Dyana Williams’ career exceeds limitation. Whether showcasing her talents in broadcasting, print journalism and community activism or television producing & reporting, media coaching and lecturing, she’s remained a constant force in the entertainment industry for over three decades.
Currently, Williams hosts “Soulful Sunday,” a weekly show broadcast via Radio One adult contemporary station, WRNB-FM, which won the Achievement in Radio Award for Best Weekend Show in Philadelphia for 2006. Each Sunday, 10am to 3pm, she can be found at 100.3 on the FM dial, deftly weaving the musical history born of her adopted hometown and other classic music ““ from Aretha Franklin, The Temptations to Teddy Pendergrass”¦and every artist in between.
Affectionately named “The Ambassador of African-American Music” by American Express’ Departures magazine, the Harlem, New York native began her career at WHUR-FM in the Nation’s Capitol and later, journeyed back home to the top-rated station, WBLS-FM. After making history as the first African-American woman to join an on-air team in rock radio at WRQX-FM, she landed her first on-camera position as an entertainment reporter on “PM Magazine,” which aired on Washington, D.C.’s CBS affiliate, WUSA.
Williams made Philadelphia her home in 1980 when she accepted a coveted on-air position with WDAS-FM. Along with organizing the station’s community-based activities, she moonlighted as a News & Entertainment Reporter for BET and Music Consultant for VH1’s “The Soul of VH1.” After co-founding the International Association of African-American Music in 1991, she furthered her commitment to her community by rallying alongside Congressman Chaka Fattah to pass House Concurrent Bill 509, which she co-authored as a means to give credence to the contributions of African-American music as a viable cultural and economic entity.
The recipient of two academic scholarships, Williams earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Radio, Television and Film, and graduated cum laude, from the Annenberg School of Communications at Temple University and has been honored with a Liberty Bell from Mayor John Street and the City of Philadelphia, as well as a citation from the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives. Dyana is a proud member of AFTRA, NABFEME and serves on the board of governors for the Philadelphia chapter of NARAS (better known as The Recording Academy or the Grammys organization). Her writing has graced the pages of Billboard, The Philadelphia Tribune, The Philadelphia New Observer. She’s been profiled in VIBE, Essence, Black Enterprise, Ebony, Jet, Upscale,The Philadelphia Sun and The Philadelphia Weekly. Dyana has been a featured guest on CNN where she was interviewed by Anderson Cooper,”
Dyana was spotlighted on CNN Headline News as one of the top African American leaders in the country and has also appeared on PBS, MTV and The Tom Joyner Morning Show. Williams frequently lectures at major colleges and university campuses throughout the United States. Among them, she has spoken at such illustrious institutions as Howard, Hampton, the University of Pennsylvania, and Duke University. In June of 2007, she was acknowledged by President George W. Bush, for her outstanding work as a music activist and cultural advocate, at a special White House Black Music Month reception.Over the last decade, Williams has expanded her portfolio to include artist development/media coaching and to date, Usher, T.I., Chris Brown, Rihanna, Ne-Yo, Musiq Soulchild, The Bravery and the Denver Nuggets’ own Allen Iverson, have all benefited from her hands-on approach. Dyana is currently a consultant to media maven Cathy Hughes’ show TV ONE ON ONE on the TV One network. She’s also delved into the realm of documentary film with “Message in the Music: Gamble & Huff’s Sound of Philadelphia,” a project she’s producing.
Ever mindful of the importance of family, Williams is most proud of her role as mother to her three children from her former union with acclaimed producer and songwriter, Kenny Gamble ““ Salahdeen, Princess Idia and Caliph.
Dyana Williams, a certified PADI scuba diver and passionate art collector, splits her time between her home in the Philadelphia area and her sanctuary in the Treme neighborhood of New Orleans.
Tags: advocate, African American, AFTRA, Anderson Cooper, Aretha Franklin, Black Enterprise, broadcast, Capitol, Communications, community activism, credence, decade, entertainment reporter, FM, last decade, New Orleans, PBS, Philadelphia, Radio One, recipient