Behind the Scenes with Sean “Diddy” Combs’ REVOLT BLACK NEWSTaught by Detavio Samuels '02
About the Workshop
Our DukeCreate & DEMAN Live episode on Monday, July 20, 8pm EST/5pm PST will feature LA-based Duke alum, Detavio Samulels ’02, Chief Operating Officer at REVOLT Media & TV, the nation’s leading creator & distributor of Hip Hop content. Founded by Sean “Diddy” Combs, REVOLT uses the biggest driver of global culture—Hip Hop—and a multi-platform ecosystem (TV, digital, social and live events) to help Millennials and Gen Z understand the world around them and impact change.
Detavio and his REVOLT Media & TV colleagues, Cherisse McKenzie (Head of Production), Deon Graham (VP, Digital) and Eboni K. Williams (Host & Executive Producer) will take us behind-the-scenes of REVOLT BLACK NEWS to look at social justice through the lens of journalism.
About the Panel
At the age of 39, Detavio is one of corporate America’s youngest executives and has helped some of the world’s biggest companies (including Walmart, McDonalds, AT&T, Chrysler LLC, NBA and Johnson & Johnson) build their brands and connect to consumers.
Currently, Detavio works at REVOLT Media & TV, the nation’s leading creator & distributor of Hip Hop content. Founded by Sean “Diddy” Combs, REVOLT uses the biggest driver of global culture—Hip Hop—and a multiplatform ecosystem (TV, digital, social and live events) to help Millennials and Gen Z understand the world around them and impact change. There, he operates as the Chief Operating Officer where he oversees all aspects of programming and content including original development, content acquisitions, physical production and post-production, as well responsibility for video content and strategy for REVOLT’s digital platforms. In addition, Detavio also oversees insights, creative, consumer marketing, and PR.
Detavio has been recognized for his work on both the marketing and personal development fronts with awards such as: Trailblazer in Media (100 Black Men-NY, 2019), 40 Under 40 (The Network Journal, 2018), 2017 Trailblazer Award (National Urban League-NY, 2017), MAAX Awards: Media Executive of the Year (2016), Next Generation Leaders (NAMIC, 2016), Best Selling Author (Amazon, 2013), 40 Under 40 (Crain’s Detroit, 2013), Men of Excellence (Michigan Chronicle, 2012), Power 30 Under 30 (The Apex Society, 2011) and Top Executives In Marketing and Advertising (Black Enterprise, 2011).
Eboni K. Williams
Eboni K. Williams is currently the Host & Executive Producer of REVOLT BLACK NEWS, which airs on REVOLT TV founded by Sean “Diddy” Combs. She’s also a co-host on the network’s hip hop talk show State of the Culture. Eboni has emerged as a powerful media voice in the national conversation where politics, law, justice, sports, and popular culture intersect. Ms. Williams is an attorney, best-selling author, television personality, and contributor to Forbes. She served as host for VH1 on a special titled ‘In Session Live with Dr. Jess’, which was television’s first live therapy session. Eboni’s broadcast resume includes national anchoring and hosting roles for Fox Sports, Fox News Channel, NBA 2K and correspondent or contributor roles with CBS News, HLN, CNN, and NFL Network.
She made her literary debut with ‘Pretty Powerful: Appearance, Substance & Success’ in September 2017. ESSENCE Magazine named Williams one of its ‘Woke 100’ in the April 2018 anniversary edition. Eboni was also recognized as one of BlogHer’s ‘Voices of the Year’. She has become a regular guest on the nationally syndicated radio show ‘The Breakfast Club’, breaking down controversial issues such as judicial discretion. Eboni started her on-air career as a talk radio host for Los Angeles’ KFI AM640, sharpening her broadcast skills, while sharing expertly analyzed views on various culturally relevant topics.
Eboni was accepted to and enrolled in The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill at the age of 16, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree. She began her professional experience in Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. As a law student, Eboni clerked for the Louisiana Secretary of State and the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office. She also worked for various politicians, including New Orleans City Council Members, supporting efforts to rebuild the city of New Orleans.
Eboni received her B.A. in Communications and African-American Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a J.D. from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. She went on to specialize in family law and civil litigation, providing legal consult on high-profile divorce, spousal support, and child custody cases. Eboni then transitioned into practicing as a public defender, as well as a private defense lawyer in North Carolina and throughout the Greater Los Angeles area. She has represented clients in criminal matters including murders, rapes, high volume drug cases, sex crimes, and federal offenses.
Eboni has moderated conversations for former First Lady Laura Bush, Black Enterprise, and ESSENCE Festival. She is a proud and active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Safe Horizon, which is the nation’s leading victims assistance organization.
Cherisse McKenzie is an award-winning content & physical production professional with over a decade of experience in the industry.
Upon graduating from University of Maryland, Cherisse began working in film and television as a production associate, all the while developing television workflows and budgets for her industry peers and network counterparts. During this time her mastery of multi-format content management began to earn her a seat at the table with network executives who were eager to assign her as a lead on various difficult productions.
At the end of 2013, Cherisse left BET Networks to pursue a production manager role with Sean Combs’ then startup REVOLT TV. Her first project was an Affiliate Marketing content & event hybrid around Superbowl XLVIII in NYC; the event received rave reviews from network partners Time Warner and earned her a permanent spot on the REVOLT production management team. It was also in 2014 that Cherisse oversaw the launch of the daily live television broadcast of critically acclaimed radio show, The Breakfast Club. Since then, Cherisse has been promoted to her current expanded role, Head of Production. In this role she is responsible for managing the network’s full programming budget; as well as overseeing the creative, development, and execution of all network long form, short form, and digital content.
Deon Graham has over 10 years of experience in digital marketing, specializing in telling authentic stories to help connect brands to consumers. Currently, Deon serves as VP of Digital for Sean “Diddy” Combs and Combs Enterprises. Developing and managing all digital initiatives for Diddy’s brands and partners such as; CÎROC, REVOLT TV, MTV, FOX, Bad Boy Entertainment, DeLeón Tequila, Sean John, AQUAHydrate and more.
About the Location
This workshop will meet online via Zoom. You’ll need a special link to join the workshop—follow the registration link at the top of page to get it.
About DukeCreate & DEMAN LIVE
DukeCreate & DEMAN are partnering to offer a new summer Zoom series teaching creative career skills. Tune into each episode to hear alumni working in creative industries share deep dives on their projects, give behind-the-scenes insight, and answer your questions. DEMAN Live meets DukeCreate, free on Zoom, open to everyone — but designed especially to support Dukies learn new skills and expand career opportunities during this challenging and stressful time. Checkout upcoming episodes on DukeCreate Workshops, and watch videos of previous episodes on the DEMAN Lounge via arts.duke.edu/DEMAN-Live