Women Power Radio
Jayne Kennedy Overton
Part One: October 23, 2006
Part Two: October 30, 2006
While still in high school, Jayne was the first African American to win the Miss Ohio crown in the Miss USA/Universe Pageant.
As one of the first female sports broadcasters, she destroyed the myth that women couldn't make it in the world of sports broadcasting, blasting the doors wide open for women in sports beyond competition. Rhonda Windham, former General Manager of the Los Angeles Sparks, credits Jayne for her success and says, "The WNBA owes a debt of gratitude to Jayne Kennedy She is also the only female to ever work ringside as a TV color commentator for men's professional boxing through her work with Muhammad Ali Professional Sports.
But breaking ground is nothing new for Jayne. There seemed to always be a hurdle on the track as she raced through a career that brought her acclaim as an actress, broadcaster, TV personality, producer, exercise guru, talk show host, model, singer, dancer, infomercial host, lecturer, product spokeswoman, and now author of her soon to be released autobiography, Plain -Jayne.
Jayne's honors and awards are numerous: an EMMY Award for her 1981 Rose Parade coverage, an EMMY nomination for her Speak Up NAACP IMAGE Award for "Best Actress" in the film Body & Soul which she co-produced, a CEBA Award for her work in the television commercial industry, a NAACP THEATRE Award for "Best Producer" for her staged musical production of The Journey of the African American, chronicling 400 years of African American history in song and dance, and a Black Achievers Award as a role model in the African American community
Jayne was also recently named an Honorary Board Member of the Didi Hirsh Foundation's Erasing The Stigma Awards and the A.C.E. Ambassador (Arts, Culture & Entertainment) for the City of Los Angeles' Cultural Affairs Department where she is working to bridge the gap between the entertainment industry and the LA community. She has become a founding board member of the WonderVision Foundation.Created by Stevie Wonder; its goal is to systematically eradicate blindness worldwide through preventative, assistive, and therapeutic means.
Despite the achievements of her career, Jayne says her most fulfilling role is that of "Mom" (to daughters Cheyenne (24), Savannah (20), Kopper (17), and Zaire (11), and "Wife" (to her actor/producer/author/entrepreneur husband, Bill Overton.) Both Bill and Jayne are totally committed to raising "good, smart kids." In fact, because she promised herself years ago that she would be there for her kids, Jayne had spent the last 10 years at home being a full time wife and mom; without a doubt, she says, the hardest work she's ever done!
It is because of her genuine commitment to a better world for all our kids, Jayne worked 17 years for The Children's Miracle Network where she helped to raise over a billion and a half dollars for 165 children's hospitals throughout the United States.
Now that Baby Zaire is a baby no more, Jayne is ready to return to the professional fast track. She is staging her comeback through the development of a one-hour prime time TV drama, a half-hour animated children's TV series, writing a collection of children's books, starring in her first dramatic on-stage appearance in the award winning play, The Trial of One Short-sighted Black Woman vs. Mammy Louise and Safreeta Mae, assisting her husband in marketing his book & exhibit collection of 19th Century prints entitled The Media: Shaping The Image Of A People, serving as Creative Consultant for Backstreet Art Galleries, producing an annual Multicultural Faire for the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District and sits on the board of their African American Parent Student Staff Support Group and the SMMUSD Site Governance committee, as well as bringing inner city youth on retreat through the non-profit Visionary Farm.
Currently she is a board member of the Pacific Coast Soccer Club, a member of Coast Soccer League - a division of Cal South and California Youth Soccer Association. She serves as the Chair of their Fundraising and Sponsorship Campaign as well as the Team Manager for the Girls Under 11 team. "Southern California has produced some of the country's top youth clubs, teams, and players; and the Coast Soccer League has had a lot to do with this." The CSL is the largest league in the nation in membership with over 1,900 teams featuring over 30,000 players that compete in over 15,000 games on 540 fields throughout Southern California.
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