On April 19 I had the privilege of attending Step Up’s Power Breakfast featuring Channing Dungey of ABC Entertainment, who made headlines everywhere in February when she became the first black president of a major TV network.
Channing Dungey is a founding member and current board member of Step Up, an organization that believes all girls should have the opportunity to fulfill their potential. This incredible nonprofit empowers girls from under-resourced communities to become confident, college-bound, career-focused and ready to join the next generation of professional women. Step Up girls are urban high school students between the ages of 13-18 who are living or going to school in under-resourced communities across Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and New York.
This week’s Step Up Power Breakfast, in partnership with Angeleno magazine, took place within the stunning showroom of Cantoni Modern Furniture in Los Angeles. The in-depth and energetic discussion with ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey was adeptly moderated by Pearlena Igbokwe, Executive Vice President of Drama Development at NBC Entertainment.
Before the event got underway, I sat down with Channing Dungey and Pearlena Igbokwe to ask, what advice would they give to someone who wants to advance her career and eventually become a leader?
Channing’s words of wisdom: “If it doesn’t impact you contractually, always take the meeting. I almost didn’t take a meeting that changed my career. I took a meeting at a production company that resulted in a role I stayed at for four years. That role opened doors for a position at Warner Bros that I may never have secured otherwise.”
Pearlena emphasized how important it is to know your worth: “Realize you have a job because you deserve it. You’ve earned it. You have the right to create your own narrative. When it comes to your career, script your story and be proud of your accomplishments and how you present those accomplishments.”
During the event Channing shared valuable and candid insights into the career path that led to her current groundbreaking role, where she has oversight for all development, programming, marketing and scheduling operations for the ABC Television Network. It was an inspiring morning.
Before I left I spent some time with Raven Jones, Step Up’s Teen Programs Coordinator, who oversees the day to day logistics for Step Up’s array of teen programs across Los Angeles. She explained how events like these provide the opportunity for Step Up Alums to connect, network and hear from powerful women in the community who are in the fields they aspire to work in.
In addition to events such as these, Step Up believes mentorship is a key component in graduating students who are college-ready and career-savvy. The organization leverages its extensive network of professional women to mentor Step Up girls, to enable them to succeed in college and beyond. A perfect case-study was the touching and heartfelt introductory speech delivered by a former Step Up Alum who graduated from college and is now working at the leading talent agency, CAA.
In addition to paying it forward, Step Up provides amazing opportunities for professional women to connect and network as members, while rallying support for their work with teen girls. Next up is Step Up’s 13th Annual Inspiration Awards, a red carpet luncheon at the Beverly Hilton, benefiting Step Up’s charitable programs. Don’t miss it.
For more information on Step Up events, membership, volunteer and mentoring opportunities check out suwn.org
Post by Octavia Goredema @OctaviaGoredema