Current track



Houston’s Mayor Pro-Tem, Martha Castex-Tatum speaks at TSU’s Commweek, challenges students on career prospects

Written by on April 8, 2024

“It is not about who you know but who knows you.”  

By Anthony Ogbo

Honorable Martha Castex-Tatum, Mayor Pro-Tem of the City of Houston, delivered the opening remarks on Monday, April 8, 2024, at the 42nd Intercultural and Communication Conference of the School of Communication at Texas Southern University (TSU) – Commweek.

In her address, Hon. Castex-Tatum emphasized the crucial role of communication in the media industry. She highlighted that effective message delivery is essential for professionals in journalism, public relations, and digital content creation.

Encouraging students in attendance, Hon. Castex-Tatum stressed the significance of networking and collaboration in building successful careers, urging participants who are largely students that, “It is not about who you know but who knows you.” She advised participants to seek out mentors, both within the industry and among their peers, and to support each other as they navigate the field of communications.

Touching on various topics such as the power of storytelling, embracing diversity and inclusivity, and the importance of lifelong learning, Hon. Castex-Tatum provided valuable insights and strategies for career advancement.

She reminded the audience of the impact communicators have in shaping narratives and amplifying voices. Hon. Castex-Tatum urged attendees to never underestimate the power of a compelling story, as it has the ability to inform, inspire, and drive change.

Furthermore, she emphasized the evolving media landscape and the need for authentic representation of diverse perspectives in storytelling. Hon. Castex-Tatum encouraged inclusivity and the amplification of marginalized voices to reflect the true diversity of society, stating, “The media landscape is evolving, and it’s essential that it reflects the diverse perspectives of our society. Embrace inclusivity in your storytelling, amplify marginalized voices, and strive for authentic representation.”

The event also featured remarks from TSU’s Provost, Dr. Carl Goodman, and the Interim Dean of the School of Communication, Dr. Chris Ulasi, who introduced distinguished guests in attendance.

The conference, themed “Amplifying Diverse Voices in Media and Communication,” will run for five days and is expected to attract a diverse group of scholars, students, professionals, and civic-minded leaders. The conference will explore topics with cultural, political, economic, and social implications, as well as communication dynamics.

On Thursday, April 11, Dr. Mary Evans Sias, Interim President of Texas Southern University, will provide the opening welcome. Following that, Dr. Kathleen McElroy, a Professor at the School of Journalism and Media at the University of Texas at Austin, will deliver the keynote address. Dr. McElroy, a native of Houston’s Third Ward, is the daughter of Lucinda Martin and George McElroy, who was the first African American to earn a master’s degree in journalism from the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri.

The School of Communication (SOC) at Texas Southern University is an interdisciplinary academic school with four departments and two graduate programs: Communication Studies, Entertainment Recording Industry Management (ERIM), Journalism, and Radio, Television, and Film (RTF). Additionally, they offer a Master of Arts (MA) in Communication and a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Professional Communication and Digital Media (PCDM). For 48 years, the school has been a leader in training culturally responsive professionals and scholars who can navigate urban and international settings with inclusivity and an understanding of historical legacy.