Host brings family business perspective to TV discussion
Frost Illustrated Staff Report
FORT WAYNE—Political activism; political engagement and representation; entrepreneurship—these are pillars of a community’s health. They are also the focus of a cutting-edge new television program being produced by the Fort Wayne Urban League Guild.
According to Guild member Hakim Muhammad, the television show—dubbed Community Empowerment—is designed to help educate the public about those three important concepts and provide a forum for analyzing what’s going on in the community and for presenting possible solutions.
“With those three points, we focus on the interconnection of all three of them in terms of having a vibrant community,” explained Muhammad. “The format is going to be a roundtable with people from different organizations—and people trying to make a difference.”
He said the show initially grew out of the Guild’s concern about disturbing trends in voting in the area.
Describing the Guild as “an organization within an organization,” Muhammad said, “Basically, our role is to support the Urban League movement through fundraising and political awareness and letting people know what’s going on with the Urban League.”
Given that, he said the organization was a logical choice to spearhead the effort to provide public education on the importance of the political process.
“We saw it as a need in the community because of low voter turnout and people not understanding the importance of the political process in the community,” said Muhammad.
In the beginning, the television program was going to focus on representatives of the political system, he said.
“But, we expanded that to people trying to make a difference in the community as well as entrepreneurs in the community,” he said.
The first show, an introductory piece, aired at 5 p.m., May 7 and 9 a.m., May 8 on Comcast Channel 55 and Frontier Channel 25; and at 8 p.m., May 11 on Comcast Channel 57 and Frontier Channel 27.
The show is scheduled for rebroadcast at 4 p.m., May 16 and again at 7:30 p.m., May 18 on Comcast Channel 57 and Frontier Channel 27.
The current show is a monthly half hour offering with repeat showings.
“Hopefully, in the future, we’ll expand that to an hour format,” said Muhammad.
Muhammad proved to be the perfect choice to serve as producer and host for the show.
“My perspective is, I’m pretty much a political junkie. I look at the interconnection with the business world as well as politics,” he said.
Muhammad has other important credentials that give him a deep understanding of that relationship. He’s the supervisor of residential carpet cleaning for Perry Carpet Cleaning—a well-respected local business that’s been owned and operated by his family for more than 32 years.
“As far as being an entrepreneur myself, I see it as very vital, having excellent customer service and every community having a vibrant business sector,” said Muhammad.
While he is the primary host for Community Empowerment, he said other Guild member will share hosting duties from time to time. Fort Wayne Urban League Guild President Regina Jones also will be heavily involved in the production.
“She’ll definitely have a role in it,” explained Muhammad. “She’s basically the one I’ll report to and run ideas by.”
In addition to the new television program, the Fort Wayne Urban League Guild is scheduled to present a number of fundraising events, including a Masquerade Scholarship Ball from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., May 31 at Landmark Conference and Reception Centre at 6222 Ellison Road near the I69 interchange at US 24.
For more information about the Fort Wayne Urban League, the Fort Wayne Urban League Guild or upcoming events, call (260) 745-3100 or visit FWUrbanleauge.org.
This article originally appeared in our May 15, 2013 issue.