Cathy Hughes Returns to Howard University to Discuss Defying the Odds at ‘Trauma to Triumph’ Screening

Cathy Hughes Screening 03-2022

WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, March 23, Howard University students gathered for a screening of “Trauma to Triumph: The Rise of the Entrepreneur,” featuring media mogul, Cathy Hughes. Following the inspirational screening, Hughes, the namesake of the Cathy Hughes School of Communications and former general manager of WHUR, participated in a fireside chat with John H. Johnson Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship James Rhee to share her story of entrepreneurship and perseverance.  

“My family has a mantra: ‘If you do good for other people, then God will do well by you.’ I think entrepreneurs make a big mistake when they do it for themselves,” Hughes said. “When you do it for the people who work for you or the people that you are servicing with a product or a service, that’s when you are really successful. We used to teach that being objective was the best thing. I think being the voice and the eyes for those who do not have the ability to do it for themselves should be the number one mission of anyone going into the communications industry.” 

Produced by Nan and Harold Klein, “Trauma to Triumph: The Rise of the Entrepreneur” highlights the traumatic experiences of women entrepreneurs to show how they used the power of entrepreneurship to overcome their demons. Hughes, the second most powerful African American woman in media and founder of Urban One, witnessed first-hand the impact of racism on her family from an early age. Despite the hate she received, Hughes began breaking barriers in elementary school by becoming the first Black graduate of the prestigious Duchene Academy.  

At the age of 17, Hughes accidentally became pregnant, leading those around her to declare her life “ruined.” Instead, she used this challenge to push herself to pursue a lifelong dream of radio, eventually building Radio One. “Trauma to Triumph: The Rise of the Entrepreneur” is distributed nationwide on PBS stations and the WORLD Channel. 

“I am so honored. To see this piece touched me so very deeply. Thank you, Nan and Harold. To see my life [on screen], particularly a few weeks before I turn 75, I’ve been doing this a long time,” said Hughes in reflection. 

To watch the full screening event, please visit Howard University’s YouTube channel


About Howard University 

Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 14 schools and colleges. Students pursue more than 140 programs of study leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced one Schwarzman Scholar, three Marshall Scholars, four Rhodes Scholars, 12 Truman Scholars, 25 Pickering Fellows and more than 165 Fulbright recipients. Howard also produces more on-campus African American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit

Media Contact: Aaliyah Butler;