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Denise Rolark-Barnes

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Information about Denise Rolark-Barnes

Profile image of Denise Rolark-Barnes

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Newspaper Publishing Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere Warm
Favorite Quote:
Keep Hope Alive. If It's To Be, It's Up To Me.

Birthplace

Born:
12/26/1954
Birth Location:
Washington, District of Columbia

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Newspaper Publishing Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere Warm
Favorite Quote:
Keep Hope Alive. If It's To Be, It's Up To Me.

Birthplace

Born:
12/26/1954
Birth Location:
Washington
See how Denise Rolark-Barnes is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Newspaper publisher Denise Rolark-Barnes was born in Washington, D.C. Her father, Dr. Calvin W. Rolark, Sr., was the founder and the editor of the The Washington Informer; her stepmother, Wilhelmina J. Rolark, a politician and activist, served on the Council of the District of Columbia from 1976 to 1984. Rolark-Barnes was interested in writing at a young age and first wrote for the The Washington Informer while she was in middle school. After graduating from Howard University in 1976 with her B.A. degree in communications, Rolark-Barnes enrolled in the Howard University School of Law where she became editor of The Barrister, the law schools’ student newspaper. Rolark-Barnes graduated from the Howard University School of Law with her J.D. degree in 1979.

In 1980, Rolark-Barnes joined the staff of The Washington Informer and was assigned as the newspaper’s managing editor. After working with her father, Dr. Calvin W. Rolark, she took over as publisher of The Washington Informer in 1994. Rolark-Barnes also served as the director of The Washington Informer Charities and is the executive producer of “The Washington Informer News,” a bi-weekly television news program. In addition, she is the host of “Let’s Talk,” a public affairs program, and “Reporter’s Roundtable.” Rolark-Barnes has appeared as a guest reporter on “The Tavis Smiley Show,” “Tony Brown’s Journal,” NBC-4’s “Reporter’s Notebook,” and several local radio and television programs.

Rolark-Barnes is the president of the District of Columbia chapter of AARP and is a member of the board of the National Newspaper Publishers Association and the United Black Fund, Inc. She is actively involved with the District of Columbia Black Public Relations Society Foundation, the Historical Society of Washington, D.C., and several other community non-profit organizations. Through The Washington Informer Charities, Rolark-Barns sponsors the annual Washington Informer City-Wide Spelling Bee as well as internships and writing competitions for high school and college students interested in pursuing careers in journalism.

In March of 2008, Rolark-Barnes was honored by the National Newspaper Publishers Association with the Chrysler Financial/National Newspaper Publishers Association Foundation Entrepreneurial Award, which recognizes the nation’s black-owned newspapers for their entrepreneurial accomplishments and commitments to community service. In 2011, she received the Jack and Lovell Olender Foundation Generous Heart Award and the Summit Health Institute for Research and Education (SHIRE) Community Champion Award.

Rolark-Barnes lives in the Washington, D.C. with her husband, Lafayette Barnes. They have two sons.

Denise Rolark-Barnes was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 7, 2013.

See how Denise Rolark-Barnes is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Denise Rolark-Barnes' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Denise Rolark-Barnes lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Denise Rolark-Barnes describes her maternal family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Denise Rolark-Barnes talks about Holly Springs, Mississippi
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Denise Rolark-Barnes talks about discovering her maternal ancestors from Cameroon via DNA tests
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Denise Rolark-Barnes talks about her mother's education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Denise Rolark-Barnes describes her paternal family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Denise Rolark-Barnes describes her father's education and military service
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Denise Rolark-Barnes talks about her father's job at the Pentagon
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Denise Rolark-Barnes describes how her parents met
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Denise Rolark-Barnes describes the history of U Street in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Denise Rolark-Barnes describes her father's leadership in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Denise Rolark-Barnes describes her father's founding of the United Black Fund
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Denise Rolark-Barnes describes the United Black Fund's international projects
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Denise Rolark-Barnes talks about the establishment of the Washington Informer in 1964
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Denise Rolark-Barnes explains why she did not attend the March on Washington as a child
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Denise Rolark-Barnes remembers working at the Washington Informer as a child
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Denise Rolark-Barnes describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Denise Rolark-Barnes talks about her parents' divorce
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Denise Rolark-Barnes remembers attending Shiloh Baptist Church and living at Rhode Island Plaza as a child
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Denise Rolark-Barnes describes growing up in Northeast Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Denise Rolark-Barnes describes the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Denise Rolark-Barnes shares her elementary school memories
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Denise Rolark-Barnes remembers participating in her school's spelling bee
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Denise Rolark-Barnes describes her favorite teachers
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Denise Rolark-Barnes recalls a racist teacher and the racial composition of her elementary school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Denise Rolark-Barnes remembers meeting Civil Rights Movement leaders
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Denise Rolark-Barnes describes attending Rabaut Junior High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Denise Rolark-Barnes recalls learning of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Denise Rolark-Barnes describes cultural changes following Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Denise Rolark-Barnes talks about her favorite subjects and activities at Rabaut Junior High School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Denise Rolark-Barnes talks about writing a column for the Washington Informer
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Denise Rolark-Barnes describes her tasks at the Washington Informer as a child
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Denise Rolark-Barnes describes the operations of the Washington Informer
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Denise Rolark-Barnes describes attending Calvin Coolidge High School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Denise Rolark-Barnes talks about her decision to attend Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Denise Rolark-Barnes describes attending Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Denise Rolark-Barnes talks about her political activity at Howard University in Washington, D.C. in 1974
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Denise Rolark-Barnes describes HistoryMaker Marion Barry
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Denise Rolark-Barnes describes the Washington, D.C. school district
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Denise Rolark-Barnes talks about African Liberation Day in 1974, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Denise Rolark-Barnes talks about African Liberation Day in 1974, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Denise Rolark-Barnes describes her professors at Howard University in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Denise Rolark-Barnes talks about Howard University radio and television
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Denise Rolark-Barnes describes writing for the Hilltop, Howard University's newspaper
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Denise Rolark-Barnes talks about her desire to attend law school
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Denise Rolark-Barnes describes attending Howard University School of Law
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Denise Rolark-Barnes talks about becoming editor of the Barrister, Howard University School of Law's newspaper
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Denise Rolark-Barnes describes covering U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall's keynote speech at Howard University School of Law
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Denise Rolark-Barnes recalls her internship at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Denise Rolark-Barnes describes her decision to work for the Washington Informer instead of becoming a communications lawyer
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Denise Rolark-Barnes recalls the stories she covered for the Washington Informer in the early 1980s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Denise Rolark-Barnes talks about when the Hanafi Muslims took over buildings in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Denise Rolark-Barnes talks about social problems in Washington, D.C. in the 1980s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Denise Rolark-Barnes describes the twentieth anniversary of the March on Washington in 1983
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Denise Rolark-Barnes describes Washington Informer photographer, Sam Courtney
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Denise Rolark-Barnes describes local politics in Washington, D.C. in the 1980s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Denise Rolark-Barnes talks about the crack epidemic in Washington, D.C. in the 1980s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Denise Rolark-Barnes talks about the rise of violence in Washington, D.C. in the 1980s, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Denise Rolark-Barnes talks about the rise of violence in Washington, D.C. in the 1980s, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Denise Rolark-Barnes comments on the emergence of go-go music in the early 1980s
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Denise Rolark-Barnes talks about why violence decreased in Washington, D.C. from the 1980s, pt. 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Denise Rolark-Barnes talks about why violence decreased in Washington, D.C. from the 1980s, pt. 2
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Denise Rolark-Barnes describes her journalistic philosophy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Denise Rolark-Barnes describes her concerns for the black community, pt. 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Denise Rolark-Barnes describes her concerns for the black community, pt. 2
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Denise Rolark-Barnes describes her work in television
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Denise Rolark-Barnes describes the Washington Informer's staff
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Denise Rolark-Barnes talks about the Washington Informer's financial challenges
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Denise Rolark-Barnes talks about her pride in the Washington Informer's support of the Scripps National Spelling Bee
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Denise Rolark-Barnes talks about her pride in the Washington Informer
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Denise Rolark-Barnes describes black papers in Washington, D.C
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Denise Rolark-Barnes talks about creating a digital edition of The Washington Informer
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Denise Rolark-Barnes reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Denise Rolark-Barnes describes her concerns for Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Denise Rolark-Barnes talks about her family's involvement in the Washington Informer
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Denise Rolark-Barnes talks about the National Association of Black Journalists
  • Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Denise Rolark-Barnes talks about HistoryMaker Wilhelmina Rolark
  • Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Denise Rolark-Barnes describes how she would like to be remembered