Independent TV/Film Producer, Social Impact Developer & Community Engagement Consultant
Robin is the CEO and Executive Producer of SoulTouch Productions, a television and film production, youth mentorship and media consulting company, with a mission to make meaningful media and produce powerful social impact experiences. The business of SoulTouch and Robin’s personal commitment is to plant seed of hope in young people and present “Visions of Possibilities”.
She is the founder and curriculum developer of the “Lovin’ the Skin I’m In” (Lovin’) Hope & Healing Movement, a SoulTouch partnership initiative for youth, inspired by Sharon G. Flake’s book The Skin I’m In. The movement explores societal standards of beauty and media influences on self-esteem and identity, for eight years hundreds of young people locally, nationally and internationally have experienced Lovin’. SoulTouch recently executive produced a music video “Good Morning” by Lia Renee Dior, which serves as the anthem for Lovin’ (Youtube- SoulTouch Productions Good Morning). Robin has coordinated Lovin’ events featuring Ms. Flake, A Girl Like Me award-winning New York filmmaker Kiri Davis and actor, writer and director Kimberly Elise. The Lovin’ Movement is featured in the Itasca Project and TPT documentary, Close the Gap: Race Disparities and Robin recently contributed an article to the Minnesota Women’s Press. In six year partnership with EMID, Lovin’ engages girls in schools representing 13 urban and suburban membership school districts. At Battle Creek Middle School in St. Paul, Lovin’ was piloted as an English credit course during the 2011-12 academic year. Due to its success, the program returned for the 2012-13 year. Last October Robin co-presented about the partnership and program impact at the National Courageous Conversations Summit in San Antonio, TX. St. Paul Parks and Rec. will be adding Lovin’ to their summer programming. SoulTouch produced a short video for Ms. Flake’s book, You Don’t Even Know Me, which is a collection of poems and short stories about young urban males (YouTube). She also developed the book’s discussion guide for Disney Publishing.
Robin’s film work includes the HBO mini-series, Laurel Avenue and Emmy and NAACP Image Award nominated Half Past Autumn: The Life and Work of Gordon Parks, a documentary on the life of her great-uncle. She worked with HBO on the film’s national community and educational outreach. ESSENCE magazine’s June 2006 issue features a tribute to Mr. Parks, who died in March 2006, written by Robin. In 2011, the Minnesota Council on Black Minnesotans and the Minnesota Humanities Center awarded SoulTouch a Humanities Legacy grant to develop “In the Footsteps of Gordon Parks”, a youth development initiative and celebration of his legacy. Robin was recently featured in TPT’s Lost Twin Cities III, which featured a segment about Parks’ fashion photography experience with Frank Murphy’s boutique in St. Paul (YouTube). “Walking in the Footsteps of Gordon Parks” was the theme of her Black History Month keynote address at the City of St. Paul and Ramsey County 2012 celebration (YouTube). In November 2012, SoulTouch in partnership with numerous community, corporate and philanthropic organizations, hosted a Gordon Parks Centennial Celebration and Film Festival, which was held at the MN History Center and the St. Anthony Main Theater featuring special guest, actor/producer Richard Roundtree (SHAFT).
“Taking Our Place… Center Stage” is an Ordway Center and SoulTouch partnership commitment, which will more deeply engage community members of African descent in organizational wide opportunities. Robin works with The Ordway Center’s production, marketing and community/education engagement programs, which include Broadway, music and dance programming. Robin has worked with VocalEssence as a consultant and WITNESS artist and the Walker Art Center on various community events, which included a screening of HBO’s Jim Brown: All American by director Spike Lee.
The tell-a-vision Crew and CHOICE of Weapons (inspired by Parks’ autobiography) projects are SoulTouch social development initiatives, which engage youth in a multi-media making and community building. “My Living Won’t Be I Vain: African American Organ Donation”, was produced by SoulTouch for LifeSource and Southside Community Health Service for broadcast on TPT.
January 2011, Robin delivered the keynote address for the 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Governor’s Commission on the Martin L. King Jr. Holiday (YouTube/Robin Hickman). She represents the month of May in the 5th Anniversary Issue of the Minnesota African American Heritage Calendar. Robin and SoulTouch have received numerous award’s, including Mpls.-St. Paul Chapter of the LINKS, Inc. Distinguished Women Award (2013), MN Black Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award (2009), Neighborhood Development Center’s Paul and Shelia Wellstone 2009 Small Business of the Year, Big Brothers/Big Sisters HOPE Award (2005) and St. Paul Chamber of Commerce Vision Award. SoulTouch is a member of the MN Black Chamber of Commerce and Robin serves on the boards of the St. Paul YWCA, St. Paul Neighborhood STAR, IFP Minnesota Media Arts Center, MN Museum of American Art and is a founding member of the Minnesota African American Museum.
Robin worked many years at Twin Cities Public Television (TPT) as Executive Producer of Community Affairs Programming. She developed and managed local and national public affairs programming, documentaries and community outreach initiatives, including national award winning Don’t Believe the HYPE (Emmy), HOOP Dreams Reunion (NAACP Image Award nominee), HOOP Dreams/Chrysler HOOP Dreams Challenge (national educational and community outreach initiative) and From Corrections to Community, a documentary co-produced by residents of Redwing Correctional Facility. She has served on many national media arts review panels and has presented at numerous national convenings, including PBS conferences. Robin also worked with many public broadcasting initiatives, including work with Bill Moyer’s Public Affairs Productions, POV’s RACE Initiative, the National Black Programming Consortium and PBS’s Act Against Violence campaign. In 1994 she served as a U.S. delegate to the “Right to Communicate and the Communication of Rights” in Cape Town, Africa. Robin began her media career as a teen producing and hosting community media programs at KUXL Radio, Black Women in the Metro Area for ICYL Productions and as an on-air reporter at KSTP-TVinterviewing R&B artists George Clinton and Evelyn “Champagne” King.After college she worked in Public Affairs Programming at WCCO-TV and as the host of NAACP Forum on KSTP-TV.
Robin is a native of and resides in St. Paul, Minnesota. She participates in worship at Camphor United Methodist Church. Robin graduated of St. Paul Central High School and received a B.A. in Communications from Howard University, Washington, DC. Robin has traveled throughout the U.S., Mexico, the Caribbean and Africa. One of her greatest passion is her multicultural doll collection, which she uses in motivational presentations to inspire creativity, positive self-esteem and promote cultural diversity. Her collecting journey and artistry has been featured in the Huffington Post, the Star Tribune newspaper, the Mpls/ St. Paul Magazine, on HGTV and Minnesota Public Radio (MPR). Her original doll hats were displayed at the Guthrie Theater during its presentation of the play “Crowns”.