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Press Releases

For Immediate Release

January 07, 2014

Contact Information

Chelsye J. Burrows
770.692.4559
cburrows@UPtv.com

David Gardner
770.692.9939
dgardner@UPtv.com

(BPRW) ASPiRE KICKS OFF 2014 WITH FOUR NEW EPISODES OF ITS ORIGINAL WEEKLY SERIES “THE ROOT 100”

- EPISODES FEATURE INTERVIEWS WITH ACTRESS CONDOLA RASHAD (BROADWAY’S “ROMEO & JULIET”), FORMER NAACP CEO BEN JEALOUS, SOCIO-POLITICAL COMEDIAN W. KAMAU BELL, WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY DIRECTOR IVORY TOLDSON AND “CITIZEN MADE” FOUNDER RACHEL BROOKS EXCLUSIVELY ON WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 8 AT 8 P.M. EST • CNN’s Emmy® Award-Winning Journalist and Anchor Suzanne Malveaux Hosts with Interviews by Political Strategist/Writer/Commentator Jamal Simmons -

(BLACK PR WIRE) – ATLANTA – January 7, 2014 – Hosted by Emmy®-winning television journalist and CNN Anchor Suzanne Malveaux and featuring interviews by Political Strategist/Writer/Commentator Jamal Simmons, ASPiRE’s (@tvASPiRE) original weekly series THE ROOT 100 (#TheRoot100) returns in 2014 with new episodes, beginning on Wednesday, January 8 at 8 p.m. EST. Based on online news and commentary site The Root’s (TheRoot.com) 4th annual list of 100 of the most influential African-American innovators of the next generation (age 25-45), THE ROOT 100’s second season further explores the lives and groundbreaking accomplishments of 24 of these dynamic men and women. January 8th’s new episode spotlights “The Expressionists”: Professor Brittney Cooper, Pastor Touré Roberts, and actress Condola Rashad. Subsequent episodes through January 29 will focus on “The Political Advocates,” “Breaking The Mold” and “The Inspirers.”

The four new episodes will feature:

THE EXPRESSIONISTS – AIRS WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 8, 8 P.M. EST In this episode, feminist Brittney Cooper, Pastor Touré Roberts, and actress Condola Rashad share their inspirational work and how they’ve touched so many with their powerful and entertaining messages of strength and love. These honorees give us the freedom to entertain new ideas about age-old beliefs and inspire us to answer our own true calling.
GUESTS:
Brittney Cooper, professor and Co-Founder of the Crunk Feminist Collective (@ProfessorCrunk)
Pastor Touré Roberts, Hollywood-based pastor, author and speaker (@toureroberts)
Condola Rashad, actress (Broadway’s “Romeo & Juliet,” “The Trip to Bountiful,” “Steel Magnolias”) (@phloella)

THE POLITICAL ADVOCATES – AIRS WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 15, 8 P.M. EST
Rashad Robinson, executive director of Color of Change, Binta Niambi Brown, fundraiser and attorney and Ben Jealous, former CEO of the NAACP, discuss the politics behind their fight for equality and efforts to effect global change. These three honorees give everyone a brighter outlook for the future as they lead the charge through political minefields in the fight for human rights.
GUESTS:
Rashad Robinson, executive director of Color of Change (@rashadrobinson)
Binta Niambi Brown, fundraiser and attorney (@batnib)
Ben Jealous, former CEO of the NAACP (@BenJealous)

BREAKING THE MOLD – AIRS WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 22, 8 P.M. EST Laura Weidman Powers, co-founder and executive director of the nonprofit Code2040, Ivory Toldson, deputy director of the White House initiative on historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and socio-political comedian W. Kamau Bell discuss how their extraordinary work is motivating others to exceed expectations by breaking down stereotypes. Their revolutionary work breaks the mold of how we address racial bias and disparities in America.
GUESTS:
Laura Weidman Powers
, co-founder and executive director of the nonprofit Code2040 (@laurawp)
Ivory Toldson, deputy director of the White House initiative on historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) (@toldson)
W. Kamau Bell, socio-political comedian (@wkamaubell)

THE INSPIRERS – AIRS WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 29, 8 P.M. EST – SEASON FINALE
Rachel Brooks, digital producer and co-founder of “Citizen Made,” Reverend Raphael Warnock, pastor at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church and Kimberly Bryant, founder of Black Girls Code discuss their remarkable work that pushes beyond the limits of tradition and inspires us all to dream. They reveal the creative and often unconventional methods they use to motivate others to explore their potential and succeed.
GUESTS:
Rachel Brooks, digital producer and co-founder of “Citizen Made” (@RachelABrooks)
Reverend Raphael Warnock, pastor at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, Martin Luther King Jr’s home church, and advocate for civil rights and criminal justice (@RaphaelGWarnock)
Kimberly Bryant, founder of Black Girls Code (@6Gems)

Each one-hour episode features profiles of three honorees, woven together by common themes, including community, faith, politics, arts, entertainment, sports, business, technology, science and health. In revealing conversations, each honoree discusses intimate moments, turning points in their lives and their aspirations to affect change. Through these inspirational stories, the series provides insight into what it really takes to pursue one’s passion and achieve success with meaning and purpose.

ASPiRE presents a Perez-Brown Media Group production. THE ROOT 100 is hosted by Emmy®-winning television journalist and CNN Anchor Suzanne Malveaux, with interviews by Political Strategist/Writer/Commentator Jamal Simmons. Executive producer is Keith Brown. Co-executive producer is Lynne Robinson.

Follow our host and correspondent at:
• Suzanne Malveaux on Twitter @SuzanneMalveaux, and on her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SuzanneCNN
• Jamal Simmons on Twitter @JamalSimmons, and on his website www.jamalsimmons.com.

For more information, please go to www.aspire.tv.

About ASPiRE
ASPiRE is a television network targeted to African-Americans and celebrates the groundbreaking achievements of our past, our now and our next. ASPiRE offers a diverse programming mix of movies, series and specials featuring music, comedy, drama, faith/inspiration, theater/performing arts, lifestyle and news/information. The network was launched June 27, 2012 by Magic Johnson Enterprises, which acts as a catalyst for driving unparalleled business results for its partners and fosters community/economic empowerment by making available high-quality entertainment, products and services that answer the demands of ethnically diverse urban communities. ASPiRE is available in more than 16 million homes in 21 of the top 25 African-American markets including New York City, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and Washington, DC. through Comcast and Time Warner. For more information, visit www.aspire.tv, facebook.com/aspireTV and on Twitter @tvaspire.

About Magic Johnson Enterprises
Magic Johnson Enterprises acts as a catalyst for driving unparalleled business results for its partners and fosters community/economic empowerment by making available high-quality entertainment, products and services that answer the demands of ethnically diverse urban communities. For more information, visit http://magicjohnson.com/enterprises.

About The Root
The Root is the premier news, opinion and culture site for African-American influencers. Founded in 2008, under the leadership of Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr., The Root provides smart, timely coverage of breaking news, thought-provoking commentary and gives voice to a changing, more diverse America. The Root is a subsidiary of The Slate Group which is owned by The Washington Post Company. For more information visit www.theroot.com, on Twitter @TheRoot247 and on Facebook.

BIOS

About Suzanne Malveaux
Based in Atlanta, THE ROOT 100 host Suzanne Malveaux co-anchors weekday editions of CNN’s “Around the World” and “CNN Newsroom.” For more than a decade, Malveaux was a White House correspondent covering Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. She has interviewed all five living Presidents, and several First Ladies.

In 2012, Malveaux won a National Emmy® Award for her breaking news coverage of Egypt’s revolution. She also received a Peabody Award for CNN’s coverage of the Arab Spring. Among the stories Malveaux has broken for CNN are: the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the plea deal of lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and White House personnel changes.

Malveaux has been named an Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellow. She has been named one of “America's Most Powerful Players Under 40” by Black Enterprise magazine, Ebony’s “Outstanding Women in Marketing & Communications” and Essence Magazine’s 2009 Journalist of the Year. Malveaux recently was recognized by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism for covering one of the top 50 stories of the century for her coverage of the 2008 Obama campaign.

Malveaux earned a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University. Malveaux holds four honorary degrees and was awarded an honorary Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. membership. She appeared on The Root 100’s list in both 2010 and 2011 and is dedicated to promoting research for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease).

About Jamal Simmons
Jamal Simmons (2011 honoree, #66) has worked at the nexus of politics and media for nearly 20 years. At The Raben Group, a Washington, DC consulting firm, he provides communications and strategic counsel to corporate and non-profit clients. During the 2010 congressional election he was the Democratic political analyst for CBS News and before that a fixture on CNN during the 2008 election. Currently, he can be seen each week offering political analysis on several television programs.

After volunteering for campaigns while growing up in Detroit, Jamal got his professional start in presidential politics traveling with Bill Clinton during his successful 1992 campaign and was a political appointee during the first Clinton Administration with U.S. Trade Representative and Commerce Secretary Mickey Kantor. Jamal has an extensive international background as well. He planned events for the Clinton White House in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean, and has represented major corporations in China and Latin America. He worked on the 2004 We Are the Future charity concert with Quincy Jones in Rome and Al Gore’s Live Earth concert in Hamburg, Germany in 2007; and was a French American Foundation 2009-10 Young Leader and former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

A graduate of Morehouse College, where he received the Presidential Award of Distinction in 2009, Simmons has a master in public policy degree from Harvard University. His views and opinions have been featured in several major publications such as GQ Magazine, The New York Times and Politico.

(l to r) Hollywood-based pastor, author and speaker Pastor Touré Roberts and THE ROOT 100’s Jamal Simmons. Courtesy of ASPiRE

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