With more than a decade of experience in the business of intertwining both media relations and the arts, Fatima Jones is definitely someone to look out for. This creative strategist is currently serving as the Brooklyn Museum’s Director of Public Relations. She’s previously held roles at The Brooklyn Academy of Music, Cumbe Center for Dance and Long Island University. Here’s how she became one of the only Black women calling the shots in her industry across New York City.
Full Name: Fatima Jones
Title/Company: Director of Public Relations, Brooklyn Museum
Location: Brooklyn, New York
The Gig: Currently I am the Director of Public Relations and I amin charge of public relations and social media relations for one of the largest museums in the country.
Using Her Voice To Create Change: It can be hard sometimes being a Black woman in this industry because there are not a lot of Black women at a certain level. And, so there’s the responsibility to speak up when you see things and possibly be labeled as the angry Black woman … and that’s okay. Because if it’s not me, who’s it going be? If I’m the only one in the room and I don’t say anything, I can’t complain later.
Pulling Inspiration From Director Ava DuVernay: One person that had tremendous influence on me is Ava DuVernay, who started out as a publicist and went on to break out of that role to use her skills to become a filmmaker.
Being A Part Of The Resistance Movement: I’m lucky because the Brooklyn Museum is a place where people see us as a place where they can come and speak up for themselves. The vision of the whole museum team is to create a place where people can have courageous conversations and that’s the kind of place that I want to work for. I think because we do these types of events we show our authentic nature so people are not afraid to approach us.
Being Unapologetic About Saying No: I love (bing) 44. It’s dope because you know yourself, you know your limitations, you’re like, ‘Oh I can’t make it to that? Oh well.’ Whereas in my twenties I was like, “Oh my god I can’t make it, what am I going to do? Are they going to hate me?” Now I’m just like, ‘Girl, I can’t go.’ Period. End of discussion. No means no.
A Family History Of Working In The Arts: My father had a big influence on me as he worked in the arts. He started out at the Studio Museum in Harlem as an accountant and then he worked at New York State Council of the Arts. He made sure they got the grant money that they needed, and made sure that they used it correctly.
Advice For Anyone Interested In Public Relations: Understand that networking is a two-way street. Think of ways in which you can make yourself a resource to people.
Her Superpower: Speaking truth to power.
Her Theme Song: “The Healer” by Erykah Badu