Jacquie Jones, Peabody Award-winning director and longtime executive director of National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC)—now Black Public Media—has passed away.
A champion of Black film and Black content producers, Jones dedicated her life to creating a respected space for black voices and culture. She did this first by working as an editor of the Black Film Review, and later as a producer and content creator at BPM — a nonprofit organization dedicated to media content about the Black experience.
As executive director at BPM, Jones expanded the focus of the nonprofit from public television to include digital media. She also founded the New Media Institute, which focused on training media professionals in the tools needed to navigate the digital world.
Under her leadership, the organization launched the Public Media Corps to link underserved communities with both broadband-enabled public media resources and social media tools. She also helped launch the group’s signature public television series, AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange.
Jones received Peabody and Gracie awards for the 2013 NBPC documentary series, 180 Days: A Year Inside An American High School. Her other credits included Africans in America, Matters of Race, From Behind Closed Doors: Sex in the 20th Century and The World Before Us.
“Words cannot express how deeply saddened we are. In the field, Jacquie was our fiercest advocate, encouraging all of us—media makers, administrators, leaders—to take risks, and to fully explore what public media can be for a diverse America,” said Leslie Fields-Cruz, executive director of BPM, in a statement. “She demanded so much more than just the status quo, and led by example. She will be sorely missed, but her legacy and impact at Black Public Media, on public media and to me personally will resonate for many years to come. Our sincere condolences go out to her family.”
Jones died on Sunday after a brief hospitalization in Washington, DC., at the age of 52.