INTERVIEW: Isha Sesay at the Television Industry Advocacy Awards

The Television Industry Advocacy Awards honors entertainment leaders who use their platform to enact positive change. From fighting for animal rights to bringing joy to hospitalized children, empowering women in Africa to spreading awareness about climate change, this year’s attendees are involved in a wide range of causes. Despite the different organizations with which they work, they all share one thing in common: a passion for activism. FANVERSATION had the pleasure of speaking to them about their work, who inspires them, how others can get involved, and more!

Isha Sesay (Journalist & Author) – Former CNN Anchor, Founder of W.E. can Lead. 

LOS ANGELES – OCT 23: Isha Sesay at the Television Industry’s 5th Annual Advocacy Honors at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres on October 23, 2019 in Los Angeles, CA | Photographer: NINA PROMMER

Tonight is all about honoring people who are inspiring others to do good. Obviously, you’ve inspired a lot of people. Is there anyone you can think of that inspired you to be an advocate and activist?

It’s going to sound cliche, but it really was my mother. When I look at the transformation in my own family throughout generations, my grandmother was an educator, and my mother got her Ph.D. and became very successful, and that’s just in a generation. To see what’s she’s done and took that opportunity to help othersI think that’s the most personal and enduring example of inspiration.

TV can be such a powerful medium for inspiring. Is there anything you’re watching right now that’s making a positive change?

Super Soul Sunday is deeply inspiring. I find I spend so much of my time now talking about intention. Oprah is probably the most inspirational person for me outside of my mother. Just the energy and desire to help she puts out there is the most inspiring show out there for me. It’s a reflective show and makes you question what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. 

Is there a moment you can think of that really sticks out to you and made you say, “You know what? I am making a difference in this world.”

I was interviewing one of my girls to do a video for my organization, and she turned to me and said, “I’m going to do more than you in my life.” This is a girl who, when she started the organization, couldn’t even look anyone in the eye. When I met her, she spent most of her time talking into her chest. In the space of a year or 18 months, she not only has a sense of herself but of what is possible. To see that and to see them change is amazing. I have a speaker series where I invite women to tell their stories and to see them ask questions and challenge and make their arguments now is unreal. I feel like my babies are growing up. People always say, “Do you have kids?” And I say, “Yeah. I have close to 600 of them.”

— Taylor Gates

About Advocacy Honors
Advocacy Honors (AH!) producers of the Television Industry Advocacy Awards support and amplify influential voices and generate millions of impactful media impressions for worthy causes and charities. For additional information, please visit:

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