On June 18, Atlanta Greek Picnic weekend kicked off with “The Network,” at The Gathering Spot. Members of black Greek-letter organizations filled the bar area, conversing and exchanging business cards.
Francesca Amiker, a new entertainment anchor of 11 Alive News and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., hosted the event, alongside Sister Circle Live host Rashan Ali, who is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.
Following the event, Amiker chatted with The Atlanta Voice to shed light on why she joined her Greek-letter organization and how the organization has played a role in shaping her career in journalism.
Amiker hosts 11Alive News’ morning show, “Morning Rush,” on which she delivers the news of the day as well as the latest developments in Georgia’s tv, film and music industry.
Amiker joined the Delta Sigma Theta Inc. in spring 2010 during her time as an undergraduate at Vanderbilt University. She cites the organization’s five-point programmatic thrust as a shaping factor in not only her college experience but her life.
The programmatic thrust includes five main points that each of the organization’s initiatives falls under: educational development, economic development, international awareness and involvement, physical and mental health and political awareness and involvement.
For example, under the international awareness and involvement initiative, the sorority opened a maternity hospital in Kenya.
Despite the obvious societal benefits, there are unspoken, intrinsic advantages of each black Greek-letter organization, Amiker explained.
“There’s just something about a Delta woman,” she said. “We know who we are, we own our craft and we know where we’re going.”
That confidence beams through as she speaks. Further, Amiker has put together an extensive resume.
At Vanderbilt, she worked 12 internships, helped with the creation of Vanderbilt Television and graduated in the top 10 of her class. She was one of the youngest correspondents to report from the 63rd Emmy Awards red carpet and was hired two years in a row for the BET Hip Hop Awards’ black carpet.
Her accomplishments, however, were not enough to land her first full-time on-air job. For 13 months, Amiker was jobless. At this point in her life, what she cited as the biggest benefit of being a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. kicked in.
The seven sisters she gained in Spring 2010 served as her support system and her shoulder to cry on as she went through a depressing period in her life.
Her story serves as a testament to young journalists.
“If someone doesn’t hire you, don’t let that be the end all, be all,” she said. “It’s 2018. You can literally be the captain of your own ship by using your phone. Don’t wait for that news director to give you your shot.”
“These days people aren’t just hiring journalists,” she added. “They’re hiring brands and people that other people want to be associated with, so use your platform.”
Amiker said she believes her brand is centered on intelligence, quirkiness, and authenticity.
Amiker’s first on-air job was in Lansing, Michigan as a morning reporter. Following Lansing, she went to Jacksonville, Florida as a nightside reporter. She mostly reported crime stories but tried to carve out her own lane in entertainment whenever she got her chance.
Though she felt that covering hard news and investigative reporting was necessary to gain credibility in the field, she vowed after leaving Jacksonville to never do anything else that does not make her happy.
Amiker’s brand and her hard work landed her current job with 11 Alive News as an entertainment anchor. Within her first month at 11Alive News, she scored interviews with two of the industry’s top media players, Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey.