Mentoring Queens is a 1-hour quarterly docuseries celebrating African American female mentors and the strides they make towards the betterment of young women. Hosted by Emmy & NAACP Image Award-winner, Loni Love, Mentoring Queens features Collette V. Smith, Charmin A. Bates, Catherine Brewton and a tribute to the late Broadcast Pioneer, Philanthropist & Mentor, Merri Dee.

    Charmin A. Bates
    Creative Girls Rock® (CGR)

    Bio

    Charmin A. Bates is the founder and creative director of Creative Girls Rock® (CGR), a nonprofit organization based in Nashville, TN, that was birthed from her passion for creative arts, youth development, community engagement; and a therapeutic method for anxiety. Creative Girls Rock® mission is to educate and empower young girls and women to utilize their creative talents to enhance their lives and the world around them.

    CGR offers free programming, The CGR Master Class, within the Nashville community, which extends globally to involve participants around the world, as a platform for creative expression, arts and crafts, artistic design, visual arts and empowerment workshops. The CGR Master class helps youth and women to explore their emotions, develop self-awareness, cope with stress, anxiety and boost self-esteem.

    Charmin is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. As an advocate for young professionals and community engagement, she commits her volunteer time fighting to end poverty and mentoring youth.

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    Catherine Brewton
    Creative at Broadcast Music, Inc.

    Bio

    Catherine Brewton is Vice President, Creative at Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) based in the BMI Atlanta office. In this role, Ms. Brewton manages and cultivates relationships with a myriad of songwriters and composers throughout the Atlanta region and on a national level as well. She directs all of the outreach for the BMI Atlanta office to songwriters and music publishers while working closely with Creative staff members in New York, Los Angeles, Nashville and London to bring top writing talent to BMI.

    As one of urban music’s leading executives, Ms. Brewton has an ear for current trends as well as an appreciation of legacy artists and is a trusted advocate for urban music’s thriving creative community. She and her staff create and participate in educational, networking and showcase events specifically designed to inform and elevate up-and-coming and established songwriters alike. As a mentor, Ms. Brewton also develops the next generation of music executives at BMI and has helped to develop a skilled and passionate staff.

    As one of urban music’s leading executives, Ms. Brewton has an ear for current trends as well as an appreciation of legacy artists and is a trusted advocate for urban music’s thriving creative community. She and her staff create and participate in educational, networking and showcase events specifically designed to inform and elevate up-and-coming and established songwriters alike. As a mentor, Ms. Brewton also develops the next generation of music executives at BMI and has helped to develop a skilled and passionate staff.

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    Loni Love
    Host
    Loni Love

    Bio

    Loni Love is an EMMY and NAACP Image Award-winning television host. Loni also currently co-hosts the GRACIE Award-winning weekend radio show Café Mocha with rapper YoYo. She has interviewed a variety of A list guests such as President Obama and the First Lady Michelle Obama as well as superstars like Fantasia Barrino Taylor, Patti LaBelle, John Legend, Tyler Perry, Jam & Terry among many others. Café Mocha is the only nationally syndicated show of its kind that was created exclusively BY and FOR women of color. Along with her work on television, Loni has appeared in myriad movies including Mother’s Day, the successful Paul Bart Mall Cop 2 opposite Kevin James, Soul Plane with Kevin Hart, and Adopt A Highway alongside Ethan Hawke.

    A philanthropist, Loni is an ambassador for Michelle Obama’s When We All Vote, NAACP, LA Mission, Dress for Success, Reach Higher, LA Regional Food Bank, Project Angel Food, Girl Scouts and the UNCF to name a few. Loni believes in the power of education and is a graduate of Prairie View A&M University where she obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

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    Collette V. Smith
    Believe N You, Inc.

    Bio

    Collette V. Smith is the Founder and President of Believe N You, Inc. and the NFL’s 1st African American Female Coach in the History of the National Football League by way of being the 1st Female Coach in NY Jets Franchise History, Coaching the Defensive Backs in 2017 during Training Camp.

    Smith is a former Women’s Professional Football Player playing two positions as a Defensive Back and Special Teams on Kick Off, Defensive Backs Coach and was the Director of Marketing, PR, Promotions and Events for the New York Sharks women’s pro football team in two Women’s Professional Football Leagues, the WFA- Women's Football Alliance and the IWFL- Independent Women’s Football League. She didn’t start playing professional football until the age of 42. The Sharks recently won the National Championship in July of 2018 in Atlanta, GA.

    Collette today is a social philanthropist and an entrepreneur specializing in motivational speaking engagements and has been invited to speak at Fortune 100 Companies, Corporations and Ivy League Institutions including Columbia University to speak on disparities women in sports face and the empowerment of black youth, girls and women to see their greatness and excellence through adversity.

    Smith was recently Honored with the HUMANITARIAN AWARD by Leigh Steinberg during Superbowl LVI February 2022 in Los Angeles, CA. and is the only woman to have ever received an award in this capacity from him. She was also Honored with the Legacy Award and Keynoted the NAACP’s Legacy Gala, guest speaker at Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network’s “House Of Justice” for their YOUTH HUDDLE program’s live video broadcast, Rev Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Push Coalition Summits and visits Juvenile Detention Centers to bring hope and inspiration through her own struggles of Hard Knocks to Triumphs to those that need a second chance at Life amongst many other initiatives that will benefit others.

    She is a true Change Agent and has dedicated her life to empowering our youth, in particular girls and women to know that Any and Everything we desire IS Possible if we Believe In Ourselves. Her cultural and gender specific loyalty is very important to her. She emphasizes the importance of building positive self-esteem through team sports to at-risk teens and women in low-income, underserved and marginalized communities.

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    Merri Dee
    movie

    Bio

    Media personality Merri Dee began her long relationship with broadcast media in 1966 as a radio personality. Based upon the strength of her reputation, Dee moved to WGN-TV in 1972, where she gained experience in newscasting as a staff announcer and talk show host. At the height of her very promising career, Dee was confronted with a personal tragedy when she and a talk show guest were kidnapped from the television station and nearly killed by the attackers. Not one to remain a victim, however, Dee looked upon that incident – which changed the course of her career and life – as a challenge to grow. Lobbying state and city politicians, Dee assisted in the passage of Illinois' first Victims Bill of Rights law, in 1992, legislation that has served as a model for other states. Following the tragic event, Dee was appointed director of community relations at WGN-TV. In this capacity, Dee served as liaison between WGN-TV and the many social organizations that compose Chicago's civic community.

    Dee retired as WGN-TV’s director of community relations in the fall of 2008. Dee was committed to extensive charitable work, including fundraising on behalf of the homeless and victims of domestic violence. Her most passionate endeavor, however, was on behalf of Illinois orphans. Dee garnered an exceptional amount of attention for the issues of orphans through telethons and fundraisers. Through her efforts, she sought to increase the number of children who get adopted each year. Also a strong advocate for education, Dee hosted the United Negro College Fund Telethon for several years. She also hosted the prestigious Easterseals Telethon. She was one of the founders of a Chicago-based organization called Athletes for a Better Education.

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