C’mon, Rise Up

RiseUPThis Friday I am planting my heels firmly back into the world of television, a medium from which I have been absent exactly 1,008 days. And I am hoping you’ll join me as I do something I’ve never done before in a journalism career spanning 33 years behind the camera: I am stepping in front of the camera, as the host of my own talk show!

IMG_3202This is something I have dreamed of for decades, as far back as high school, when I was a newscaster of sorts, reading the morning announcements, and truth be told I also hosted an after-school game show featuring student contestants. Scroll down to the very bottom to see the photo proof!

This program is a 30-minute talk show, Rise UP with Dawn Ennis, and there are two ways to watch: on West Hartford Community Television, WHC-TV, which is Channel 5 on Comcast in West Hartford, Conn. Or for most of you, it’ll be available on YouTube. 

The premiere is Friday, March 10, at 9pm EST, and it will be repeated. Like, a lot.

IMG_3203.jpgMy first guest is Sarah Hambrick, a member of the board of the League of Women Voters of Greater Hartford, who will talk with me about how to do more than just get angry at how our government is run. We’ll discuss the first steps you can take toward political activism and getting involved in civic government, and we’ll chat about a cause that is near and dear to her heart, the aid to the dying bill.

Another topic of interest is the West Hartford education budget, which could mean drastic cuts at our community’s schools.

I attended a standing-room-only meeting Tuesday night with my daughter to hear the plan as it was laid out. Even if you don’t live in our community you’ll be stunned at the draconian measures that are being proposed in these financially-fraught times. IMG_3302

Find out how and where to have your voice heard!

And a group called Swing Left is organizing residents here and across the nation to work toward winning back the House of Representatives for Democrats. More than 60 people crammed into a neighbor’s home Saturday to discuss the strategy for turning a congressional district from red to blue.


17097385_10104787035863560_7445098005010915154_oIf that’s a movement you’d like to know more about, I’ve got the inside scoop.

I’ll also be joined from Los Angeles by transgender advocate Hannah Simpson, a writer, activist, and outspoken woman who I have been fortunate to mentor and who provided rocksteady support during the most challenging time of my life.

Hannah is a firecracker, and I’m honored to introduce you to her as she shares with us her own story of activism and the causes near and dear to her heart.

My hope is to introduce you to different voices each episode, who can share their stories about getting off the couch and into the world. You’re not going to change anything unless you RiseUP!

Oh, and we’ll talk a little bit about me, too, to inform viewers who don’t know who I am, and those who wonder why on earth I have a talk show. Hey, I know how you feel!


And if you watch, I’ll also explain where I got the title of the program, RiseUP, which is from a line of a very personally meaningful song by one of my all-time favorite rock musicians. Can you guess who and what song? Let me know in the comments, or click here to send me a tweet! 

Thank you in advance for watching and please do share the link when it goes live. You’ll find it on the RiseUP with Dawn page on Facebook, here, and please follow the show on Twitter, too!


P.S. As promised, here’s that photo of me the last time I hosted a television program!


It was taken in the very early 1980’s at WCHS-TV, Channel 6, the Chaminade High School television station on Long Island. And not only did this yearbook photo appear in black and white, but so were all the programs of that era!

Wow, this must be a staged shot, because if I appeared on TV with my collar unbuttoned and my tie not tied, I would surely have earned a green slip, and probably detention!