MTSU hosts “Being African American in the Nashvill...

MTSU hosts “Being African American in the Nashville Music Industry” virtual panel

poster with panelists for June 2, 2020, “Being African American in the Nashville Music Industry

Recording artist Mickey Guyton and music industry executive Shannon Sanders are among the panelists in a Tuesday, June 2, virtual discussion, “Being African American in the Nashville Music Industry,” hosted by MTSU‘s College of Media and Entertainment.

Media college dean Beverly Keel and MTSU political science professor Sekou Franklin will moderate the 2-4 p.m. CDT Zoom discussion

Along with Guyton, a singer-songwriter currently on Capitol Nashville Records, and Sanders, a multi-Grammy Award-winning producer, Recording Academy trustee and program director for radio station 102.1 The Ville, the panel will include:

poster with panelists for June 2, 2020, “Being African American in the Nashville Music Industry”

Charlene Bryant, founder of Riveter Management.
Gina Miller, senior vice president and general manager, Entertainment One Music Nashville.
Kortney Toney, corporate partnerships manager for the Nashville Symphony.
Candice Watkins, vice president of marketing for Big Loud Records.

The event is free and open to the public. Attendees can register at register/WN_SGQftXyiQG-3ZEVaikZYjw.

The discussion is the first in a series of planned events addressing race in Middle Tennessee in 2020. It’s being held as part of the music industry’s national Blackout Tuesday, a collective action designed to show solidarity with the African American community in response to the slayings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery.

Beverly Keel, dean, College of Media and Entertainment

Beverly Keel

Dr. Sekou Franklin

Dr. Sekou Franklin

“This event is designed to allow people who work in the Nashville music industry to listen and learn from people of color,” said Keel. “We need to have a better understanding of the realities of being a person of color in Middle Tennessee in 2020.

“Many of us are devastated and want to help, but we aren’t sure how. We want to do the right thing, and we certainly don’t want to say or do the wrong thing. This event is designed to educate and enlighten attendees and then offer tips on how they can become a better advocate for and ally of people of color.”

The virtual panel discussion is sponsored by Change the Conversation, Digital Divas Nashville, Entertainment One Music Nashville, the National Association of Black Female Executives in Music and Entertainment Nashville, and 102.1 The Ville.

For more information about MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment, visit

— Gina E. Fann (