By Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr.
NNPA News Wire Columnist
The Gospel is about “Good News” for all humanity. In particular the Black Church in America has always been about proclaiming the “Good News” of liberation, freedom, justice, equality and empowerment for Black families and communities across the nation and throughout the world. The Lord knows we need some good news today for Black America.
The Black Church and the Black Press and other Black-owned institutions and businesses have both an historic and a contemporary mission to secure and to help improve the quality of life of Black America and of all African people globally as well as all other people who cry out for justice and freedom.
Thus, it is with a special sense of acknowledgement that we pause to resolutely salute the monumental “Good News” about Black America’s largest Black-owned faith-based television network, the Impact Network, announcing its partnership with AT&T DIRECTV. Millions of African Americans and others will benefit from this national broadcasting strategic alliance.
In a statement issued by AT&T Newsroom, it was confirmed that “The Impact Network, the only African American owned and operated Christian television network in the U. S., is now available on AT&T’s DIRECTV platform on channel 380. The network features programming on urban ministries and gospel lifestyle entertainment.”
Bishop Wayne T. Jackson, co-founder and CEO of the Impact Network affirmed, “We’re excited about the commitment AT&T DIRECTV has shown to the African-American community by adding our network…We hope our programming empowers the community with its uplifting entertainment and with additional opportunities for minorities in the television industry.”
Dan York, AT&T chief content officer, emphasized, “We look forward to bringing our customers a wide variety of programming and unique viewpoints… Impact is a welcome addition to our channel lineup. We’re proud to deliver content that speaks to the different communities we serve.” We should take due notice of those major American corporate companies that build significant business relationships with Black-owned businesses. AT&T in this instance is making a positive sustainable difference to help African Americans empower themselves.
I personally know Bishop Wayne T. Jackson. I have firsthand witnessed the entrepreneurial results of his strong work ethic, faith, dedication, and irrepressible energy. Bishop Jackson is a visionary leader. The Impact Network is now poised to provide an increase in critically needed jobs, as well as professional and technical training for the next generation of African American TV producers, directors, and on-air talent.
An accomplished TV broadcast business leader, Bishop Wayne Jackson brings his innovative and cutting edge approach to The Impact Network. As the senior pastor of Great Faith Ministries International located in the city of Detroit, Bishop Jackson and his wife Dr. Beverly Y. Jackson, have devoted their lives to serving their congregation and the greater Detroit area for over 20 years. Today they serve together on the world stage producing and promoting positive spiritual and uplifting television programming for intergenerational viewing audiences.
In our long struggle to advance the cause of freedom and human liberty, too often the so-called mainstream media has maintained a disproportionate negative coverage about the perplexing challenges that African Americans continue to endure. But now to have a national and international faith-based television network that is broadcasting across the nation and throughout the world will certainly be welcomed by many more millions of people of faith as a result of the Impact Network’s expanded broadcast footprint thanks to AT&T DIRECTV.
Roz Edwards reported in a news feature for the Michigan Chronicle that, “Before 2010 there was not an African American Christian-owned television network in the country or the world. But if you look at the Black community which is historically faith-driven, the faithful were left to find religious programming through laborious channel surfing and hit or miss programming.” Bishop Jackson and the Impact Network proactively have changed that reality in the television viewing interests of Black America.
Bishop Jackson especially acknowledged the following three AT&T DIRECTV officials for their diligence and assistance: Emma Brackett, V.P Content and Programming, Ryan P. Smith V.P. Content and Development, and Julie Tran, Content.
U.S. Congressman John Conyers (D-MI), Detroit’s iconic freedom-fighting civil rights leader and the House Judicial Committee’s senior ranking member concluded, “I applaud the recent announcement by AT&T’s DIRECTV to broadcast the Detroit-based, Impact Network, to over 20 million viewers across the country. The addition of this minority-owned network will bring diversity to the broadcasting company’s programming lineup. This is an important step to providing informative and inspirational programming that benefits families and communities.”
Impact Network is now broadcasting 24-hours a day, seven days a week and can be viewed on DIRECTV’s channel 380, or DISH Network channel 268 and Comcast Xfinity channel 400. Check the local listing in your area. We in the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) congratulate Bishop Jackson and the Impact Network for achieving this important milestone in the television broadcasting industry. Further, we appreciate the transformative support of AT&T DIRECTV for the Impact Network.
Now let’s find more ways to continue to advance the sustainability of Black-owned businesses. Economic development and progress are essentials keys to a better future.
Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. is the President and CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) and can be reached for national advertisement sales and partnership proposals at: firstname.lastname@example.org; and for lectures and other professional consultations at: http://drbenjaminfchavisjr.wix.com/drbfc.