Dr. Pam Chatman is a force to be reckoned with. Often called “The Rising New Oprah of the South”, Dr. Chatman has a larger-than-life personality. She is a woman who has kicked down doors and broken glass ceilings throughout her career and has brought about change and diversity while creating opportunities and making history.
Raised in Shaw, MS, just south of Cleveland and north of Indianola, she decided the best education for her was from an historic black college. She chose the first black college in the state of Mississippi, Rust College.
During her years at Rust College, she became a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications in 1993.
Her path led her to become Mississippi’s first black woman news director for WABG and WXVT in Greenwood, MS.
With a career in the news industry that spanned more than 20 years, Dr. Chatman has now set her mind and heart on helping people to create sustainable opportunities for the rural Mississippi Delta.
Better known as “Boss Lady”, Dr. Chatman formed Boss Lady Economic Planning and Development Workforce Transportation. “Boss Lady stands for Bold, Optimistic, Successful, Sister.
Through her various initiatives, she has been able to assist in creating over 3,000 plus workforce transportation jobs with sustainable salaries, benefits, and free transportation to and from work.
She has partnered with numerous Fortune 500 companies including Toyota, FedEx Express, Coca Cola, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Foundation of the Mid-South, Delta Bus Lines and FedEx Ground.
A community organizer and an activist in the Mississippi Delta, she used her voice and rallied everyone and every resource she had in her repertoire so she could continue to make changes and help those truly having difficulty during COVID 19 pandemic.
Although one of her recent undertakings veers slightly away from economic development, it does promote community. Dr. Chatman’s Vaccination Transportation Initiative is all about transporting Delta residents —who otherwise might not have access—to various COVID 19 vaccine sites.
Dr. Chatman continues to be a mentor, an author, a motivational speaker, and a leader. She is the recipient of numerous awards including The President Barack Obama Leadership Achieve Award and the Mississippi Civil and Human Rights Award. She has been named to the Top 50 Black Women on the Move and the Top 50 Women in Business. The State of Mississippi has named a stretch of Highway near Shaw in her honor.
Dr, Chatman never forgot her roots here at Rust College. She has committed to not only donate her time and resources to educate and encourage future media leaders, but also committed to donating $50,000 to the Rust College Broadcast Operations.
So, in short, Dr. Chatman has been an inspiration to many of her peers as well as young people who need guidance and encouragement to move beyond their fears and tears to a place of honor and commitment, they can be proud of.
On August 27th, 2022, we dedicate the Rust College Broadcast Operations in honor of Dr. Pam Chatman.