The Interlink Alliance Media Innovation Summit

April 22, 2017; 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Morgan State University

Project Lead: Dr. Michelle Ferrier, 2017-2018 RJI Fellow and associate professor at E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University.

Convening Question: What’s possible when people and communities of color create and share their own media innovations?

Purpose: To bring together media educators, professionals, entrepreneurs and innovators of color to explore strategies for building the media entrepreneurship ecosystem at universities. To foster student innovation in creating media and technology innovations and entrepreneurial ventures by and for communities of color.

Problem: Legacy media lacks diversity to fully represent people of color in the media. How can we ensure that the voices of people of color are fully represented in a way that strengthens our communities and develops strong media enterprises led by founders of color?


  • To seed media innovation in minority-serving institutions and build a network to support student innovation;
  • Explore the intersectionality of being a faculty member of color and educating the next generation of communicators, storytellers and journalists;
  • Pinpoint specific barriers and deterrents and “hackable” solutions to sustainability of media innovation by and for communities and founders of color;
  • Develop a strategic framework for garnering the awareness, education and action to remedy the lack of access to relevant community information and for building the capacity for communities to tell their own stories;
  • Develop models for sustainable media innovation enterprises;
  • Address technological opportunities to create sustainable media by and for communities of color;
  • Ensure that financial and investment support is available for media innovation by and for people of color; and,
  • To activate a national network of thought and action leaders working toward inclusive communication strategies.

Proposed Activities

Convene a one-day summit of thought and action leaders using a workshop format to create strategies for addressing the lack of positive representation of people of color in mainstream media. The workshop will use human-design centered principles to create solutions for storytelling and inclusive communications that support founders and communities of color in creating media innovations to tell more diverse stories.

Dr. Michelle Ferrier

DR. MICHELLE FERRIERDr. Michelle Ferrier is the founder of, a service that supports women journalists experiencing online harassment using social media monitoring and digital identity and reputation management. Ferrier is a 2017 SXSW 2017 Dewey Winburne Award winner, one of 10 awardees for social media technology used for good for the development of TrollBusters in 2015.

Ferrier was featured in Glamour magazine’s Social Media Innovators issue in February 2016 and in the Columbia Journalism Review and other international journalism publications and newspapers. In December 2016, Ferrier spoke before the European Commission on the online harassment of journalists and before the United Nations in 2015 where she advocated for better safety training and supports for journalists experiencing online harassment. She wrote of her personal experiences with online and offline hate as a newspaper columnist 10 years ago in “Progression of Hate”, a chapter in the Committee to Protect Journalists’ 2016 book Attacks on the Press. Prior to, Ferrier developed the project to track the rise of hate crimes in the United States. She also created and deployed the in the wake of Hurricane Katrina to capture the stories of the people and places lost. Ferrier is an associate professor at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. She leads The Media Deserts Project that uses geographic information systems to map the media ecosystem at the local level.

She is the president of Journalism That Matters, a nonprofit that for 15 years has brought together diverse community stakeholders to reimagine the news and information ecosystem. She is an internationally sought after speaker on media innovation, media entrepreneurship and online communities and digital identity management and holds a patent-pending technology for digital narrative mapping.

Ferrier has been a strong advocate for infusing the journalism and mass communications curricula with media innovation and entrepreneurship skills and knowledge. She is a Reynolds Journalism Institute 2016 Fellow, exploring the concept of student-innovators and building the media innovation ecosystem in underserved and underrepresented communities. Ferrier is the author of “Media Entrepreneurship: Curriculum Development and Faculty Perceptions of What People Should Know” in Journalism Educator and is featured in recent reports on the future of journalism education.

Through classroom and experiential learning, Ferrier expanded innovation and entrepreneurship opportunities for student innovators at Ohio University through internships with accelerators in New York, Cincinnati and Cleveland, the development of an international media innovation competition and as a co-investigator of a student innovation hub at Ohio University. She is a frequent workshop leader with educators, media professionals and community stakeholders on digital innovation, immersive design, community engagement and social media strategies. She is the creator of the Create or Die startup gatherings held in Detroit and Greensboro, NC that spawned local and collaborative startups. As a scholar, teacher, entrepreneur and professor, Dr. Ferrier developed a core digital media curriculum in Florida as part of the Florida Banner Center for Digital Media and has been at the forefront of developing digital media economic development educational initiatives and media entrepreneurship curricula in higher education.

Mike Green

Mike GreenMike Green is a co-founder of ScaleUp Partners LLC, which has a commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative High Growth Entrepreneurship Working Group through its brand, ScaleUp America.

Green is a New York Times Leadership Academy Fellow, award-winning print and digital journalist with 18 years experience, and former leading digital media innovations strategist for Dow Jones Local Media Group. As a leading national voice on issues related to STEAM-powered education and economic competitiveness in the Innovation Economy, Mr. Green has been a consultant to educational, governmental and nonprofit institutions on issues of economic inclusion in the innovation economy.

As a member of the Clinton Global Initiative High-Growth Entrepreneurship Working Group, Mr. Green led a team from the Oregon Governor's office in a successful pitch of a national ScaleUp America Campaign that attracted the interest and support of the CGI working group. ScaleUp America became one of five official commitments emerging from the group and is managed as a brand under ScaleUp Partners, LLC.

As a national writer, Mr. Green is a columnist for Oregon Business magazine, Governing Institute and the Huffington Post. He has also contributed to numerous national media, including NPR, PBS, The Washington Post, Entrepreneur magazine, Black Enterprise magazine and others.

Mr. Green has been invited to speak at numerous national, regional and local events, including SXSWedu (2013 & 2014); Bill & Melinda Gates Symposium, Black Enterprise Entrepreneurship Conference; Puget Sound Region Economic Solutions Summit; HBCU Innovation Summit at Stanford University, Council on Foundations, State Science Technology Institute (SSTI), SBIR/STTR National Conference, Urban League Young Professionals and other platforms focused on education and economic development of inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystems.

Retha Hill

Retha HillRetha Hill is the executive director of the New Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. She has been a pioneering leader at the intersection of technology and journalism for more than 20 years. She is a founding editor of and the founding vice president of BET Interactive. She has launched several startups, including, the Playable Media Engine (a tool for creating narrative-based games) and Terrainial VR. Retha has mentored a half dozen successful student startups, including the Deaf and Hearing Network, the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting and a company that trains journalists on how to resourceful and safe when reporting in conflict areas.

Sian Morson

Sian MorsonSian Morson is an entrepreneur, mobile enthusiast, and author. After attending NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts to study Film & Television, she developed successful campaigns for MGM, Trane and Coca-Cola at agencies from Zentropy Partners (later MRM) to FCBi as a project manager. She obtained her Masters Degree in Interactive Media while managing large-scale web builds for Philips, Aviva and Audi. She also built campaigns and mobile and interactive products at Eveo, the #1 Independent digital healthcare agency at the time. She launched numerous mobile products for clients such as Novartis, Genentech and Merck before being asked to head up EV2, the agency’s mobile subsidiary. Sian created and launched Kollective Mobile in 2010 to continue her passion for mobile. At Kollective, Sian works with agencies, entrepreneurs and startups to craft and create beautiful mobile products. Clients include large consumer brands, innovative startups, and Fortune 500 companies. A passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion, Sian opened Kollective South in 2013 as a way to introduce underserved communities to technology. Located in the Castleberry Hill section of Atlanta, KSouth, as it was affectionately known became a central part of the Atlanta startup ecosystem offering founders of color a place to work and collaborate. The “communi-tech” center also offered classes and workshops for members of the community with organizations such as Walker’s Legacy and Technologists of Color as a part of the programming.

From apps to websites, Sian has advised and guided startups in design and product development for the past few years. Along the way, she has judged hackathons, mentored at accelerators and guided startup teams on the path to creating great products for their customers including the Reach Higher App and Virtual Accelerator sponsored by First Lady, Michelle Obama.

Always at the intersection of creativity and technology, Sian designed the app for MoCADA museum in NY and has consulted with other arts organizations such as ArtPad and the Fountain Art Fair in their mobile footprints. Her digital and video work has been exhibited worldwide at the prestigious Optica International Video Festival and The Director’s Lounge in Berlin. Sian is a published author of two books: Learn Design for iOS and Design for iOS with Sketch, an Amazon best seller. She is also a contributor to Innovating Women by Vivek Wadhwa and journalist Farai Chideya.

Deshuna Spencer

Deshuna SpencerDeshuna Spencer is CEO of kweliTV and radio host of emPower Hour on DC’s 89.3 FM WPFW. Previously, she served as founding publisher of Before becoming an entrepreneur, Spencer was director of communications and managing editor for EdMarket. A Memphis native, Spencer graduated from Jackson State University where she studied communications and journalism. She has written for The Clarion-Ledger, The Oakland Tribune, the Crisis Magazine, AOL and the Washington Examiner. A former AmeriCorps*VISTA and Chips Quinn Scholar, Spencer is a 2012 40under40 recipient by The Envest Foundation. In 2014, Spencer received the "Who's Got Next" award by the National Action Network. She was also the 2014 winner of Unity Journalist’s NewU Start-up Competition. She is a Spring 2017 Halcyon Incubator Fellow and a 2017 Voqal Fellow. Spencer recently completed her first documentary, Mom Interrupted.

 Participants will walk away with concrete ideas and materials for building the media entrepreneurship ecosystem at their institutions. For more information, contact Dr. Michelle Ferrier at or 740-593-9860.

Saturday, April 22nd

8-9 a.m.

Poster Expo:

Working/Networking Breakfast/Introductions

9-9:30 a.m.


9:30-10 a.m.

Why Entrepreneurship?

Scripps International Innovators Cup winners and experience. Student learning objectives

10-10:45 a.m.

Conversation Starters/Facilitators

10:45-11:30 a.m.

To What End?

Student outcomes and connection to larger ecosystem

11:30-12:30 p.m.

Setup for Afternoon: Statement Starters/Problem Framing/Model Stakeholder Mapping



Teams organize and begin work; bathroom break

1-3 p.m.

Hands-On Workshop

Statement Starters, Stakeholder Mapping, Creative Matrix, Rose, Thorn, Bud, Importance/Difficulty Matrix, Concept Poster

3- 3:15 p.m.



Team Pitches:

5 minute pitch; 3 minute Q & A


Visualize the Vote:

Dot Voting



4:30-5 p.m.

From Here to Where?

Next Steps/Opportunities

Registration can be completed up to 7 days prior to the event here


Recommended for You

comments powered by Disqus