Watch the trailer for LOVING


For more information, please follow us online:




Hashtag: #ThisIsLoving

URL: lovingthefilm.com

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So excited that Creative Director and friend Mykel C. Smith invited my FAMU mentee Steven Michael Byrd-Pitts out to celebrate close out of Fashion Week…and the celebration of the September 2016 Style Issue #21 of W42ST. FAMU’s own Kendra Foster – Grammy-award-winning singer songwriter – performed brilliantly! Ant has adored her music all Summer 2016! And so nice to connect two RATTLERS! Steven and Kendra had a LOVE FEST over their college in common! Cloak & Dagger brought the music…and it was great to wrap a wonderful week! Ant, Steven, and I capped night off with some KARAOKE at RADIO STAR before calling it a night! I’ll be next working with these students on managing their follow ups – so they can stay engaged with the many mentors they met and so they can begin to shape up steps towards starting their post-graduate careers. THANKS TO ALL who were so kind to the young #HBCUscholars from #FAMU #SJGC.



The Shaquille-O’neal/Michael Baumgartner Executive-Produced Steps screened at Newark International Film Festival to an enthusiastic audience! Thanks everyone for all your love and support of STEPS...and my character "Rudy", my film debut.Next up: UrbanWorld Film Festival.COME WITNESS the MAGIC!
Get tickets: http://www.urbanworld.org/2016/steps (Scroll to bottom of page) Like our Page on facebook StepsUrbanworld Film Festival
Use our Hashtags
#UWFF (twitter/IG/FB)
#UW20http://newarkiff.com/. $10.00. #stepsthemovie.info www.stepsthemovie.info



...as I update LIFE OF RILEY, I'm watching Monifah Carter and the R&B Divas: Atlanta on TV One’s SUNDAY Marathon, I’m reminded to remind you to join Monifah Carter, more, and me for my new Memorial Day Weekend tradition: Xscape Puerto Rico 2017 - LGBT Arts & Culture Music Festival!

Where: Rio Grande, Puerto Rico
When: May 26 - 29, 2017
Host Resort: Grand Wyndham Resort & Spa (All Inclusive)
Celebrity Ambassadors, Live Performances, Workshops, Vanguard Awards, Pool Party & Fashion Show, Excursions and so much more!!

Instagram: xscapepuertorico
Twitter: xscapepuertorico



Motown May's Grand Finale WINNER at "Billie's Black Presents All Star Karaoke with Patrick L. Riley" is one of my nearest and dearest brother friends. Since his win got him on the Motown the Musical on Broadway stage, I have to see him everywhere he performs. So, Fashion Week weekend, we made time to see him at Silvana in Harlem. HUSAIN ROCKS - including his first single "Summer Rain".


An early Thanksgiving welcoming Ant back to NYC was most welcomed by him as it has been a difficult summer, shaken life-changingly with the loss of his amazing dad. We are so grateful to our New York City fam who stem from our roots in Savannah and Denver; school daze; NABJ; and LIFE! We shout out Mario, Nikita, Brian, Ern, and Lamoh for this meal, prepared in LOVE and with all of the ingredients to lift Ant's and my spirits up! MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! #SoBlessed #Ourcurrentsituation


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