March is historically Women’s History Month, and it is also National Music In Our Schools Month. The Women Behind The Mic™ organization has teamed up with New York City’s Department of Education (DOE) for a Career Master Class presentation about careers in the entertainment industry for 1,200 juniors and seniors titled: “Attaining A Seat At The Table” at The Apollo Theater.
In a male-dominated entertainment industry, the women who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to support and create the most successful record labels, and the most iconic artists of all time are glaringly absent from the stories being told.
The book, Women Behind The Mic: Curators of Pop Culture: Volume One “Word To The Wise” was born and contains the stories of 22 veteran executives who were the engines and the industry “Sheroes” who quietly toiled in the trenches curating what is known as Hip Hop and Pop Culture today. The book has become a No.1 Bestseller on Amazon due to pre-sales in its category.
LaJoyce Brookshire (formerly of Arista Records) and Michelle Joyce (formerly of Bad Boy Records) have created the movement, book, lecture, and documentary series, Women Behind The Mic to cement the importance of the women who were the Culture Creators during the Golden Era. The work of these women shaped, shifted, and created the foundation of Pop Culture.
Propelled by a Sisterhood that personifies excellence and the importance of maintaining a positive self-esteem while working in the entertainment industry, the Women Behind The Mic share their front-row seat stories while working behind the scenes with some of the biggest names in entertainment.
Women Behind The Mic created the “The Mic Check Curriculum” which provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the industry and the many career paths available that most do not know exist. Being knowledgeable about the music industry as a significant contributor to the global economy allows students to be more prepared to choose a major in college and then enter the workforce.
David C. Banks, Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education states, “This is an excellent opportunity for our students to explore the pathways within the music and entertainment industry.
Our youth need access to resources that will support the exploration of multiple career paths, and this experience will give them a chance to learn from professionals who can expose them to post-secondary opportunities in the arts.”
Michelle Joyce says, “We are committed to teaching the next generation about careers in the entertainment industry. The world needs to know – especially young ladies – need to know that an elite group of women who are sisters by love, sweat, and tears contributed in significant ways to popular music and culture.”
LaJoyce Brookshire continues, “We believe you cannot be what you cannot see. The book and this master class are educational tools with a collective of conversations, personal stories, and photographs with some of the history-makers of the music industry. Our joint efforts led to the sale of trillions of records worldwide.”
The women on the master class panel will share how they landed jobs in the entertainment industry, how the basics are re-mixed in a digital age, and what it takes to stay in position.
Lending their expertise in marketing, publicity, promotions, publishing, A&R, legal, advertising, radio, television, choreography, artist development, and content creation are Nijai Blackwell, Denise Brown, Robin Dunn, Brianna Harrison, Naja Hawk, Tracey J. Jordan, Thembesia Mshaka, Simone Smalls, Kymberlee Thornton, and Dyana Williams.
The contributors of the book, Women Behind The Mic: Curators of Pop Culture ~Volume One “Word To The Wise” are Alita Carter, Janine Coveney, Richelle Cross, Wendy Day, Robin Dunn, Linda Haynes, Audrey LaCatis, LT Ladino, Johnna Lister, Miko Mathews, Verna M. Miles, Mary Moore, Tracey Moore, Lonai Mosley, Gwendolyn Quinn, Jacqueline Rhinehart, Winsome Sinclair, Sibrena Stowe-Geraldino, Dedra N. Tate, Kymberlee Thornton, Crystal Whaley, and Dyana Williams.
The Foreword is written by David C. Linton, who is the Chairman of the Living Legends Foundation and the Program Director of Jazz 91.9 WCLK of Clark Atlanta University.