Today we’d like to introduce you to Dawn Stevens.
Hi Dawn, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I started reporting news in the Twin Cities in September of 2006. In 2010, I was promoted to anchor on the morning team. I was very happy and found my niche with a nice balance of hard news and feature stories that would make people smile each day. In May 2020, the morning news had to change, no more daily smiles. We had a duty to cover the murder of George Floyd. As the only African American on the morning show journalism team, these stories impact me differently than my coworkers. Although I put on a professional face for hours each morning as I delivered the news, I would go home and cry and think about how it could have been my son or husband. Sometimes I couldn’t make it home and I cried in the bathroom at work. I had deep conversations with my husband each night. He’s in law enforcement and had to suit up in riot gear during the civil unrest. I knew we had to do more to help uplift the Black community and make others see us as equal. We believe education is key and decided to start a nonprofit highlighting the great things African American unsung heroes in our country have done to make this nation great. It’s called Change the World Challenge.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Starting a non-profit is a struggle. Even though we were sharing the greatness of our curriculum that highlights African American unsung heroes and everyone we pitched to agreed it was great, we have been disappointed by how much people’s actions don’t follow their words of support. I’m sure every nonprofit struggles in this area, so we are learning.
The other big challenge is taking a leap of faith. I left a job I was familiar with, I enjoyed doing and people enjoyed me being a part of the morning show team. But I was called to do more to help others in a brand new way. Change is not easy, but it’s been worth it. I visited a school recently doing our curriculum and it was so wonderful to witness our youth learning that they came from people who were more than slaves or maids, they were inventors and entrepreneurs.
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I have a couple of jobs now that I left my job as a tv news anchor in April 2022. I’m the founder of my family’s non-profit Change the World Challenge. It’s an educational curriculum and videos featuring African American unsung heroes. My two children star in the videos and are very animated and entertaining. There is a void of the culturally relevant curricula in our schools. Many instructors who’ve seen our curriculum say they’ve never seen anything like it. I’m proud that I’m impacting youth in a positive way and helping them see their historical greatness. My other new job is the Chief Executive Communications Strategist for Alpha Mission. Alpha Mission is an organization connecting Black businesses to American companies and proving that the free enterprise system works for everyone. It’s a new organization, so I get to help it grow. The CEO is an established, well-known technology leader in Chicago and is promoting his new organization across the country.
Is there any advice you’d like to share with our readers who might just be starting out?
At this point, I can only share the two pieces of advice I remember the most, because they have proven true for me. 1. Spend your energy selling to people who already know they need it when you’re starting out. We only have so much time and energy, don’t waste it on people who don’t get it.
Second: You’re going to fail and when you do, fail fast and early and recover quickly. Lesson learned!
- Website: changetheworldchallenge.org
- Facebook: ChangetheWorldChallenge