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Karen Holmes Ward

2014 Speaker

Karen Holmes Ward is the director of public affairs and community services for WCVB-TV Channel 5. She is also host and executive producer of “CityLine,” WCVB-TV’s award-winning weekly magazine program which addresses the accomplishments, concerns and issues facing people of color living in Boston and its suburbs. Many notables including Oscar winners Octavia Spencer and Denzel Washington and Oscar nominees Taraji P. Henson, Oprah Winfrey, Louis Gossett and Quvenzhane Wallis have been interviewed by Holmes Ward for “CityLine.”  The program has been a recipient of the Associated Press Massachusetts/Rhode Island Best Public Affairs Program and numerous Emmy nominations.

Ward also oversees WCVB’s public service and community outreach efforts including the station’s work on “Extreme Makeover: My Hometown,” raising awareness about the need for affordable housing in the Greater Boston area, and WCVB’s first-of-its-kind web-based initiative, Commonwealth 5. This on-line project promotes philanthropy by matching viewer-donors with non-profits via the Internet. CommonWealth 5 was nominated for a National Emmy award.  Ward served as executive producer for “Return to Glory,” a one-hour prime-time documentary hosted by Emmy Award-winning actor Andre Braugher about the famed Massachusetts 54th Regiment. “Return to Glory” was syndicated nationally and seen in over 80% of the country.

A graduate of Boston University’s School of Public Communications (now COM) , Ward has received numerous awards for her work in the community including the Boston Jaycees Ten Outstanding Young Leaders award, National Association of Black Journalists Region I  Journalist of the Year, Big Sister of Greater Boston Achievement award, Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts President’s award, Women of Courage and Conviction award from the Greater Boston Section National Council of Negro Women, Inc. and many others. @karenholmesward