Department of Pan-African Studies
5151 State University Dr. Los Angeles
King Hall C3095
Phone (323) 343-2290
Fax (323) 343-5485
Denise F. “Penni” Wilson
From Pittsburgh, PA, Denise “Penni” Wilson attended the University of Pittsburgh while also performing with a recording group that enjoyed several tri-state hits, garnering performances at various large arenas along the east coast. Relocating, to Los Angeles during her junior year, to pursue her music, Penni would perform in France, Italy, in the Caribbean and domestically, including for the likes of Julian Bond and Bill Clinton and on television shows such as Jay Leno and the Grammies.
Growing disillusioned with the disempowering characteristics of the entertainment industry for women, specifically black women, she decided to complete her BA in Pan African Studies and then her MA in TV, Film and Media Studies at CSULA, especially focusing on race, class and gender in U.S. media. Shortly thereafter, her academic mentor, Dr. Kelly Madison, encouraged her to teach “Race and Justice in Mass Media”. For that quarter, summer, 2004, she was selected “best part time instructor” by the department of Communication Studies.Penni now teaches for the PAS department as well as for the Summer and Transfer Bridge programs for EOP. She is a co-producer/alternate co-host of Pacifica radio’s “Beautiful Struggle” which airs on Tuesday at 7:00 pm on 90.7 FM, Los Angeles and 98.7 FM in Santa Barbara. Penni still performs with her sister in their vocal group “Crystal Penny”.