Jasmine Gray


Golden Women Main Scholarship Winner

Pursuing Ph.D. in Communication, Narrative Medicine Professor

University of North Carolina

Chapel Hill

Why continuing an education is so important to her:

I have survived over 40 surgeries for a rare craniofacial condition called Arteriovenous Malformation. It has transformed not only my life but my physical facial features including three skin flaps and an upcoming mandibular bone graft. Over the years, storytelling became my solace, helping me overcome through learning how to express my pain through writing and film. After degrees in Journalism and Production respectively, I spent five years in Los Angeles, one of the most superficial cities in the world, honing my skills. Now, I am devoted to continuing my education, so that I can conduct empirical research on how entertainment and narrative can be used to improve emotional wellbeing for those struggling with trauma and health challenges. I look forward to transforming the lives of others by work, particularly disadvantaged communities including those with illnesses and disabilities.

Jasmine proudly supports:

Jaz's Jammies where she is Founder/CEO. http://jazsjammies.org

Paramount Pictures: Ad Hoc Health Committee, Corporate Responsibility Volunteer Crew and the Black Employee Affinity Team.

Jasmine, what does the term “Golden Women” mean to you?

“For me, Golden Women are women tested by fire. We have face trials - illness, lost loved ones, failures, and disappointments. We have endured pain. Yet we have refused to allow the heat of our challenges to destroy us. Instead, we have learned that, if we stand faithfully in the midst of our obstacles, our challenges transform into opportunities for growth. The things that could have caused us to melt have simply made us glow. What a treasure we are - golden women..”

Jasmine, describe something that is plaguing young women today and explain what can be done to turn it around? What can you do to help?

“One serious issue plaguing young women is the unrealistic societal standards of beauty and identity that are decimated through the media. As someone who has worked in TV and Film both in marketing and in production and now researches entertainment, I have a unique understanding of the media's role (along with family, peers, and other social institutions) in reinforcing stifling stereotypes that women often internalize. As a black female scholar, my research on identity and stigmatization builds upon the classic work of white male scholars like Erving Goffman by using a critical cultural lens to question their assumptions and rework their theory in an intersectional way (including methodology, sampling, and findings). I intend for the research I conduct - including in-depth interviews, ethnography and collaborative participatory research (e.g. photo voice) - to allow women to share their voices and and inform both those in academia and the media industry about their meaning-making processes and the effects of media content.”