Decoding DEI: Living his legacy

How new graduate Jamari Sims made Moore Hall T.V. history

Senior Jamari Sims relaxes on the couch in the Moore Hall T.V. studios on the first floor off Moore Hall. Sims, the host of 'The Jamari Show' made history as CMU's first Black student to have his own campus show.

What started as a duo show with a friend has turned into a production that made history at Central Michigan University. Jamarius Sims, a broadcasting major, is the first Black student to create and host his own T.V. show on campus. 

Originally wanting to be a reporter, Sims said that he had no interest in becoming a content creator while he was in high school. 

It was not until the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic that Sims began dabbling in video creation. Four years later, he has a show that is proud of.

“I feel like there (are) not as many of us on campus, so I feel like we have to do more to get our voices heard,” Sims said of the Black community on campus. 

It wasn't always an easy journey. 

Sims chose CMU because of the broadcasting program. He had no previous knowledge that the university was a predominately white campus until a friend mentioned it to him. According to Central Michigan University's enrollment reports, the university's Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) student body stood at 2,681 at the end of the fall 2023 semester.  That accounts for about 18.6 percent of the 14,423 total student population. 

However, Sims said he wanted to put himself out there and do his business. Sims has a big and extroverted personality that helped him find a sense of community and friends that he can rely on. 

Still, he said he feels like he must work two times harder to get what he wants. 

With "The Jamari Show" Sims aimed to influence others to pursue their goals, no matter the challenges that they may face.  

“The hardest part in life is taking the first step,” he said.  

The show was an idea just last school year. He and close friend Michael France came up with the  idea for a duo show that was inspired by former football player Shannon Sharpe’s talk show. 

However, a few weeks went by, and the plans changed. France suggested that Jamari have his own show because of the energy that he could bring to it. That same night, Sims started jotting down ideas for the show, and it was set in motion. 

Senior Jamari Sims poses on the spiral staircase in the Moore Hall T.V. studios on the first floor off Moore Hall. Sims and made CMU history as the first Black student to host his own campus T.V. show. 

France has been a big supporter of "The Jamari Show" and it means the world to Sims.

“Having a person that believes in you like that is crazy,” Sims said with a laugh.

He said creating a show from scratch is not easy work.

The hardest part was scheduling and getting a team together. Finding people who were just as committed and could make it work was one of the many challenges that the show faced. 

"The Jamari Show" was a variety show that talked about sports, films and other pop culture topics. Sims said he aimed to build a community where the viewers could get away from their lives and just enjoy something fun. 

“People had their own schedules and would agree to do it, but then back out or realize that they can’t actually do it,” he said. 

However, Sims found a team of dedicated people who were as passionate about the project as he was. Without the team and support system, he said, "The Jamari Show"  wouldn't have existed.  

He confessed that he was beyond nervous right before they went live that first time. 

“I chugged a bottle of water, but the minute they said that we were on in 30, my mouth dried up,” Sims said. 

He still cannot believe that he has made history, but said it was worth all the challenges and struggles of building the show to make that precedent possible. 

“After we got done, it felt like I won a trophy or a championship,” a laughing Sims said. 

With his time ending at Central Michigan University, Sims plans to move to Atlanta and make his mark on the city. Having family there helps: Sims has visited often and enjoys the atmosphere of the city. 

However, Atlanta is just a pit stop on Sim's journey. Hollywood is the big goal. He aspires to have his own late-night talk show that brings back models like "The Oprah Winfrey Show." 

“I just want to leave a legacy for other Black students, male or female, to say that ‘Hey if you want to create a show, go do it,'” he said

Hailey Urbane asw in the Journalism 445 capstone class that contributed to this series. A graduate of the Class of 2024, she was also a staff photographer for Central Michigan Life.