Monday, April 17, 2023

How many questions can Dometi Pongo answer per minute?

Dometi Pongo responding to questions from students

Too often, as the folks in our circles understandably point out, black students receive too little relevant, engaging information and answers to direct questions, from professors and guest speakers. Since my graduate assistant Nicole Dixon and I were aware of that complaint, we decided to pose numerous questions to MTV correspondent and host Dometi Pongo during his visit. 

First, in the weeks leading up to Pongo's arrival, we developed and continually revised sets of questions. Next, we reached out to students and assured them that unlike presentations that they critiqued, this one would be for them and so they should start thinking of questions they wanted to raise. Finally, I made requests to Pongo's assistant and then to Pongo that his formal presentation be cut really short and spend most of the time responding to our collective questions. 

The outcome exceeded my expectations.

During a two and a half-hour stretch, Pongo responded to more than 50 questions about pursuing careers in media, participating in arts culture on campus, living in New York City, interviewing entertainers, hosting arts events, dealing with insecurity, selecting books to read, finding the best music, and more.

No comments: