The Next Generation of Media Makers Ready to Take on the Challenge

Journalism and Media Arts High School Draws Huge Crowds in the DMV to the 6th Annual Gala

Washington, DC – Undeniably one of the fastest growing annual premier events in DC, the Richard Wright Annual Black Tie Gala 2017 features powerful independent films and renowned musical artists at the historic Warner Theatre, located at 513 13th Street, NW on Saturday, June 10, 2017. This red-carpet black tie event has grown from 300 attendees from its inception in 2012 to the now 2000-seat venue at the majestic Warner Theatre. Engaging student-produced short films span genres and styles, informing, entertaining, and inspiring viewers with innovative techniques, fresh perspectives, and powerful voices of change – garnering attention from national organizations and leaders in diverse fields of education, social justice, government, sports, business, arts & music, entertainment, and journalism. The content continues to amaze and inspire viewers, promising only a bigger audience each year and a growing number of sponsors.

In previous years, celebrity hosts and musical guests have graced the stage. This year’s theme “Inspiring the Next Generation” will honor extraordinary individuals in media and entertainment industry that inspire our young people, such as Bernadette Stanis, the iconic “Thelma” from Good Times, as well as John Gibson, Advisor of Diversity and Inclusion for the Motion Picture Association of America. Gala 2017 #KeepinItDC will also recognize changemakers in their respective fields including: Denise Rolark-Barnes, Publisher of the Washington Informer; Jim Watkins, General Manager of WHUR; Renee Nash, WHUR’s Director of News Public Affairs; DC Representative Franklin Garcia; and Ezekiel Dennison, 3rd District Representative of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Gala 2017 celebrity hosts are Joe Clair from WPGC’s Joe Clair’s Morning Show, with co-host Dr. Renee Allen from WLVS’s Renee Allen & Friends Show. Musical guests include DC’s own Familiar Faces, and saxophonist Zedric Teague.

The Richard Wright Annual Black Tie Gala is the school’s biggest fundraiser of the year with proceeds going directly to ROXIE, the unique journalism and media arts program, and college scholarships. With two graduating classes since the school’s inception, both have had 100% college acceptance. It is vital to create the next generation of media makers who can tell the stories of their lives, the lives of their communities, the challenges and successes through an unbiased, untarnished lens. Their work will help to eliminate bias in the media and ensure representation, rather than misrepresentation. Richard Wright students continue to flourish and grow creating powerful content in which they are the image-makers. They are the writers, actors, producers, directors, videographers, editors, designers, artists, filmmakers, musicians, engineers, journalists, innovators, and entrepreneurs. They are the future seeking and creating change in the present.

Tickets are available on MissionTix: Follow us on Facebook at Richard Wright Public Charter School for Journalism and Media Arts; Instagram and Twitter @RWPCSROXIE. For more information or to be a sponsor, contact Helen Compton-Harris at (202) 388-1011 x158 or If you are unable to attend, donations are always appreciated and tax- deductible.