As an independent editor she provides a wide range of services for clients. She has worked on fiction and non-fiction book projects and both print-related and web-based content. Her writing experience includes published and contracted work in publicity, public relations, business, entertainment, health, spirituality, advertising and electoral campaigns. Many of her profiles, features, investigative news articles and arts reviews have been published in Essence, Black Issues Book Review, The Network Journal, The Amsterdam News, Our Time Press, Dance Attitude and other magazines and newspapers. She has been interviewed on cable television and many times on radio.
As a founder, along with veteran news anchor Melba Tolliver, of the annual program, “Heads Up! A Soulful Celebration of Our HAIRitage,” Ms. Angaza helps women of African ancestry to celebrate their natural beauty. This mission is also at the heart of the upcoming film, “In Our Heads about Our Hair,” for which she serves as co-producer.
In addition, Ms. Angaza has provided publicity services, public relations writing and speech-writing to a small roster of clients. Her most recent work has been on behalf of the ARTCURIAN project/gallery launch and the groundbreaking exhibition, “Artists Speaking for the Spirits.” She’s also done publicity writing for Circle of Sisters Expo, the International African Arts Festival, Arabesque Books and other concerns.
Ms. Angaza sits on the board of the Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival, which showcases the work of women of color filmmakers from around the world through an annual weekend conference and a few small events at other the times of the year. She also serves as a member of the board of African Voices Communications, which, along with publishing African Voices magazine, also offers several school-based and other literature-focused programs throughout the year and produces the annual Ellie Charles Artist Awards, which has honored people such as Toni Morrison, Gordon Parks, Nancy Wilson, Sonia Sanchez, Amiri Baraka, Walter Mosley and others.
As a member of the board of the Kalabash Food Coop, Ms. Angaza is helping to bring sustainable and affordable organic produce and other health-related items to the Central Brooklyn community. She is also a member of the Park Slope Food Coop’s Diversity and Equality Committee. As a founding member of Sumfriends, Ms. Angaza is dedicated to helping to secure financial support from the community for those facing health-related crises. She remains a proud founding member of Andsister, a collective that befriends and supports women in memory of remarkable friends who have made their transition. kwanzaabook.com
Nayaba is a multiple award-winning journalist. She is a three-time A. Philip Randolph Messenger award winner in the civil rights story category. The last three years she has won first place the New York Association of Black Journalists.
Nayaba has hosted radio shows in England: the BBC and KISS FM, and WBAI in New York. A published poet and short story writer, Nayaba enjoyed a radio career both in the UK and in US; and as an activist she is no stranger to rallies, protests and grassroots organizing for a host of issues.
After successfully battling breast cancer in 2007, Nayaba is now adjusting to living with MS and raising her two beautiful daughters.
She holds a degree in English/History and Education from Manchester University. “I love my work: bringing the information to the people, and advocating for our local, national and global community,” said Nayaba. “I feel blessed and privileged to be the editor of this historical newspaper. Imagine the rush-if you would, of not only being able to report the everyday news, but to be able tell stories like the journey and victory of the election of Barack Obama. The joy and pain is ours and we tell our stories in our way in the best way we can.”
As founder of The Parent’s Notebook, Aminisha developed The Self Esteem Project and Parents Empowered for Student Achievement (PESA), designing and facilitating workshops for parents, parent leaders and staff at the NYC Board of Education, Newark and Irvington, NJ public school systems, Save the Children, Inc., Child Development Support Corp., The Salvation Army, Manhattan Children’s Psychiatric Center, Pius XII and New York Mission Society – to name a few. In contract with United Way of New York City, she conducted a school-based parent involvement program in a Brooklyn Middle School, successfully increasing parent participation and training parent leaders.
As Education Director of the Parent Advocacy Center of Medgar Evers College, Aminisha coordinated parent trainings for public schools throughout the five boroughs of New York City. In that capacity, she developed the training curriculum and contracted consultants who delivered workshops on School Governance, School Report Cards, School Structure, Title 1 and School Wide Programs, Budgetary Effects on Student Learning, Group Dynamics, Stress and Time Management among other topics needed for effective advocacy.
Aminisha’s column The Parent’s Notebook can be read biweekly in Our Time Press. Earlier columns and articles have appeared in publications such as The Daily Challenge, Uptown Xpress, The Lefferts Place News, Essence Magazine, Kuji Magazine, Amsterdam news, The Beacon, The National leader and Single Black Parents. Aminisha’s public service announcements, Developing Self-Esteem in African-American Youth were aired daily on WLIB-AM – New York City.
Working with community youth she has organized Reading Clinics, Basketball and SCRABBLE tournaments in Brooklyn, NY and South Carolina. The Moses-Groce Memorial Basketball Tournament was launched in 1995 and in 2008 the Moses-Groce Word Power League introduced its SCRABBLE Showdown in Brooklyn.
Aminisha was an active member in The EAST organization and Vanguard Independent Democratic Association (VIDA). She served on the executive committees of parent groups at Uhuru Sasa, Al-Karim, Summit, Satellite East, Tilden and Boys and Girls H.S. She was elected to the county committee in the 56th Assembly District as well as CDA’s Area Policy Board (Fort Greene, Bklyn).
In the Lefferts Place Civic Association (LPCA) Aminisha was founding Editor/Publisher of The Lefferts Place News (1978-1999) and also held offices of Youth Committee Chair, vice-president and in 1994 was elected president of the revived block association and served until 1999. She is a current member of LPCA and the Pendleton Community Center in Pendleton, SC, her hometown.
Aminisha is the recipient of awards from Grace Agard Harewood Center (2009), Filomeno Family (2009), Bethel SDA Church Community Award (2008), Yusef Iman Memorial Unsung Hero Award (2007), NYS Assembly Proclamation (2007), Dedication to Education of Our Youth -Silver Spring Baptist Church, Pendleton, SC (2001), Asante Sana Award – EAST Family Kwanzaa Committee (2000), Sheroes Award – NYC Council (1999), Community Service Award – Women in Jazz (1999), Outstanding Community Activist (Lefferts Place Civic Association (1997), Essie Mae Niland “Reclaiming Our Community” Award (1995), Paul Robeson H.S. PTA (1993), Fannnie Lou Hamer Award-Center for Women’s Development, Medgar Evers College (1991) and numerous Certificates of Appreciation.
She has worked on many projects to increase the visibility of African-American artists in literature, film and art. In 1996, Carolyn co-produced a short film “Underground Voices” with Reg E. Gaines, the Tony-nominated writer of “Bring In ‘Da Noise, Bring In ‘Da Funk.” Footage from “Underground Voices” aired on the PBS special “I’ll Make Me A World.” She is also working on her first feature length documentary Imhotep Gary Byrd: The Drum Master, a portrait celebrating the pioneering radio show host/producer of “The Global Black Experience.” An unsung heroine, Carolyn is the founder the Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival & Lecture Series (www.reelsisters.org), an annual Brooklyn-based festival that highlights opportunities for women of color in the film industry. In 2010, Reel Sisters will be held from October 16-17 at the Kumble Theater (Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus). Editor Chris Gore lists Reel Sisters under the categories of Best Black Film Festivals and Best Film Festivals for Women in the Ultimate Film Festival Guide.
In 2008, Carolyn organized several public events and book discussions around Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God. The National Endowment for the Arts awarded African Voices a Big Read grant to promote the reading of Ms. Hurston’s classic novel, one of 16 books that are included in a national effort to encourage literary reading.
She is a behind-the-scenes newsmaker and organizer who has organized events with such prominent guests as Nobel prize-winning author Toni Morrison, actress/activist Ruby Dee, actor Laurence Fishburne, Mayor David Dinkins, Photographer Gordon Parks, poets Amiri Baraka and Sonia Sanchez, actress Phylicia Rashad and award-winning authors Walter Mosley and Wole Soyinka. She also helped design and organize former Comptroller Carl McCall’s popular “Empower Your Future: Savings & Investment Conference.”
Her dedication to public service and the arts has won her many awards including the Ageis Society’s African-American Achievement Award (2001), NAACP’s Women Making History Award (2000) and The Network Journal’s 40 Under 40 Award (1999).
In her free time, Carolyn enjoys reading, writing and traveling. She lives in Brooklyn with her soul mate and loving husband Carl Schmalenberger.
A lifelong bookworm, she learned to read at the age of three. She was part of a group of students who were tracked from 2nd grade through senior high. She attended Dunbar Elementary School (named after the great Black poet, Paul Lawrence Dunbar – “we used to recite all his poems!”), where students were required to keep scrapbooks on Black people no matter where they were in the world, and write about their accomplishments (or tragedies). “We were required to give a report on our clippings every week, and write a report on what their accomplishment (or problem) meant to us and to other Black people.” Along with her peers of “Talented Tenth Students (named for WEB DuBois philosophy), they studied Africa, the Caribbean and Black people worldwide. As part of their education, all the students had to perform for Negro History Week, write essays, or make speeches about why it was important to know Black history. “We sang ‘Negro Spirituals’ and sent contributions of 25 cents to Carter G. Woodson in Washington, DC to help with the preservation of the history of Negro Life and History (he was still living then)”.
Involved in the Civil Rights Movement from the age of 10, and Black Power Movements, from age 20, she has participated in sit ins, marches, demonstrations, protests, and other action oriented activities designed to bring parity to African Americans who have suffered under defacto and dejure slavery, From sitting at lunch counters, to being frozen out by air conditioners; to being dragged out of Spring Lake Park (Oklahoma amusement park that discriminated against African Americans); to being sprayed with bug spray, Ms. Wilson’s current views on racism is to recognize that it is alive and well thriving in America; Black people, like other races and nationalities, have to make their own progress because of and in spite of it, without being subservient to a standard or criteria that in the main insults us or depicts us as inferior.
Gloria attended Moon Jr. High School, named for Dr. E. C. Moon, Jr., the first Black Principal in Oklahoma City. With affinity for sciences – she excelled in biology, dissecting frogs, worms, hearts, etc.- and was an A student in History, Social Sciences, English, and Algebra. She admits to also having the worst case of acne that dogged her to her adulthood.
She graduated from Douglass Senior High School, (which was named after Frederick Douglass while he was still living). Douglass High, which is now nearly 125 years old, was founded by Black educators for Black students in Oklahoma City, prior to the Oklahoma Run, which stole land from the thousands of Black and Indian families that had resided there for decades. Douglas’ curriculum was on WEB DuBois’ talented tenth theory, was far ahead of what most others were learning in other schools throughout Oklahoma, Black or white. So much so that 95% of the students who graduated went to college; and 90% of those students were advanced placement students, and were able to begin their majors in their freshman year. Instead of separate but equal, Black education exceeded Oklahoma City Board of Education, to such an extent, Douglass High grads threatened to burn the school down rather than have it integrated with the lower level of education most whites received in their schools.
Emanating from a family of educators and doctors, Ms. Wilson broke ranks with the rest of her family and was the first to attend college outside of Oklahoma, choosing to attend Hampton University in Hampton VA, instead. Starting with a major in Cultural Anthropology, with a minor in Sociology, she was privileged to meet and interact with Margaret Mead, who served on the Board of Trustees for Hampton at the time. Ms. Wilson had the privilege of meeting the late Thurgood Marshall, who addressed the graduating senior class. She loved Hampton, her Home by the Sea, but unfortunately, owing to her long term involvement as a civil rights activist, she was expelled from Hampton for participating in a protest that locked the college president, Jerome Holland and some members of the administration in the administration building, after being denied permission to participate in the march on Selma, Alabama (Hampton students were told they would be immediately expelled if they participated).
She was recruited into Lincoln University, PA, for the same civil rights activism, and graduated with a major in Sociology, and double minor in African/African American (including East & West African Ethnology, Swahili (2 years). At Lincoln she was Peer Counselor to African Students from Non-independent African Nations (Angola, Mozambique, South Africa, Southwest Africa (Namibia); Congo. She was privileged to have met and taken special classes with Oliver O. Killens, Langston Hughes, and playwright Ron Milner, who was a protégé of Hughes at the time. But the big thrill of her life was to have met and sat at the feet of the great and charismatic Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. (shortly after his censureship from Congress). Dr. Charles V. Hamilton, co-author of Black Power (with Stokely Carmichael) was her mentor as well as her Political Science professor (Hamilton served as legal counsel for SNCC – the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee). She was a member of the Pan African Students Union, and was the first two co-eds on campus to get a “natural” which she still wears to signify her pride in her heritage as a Black woman. Ms. Wilson graduated from Lincoln University, BS Sociology.
Prior to moving to New York City, she served as employment development counselor with Manpower Inc, and the Philadelphia Employment Development Commission (City of Philadelphia), helping “hard-core unemployed people received the on-the-job-training to develop career track skills; and then provide permanent job placement.
She initially served as Director of Student Activities for students in the SEEK Program at CCNY; then later at Brooklyn College as academic counselor, providing stipends, non-matriculation opportunities, and motivational support for students, helping them make non-traditional decisions about career choices.
Though most call her a journalist, Ms. Wilson considers herself a feature writer instead. Beginning as a broadcast journalist in the 70’s while living in California, she quickly found that the mainstream media was not interested in portraying Black people in any light other than that which had already been stereotypically set in place. So after a few tries at serious media including working with KHJ-TV, KABC-TV, she tried her hand at production.
Starting as script secretary and production assistant to Norman Lear, one of her favorite comedic writer/producers on a production that was ahead of its time: The Baxters (which as ahead of its time by 15 years, dealing with drugs, homosexuality, chronic and fatal illness, education, with a comedic flair. Other productions credits included:: Detective School: One Flight UP; Garretts Girls (later known as The Facts of Life); King Kong (licensing and legal department); Different Strokes.
During her “Hollywierd” she realized that they in large measure shape the images Black kids see throughout the world, and began working with Black artists and writers to impact those images. Mamie Clayton, and her son Avery, had a collection of vintage Black movies dating back from the early 1900’s produced and written by Oscar Michaux; vintage cowboy movies such as Bronze Buckaroo (Herb Jeffries); God’s Trombones; Black and Tan Fantasy (Duke Ellington and Nina Mae McKinney), film festivals were held so that adults and youth alike could become aware of the great producers amongst us. Met the great Clarence Muse, actor, artist, speaker, who talked about Black Hollywood and TOBA (Tough on Black Artists).
During her stay in California, Gloria was elected Town Council Representative three terms in Altadena, CA, with a constituency 175,000 primarily African American residents. She is credited with having saved the northern portion of Altadena from the geographical, environmental and economic racism being visited upon them by the majority white Pasadena community which had tried to annex the unincorporated community in order to dump unwanted or undesirable elements in the majority Black areas. Neighbors included Nichelle Nichols, JiTu Kumbuka; Ivan Dixon, Letta Mbulu, (many other East Coast Blacks hiding out in the mountains trying to get over severe cultural shock of moving from New York to California).
Taking on the challenges of predatory zoning policies which would have turned a community park into a dumping ground and waste treatment plant in the middle of middle classed homes; educational apartheid, where schools in the African American communities were not receiving the services and materials other schools received in more affluent areas; transportation disconnect — where no public transportation was provided above a particular street; postal facility and other essential service closings — where the US Postal service was going to remove their services requiring residents to go to Pasadena to receive mail. As a result of her unorthodox methods in conjunction with her constituents, where she declared that if they wanted things changed, they had to show up when she called upon them, rather than waiting for her to do all the work, she had a 90% participation rate in hearings with zoning boards and LA County Board of Supervisors — causing the park to be restored, community center opened, and waste treatment center moved to outlying area; in addition to having the USPS construct two new postal facilities built and remodel the dilapidated one. Local schools received the upgrades, and regular visits by Ray Cortines, then superintendent of schools. She served on Prop A transportation committee for California.
Gloria got her first start as the journalist we know of today as a result of a series of letters she wrote in response to the escalating problems that were taking place in the Sudan in the mid 80’s. Initially the concern was about the distorted information coming out of the mainstream press. She wrote a series of letters to the Amsterdam News to the late Bill Tatum. She likewise wrote letters to Andrew Cooper’s City Sun, one of the more militant voices of the Black community of the day. She was hired by Carl Offerd to write small pieces for the New American, and later was asked by Kermit Eady, founder of the Black United Fund, to do a series of articles for the Metro Exchange. Simultaneously Ms. Wilson was serving as spokesperson and account executive for the Black United Fund of New York and addressing organizations and groups throughout the state in the pursuit of raising funds for the benefit and expansion of the Black Community to help itself. Somehow the column on BUFNY morphed into her becoming editor of the Metro Exchange, where she met Victoria Horsford and Audrey Bernard, two Black female journalists she admires greatly.
Gloria has been feature writer for The Daily Challenge News, The African Sun Times, Black Star News, The New American, Metro Exchange, The New York Beacon, Amsderdam News (special features), Positive Community (magazine), Altadena Star Times (California). She received her training and FCC broadcast license from the KIIS Broadcasting Workshop (California), as a broad cast journalist and D.J/on air personality. And rounded out her journalistic techniques at Pasadena City College: Broadcast TV and Radio Journalism Forensic Reporting Radio/TV Programming & Production; script supervision; copy writing, etc.
In terms of her own journalistic style, she states: “I write like I talk because I started out as a broadcast journalist. I can hear the conversation and commentary as I write the story, so I write like I’m talking to the reader. I also try to inform, and cause a paradigm shift, as opposed to parroting what the mainstream says. I’m not trying to write to please whites, or be super militant, but I am trying to reach my own people and debunk the distortions they constantly and continuously bombard us with. So, yes, my views are slanted — I am pro-us; I reserve the right to be the partisan press (just like they do) because I live here too, right along with the rest of us. What affects my people affects me too. So I do not pretend to be objective. I am a Black woman, with Black children, living in a Black community. My people come first. That’s why I call my self Eclectically Black. So don’t expect me to be the one to put a brother or sister down just because the rest of the world is doing so; I really do operate from a different standard. I am more likely to give us the benefit of trust rather than doubt. Am I blind to our problems – No! We have a lot that we have to deal with to get back on track. But by the same token, we are the only people who have ever gone through the horror and trauma and still have some semblance of humanity. We are strong, we are powerful. We are survivors. We are beautiful. Now need to be healed and made whole. And that’s the message I try to communicate every time I write. I love us!!
She has interviewed such greats as President Barack Obama (2004 after the Kerry speech) and 1st Lady Michele Obama (prior to the election); former Ghana President Jerry John Rawlings and 1st Lady Nana Rawlings, the late Percy E. Sutton, Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Bill Cosby, former Mayor David N. Dinkins, Danny Glover, Diana Ross, Sarah Dash, Patti LaBelle, Harry Belafonte, Dick Gregory, motivational speaker Les Brown; Rev. Calvin O. Butts, Stedman Graham, Cong. Donald Payne, former Newark Mayor Shape James, Russell Simmons, Kimora Lee Simmons, Kanye West, Gil Scott Herron, Roy Ayres, Roy Innis, among others.
As former Housing Coordinator for the City of Jersey City, former Executive Director of BNIA and Vannguard in Brooklyn, and consultant to the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA), Ms. Wilson has worked tirelessly to make homeownership and quality neighborhoods a rule, rather than an exception. In New York City, where a 250 square foot apartment can rent for the price of two mortgages, many residents are barely able to make ends meet, and are forced to chose between food on the table and roof over head. Ms. Wilson believes that in America, the most technologically advanced, opulent culture in the world, everyone deserves a decent place to live; there should be absolutely no homelessness; no one should ever live in squalor. She is currently working to establish NACA offices in Brooklyn to provide foreclosure prevention as well as underwrite mortgages for first time homebuyers.
Ms. Wilson’s interest in Black home ownership stems from the greatest landgrab ever to take place in US history: the Oklahoma Run, which saw so many people of Indian heritage pushed off their land in 1889, including many members of her Grandmother’s family (who have been relegated to so-called reservations thruout the US); the fact that most Blacks in the South worked the land but did not own it or benefit from it; and the fact that most African Americans in the north are subjected to unscrupulous landlords, substandard living conditions, over priced housing with few, if any of the amenities that should go with the price points they pay.
The single mother has successfully raised three children, Kira, Rais and Adiya, who each graduated college and are pursuing their own careers, and raising their own families. A New Yorker by choice, Ms. Wilson resides in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.
Her Blog, www.gloriadulan-wilson.blogspot, is subtitled ECLECTICALLY BLACK(c), because it encompasses Black people regardless of their status, geographical location, orientation, or pigmentation.
Ms. Gillespie is the recipient of the top 1995 New York Association of Black Journalists Award for Arts & Entertainment Coverage in a Newspaper for her column Culture & Flash, for the New York-based weekly The City Sun. She has written articles for Essence, Black Enterprise, Heart & Soul, Upscale, The Crisis, Emerge, Ebony Man, Today’s Black Woman, Howard University Magazine, Black Collegian, Amsterdam News, The New York Times Syndicate, The New York Daily News, The Asbury Park Press, and other publications. She is a former associate editor for The Crisis and former editor of the Jackie Robinson Foundation’s college scholarship newsletter. Currently, she is the PR rep for the New York & New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council and editor of their online newsletter NewsLink. She also writes a cultural column for About Time…magazine.
Since 1985, when she was assistant director of public relations for the NAACP under Benjamin Hooks, Ms. Gillespie has held public relations executive positions on the agency, corporate and non-profit level. She was director of public relations/marketing for Huggy Bean, the award-winning Black character doll from 1991 to1994. From 1996 to 1998, Ms. Gillespie directed public relations for The Studio Museum in Harlem. She has directed major public relations campaigns for New York University’s Institute of African American Affairs and for seven years was scriptwriter/PR rep for Johnson Publishing, Inc.’s EBONY Outstanding Women in Marketing & Communications Awards. Since1994, she’s served as a PR account director, manager, account supervisor, and consultant for UniWorld Group focusing on branding multicultural campaigns for corporate clients: Con Edison, Nutrament, Kraft Foods, TLC Beatrice International, AstraZeneca, Disney, GlaxoSmithKline, UniverSoul Circus, Ford Motor Company, Home Depot, Colgate-Palmolive, Microsoft, Burger King, US Marine Corps, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (African Burial Ground) and United Negro College Fund (An Evening of Stars).
A specialist in youth issues, from 1987 to 1990 she served as executive director of the non-profit organization Children’s Express of Newark, the New Jersey bureau for the Emmy and Peabody award-winning international youth news service by young people ages 8 to 18. She has been featured discussing youth issues in New York-area media outlets: New York Times, New York Daily News, Newark Star Ledger, Asbury Park Press, WPIX-TV, WNET-TV, WNYW-TV, and WNBC-TV.
In 1976, Ms. Gillespie began her career as a radio producer and on-air host for Washington, DC’s WHUR-FM. At New York’s WMCA-AM, she produced top talk personalities Barry Farber and Barry Gray. She also produced New York’s early Black-oriented talk shows at WWRL and WLIB hosted by Vy Higginsen, Gary Byrd, Judy Simmons, and Pablo Guzman. In 1981, she co-developed and produced National Black Network’s “Night Talk with Bob Law,” the first coast-to-coast African American radio talk show. She was the radio producer for “Imhotep Gary Byrd at the Apollo Theater;” The United Negro College Fund’s 1986-87 Lou Rawls’ Parade of Stars celebrity PSAs (CEBA winner); and the General Motors’ 1993 national radio profile series Roads to Success.
Ms. Gillespie is also a craft artist, whose work has been featured in Essence, Black Elegance, Essence By Mail, and The Studio Museum in Harlem Store. She is listed in Who’s Who of Executive Women and holds a BA in Print and Broadcast Journalism from Howard University. She is currently writing Handcrafted with Soul, a book about Black women craft artists. firstname.lastname@example.org
She has over 18 publications in English Studies, a number of grants and over 40 presentations in these fields. Her most recent grants were from the National Endowment for the Arts for the National Black Writers Conference and from the Nathan Cummings Foundation for the North Country Institute and Retreat for Writers of Color. She was a featured scholar on the award-winning Annenberg/PBS video production, Teaching Multicultural Literature in the High Schools. She is also a Leadership Associate for the National Network for Educational Renewal. Greene holds a Ph.D. in English with a concentration in Education from New York University. She is currently working on a memoir and on a book in English Studies.
In her role as Executive Director of the Center for Black Literature, Greene has continued the tradition of holding the National Black Writers Conferences (NBWC’s) that have been given at Medgar Evers College since 1986. Since the Center’s inception in 2003, Greene has directed two NBWC’s conferences, one focused on “Literature as Access” and one focused on the life and work of John Oliver Killens, writer, activist, and mentor.
The most recent NBWC had over 40 writers and scholars who participated in panels, workshops, and readings on the theme: Black Literature: Expanding Conversations on Race, History, Identity and Genre. Panelists included Marita Golden who delivered the address on the Conference theme, Haki Madhubuti, Valerie Wilson Wesley, Walter Mosley, Samuel Delany, Walter Dean Myers, Quincy Troupe, Ishmael Reed, Elizabeth Nunez, Willie Perdomo, Valerie Boyd, Staceyann Chinn, Tananarive Due, Steven Barnes, Herb Boyd, Christopher John Farley, Sheree Rene Thomas, Abiodun, Jacqueline Woodson, Toni Blackman, Lindamichelle Baron, Obery Hendricks, Carl Hancock Rux, Javaka Steptoe, Ellease Southerland and Camille Yarbrough, among others. Dr. Myrlie Evers-Williams, wife of the late civil rights activist, Medgar Wiley Evers, was the Honorary Conference Chair.
Currently, Greene serves as project director for several literary programs which provide high school students with access to the black literary arts. In addition, she has collaborated with various organizations to produce author programs such as the Brother to Brother Literary Symposium, the Gwendolyn Brooks Symposium and the North Country Institute and Retreat for Writers of Color.
Greene also hosts a weekly radio program, Writers on Writing, which features writers from the African diaspora discussing their work and their lives. The show is broadcast in the studios of Medgar Evers College and airs over WNYE, 91.5 F.M.
Much of Greenwood’s early business success was in magazine publishing. She worked for 15 years at Fairchild Publications, whose magazines included Women’s Wear Daily, often considered one of the most important harbingers of women’s fashion and beauty. Among Greenwood’s achievements at Fairchild was the 1985 creation of Children’s Business, a monthly trade magazine that provided information about a wide range of children’s apparel and other products. In 1996 Greenwood moved to Essence magazine, where she began as both the lifestyle director and the style director. Two years later she became the executive editor at Essence. By early 2000, Greenwood had been promoted to editor-in-chief of Essence.
In 1989 Greenwood married Glenn Pogue, the son of an army officer. Greenwood and Pogue soon purchased a brownstone in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn, a historic neighborhood of 200,000 people. Greenwood and her new husband immediately began restoring their new home. Soon after their daughter was born, they spotted a Victorian mansion, one of the few stand-alone structures in their neighborhood of brownstones.
Greenwood’s new bed and breakfast had 18 rooms, and most of them needed extensive work before the business could open. Greenwood and her family moved into the building and immediately began work. In July of 1995 the Akwaaba Mansion Bed&Breakfast opened for business. Greenwood’s inn has been featured in several national publications, in films and commercials, and was a featured home on the Home and Garden Television Network program Restore America.
The renovation of a local hardware store turned the property into an elegant 72-seat restaurant called the Akwaaba Café. The restaurant, with its mix of traditional southern foods and Caribbean choices proved to be another successful venture. In 1999 Greenwood and her family opened Mirrors Coffee House, with decorating suggestions provided by Greenwood’s young daughter
In June of 2001 Greenwood and her husband opened another B & B called Akwaaba by the Sea, in an 1850s Victorian building in Cape May, New Jersey. Eventually Greenwood and her husband opened other B & Bs and spread their ventures beyond New York and New Jersey. They have also licensed the Akwaaba Cafe and plan to start a chain.
In 1992 Greenwood published her first book, Go On Girl! Book Club Guide to Reading Groups. She is also the co-founder of the Go On Girl! Book Club, the largest African-American book club in the United States, which has more than 400 members and 32 chapters. Greenwood’s second book was the successful Having What Matters: The Black Woman’s Guide to Creating the Life You Really Want. Greenwood is currently writing another book, to be titled Life Under New Management: How to Fire Your Job and Become Your Own Boss. www.akwaaba.com
As Managing Editor, Janel takes pride in providing local writers and photographers an outlet for getting a perspective on stories that’s often overlooked by mainstream media. When not at her desk, Janel enjoys spending time with her son, Jason, in their Fort Greene neighborhood, and she has been an active parent with the Brooklyn Titans sports teams and the 78th Precinct Youth Programs.
Janel grew up in St. Albans, Queens, graduated from Jamaica H.S., attended Howard University and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of the District of Columbia (UDC). She is a proud charter member of the Psi Lambda Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., which celebrated its first anniversary on Feb. 7, 2010.
Janel’s civic and community activities also include membership in the Brooklyn Chapter of Jack & Jill of America, where she has served as Public Relations officer, and Kadence LLC, where she is an organizer of its annual Prom Dress Giveaway. Janel is also a former vice president of the Thomas Boyland Annual Scholarship Fund.
A journalist whose essays have been published in Our Time Press, the KIP Business Report, the NY Daily News, the NY Post, the Amsterdam News, MBM and Black Star Magazines, Black Star News, and the tbwt.com, Ms. Horsford’s weekly “What’s Going On” column, an eclectic mix of politics, business, people in the news, and events calendars, appears in the NY Carib News, the NY Beacon and the African Sun Times, an occasionally Harlem News. She also writes profiles, opinions and long-form essays about current events and about her travels to Brazil, Africa, the Caribbean, and Europe. Her e-flashes reach thousands, locally and worldwide such as business leaders, mainstream and ethnic media, academics, entrepreneurs, celebrities, professionals, and to a list that she customizes which is e-flash topic appropriate. Ms. Horsford has profiled and/or written for a handful of media moguls who are among the 2010 Von King Park Phenomenal Women Awardees.
A public relations denizen since 1972, Ms. Horsford cut her professional teeth at film industry behemoth, Columbia Pictures, where she wore many management hats and played a key role in the development and execution of film production and distribution campaigns for “The China Syndrome” “Stir Crazy; “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” The Deep,” “California Suite,” “The Way We Were,” “Kramer Vs Kramer,” “Gloria,” “The Greatest,” and “Tootsie.” During her Columbia watch, she generated many Time, Newsweek and People Magazine cover stories and dozens of New York Times Arts and Leisure articles. She worked closely with film moguls and legends such as Michael Douglas, Richard Pryor, John Cassevetes, Peter Guber, Sidney Poitier, Jack Nicholson, Gordon Parks, Jr., Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis, and Sydney Pollack.
Ms. Horsford founded Victoria Horsford Media Group, VHMG, a public relations and media management consulting business in 1985. Branding, media planning and strategies, agitprop marketing and are some of her business’ key components. A partial roster of clientele includes The Modern School, the Lorraine Monroe Leadership Institute, Bank Street College; the Richard Pryor film, ” Jo-Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling;” Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It; the NY African Film Festival; Harlem’s Mobay Uptown and Shawnee’s On Seventh; and Brooklyn’s Le Grand Dakar restaurants; the Apollo Theatre; and Motown Records. The VHMG arts and entertainment clients include the Roger Furman Theatre; Woodie King’s New Federal Theater; Barbara Ann Teer’s National Black Theatre; and Vy Higginsen’s Mama Foundation Enamored of arts.
Later, the VHMG, would add the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone; the Harlem Business Alliance; Health Watch; the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce; the UniWorld Group; Ford Motor Company/HBCU competition; the African Development Group and Shared Interest to its diverse client roster.
A YMCA Black Achiever Awardee, Ms. Horsford served on the boards of the East Harlem Tutorial Program and the Roger Furman Theater Group. Her media outlets are used to advocate for community empowerment and development. She will launch her news info website this summer. She uses her media outlets to advocate for community empowerment and development. Her professional memberships include the NY Association of Black Journalists, (NYABJ), the Black Public Relations Society of NY, and the Harlem Arts Alliance. She completed her studies in Politics and International Affairs at NYU and began graduate work in anthropology at the New School University. www.facebook.com/people/Victoria-Horsford/683129561
Margot’s love affair with photography was sparked at age 14 with her Dad’s gift of a “brownie” camera. Today, her news and special event coverage takes her around the globe and into such esteemed publications as Ebony and JET Magazine.
A radio broadcasting and communications veteran, Margot has worked behind the scenes as producer of the KISS FM Wake Up Club where she wrote comedy bits, booked fantastic guests and kept New Yorkers on their toes each and every morning by supervising each and every element on this #1 morning show. Always in the know, Ms. Jordan also wrote the entertainment report for Wendy Williams. A move to talk radio found Ms. Jordan producing The Joan Rivers Show, Weekend with Joan Hamburg and Arthur Schwartz, Food Talk, Health Talk w/ Dr. Ronald Hoffman and more. Previously, Ms. Jordan interned and worked at WABC TV Eyewitness News, including a stint as a production assistant at Like It Is. She credits Melba Tolliver, LaVerne Harvey, Naimah Fuller and Marquita Pool as her influences. The transition to photography was simple; Ms. Jordan always carried a camera. She was dubbed “Lois Lane” in her south east Queens high school and kept taking photos for local newspapers after school. Her camera served her well capturing in-studio guests and antics on remotes in Kingston, Jamaica, The Bahamas and other exotic places. After many transitions in radio, Margot made a home on the photojournalistic scene. In between photo assignments, and lots of travel, she embarks on pr campaigns for various causes and entities.
In 2002 Ms. Jordan embarked on a publicity campaign of her own, promoting a man very close to her heart. McNeil Jordan, a native of Barbados turned 100 on Christmas Day. The story was picked up around the world making “Grandpa Jordan” a bit of a celebrity. He was seen on major television stations and made front pages news in countless newspapers.
Margot is very happy behind the camera and uses her major network system to keep abreast of todays culture. It makes for captivating images of the movers and shakers, ordinary citizens and newsmakers.
This amazing lady is always looking for new opportunities and exciting ways to chronicle life’s adventures digitally. You may see her on the sidelines at a NY Jets game, in the photographer’s pit at The US Open, behind the scenes at Super Bowl events or the West Indian American Day Parade in Brooklyn. By the way, Ms. Jordan does get to go in front of the cameras on occasion – you can see her in action as a model on NBC Today April 5th, and September 25, 2007.
Go to www.nypresslady.smugmug.com to view her photo galleries
McLymont has more than 20 years’ experience as a writer, speaker and adviser to small and medium-sized companies on global business and entrepreneurship. She was an international trade reporter and ultimately managing editor at The Journal of Commerce, one of the United States’s oldest daily newspapers, which specialized in international shipping and trade. Her coverage earned her critical acclaim in the annual Media Guide to America’s top financial writers, frequent appearances on CNNfn to comment on the impact of global events on U.S. trade, a guest column in America Economía, a leading business magazine in Latin America; and guest lectures at New York University’s graduate program in Latin America and Caribbean studies. Her articles on international business appeared in such publications as The Journal of Commerce, World Trade, Business Standards, Minority Business Entrepreneur, Transport Topics, Quality Digest, and Shipping Digest.
An authority on emerging markets and business development, McLymont provided entrepreneurship training for African women through the United Nations Development Program’s Gender Program, and for women in Russia through the Alliance of Russian and American Women. She provided expertise on accessing U.S. markets for the American and African Business Women’s Alliance conference in Botswana in 2002; was an adviser to the Institute on African Affairs; and served as an executive board member of the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation.
Prior to becoming a journalist, McLymont taught English and French in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. She is a past fellow of the European Community Visitors Program, was named a “Woman History Maker” by the Caribbean-American Chamber of
Commerce and Industry, and has received awards from the New York Association of Black
Journalists, the International Black Women’s Congress, the CEJJES Institute, the National Minority Business Council, the New York Regional Chapter of the National Association of
Health Services Executives, and the City of New York Office of the Comptroller.
McLymont was born in Guyana and speaks French and Spanish. She has a master’s degree in journalism from New York University, a bachelor’s degree in French from The City College of New York, and a Certificate in Spanish Language and Literature from the University of Madrid. She has a Black Belt in T’ai Chi, which she teaches in New York, and is a certified ZUMBA GOLD fitness instructor.
From Broadway, to Off-Broadway, to national tours, to regional theatre, to black regional theatre, to urban theatrical productions, Pendelton’s creative audience development and marketing initiatives have introduced thousands of people to the magic of live theatre. She has worked on behalf of award-winning theatre artists including Lynn Nottage, Bill T. Jones, Tracey Scott Wilson, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Tyler Perry, George C. Wolfe, August Wilson, Suzan-Lori Parks, Regina Taylor, Ruben Santiago-Hudson and Jeffrey Wright, and such music moguls and artists as hip-hop impresario Russell Simmons, and rapper/actor Mos Def.
She has produced entertainment, education and cultural programs for internationally renowned institutions including the American Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art and for public servants Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields and New York State Assemblyman Roger Green. She has lent her sales and marketing skills to the worlds of dance and music by working for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, The Joyce Theatre, Sweet Honey In The Rock and The Funk Brothers (Standing In The Shadows of Motown). Other clients have included: The Vineyard Theatre, Manhattan Theater Club, The Public Theater, Playwrights Horizons, HARLEM STAGE, Urban Bush Women Dance Company, Lincoln Center Theatre, Second Stage Theatre, Blackbird Productions, HERE Art Center, New Freedom Theatre, The Culture Project, The Philadelphia Theatre Company, Carnegie Hall, New York Association of Black Journalists and many more.
Pendelton’s work as an independent producer includes the Annual Fort Greene, Brooklyn Juneteenth Festival, “A Conversation with bell hooks and Kevin Powell: Black Men and Masculinity,” and My Soul To Keep, a performance and dialogue series that focuses on art and spirituality. In addition to her work as a marketer and producer, Marcia has also shared her knowledge and experience with aspiring arts management professionals by teaching Marketing the Arts at New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies.
Several years ago, Marcia became a licensed group sales agent and established WTG Group Sales. That client base includes the National Association of Minorities In Communications, New York University, Jewish Community Relations Council, MTV Networks, Project Green Hope, Abyssinian Baptist Church, the Bread and Roses Cultural Project of the Hospital and Home Health Care Workers Union among others.
Pendelton earned a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Saint Joseph’s University (Philadelphia) and a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Management from the University of Maryland at College Park. She is a member of the Black Theatre Network, Theater Communications Group, the Harlem Arts Alliance and the Audience Development Committee. She currently resides in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, NY and is an active member of Emmanuel Baptist Church.
From December 2006-December 2007, she was press secretary and official spokesperson to Mayor Cory A. Booker of the City of Newark, NJ, and managed a staff of five press officers. As an example of Lupe’s creativity, she developed a media campaign prior to the opening of the Prudential Center to spur new visitors to the area to take mass transit to the Prudential Center in order to reduce traffic congestion. She created a traffic alert system in Newark dubbed “SlowGo Traffic Alerts” to announce to the public any congestion in the city and/or best alternate routes. As a result of this successful campaign, more visitors traveled to Newark via NJ Transit for the opening of the arena. SlowGo Traffic Alert continues to be used in the city whenever a confluence of traffic is expected.
For two years, August 2004 to November 2006 at Dan Klores Communications, she worked with a team of public relations officers to develop a wide range of smart, aggressive and inventive public relations and marketing campaigns on behalf of several clients including but not limited to: Ken Burns/PBS, Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC), General Motors, and Sean “Diddy” Combs’ Vote or Die! Campaign.
Prior to Dan Klores Communications, she was a press officer from July 2000 to August 2004 for the City of New York. Prior to that position, for three years, she was Director of Communications for then City of Buffalo Councilmember Byron W. Brown. Also in the Buffalo and Greater Niagara Region, from 1995 to 1997, she worked for the Convention and Visitors Bureau in sports and multicultural conventions.
Her campaign experience includes work on the many campaigns: Clinton/Gore ’92 and ’96; Charles Schumer for Congress; Eliot Spitzer for Attorney General, Byron W. Brown for City Council, Kevin Parker for City Council, Hakeem Jeffries for Aseembly, Jacqueline Williams for Civil Court Judge, Rep. Edolphus Towns, Bill de Blasio, John Liu and Councilman Al Vann.
Lupe received a B.A. in Public Communications from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She’s a member of the Caribbean Sports Association, the Women’s Sports Foundation and is a1994 All American basketball player.