I have been watching Melissa Harris-Perry every Saturday and Sunday (when I can) on MSNBC from 10a-12pm for some time now. (Shameless plug, I know.) Professor Harris-Perry covers a wide range of political, economic, and social issues that affect not only minority communities, but America as a whole. Her guests reach across both sides of the political arena as she welcomes guests from various viewpoints and with many different opinions.

During this past Saturday’s episode, “Nerdland” as Prof. Harris-Perry has coined the program, focused on issues such as family structure in America, what President Obama’s second term means, and First Lady Michelle Obama’s agenda. There were three particular segments that caught my attention. Prof. Harris-Perry welcomed Ms. Emily Carpenter from Girls for Gender Equity, INC (GGE) and they discussed the impact that Malia and Sasha Obama growing up in the White House has had on black girls across the country, especially since Malia will be able to vote for her father’s successor in 2016. Prof. Harris-Perry also welcomed Rochelle Ballantyne, a former student of I.S. 318 here in Brooklyn and 4-time chess champion, along with assistant principal John Galvin to discuss the new documentary Brooklyn Castle which chronicles the lives of students at I.S. 318, a low-performing school, as they win National Chess Championships and deal with hardships at home. For her weekly “Foot Soldiers” segment, Prof. Harris-Perry featured Southern Louisiana University junior Whitney Cristy and her initiative #Swabbin4Robin.

Emily Carpenter Courtesy of GGE

18 year-old Emily Carpenter, a youth organizer for GGE, discussed how seeing Malia and Sasha grow up in the
White House impacted her and how Malia is serving as a role model for young girls. She also mentioned how she has become more educated about the political races now that she is older.

Watch Emily here

Rochelle Ballantyne Courtesy of Black Celeb Kids

Rochelle Ballantyne and I.S. 318 assistant principal John Galvin talked briefly about Brooklyn Castle and some of the challenges she faced being a young lady playing chess as well as some of the lessons she learned.

Watch Rochelle here

Whitney Christy Courtesy of SELU

Finally, Prof. Harris-Perry introduced us to Whitney Christy, founder of SLU’s National Society of Leadership and Success, Be The Match Foundation supporter, driving force behind #Swabbin4Robin and Bone Marrow Donor. Christy helps organize bone marrow drives on her college campus and has added over 250 names to the national bone marrow donor list. Her #Swabbin4Robin campaign, an ode to Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts, who recently received a bone marrow transplant from her sister Sally-Ann, has begun to pick up steam and gain national attention.

Watch Whitney here

I would like to thank Prof. Harris-Perry and everyone at Nerdland for showcasing such beautiful, positive images of young black women. Also, thank you to Emily, Rochelle, and Whitney for doing great things within the community. Keep up the great work.

Catch Prof Harris – Perry every Saturday and Sunday from 10am – 12pm on MSNBC.