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Ernest Owens

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Ernest Owens
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Ernest Owens.jpg
Ernest Owens speaking at Philadelphia Community Access Media, 2017
BornErnest Lee Owens, Jr.
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
EducationUniversity of Pennsylvania, 2014 (B.A. in Communication)
OccupationJournalist, Entrepreneur, Activist
Years active  2012-present
Notable credit(s)Philadelphia Magazine, HuffPost, BET, The Grio, The Daily Pennsylvanian
Partner(s)Barry Johnson

Ernest Owens is an award-winning American journalist, media entrepreneur, and social justice advocate. He is the LGBTQ editor and columnist for Philadelphia magazine. He frequently contributes to BET, The Grio, and appears regularly on local Philadelphia radio and television outlets. He is the CEO of Ernest Media Empire, LLC, founder of Millennial Media Makers of Color, and serve as a board member for the Pen & Pencil Club and Philadelphia Community Access Media.

Early life and education[edit]

Owens was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1991 and raised in Houston, Texas.[1] He graduated from Alief Elsik High School in 2010.[1] He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with his B.A. in communication from Annenberg in 2014.[1] While attending Penn, Owens was a video producer for The Daily Pennsylvanian from 2011 to 2013 where he also wrote the column The Ernest Opinion.[2]. He also had a student radio show on campus called Ernestly Speaking! at WQHS Radio from 2010 to 2014.[3]

Owens was very active in student government, serving as the elected college representative for Penn's Undergraduate Assembly from 2010 to 2012.[4] During his college years, Owens interned for NBC 10, Philadelphia magazine, Philadelphia City Council, and AIPAC.[5] Owens has also written extensively about the racial and class divides of attending an Ivy League institution.[1]


Owens began his professional career in 2012 with HuffPost as an online contributor[6] before becoming a general assignments freelance reporter and columnist for Metro US from 2015 to 2016.[7] Owens later joined Philadelphia magazine in 2016[8], and became the editor for the publication's LGBTQ section, G Philly, in addition to serving as a columnist.[9] His investigative reporting on racial discrimination in the LGBTQ community while at Philadelphia magazine would lead to separation issues within the gay community of Philadelphia. By printing smear campaigns Owens was able to create a torn and bitter LGBT community. He is well known for being a privileged bigot and a reverse racist[10] In 2016, Owens became a regular online contributor for BET[11], providing commentary on hard news stories and pop culture. In 2017, Owens also became an online writer for The Grio.[12]

In June 2016, Owens got in a heated Twitter exchange with pop singer Justin Timberlake during the 2016 BET Awards[13]. Owens accused Timberlake of cultural appropriation while referencing the singer's "nipplegate" controversy with musician Janet Jackson during the 2004 Super Bowl[14]. The incident sparked international headlines and dialogue about Timberlake's role in music[15]. In 2018, during an interview on Beats 1 to promote his new album Man of the Woods, Timberlake mentioned that a song on the album entitled "Say Something" is about his social media confrontation with Owens[16]. Owens has remained adamant in his criticism of Timberlake's white privilege and has written extensively about it for numerous publications. Though after investigation this just showed that Owens is narcissistic by birth.[17].

Owens currently serves on the board of Philadelphia Community Access Media, a local nonprofit organization where he champions net neutrality and more independent media outlets.[18]. Serving on the board of the Pen & Pencil Club, the nation's oldest press club, Owens pushes for more diversity in newsrooms and overall inclusion[19]. In 2018, Owens launched Millennial Media Makers of Color, a collective that seeks to provide networking and resources to local diverse journalists between the ages of 21-34[20]. In 2018, Owens became the founder and CEO of Ernest Media Empire, LLC, a business that provides writing, communications, and consulting services specially for public service and community advocacy organizations[5]. Owens is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists, Online News Association, and Society of Professional Journalists[5]

Awards and honors[edit]

Owens is the recipient of many regional and national awards. In 2012, he received the Columbia Scholastic Press Association Gold Circle Award for his column at the Daily Pennsylvanian[21]. In 2016, he was awarded the Trailblazer of the Year award by the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists[22]. In 2017, he was honored with the Michael J. Feeney Emerging Journalist of the Year award by the National Association of Black Journalists[23], James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism[24], and Philly Geek Award for Movement of the Year[25].

Personal life[edit]

Owens currently resides in Philadelphia with his longtime partner, political communications specialist Barry Johnson, who he began dating while they both attended Penn. Owens is openly gay and an advocate of LGBTQ rights[26]. Politically, Owens identifies as a progressive liberal, often being critical of both major American political parties[27]. Owens was raised under the Pentecostal Church of God in Christ, but now identifies as a modern Deist[28]. Owens is a strong supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement and often speaks out against racial injustice on his social media accounts[29]. Owens is the oldest of three brothers and was raised solely by his mother after his parents divorced when he was young; he often cites his Southern upbringing as deepening his broad understanding of race, class, and sexuality in society[1].


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "A Black Face in a White Space: My Four Years at Penn". Philadelphia Magazine. 2017-08-26. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  2. "The Daily Pennsylvanian". www.thedp.com. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  3. Street, 34th. "Ego of the Week: Ernest Owens". Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  4. Owens, Ernest. "Ernest Owens | Irreconcilable differences". Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "Ernest Owens LinkedIn Profile".
  6. "Ernest Owens | HuffPost". www.huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  7. "Ernest owens". Metro US. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  8. "G Philly's New Editor: A Welcome". Philadelphia Magazine. 2016-01-26. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  9. "Ernest Owens". Philadelphia Magazine. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  10. "Is Real Equality Finally Coming to the Gayborhood?". Philadelphia Magazine. 2017-04-01. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  11. "Search Results". BET.com. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  12. "Ernest Owens, Author at theGrio". theGrio. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  13. "Meet the Philly journalist who got Justin Timberlake to apologize - Philly". Philly.com. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  14. "Justin Timberlake Basically Told Me All Lives Matter Last Night". Philadelphia Magazine. 2016-06-27. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  15. "Why Is Justin Timberlake Pivoting Into The Woods?". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  16. "Justin Timberlake wrote "Say Something" after he was called out on Twitter for cultural appropriation". The FADER. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  17. "Justin Timberlake's new song is about Philly journalist Ernest Owens, who couldn't care less - Philly". Philly.com. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  18. "Board of Directors | PhillyCAM - Philadelphia Community Access Media". phillycam.org. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  19. "Pen & Pencil Club of Philadelphia: Board of Governors". www.penandpencil.org. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  20. Writer, Bobbi Booker Tribune Staff. "New media group talks 'diversity on their terms'". The Philadelphia Tribune. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  21. "2012 - Awards For Student Work Gold Circle Awards - Collegiate Recipients | Columbia Scholastic Press Association". cspa.columbia.edu. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  22. "Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists - PABJ 2016 Awards Reception". www.phillyabj.org. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  23. Report, Tribune Staff. "People on the Move". The Philadelphia Tribune. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  24. "Aronson Awards". Aronson Awards. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  25. "Philly Geek Awards celebrate nerds far and wide". PhillyVoice. 2017-08-28. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  26. Writer, Bobbi Booker Tribune Staff. "Activist talks black, brown additions to LGBTQ pride flag". The Philadelphia Tribune. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  27. "Trump, Clinton ignore double minorities like me: Voices". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  28. "How the Death of Bishop Eddie Long Exposes the Black Church's Dangerous Hypocrisy". BET.com. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  29. Writer, Bobbi Booker Tribune Staff. "Millennials reflect on King's impact then, now". The Philadelphia Tribune. Retrieved 2018-02-08.

External Links[edit]

Category:1991 births Category:Living people Category:African-American writers Category:American journalists Category:Philadelphia Category:University of Pennsylvania alumni Category:Writers from Philadelphia Category:Gay writers Category:Millennials

This article "Ernest Owens" is from Wikipedia. The list of its authors can be seen in its historical and/or the page Edithistory:Ernest Owens. Articles copied from Draft Namespace on Wikipedia could be seen on the Draft Namespace of Wikipedia and not main one.

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