Rising Clayton State University senior Stephanie Cooper appeared on a CNN television program last Saturday, July 24, as part of a panel of four students from four of Georgia’s Universities.
The program, hosted by CNN anchor T.J. Holmes, was on “Voices of Youth on Race.” The discussion stemmed from race related events recently in the news.
“As I walked into the downtown CNN studios and checked into their security desk it was pretty surreal. I was somewhat nervous about what was to come, but ready for every moment of the ride. I loved every minute of the process, everything from the quaint powder room to being `miked’ on a surprisingly quiet live set,” says Cooper.
Cooper reported that the overall experience of being live on CNN was eye-opening and motivating. As a Communication and Media Studies major at Clayton State, seeing the inner workings of a major television network was an exciting learning experience for Cooper. She noted that all the professionals there were open to questions about their work.
“The host, T.J. Holmes, was laid back and funny. He made everyone feel completely at ease with the cameras,” says Cooper, who adds that she was glad that Holmes opened the opportunity to discuss racism and the way this generation is affected by it.
“We still have a struggle that we need to overcome. I know that the civil rights struggle for me is accessibility to resources to get further in life,” says Cooper.
Cooper, an Atlanta native, also says the CNN experience was one of the best of her life. Clayton State Student Media Advisor L. Michelle Hayes recommended Cooper for the opportunity, in part because Cooper had just finished a course on Interracial Communication, and had also attended the Diversity Conference at Clayton State.