2022 Fellowship Profile: Reggie Hicks
2022 Fellowship Profile: Reggie Hicks
Hicks is president and executive producer of the non-profit Straight Street Media, Inc. where he produces documentaries, podcasts and digital stories that affect change in the lives of the underserved. His current project, the documentary film “If You Are My Brothers,” chronicles the journey of a UGA fraternity brother who was diagnosed with an advanced stage of prostate cancer. This documentary hit home when Hicks was also diagnosed three years into filming.
Hicks’ public broadcasting journey began on the campus of UGA at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education while he was a journalism student. During his junior year, he served as technical director at the Atlanta PBS affiliate WGTV Channel 8. Since that time, his career has encompassed every facet of public radio and television including roles as general manager and development/fundraising at stations throughout the southeast United States including Georgia, Alabama and Texas, among others.
Hicks created and served as executive producer for “Power Point,” the first weekly national call-in program on public radio addressing issues relevant to the Black community. The two-hour weekly call-in program aired for seven years on national public radio in 50 markets and on Sirius Satellite Radio (now SiriusXM).
Reggie has also served as the associate development director for the UGA Annual Fund, director of membership for Georgia Public Broadcasting and adjunct professor in mass communications at Clark Atlanta University and the University of Tampa, among others.
Hicks, a native of Savannah, Georgia, is married to Anita Stokes-Hicks, and they have one son, Armondi.
Following are excerpts from an interview with Hicks:
Grady College: What lessons learned from your time as a Grady College student have most helped you succeed in your professional life?
Reggie Hicks: Of course, the excellent academic training I received at Grady College is first and foremost. It was there that I began to understand the importance of being a good writer. From a more practical perspective, the hands-on opportunities I experienced through Grady College’s internships and part-time opportunities helped hone skills that I have used every day of my career.
GC: What would you tell your 20-year-old self?
RH: Spend more time learning about what’s on the horizon for the future. Read more about innovations and trends and use that information to become your own boss. Don’t be afraid to try new things, and don’t be scared to fail. I know this sounds a bit cliché but when you fail, learn from it, embrace it and move on. Live your dreams, and don’t be quick to conform to the norm.
GC: What motivates you?
RH: Being the change that I want to see motivates me every day. That’s why I have worked primarily in the non-profit sector with organizations whose mission it is to make this a better place.
GC: Are there any books or podcasts that you would recommend to young professionals?
RH: Yes, there are two books I would recommend to young professionals: Ray Dialo’s “Principles” and “Leader’s Eat Last” by Simon Sinek. These books are about leadership and understanding that the greatest resource of all is the human resource.
Also, I would find something visual that motivates you, especially during challenging times. As a senior at UGA, I found an unknown author’s poem titled “If.” I remember buying the poster in a small gift shop on Tybee Island, Georgia. I was going through some real challenges at the time, and looking at the poem helped to keep me motivated. I later found the poem on a plaque, and it hangs in my office today.
GC: What are your best strategies for keeping up with industry advancements?
RH: Read, read and read. Devote time during your week dedicated to reading about innovations in your field. Learn about trends and predictions about what’s on the horizon. Subscribe to digital sources like newsletters and podcasts. Join social media groups to connect you with individuals in your field of interest who effect change in real-time.