Proof positive that “one class really can change the trajectory of your life,” as 2007 College of Media alumna Jayda Imanlihen puts it …
“One of my favorite memories is from a class taught by Dr. William Patterson called Black Leadership Development. The class met from 6 to 9 p.m. once a week.
“During the second week of class, Dr. Patterson introduced a young Black senator who gave the best guest lecture of my life that day in Lincoln Hall. His name was Barack Obama.
“I was inspired so much, I applied to Columbia University for graduate school.”
C-U is where she “fell in love with cinema, documentary filmmaking and rides to the farmers market,” as she writes on her LinkedIn profile.
New York is where she earned an Ivy League master of fine arts degree and turned her filmmaking passion into a future, studying directing, screenwriting and producing and finishing as a Sundance Silverman Fellow finalist.
These days, Imanlihen directs all multimedia and strategic multimedia initiatives for USC’s Bovard College, works on the side as an independent writer/producer/filmmaker, and earns raves for the nonprofit she founded in 2016 — Black Girl Film School. Its mission: to increase the number of Black female department heads below the line by designing inclusive learning.