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Civil Unrest Unites Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, American Advertising Federation And Truth In Reality To Examine The Images Of People Of Color In Media

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated
, a 95-year old women's service organization, implemented a series of #RealityTVCheck watch parties in collaboration with Truth In Reality and the American Advertising Federation (AAF) to understand whether the images of women of color on Reality TV were harmful or helpful. Watch party attendees voiced the need to create a more fair and balanced depiction of African Americans in the media, whether on Reality TV, the news or social media.

The watch parties, entitled Truth In Reality - #RealityTVCheck, are a part of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority's "Get Engaged" initiative, which grew from the turmoil and frustration of the senseless killing of African-Americans in the U.S. "We asked our Zeta members to address the systemic issues that plague many of our communities that can contribute to low self-esteem, generational poverty and even death. Fortunately, we found like-minded organizations, like the American Advertising Federation and Truth In Reality, that are willing to take a stand and foster a sense of collective responsibility among community members," says Zeta International President Mary Breaux Wright.

Global advertising and digital agencies, as well as universities, affiliated with the AAF, hosted the watch parties from April 6 - 22, 2015 in 10 U.S. cities. "Our intent was not to disparage those involved with Reality TV or judge fans of the genre. Instead, we hoped to spark meaningful discussion to broaden the spectrum of programming, reflecting various aspects of the lives of people of color," adds Connie Cannon Frazier, AAF Chief Operating Officer.

"Research shows there is a real link between the media we consume and our behavior," says Sil Lai Abrams, Truth In Reality Founder and CEO. "These discussions highlighted the greater ramifications associated with the lack of media diversity, especially the images on certain reality television shows."

Additional #RealityTVCheck watch parties will be hosted throughout 2015 by local Zeta chapters, and their affiliated youth and adult auxiliary groups. The AAF will also explore media diversity during the "Color, Content, and Cash" panel at its annual ADMERICA conference in June.

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. has a diverse membership of more than 120,000 college-educated women with more than 800 chapters in North America, Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, Africa, and the Middle East.

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