Pat Mitchell on “Becoming a Dangerous Woman” - Women’s Media Center

WMC Women Under Siege editor, Frances Nguyen interviews Women's Media Center Board Chair, Pat Mitchell, on her new book: Becoming a Dangerous Woman: Embracing Risk to Change the World.


A must-read: patmitchell's memoir details her extraordinary journey of determination, to rise and carve new paths forward, the fearless trailblazing that only a dangerous woman could manage. BecomingaDangerousWoman

WMC Women Under Siege editor, Frances Nguyen interviews Women's Media Center Board Chair, Pat Mitchell, on her new book: Becoming a Dangerous Woman: Embracing Risk to Change the World.

Pat Mitchell is a woman in motion. Throughout her life, she has dutifully followed her grandmother’s words: “Falling on your face is at least a forward movement.” And though there have been many times when she has stumbled, it is more accurate to characterize her journey — from Swainsboro, Georgia, all the way to the upper echelons of a cutthroat media landscape — by her extraordinary determination to rise and carve new paths forward, the fearless trailblazing that only a dangerous woman could manage. Her groundbreaking career has encompassed being an Emmy award-winning and Oscar-nominated producer, president of CNN Productions, the first woman president and CEO of PBS and the Paley Center for Media, and co-chair of the Women’s Media Center. Mitchell launched

, details her inspiring life of movement, through male-dominated spaces, territories yet uncharted by women, and her deep interior world.

But when I returned to the book, two years after Bellagio, I found that the challenges, barriers, and concerns that were part of my stories were still present, and that reflecting on my lessons learned had relevance for women at any age, many of whom, I believe, are facing similar challenges — and even rollbacks of hard-earned rights and freedoms for which my generation fought.

My dreams were different from the expectations for a girl growing up in rural South Georgia in the fifties. And then, beginning in college, two great social justice movements became a big part of my life: the civil rights movement and the women’s movement. [From there], my dreams got bigger and bolder, enough to take the leap to leave the South and move to New York to make my way — through some tough times and disappointments — into broadcast journalism and a career in television.

When I became a leader, transitioning to executive, I felt prepared to own my power and use and share it with other women.

Journalism was actually the perfect career for me: Every story was a new world, a new idea, new people, and new experiences. My risk-taking is about being “in it”: being engaged and following my curiosity and passions. You can’t be dangerous from the sidelines.

At this point in your life, do you still find it a challenge to own your accomplishments?

I learned that you don’t choose mentors because you want to

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. Life is no “brief candle” to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.

Read more: Women's Media Center

patmitchell Just introduced to Pat Mitchell on the Thom Hartmann Program via Free Speech TV. (Some cable companies -like Cox cable- don't even offer independent channels like this. Looking forward to reading 'Becoming a Dangerous Woman'.

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