Mia Fleming’s career as an accomplished journalist and television personality has been a rewarding one. Not only has she enjoyed successful runs as an anchor and reporter at Tulsa’s Fox23 News and host of a community affairs show, for more than 10 years she covered some of the nation’s biggest news stories such as 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and the 2008 election of President Barack Obama, she recently transitioned to an amazing freelance career that highlights her passion for news and philanthropy. Fleming features products, celebrities and everyday people who give back.
Based in Tulsa, OK, she splits her time between NY and LA and creates charitable giving segments, many of which include interviews from both on and off the red carpet. She has interviewed some of the biggest names in entertainment, but rather than just focusing on the typical questions about clothing and designers, she shares with her viewers how those celebrities are giving back.
“I love fashion, but I live for charitable giving and I love celebrities who are passionate about the charities they promote. Right now, it’s awards season, so I will probably go to LA. But I will talk about philanthropy on the red carpet, not just what kind of dress someone is wearing,” she shares.
Fleming names actor Steve Harvey and former Essence Magazine Editor-in-Chief Susan Taylor as two people whose charitable work she deeply admires.
“Steve Harvey is one of my favorites! The mentoring he does is phenomenal. He and his wife own the Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation. Throughout the year, the foundation hosts mentoring sessions for young boys. And then every Father’s Day, they turn their ranch into a mentoring camp called “Harvey Town.” There are hundreds of men at the camp mentoring young boys who don’t have dads at home. There’s basketball, fishing, paintball and more. You name it, this camp has it. But, more exciting for me, was to see the hundreds of men including Harvey there pouring love and wisdom into these young boys, mentoring and talking to them about what it takes to go from boys to men. Together, he and his wife have six kids yet they still makes time for these boys,” she shares.
She continues, “And Susan Taylor…I love the fact that she is working to give young kids mentors every single day through her organization National Cares Mentoring Movement. She has ‘Cares Mentoring Circles’ in cities throughout the US providing young people with mentors.”
Singer-songwriter Alicia Keys also made her list of celebs who are making a difference. “Alicia Keys’ work with HIV/AIDS is incredible! In addition to raising funds and spreading awareness for this cause, she actually goes to Africa and does the work there as well. You can see she’s really passionate about the work she’s doing,” she says.
When she’s not on the red carpet or back at home writing and editng her television segments she distributes to various television affiliates, Fleming is working on other parts of ‘Mia’s Million Reasons Why,’ which is a movement dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of giving back. She has traveled the world promoting her motivational message of social change through philanthropy. “I wanted to do more than tell people what was going on. I wanted to provide solutions to what was going on,” she says of MMRW.
A co-founder of MVP Foundation, “an organization that creates programming that raises money and awareness to benefit Tulsa inner-city youth,” Fleming says it’s easy to promote a culture of giving, but people often don’t know where to start.
“I have three pieces of advice for people who want to give back: 1. Volunteer! People think if they can’t write the big checks, they can’t make a difference…that’s not true. Those volunteer hours save foundations money. Resources that foundations would normally have to pay for out of pocket could be offered by people volunteering. It’s easy to do and it doesn’t have to be 20 hours a week. One hour can make a huge difference; 2. Give with style. As much as possible, shop some of the products that are giving back. Many of them are products that a lot of us are already using anyway such as MAC, Cover Girl and Lush. There are so many major brands offering products that allow you to shop and do good. Educate yourself about them and spearhead awareness. The money you spend on these products helps various causes. 3. No act of kindness is too small. There are organizations that are making it easy for you to donate. Your dollar can go further than you may think. For example, at my local food bank, one dollar equals four meals for people in need.”
When it comes to philanthropy, Fleming stresses the importance of education and research. “I encourage people to educate themselves about how they can make a difference,” she explains. “I like to know about the products that I promote. I do my research. My reporter hat goes on and I start Googling brands. Once it’s on your radar, you would be surprised just how many different ways you can give back!”