The True 100 sat down for an exclusive interview with “The DL Hughley Show” co-host and Foster Care advocate Jasmine Sanders. The award-winning media personality got candid about her awkward first encounter with the original King of Comedy and shared her mission for Foster Care Awareness Month.
The media maven and youth mentor is a multi-media powerhouse with years of experience under her belt. She currently dominates the airwaves alongside comedian, actor, and radio host DL Hughley as co-host of the top-ranked, nationally syndicated “The DL Hughley Show.”
Sanders has a compelling story of success going from foster care and being a teenage mother, to surviving sexual and domestic abuse, to creating a platform for her to mentor and motivate women and foster children all over the world. Jasmine took some time out to speak to us before going on air to tell us about how she got her start in media and how she uses her personal experience of being adopted to help create awareness and break stigmas around foster care and adoption.
TT1: How has the effect of the show changed since partnering with TV One?
“We have a much larger audience that allows us to penetrate even more markets than we were from a radio perspective. It’s also good for people to see us behind the scenes. For 6 years they only heard our voices. Now people are familiar with other team members aside from DL.”
TT1: How did you get started in media?
“I went to school for media and decided the station I wanted to work at after graduation. I stayed focus for years while noting what strategically made sense for my next move. I kind of bounced around. I was determined to get to New York.”
TT1: What challenges did you face?
“It was rough but you have to be your biggest cheerleader. You owe it to your family and friends to do your best. Even when you feel like giving up. You have to think about who fuels you because you owe it to them and you really owe it to yourself. At the end of my life, I want to say everything that did not happen to me was in my hand. “
TT1: What do you say to someone doubting themselves for how long their process is taking?
“Throw it away. Everything will not happen in your time and for good reason. You may think that you’re ready. You’re not. I can wish for summer all year long, but summer ain’t coming until it’s ready. You may think you’re ready but your heart ain’t right. Your mind isn’t right. Your patience isn’t right. When the time is right, it’ll happen. Especially for women. So many outside societal standards put pressure on women and it’s very difficult. “
“Walk away with knowing you’re right where you need to be when you need to be. We spend so much time stressing over insecurities and it will only get you wrinkles and gray hair.”
TT1: What’s it like working with DL Hughley and how did you become his cohost?
“It’s amazing. It’s more than I ever thought it would be. I used to not like him years ago because of a misunderstanding. It shows you that you have to get to know someone and not judge them at that moment.
“Years I ago I opened a show for him and when I got off stage I went up to him and said Hi but he kind of snubbed me. At the time I didn’t realize that he was actually getting in his moment preparing to perform on stage. Who knew years later I would end up being his co-host?! “
“At first, I rolled my eyes when I got the call. But when we met we sat down it was the night of the Trayvon verdict and it was a game changer. I realized I had judged him poorly. He told me I was the one. It’s one of the biggest lessons of my life. I’ve learned so much from him. I had lost a bit of my journalistic instinct, but he reminded me of the importance of researching stories. At the same time, he cracks me every day. Other days I want karate chop him in the throat. It’s a roller coaster but it’s so much fun.”
TT1: Who’s the wildest guest you’ve had on the show?
“Michael Rapport came in like a train. I knew he was outspoken from social media, but he came in like that and left like that. He was like on a million eighty! We had to match his energy. It was interesting to see someone almost outtalk DL.”
“When John Sally came on the show he had so much knowledge on food and nutrition as a vegan. It was very insightful. And Matt Barnes is very smart and very engaged in politics and I honestly didn’t expect that from him.”
TT1: Meagan Goode recently went viral for her interview where she said judgemental Christians have pushed her away from the church. What is your take on that?
“I understood exactly where she was coming from but I never heard a celebrity say it. I have watched people drag her even though she always had the image a woman is supposed to have of finding a good man and waiting until marriage. But she still gets crucified by the church. It shows the contradictions of the church.”
“We often forget that it’s about your personal relationship as opposed to what the image the church has built up of what you should be. The church does to people what happened to Jesus. I felt empathy for her in that moment and I was proud of her. In spite of that, she still has not lost faith.”
TT1: We know you do a lot of work around foster care awareness. Please share your plans to raise awareness about foster care issues during National Foster Care Month.
“I am pushing my #adoptionwinning. Just because you’ve been adopted or in foster care doesn’t mean you can’t win. I’m really trying to push the fact that we should be concerned about this issue of children caught up in a system that is not working for them. Get involved in mentorship or spread the word to a lot of women considering adoption. Educate yourself and get involved. We see other things trend online why not make this go viral. Majority of foster kids are black. It doesn’t cost anything to love.”
TT1: What advice do you have for people struggling with not knowing who their biological parents are?
“This question makes me think about “The Wiz” because I’m a lot like Diana Ross in that movie. I had everything with my adoptive parents. I tried to go to NYC to find the Wiz when the Wiz was at home the entire time.”
“Finding my biological parents did not change the fact that my adoptive parents made me who I am today. You have to respect the sacrifices that are made when the person that birthed you knew they couldn’t provide for you. Don’t judge the love that was put in you. Be thankful and grateful and respect what you have. It’s okay to search but don’t go searching for the Wiz. Just ask Dorothy. She realized there is no place like home.”
“I realized the people who loved me the most were already there from day one.”