Aaron LeWallen, The Carolinian

ROAD TRIP ADVISOR


DEREK ‘FONZWORTH BENTLEY’ WATKINS

PRODUCER, MUSICIAN, AUTHOR, PHILANTHROPIST

Named by GQ magazine as the First Gentleman of Hip Hop, Fonzworth Bentley, born Derek Watkins, has an impeccable sense of style and manners that has earned him a reputation as a man of class and excellence and an expert in fashion and pop culture. He recently won the Guild of Music Supervisors award for Best Original song for Television for ‘Juneteenth’ which he co-wrote and produced. As a choreographer, Fonzworth Bentley was awarded a 2017 MTV “Moonman” award for Best Choreography for Kanye West’s hit song, “Fade”.

A graduate from Morehouse College with a degree in Biology, Derek is passionate about educating and investing in the next generation of game-changing entrepreneurs and innovators. He provides leadership coaching and leverages his vast network to assist them with capital and partnership opportunities. Derek serves on the Advisory Board for several early-stage startups and social enterprises led by award winning innovators of color.

As an award-winning writer/ producer to have worked with Kanye West, “Chance the Rapper”, “2Chainz”, Tracee Ellis Ross, Television smash “Grown-ish” and the upcoming film “The Wedding Year”, Derek is driven by a deep faith to inspire others. Therefore, he supports numerous charities and is a regular lecturer on the college motivational speaking circuit. These combined experiences led Derek to launch the Fonzworth Bentley Leadership Institute (FBLI), to provide educational and mentoring opportunities for people of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds.


DJ Envy’s Wisdom

I wish that the Chevrolet DTU program had existed when I was in college. I know it will play an important role in kick-starting these current DTU Fellows’ careers in journalism and media. I believe this experience can empower these young journalism students to reach the next level in their careers.

American-made Excellence

GM has a rich history of automotive innovation. For 20 years, Innovating Connected Emergency Services has proven to be an asset to all automobiles.

Why I Chose to Be a Mentor for the “Discover the Unexpected” Program

This program gives students and recent graduates the opportunity to put what they have learned to work in real time at some of the most powerful press outlets in the nation. In a global economy where work experience is increasingly important, this program gives individuals who have matriculated through these prestigious universities not only a jump start on their careers, but it also invests in them as a network of untapped entrepreneurial talent.

Houston Airwaves: A Summer Breeze

I had an experience of a lifetime this weekend when my team was invited to one of the biggest radio stations in Houston, Majic 102.1. The conversation on air was a breeze and even comical at times. After the interview, I got the chance to see how much work is actually put in producing a radio show.

Keeping Busy In The Chi

With my first two years completed at North Carolina A&T I have had on-campus experiences pertaining to writing news, interviewing and developing journalism skills. But I’ve never had the opportunity like the one Chevy Discover The Unexpected has given me this summer, to not only travel the country and develop genuine connections, but to also learn about our Black communities and the triumphs and downfalls that occur within them, that are rarely shared on a broader scale in the mainstream media.

Coast To Coast: L.A. To Chicago

After getting back to Chicago, my team and I prepared to attend ComplexCon, a convention hosted by a leading urban magazine. It is a leading convention in showcasing what’s trending in mainstream culture. It was a nice experience, but I realized that I’m not in touch with popular culture. From the fashion down to the hottest new artist(s), I feel like I’ve been living under a rock for the past few years. And you know what, I don’t care.

I Could Make Chicago a Thing

The Chicago Crusader has shown us a great time, and they have also been challenging me to do things that I am not naturally comfortable with. I’m actually a published journalist now, which is crazy because I am not a great writer, but it is still cool to say that some of my work has been published.

A Message to The Chevy DTU Fellows: Boot Camp Opening Remarks

Introducing Michelle Matthews-Alexander, Multicultural Marketing Manager at General Motors. Michelle has dedicated her career to enhancing major corporations’ relationship with diverse communities. Since joining GM in 2015, Michelle has not only advocated for, but helped spearhead Chevrolet’s Discover the Unexpected Journalism Fellowship program. In partnership with the National Newspaper Publishers Association, she and Chevrolet have invested in the future of Black Journalism while simultaneously supporting students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Now in its fourth year, the 2019 Chevrolet Discover The Unexpected program continues to provide opportunity to young journalists as they work to tell the stories that matter.

Life After Discover The Unexpected

My Discover the Unexpected experience at the Louisiana Weekly newspaper was very influential to my life. I was fresh out of Clark Atlanta University and I was looking for an opportunity to produce current and cultural news stories. The Louisiana Weekly gave me the opportunity to write and report my own stories.

Getting Started With The Houston Forward Times

First week in Houston is in the books, and I wrote my first cover story! On the first day in the office, we got breaking news about a press conference that would be happening the next morning on some recent killings of innocent children in the Houston area.

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