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MSNBC Launches 'The Culture Is' – A Special Series Celebrating Women of Color


May 18, 2022

MSNBC president Rashida Jones today announced the launch of The Culture Is, a special four-part series celebrating women of color.

MSNBC’s The Culture Is series aims to generate authentic and thought-provoking conversations across communities of women, including Black, Latina, Asian American Pacific Islander, Indigenous women and beyond. Each special, which focuses on one community, will broadcast on MSNBC and stream on the MSNBC hub on Peacock.

The Culture Is amplifies our efforts to elevate diverse voices across MSNBC’s cable and streaming platforms,” Jones said. “It puts women at the forefront to tell their own stories and share their experiences directly with audiences.”

Joy Reid, host of MSNBC’s The ReidOut, and Tiffany Cross, host of MSNBC’s The Cross Connection, are the hosts and executive producers of the first special in the series, The Culture Is: Black Women, airing Sunday, June 19 at 10pm ET on MSNBC and streaming on the MSNBC hub on Peacock immediately after. The hour-long event will feature Reid’s exclusive interview with Vice President Kamala Harris in Mississippi. They will discuss Harris’ historic role as the first Black woman to hold the office. The special will also feature a roundtable with influential Black women at the historic Minton’s Playhouse, originally a 1920’s speakeasy in Harlem, New York, over a meal by Harlem icon, Chef Melba Wilson. Reid and Cross facilitate an honest and vibrant conversation about what it means to be a Black woman in America. Guests at the table include: 

  • Ryan Michelle Bathe, Actress and Producer, Star of NBC's The Endgame
  • Tarana Burke, Activist, Author, and Founder of the Me Too Movement
  • Nikole Hannah-Jones, New York Times Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist and Creator of the 1619 Project
  • Captain Timika Lindsay, Retired U.S. Navy Captain, and former Chief Diversity Officer, U.S. Naval Academy
  • Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Congresswoman, D-MA 7th District
  • Maria Taylor, NBC Sports, Host
  • Robin Thede, Creator and Showrunner, HBO Max’sA Black Lady Sketch Show
  • Tamika Tremaglio, The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), Executive Director
  • Chef Melba Wilson, restaurateur and author

Throughout the revelatory dinner, guests shared personal stories and experiences including sportscaster Maria Taylor, who for the first time, described her departure from ESPN.

“This special gives the gift of eavesdropping on the authentic conversation that happens when Black women gather and tap into the deep sisterhood that exists just by virtue of our birthright and shared lived experience,” Cross said. “It’s a unique window for the curious and a celebratory reflection for the familiar. We see you, we understand you, we love you; because we are you.” 

The Culture Is: Black Women is the embodiment of the phrase: sisterhood is powerful,” Reid said. “I can’t wait for everyone to experience it.”

Actress Justina Machado, known for her roles in One Day at a Time, Jane the Virgin and soon to be seen in the upcoming The Horrors Of Dolores Roach for Amazon, will host The Culture Is: Latina, the second part in the series which will debut this summer on MSNBC. Katie Phang, host of MSNBC’sThe Katie Phang Show, will host The Culture Is: AAPI Women. Alyssa London, producer and host of The Culture Stories series, former Miss Alaska USA and Miss USA Finalist and NBC News and MSNBC contributor, will host The Culture Is: Indigenous Women.

The launch of The Culture Is reflects an important component of the 50% Challenge Initiative, which NBCU News Group Chairman Cesar Conde unveiled in July 2020. The bold initiative aspires for NBCU News Group newsrooms to be 50% women and 50% people of color.

The Culture Is: Black Women is executive produced by Joy Reid, Tiffany Cross and Kerrie Wudyka. Reid is the host of The ReidOut airing weekdays at 7pm ET on MSNBC. Cross is the host of The Cross Connection airing Saturdays at 10am ET on MSNBC. Wudyka is a Senior Producer for MSNBC’s Kay Tur Reports airing weekdays at 2pm ET on MSNBC.