Monday, October 17, 2011

Follicle Chronicles: My hair in Philly

The natural hair struggle is real, y'all. At least it was in Philadelphia.

Due to busyness and procrastination, I didn't get a chance to wash and twist my hair before I was able to catch my plane. I figured I would be able to work something out and find the time to do something to my hair when I arrived. I was wrong. I was barely in the hotel room for an hour before someone burst into the door and I heard, "Get up! Get dressed! You're going to a reception with me." It was Benet Wilson a.k.a. our beloved Aunt Benet and I wasn't going to say no to Auntie so I got up, got dressed and did some weird tuck thing to my hair. Not my best job, but it worked!

Here's a picture:
Me and Auntie at the reception. Picture courtesy of Andrew Humphrey

I thought this hairdo would be a one-time thing. I was wrong. One thing I learned during my stay in Philly was the convention will keep a person busy! I barely had time to take a breath let alone twist my hair up. As a result, I wore the style for another day. 

I ended up hating it so I decided to throw some chunky twists in my hair and hope for the best in the morning. Thank goodness for the twist-out. My hair came out looking like this:
It lasted until the day I left to go home. 

I'm determined to do better. How? I might try the following

Wear it straight
I suck at using heat in my hair so it would have to be done by someone else. My hair hasn't been straight in over a year because I don't want to damage it. Hopefully, one of the people I'm rooming with will know her way around a flat iron without frying my tresses.

I love twists, twist-outs and my fro but I think I need to be a tad more versatile especially for social and business functions. Looks like it's time for me to peruse a few blogs and Youtube channels. I might whip out my perm rod and rollers and improve my rollersetting skills. 

Hopefully, I'll be more prepared for NOLA. 

NABJ naturals, what did you do with your tresses in Philly? What are you going to do for NOLA?

Side note: See that little box on the top hand corner? It's connected to my Road to NOLA fund. If you're so inclined, spare a dollar or two. No amount is too big or small. It all counts!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Just throw it in the bag....

Poor thing. It has seen better days. 

I was elated when I got my NABJ backpack in Philly. To me, that bag was the ultimate souvenir. I felt a little burst of pride as I rolled it around Philadelphia with my convention badge hanging around my neck. The handle is a tad short, but that didn't stop me from taking to all of my workshops. Even now, that backpack has become my computer bag. Whenever I want to take Coco, my laptop, on campus, I bring out the NABJ bag and Coco is able to roll through Atlanta with me. Sadly, due to wear and tear, I will be retiring the bag soon. Thankfully, I'll be getting another in NOLA and a little birdie told me that convention planners want feedback from members about next year's bags. Personally, I wouldn't mind another backpack as along as the handle is a tad longer. 

What about you? What do you want to carry in NOLA?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Get involved!

Me and Rachel Huggins (@HugginsRachel) in Philly for NABJ '11! I'm going to use pictures from the trip for posts as often as possible!

Over the past few months, I have made it my business to become more involved with my local NABJ chapter. I am on the executive board for the chapter at my school and I regularly attend events and meetings hosted by the professionals. I have never left an AABJ event dissatisfied and I always encourage other students to come. Sadly, I think this advice tends to fall on deaf ears.

In April, I wrote an article for my school paper urging journalism students to get involved with student media and professional organizations.

Here's an excerpt:
There are probably hundreds of journalism students on campus, yet, when I have asked students if they are involved in student media, I usually get a blank stare. I usually get the same reaction if I ask someone if they are involved in professional organizations like the Atlanta Press Club or the National Association of Black Journalists.
It seems like that message has fallen on deaf ears. Trying to get people to come to meetings and events can be like pulling teeth. I can make the prettiest flier and talk about networking until I am blue in the face but as the old saying goes, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink. Only a few horses are drinking.

I didn't write this post to complain or make myself look good. I want this platform to promote student involvement in NABJ and other journalism organizations. Students, we literally have hundreds of opportunity at our finger tips and in our backyards and we're not using them as much as we should. The professionals want to help. They like seeing us at events and speaking up at meetings. After all, they were in our place at one point. They know how hard it is for someone to get into the journalism industry, especially as a person of color. But, the can't help us if they don't know us. We need to get involved.

If you have an NABJ chapter at your school, go to the meeting and show up to the events. If not, get some people together and start one. If you need help, let someone know! Reach out to your NABJ family.

If you're ever in Atlanta or we happen to pass by each other at a convention, speak! I won't bite you and I won't side-eye you. I'm sure there are plenty of other members that have the same open door policy.

As yet another saying goes, a close mouth don't get fed.

How you you get and stay involved?

Friday, October 7, 2011

NABJ 2012 Teaser

I don't know about you but I'm ready! 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Link Love: 10 Steps to Being a Better Student Journalist

Check out this guest post by student member Ameena Rasheed on the NABJ Digital blog.

Here's an excerpt:

I was able to attend the 2011 NABJ Multimedia Short Course at Florida A&M University, Sept. 8-11 and it was an exceptional experience. I learned a wealth of information that made me a better journalist and I feel the need to share those skills that I learned with my fellow NABJ students. Here we go!
1. This first tidbit is one that I received from Florida A&M University Professor Dorothy Bland. Expand your network and get involved in a multitude of journalism and professional organizations. From the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) to the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), there are a plethora of associations you can join to diversify your network. Try to shy away from keeping your circle of connections “strictly chocolate.”
2. Make sure you not only know current events, but details about historical events in history like 9/11. Don’t forget about government officials (President’s Cabinet and Supreme Court Justices) and international dignitaries. REMEMBER: Spelling counts, so make sure that you know the names of these people backwards and forwards. Many news organizations, like CNN, give current events quizzes to future employees. The last thing that you want to do is end up unemployed because of something like a misspelled name.

My chapter featured on the national site!

Check it out!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I Wish I Went to an HBCU

As I entered my senior year of high school, I was excited to start applying to colleges. I was already dreaming of dorm life and couldn't wait to see what it would be like to "be on my own." I didn't have a long list of qualities I wanted in a college but I did know one thing: I didn't want to go to an HBCU.

That wasn't a typo. Before I went to college, I was anti-HBCU. I believed every stereotype that surrounded them. Every school I attended prior to college had a 99.9% Black student population and I thought I needed diversity or what I thought would be diversity. I had a vision in my head of my multicolored friends sitting in the cafeteria talking and laughing. I didn't think I would find diversity at an HBCU. 

Well, as the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20.

Thank to the internet and MARTA, I have been able to visit the HBCUs in my city and interact with HBCU students across the country. When I hear these students talk about the history and culture of their schools, I feel a sense of longing. When I visited the AUC, I felt like I was home. The students didn't care if I went to GSU. They just wanted to have a good time. I didn't feel like a brown dot getting lost in a multicolored sea. I was around my people. 

Don't get me wrong, my experiences at GSU have mostly been positive but I feel like I would have excelled had I matriculated in more close knit environment. Yes, State has a lot of resources but they are general resources. One size fits all.

This post might come off as a bit idealistic to some but I don't care. I've been thinking about taking classes at Clark or Spelman for a change of scenery, so I might be able to test my theory. Until then, we'll just have to wait and see.

What do you think? Did you choose the right college? Are there things you would change?

Monday, August 29, 2011


I was not myself yesterday.

I was beating myself up. I was comparing myself to A, B, C and D.

Essentially, I felt like crap.

Normally, I'm a private person. It's hard for me to open up so it took me hours to muster up the courage to type this post. I don't want come off as a sap but I figure typing a post like this might help someone that is experiencing similar feelings.

I am a social media fiend. I use it every day, throughout the day. As I scroll through my news feeds and time lines, I see people raving about their new internship, apartment, kitchen sink and etc. I love seeing people experience the joy that comes with a new accomplishment but sometimes, there's an evil little voice in the back of my head.

"Why don't you have that?"

"What's wrong with you?"

Sometimes, that little voice sounds like a whisper. Sometimes, it sounds like a shriek. It drives me crazy. But I'm hopeful.

I felt this way when I was still on my Road to Philly. But I ended up in Philly and have several unedited pictures to prove it. I did that and I'm going to do more. I'm going to pull myself out of this funk.

There's a light at the end of my tunnel. There's a light at the end of every tunnel.

Sometimes, I just need a reminder.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Are you moving or shaking?

As you know, this blog is targeted towards uplifting Black students and young professionals. I'm love giving people their props is their doing it big and are good at what they do. That said, I'm looking for people to interview for my (hopefully) weekly Movers and Shakers feature.

What am I looking for?

Someone who is a beast at what they do. Young people that are trying to move on up in the world. Someone that sets themselves apart from the rest. The early bird that gets the worm.

Movers and Shakers are ideally between the ages of 18-35 but I am willing to make slight concessions.

If you or someone you know fits that description, email me at so I can do a feature or allow them to publish a guest post.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Vote or Die (er..Not Really)


Today is the LAST day for you to vote for your student representative. At 5PM, the polls will be closed and the votes will be counted. If you haven't voted, I don't know what the heck you're waiting for but you need to do so as soon as possible.

It is obvious where my allegiance lies, but we have two qualified candidates. Two students that are willing to be our only voice on the NABJ national board. That is a huge task to undertake but Marissa and Wesley are willing to step up and take it. The least we can do for them is vote. It takes less than a minute. Check the box and you're done. No bells and whistles. No jumping through hoops.

Last time, only 140 of us voted. There are over 1000 of us. There are 465 members in the NABJ students Facebook group and 766 people following the NABJ students Twitter page. I am aware that students aren't the only ones in these social media groups but we probably make up the majority. If we can click a "like" or "follow" button, we check that ballot box. We have no excuse. I don't pay $43 a year to be in this organization to rest on my laurels. If I have a voice, I'm going to use it. I love this organization and I want to see it grow. We are the future of this organization. If we are complacent now, what will happen to NABJ 10 years from now?

If you're undecided, I understand. We have two great candidates. It can be hard to choose between them. I get it. However, both of them have websites and both are easily accessible on Facebook and Twitter. Indecisiveness isn't a reason not to vote.

Hopefully, you will heed these word and check that little box. If not, I hope you get your money's worth.

Welcome Back!

Today is the official relaunch of From Atlanta to Philly!

After a lot of thought, I've decided to keep this thing going and I am very excited to bring you some fresh content. This blog started out as a fundraising accessory. Now, it has became a part of my brand and career and I will do whatever I can to keep it going. That means no more sporadic post and one dimensional content. There will most likely be a Road to NOLA (more on that later) but it will not be the central focus of this blog.

At From Atlanta to Philly, the motto is for students by a student. That means most of this content will cater to students and young professionals but don't fret if you don't fit into that category. There will be something for everyone.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Wordless Week: Day 1

Hi all!

I'm in the process of revamping this blog. In the meantime, I will be posting pictures from my trip to Philadelphia. I have enough to have a Wordless Month but I wouldn't do that to my readers. I enjoyed meeting so many of you and I'm glad my little corner of the internet has touched so many people. Enjoy the pictures and I will resume my normal posting next week. 

My new favorite place in the world: Reading Terminal!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Thank You!

I've been fundraising for my trip to the convention since February and as August quickly approaches, I feel like I should take some time to thank the people that have supported my efforts. There were times that made me feel like I was in over my head and I wouldn't make it to the convention but there were people that urged me to keep at it and I think those people deserve some recognition.

Mommy: Thanks for sticking with me through this process, for being the first to buy my tee shirts and for not allowing me to give up on this project. I appreciate you for all of this and more. I love you.

Toya and Dee Dee: Thank you for helping me out even though you have your own families, homes and careers to worry about. I love my big sisters and I miss you both.

Rina: Thanks for your help and generous spirit. You didn't have to do half of what you did. Thanks for the support.

The Rest of the Family: Thanks for supporting my efforts and not telling me I was crazy for doing this. I love you guys.

Jarrodd: Thanks for being where you always are: by my side. You support almost everything I do, no matter how crazy and cockamamie it might sound. I love you baby.

NABJ/AABJ Family: There are so many people I could name but this post would be entirely too long! I have forged so many great connections since I started this process and I believe those connections will last me for a lifetime. I think I have found friends, mentors and potential collaborators in many of you. Special shouts to Rod Hicks and Benet Wilson for doing your best to help me get to the convention and for your advice on everything from this trip to my career. I would also like to extend shouts to Marissa Evans for her advice and support as well. I enjoy our phone calls and I love that you trust me enough to bounce your ideas off of me. I hope we get to work together one day. I'm always one call away! I would also like to shout out my travel buddy Areyonne Johnson. You are a sweetheart and I can't wait til August. We're gonna represent for GSU!

If I forgot your name, please don't feel slighted. I appreciate EVERYONE that has been supportive (I need another word, lol) of this journey.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Philly: Days 2 and 3

It has been a long and exciting two days since I've blogged about my time in Philly. Time to catch up.

On Wednesday, I started my day off with a learning lab co-sponsored by NABJ's Visual and Digital Journalism task forces. The session, titled Multimedia Training: The Innovation, gave attendees an introduction to visual journalism and shared information on how to use technology to enhance a journalist's career. The panelist shared software, social media ideas, and other ways potential multimedia journalists can take their career to the next level. I walked into that session as a print journalist and left wanting to be able to myself a multimedia journalist by next year's convention.

After the lab, me and a group of students went to the Reading Terminal Market for lunch. It was awesome. They had everything. Vendors sold a variety of items including fresh meat, fresh fruit, jewelry, clothing and handmade cosmetics. There were various restaurants that sold a variety of cuisines including Mediterranean, Chinese and Italian.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to do much after the learning lab and lunch because I had to hold a conference call but thankfully, yesterday made up for that short day.

Yesterday morning, my day began with the Arianna Huffington talk. As expected, there was controversy over NABJ's decision to let her talk and the crowd was met with protesters distributing fliers about Huffington's rumored unwillingness to pay some of her writers. Nonetheless, the event went off without a hitch. Highlights included a personal message from President Obama, a jig, speech and Q&A from Attorney General Eric Holder and a dance from a troupe from Camden, New Jersey. After the Huffington event, I went to a round table that included some of NABJ's 44 founders, who discussed everything from the industry during the 60s and 70s to the founding of NABJ and the Unity controversy. I felt privileged to be apart of that event and it made me proud to be a member of this organization.

When the founders' event was over, I was able to grab lunch with a few other students before heading back to Marriott to "volunteer" with the Digital Journalism task force. I don't want to say why I put the word volunteer into quotes just yet but I would like to give my fellow students a bit of advice: if you're asked to volunteer, do it. Don't ask questions. Just do it.

I ended the night with the Student's Choice Awards. That event was the first time I was able to chill with a large group of students without professionals around. Needless to say, it was a good time to be had by all and I will show you how good of a time it was in another post.

Time for pictures!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Philly: Day 1

Greetings from the City of Brotherly Love!

I made it to Philly yesterday and I hit the ground running.

I boarded my first flight at 11 AM after going through the zoo that is Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. The flight itself was relatively uneventful but the ride to the hotel made me appreciate my hometown. Prior to my arrival, I thought Atlanta had the worst roads ever but Philly has Atlanta beat in that area. Riding that shuttle made me feel like I was on a mini roller coaster.

I made it to the hotel in about 10 minutes and tried unsuccessfully to take a nap. After an hour or so, I started to doze off and that's when my roommate, Benet Wilson AKA YOUR Aunt Benet came to the room and had me get dressed and accompany her to a reception. Admittedly, I was a tad confused but I threw on some clothes. The event turned out to be a reception for the Philadelphia Media Network. I met and spoke with several notable NABJers including NABJ co-founder Paul Brock, current NABJ presidential candidates Deirdre Childress and Charles Robinson III and former NABJ president, Herb Lowe.

It was a great event and I'm glad Aunt Benet took me because networking is key and I can never have too
many connections.

Now, without further ado, pictures!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Coming out of neutral...

It was a hard decision.

Both student candidates are very qualified and have been doing some heavy campaigning. But, I had to choose one and I did. 

I am officially endorsing Marissa Evans as candidate for student representative. I believe she has all of the right tools to lead NABJ's student members. I have heard people imply that she has on rose colored glasses when it comes to NABJ and I completely disagree with that assertion. I've talked to Marissa several times over the phone and internet and I believe she has a vision. She doesn't mind thinking out of the box and that won me over.

I voted for Marissa and I hope many others follow my lead. Vote here

See you in Philly!

Friday, July 29, 2011

NOLA 2012!

I'm excited about the NABJ 2012 convention and I haven't been to Philly yet. Why? The location. NABJ 2012 is going to be in New Orleans! I've admired this city from afar for years and I finally have a good reason to visit. I'm going to start preparing for this trip early so look out for Road to NOLA in the near future.

How do you feel about NOLA being the location for NABJ 2012? Drop a comment.

5 More Days!

The convention is in 5 days!

I'm beyond elated. All of my work is about to pay off. I will be blogging EVERY NIGHT while I'm in Philadelphia. So look out! Also, I don't usually post on weekends but I'm making an exception so look out for a fashion post sometime tomorrow or Sunday!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Student Journo Program: CWR Virtual Cultural XChange

I found another great program for student journos! Check out the excerpt below.
The CWR Virtual Cultural XChange (VCX) Program is just as the name suggests, a cultural exchange program that uses telecommunications and Internet technology to allow student journalists from different countries including, Brazil, China, Nigeria, the U.S.A., and other countries to exchange cultural information and network with each other without ever leaving home. The intent is for the participants to learn about each other’s cultures and then to share what they are learning with our CWR readers and to take our readers on a virtual journey to learn about the different participating countries, their cultures, and their people, through the experiences of the participating students sharing what they have learned, and through a systematic program developed for students to write about a different aspect of their culture and people each month in The College World Reporter.
The director of the program told me that the program has been very successful among students that form groups with others that attend their university. I plan on applying and any other student reading this should consider doing the same. Also, if any student at Georgia State is considering applying for this program and would like to form a group with me, email me at

Email for more information.

Show and Tell: Part 2

I've gotten a variety of answers for the question I posed about portfolios. I've decided that I'm going to a digital portfolio as well as a physical one to take to Philadelphia. The only issue I'm facing is whether or not I want to set it up as a traditional website or a blog site. I want my readers to help me decide by participating in a poll. Chose the option that you think is best for me. I will be unveiling the site later this month.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Student Journo Program: Will Write For Food


Will Write for Food is a program that allow a small group of college journalists to act as the editorial team for Homeless Voice, the publication of the COSAC homeless shelter in Florida. I found out about this program from journalist Michael Koretzky's blog.

This program looks like it could be very rewarding and Koretzky mentioned that the program hasn't had one African American applicant. I still deciding if I have the cahones to apply for this program but, if you think you do, I encourage you to check it out.

Here's an excerpt for Koretzky's blog:

What did you do last Labor Day weekend? If you have to think about it, you weren’t at Will Write for Food.You weren’t one of the 18 college journalists who took over the nation’s second-largest homeless newspaper, and in 36 mostly sleepless and very stressful hours, published a 20-page paper that was sold on the streets of South Florida…

You didn’t eat dinner in a homeless shelter that’s so hardcore, many of its residents were kicked out of other shelters for being too addicted, disturbed, or disorderly.You didn’t dress in their clothes and report what it’s like to panhandle. You didn’t tag along with the outreach van and meet a Desert Storm veteran who’s now a male stripper. And you didn’t interview shelter residents like Johnny One Leg (that’s what he wants to be called)…

…but you can do all of this and more during Labor Day weekend 2011. Although maybe you shouldn’t. Will Write for Food isn’t right for every college journalist.
While we pay for your hotel, your meals, and a chunk of your travel, we demand a lot in return from our reporters, photographers, and designers. What we don’t demand, weirdly enough, is that you possess a lot of journalism experience – we just need you to be possessed about journalism.Don’t get us wrong, you need to know your shit. You’re going to work on deadline with very little sleep in depressing (and occasionally uplifting) circumstances. If you haven’t mastered your craft, you’re doomed.Then again, just your journalism experience won’t save you. We’ve seen it at previous WWFFs: Sometimes the most seasoned college journalist caves under the pressure, while a tough-as-nails freshman bull-rushes right through it.So before you apply, read the rest of this post and seriously consider if this is for you. Because it’s not for everyone. And we like it that way…

If this seems like something you'd be into, go to Koretzky's blog for more information.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

AABJ Meeting!

L to R: Ernie Shuggs, Rashida Rawls, Rod Hicks, Me
As I do every month, I went to the general body meeting for my local NABJ chapter and in my opinion, this was one of the best meetings I've attended. I won't give a synopsis of the whole meeting but if you want one, you can check out the chapter's newsletter, the Byline. The story should be out in a couple of weeks.

Anyway, I was able to network, as usual, but at this meeting, I got to meet a couple of folks I've been eager to meet since I started blogging--- Rod Hicks, chairman of the NABJ convention committee, and Errin Hayes, candidate for VP of print. Both of them are the sweetest people and I can't wait to see them at the convention. If anyone else plans to visit Atlanta (or is based here) and would like to meet, let me know! I love meeting new people. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Voting Has Officially Started!

NABJers! Voting has begun. To submit your ballot, go here.

To see the list of certified candidates, go here.

As you may or may not know, students come first on this blog so look out for profiles of the student rep candidates, Marissa Evans and Wesley Lowery, in the coming days. In the meantime, to learn more about the student rep candidates, check out the links below.

Marissa Evans

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Show and Tell: Portfolio v. Wix

I started writing for the Signal, my university's newspaper, two years ago and I have saved almost every issue for clips. As the convention approaches, I have been thinking about the medium I want to use to show my work. Traditionally, print journalists have used portfolios to showcase their work. These portfolios are usually simple black folders with plastic coverings that hold clippings of the writer's articles.

Nowadays, journalists of every medium and career level have started to use web hosts like Wix to create digital portfolios. Unlike the traditional portfolios, these websites include more than a resume and a few clips. I have seen digital portfolios with detailed biographies, videos, online clips, scans of print clips and blogs. I am eager to make a digital portfolio but I am trying to figure out how I would be able to showcase my work without having to whip out and carry around my heavy laptop. 

I was thinking of making a mini portfolio with a few of my clips and printing labels with a link on them to place on the back of my business cards. That is what I have so far and as usual, I would love some feed back.

If you have any ideas, leave a comment!

Monday, May 30, 2011


Hello all!

I apologize for being M.I.A. lately. Here are a few updates:

  • I'm taking a new direction with the candidate profiles. Since this blog is meant to be student oriented, the only candidates that will get a full profile will be the student reps, Wesley and Marissa. Look out for that soon! I haven't decided what to do for the grown-ups, but I will keep you updated.
  • I think I found a travel partner and she's given me a great idea. I will give you details in a later post. 
That's all I have for now! Stay tuned.

Monday, May 16, 2011

J-School: A Good Investment or A Bad Decision

When I started college, I was sure I wanted to go to graduate school. I figured college would be a breeze and I'd have the time of my life. During freshman year, I decided to take some advice from a advisor and pick up some classes I had no interest in. One class proved to be difficult than it appeared and the other was a grueling three hours long. Wide-eyed and fresh out of high school, I decided to stop going to these classes consistently. I figured I'd just do the work and get by. I was wrong and my transcript reflected my error in judgement.

Almost three years later, I am still paying for my freshman year mistake. My resume is growing but my GPA remains average. I'm not failing but I'm not excelling either. Consequently, my views on attending graduate school have changed. Frankly, I don't see anyone admitting me into their graduate program. I would love to go enroll into a journalism program that will give me resources my undergrad program doesn't give but I don't see that happening. I'm at a crossroads. 

I have a few ideas swirling around in my mind but they aren't concrete. I'm about a year outside of my graduation and the fact that I'm at a loss about what I will do afterwards scares me. 

I was apprehensive about writing this post but I hope my transparency will help someone else.

What do you think? Should I go for grad school or are there other options that I haven't explored?

Friday, May 6, 2011


Due to help from a relative, I was able to get money for my airfare. All I have to do now is worry about miscellaneous expenses like baggage fees, food and etc. I consider it a MAJOR blessing and I would like to thank everyone who has supported my efforts. A little over a month ago, I posted this entry expressing my concern over whether or not I would be able to afford to take this trip. It is amazing what has been able to happen in such a short time. I can't wait to see what is in store for me as I continue to prepare for this trip. I apologize if I am rambling but I'm excited about life right now. Admittedly, I am facing a few challenges, mostly related to school, but I'm going to keep pushing.

I will keep the ChipIn widget up for those that want to help with my remaining expenses. Also, look out for my profiles of NABJ candidates!*

*Candidates, if you are interested in being profiled, please contact me at

Friday, April 29, 2011

A Helping Hand: Mentorship?

I have been try to figure out how I would write this post for days and could not come up with anything that is cleaver or witty, so I'm just going to get to the point.

I want a mentor.

I had one. It didn't work out well. The mentor was assigned to me via a program and I don't think we were very compatible. Also, being a first time mentee, I made some mistakes. Everything seemed so forced and I was barely going through the motions to maintain the relationship. I have learned from that experience and I am ready to establish a mentorship that is beneficial to myself as well as my mentor. I want to connect with someone that will give me guidance that could help me navigate the media industry. I don't want a mentor just to have an extra person in my contact book. I want to build something genuine. This blog post is my way of reaching out. If anyone sees this and is interested in mentoring me, I would love to hear from you.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I'll Never Tell: NABJ Elections 2011

For weeks, I have pondered over whether or not I would publicly endorse any of the NABJ candidates. I knew I wanted to do posts related to the candidates, but something about publicly endorsing anyone didn't sit right with me. It still doesn't. So, as of right now, I will not publicly endorse anyone on this blog or on any other outlet. There are people that are still trying to get their campaigns started while there are others that have been on the campaign trail for a while. I want to give everyone an equal chance. With that being said, I have a proposition for  any NABJ candidate that is reading this blog. I want to do a feature on you. I want to do this one of two ways:

1) A Regular Feature
This would consist of a regular feature with a few interview questions that would address the concerns of NABJ student members as well as NABJ members as a whole.

2) An E-debate
This would consist of 2 profiles in one post. I would as you and your opponent(s) the same questions and post all of the information in one blog post so readers could compare, contrasted and make an informed decision.

If you are interested in either of these ideas, please leave a comment or email me at

Monday, April 18, 2011

A few updates!

My hotel dilemma has been solved!

A member offered to share a room and cut out a major cost for me. I'm not going to name her because I don't know if she wants it publicized. Nonetheless, I am very grateful. All I have to worry about airfare and a few miscellaneous expenses.

Also, my NABJ chapter, the Atlanta Association of Black Journalists, is hosting a candidate forum on May 14th at 11:30! If you are in the Atlanta area, please attend. I will be covering it for the blog and I would love to meet new people! The location has not been announced but I will post it as soon as it is publicized!

P.S. Don't forget to follow me on Twitter at!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Shameless Self Promotion: Let’s change the state of college media

Here's an excerpt of an article I wrote for The Signal this week. To see the whole article, click here!
Recently, I tweeted "Something tells me I need to start learning HTML and coding." I figured those skills, among others, are important because I am a journalism student and I know the industry is changing. Evidently, I am in the minority.
About a month ago, journalist Lauren Rabiano wrote a blog post in which she ranted about the state of college media. Rabiano had been the online editor for her alma mater's newspaper and she was able to reunite with the paper's manager at a convention, who told her the posi­tion had not been filled since she left.
It gets worse. "At least five different people at the conference (usually the lone web champion or the point-of-desperation advi­sor) told me that they just can't get students motivated about the web," Rabiano said.
I find that deplorable, but, sadly, I see that type of apathy in many media students. There are probably hundreds of journalism students on campus, yet, when I have asked students if they are involved in student media, I usually get a blank stare. I usually get the same reaction if I ask someone if they are involved in professional organizations like the Atlanta Press Club or the National Association of Black Journalists.
Have a great week!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Hotel? Motel? No tell?

The Marriott

Since I've been planning this trip, I have been undecided about whether or not I will be staying at the Marriott, the hotel hosting the convention. The location is ideal since the hotel is attached to the convention center but that price is horrifying. It would cost me about $800 to stay at the Marriott for the duration of the trip.

I would try to stay further away from the city but I'm not a driver and combined with my horrible sense of direction, I don't think that would be a very good idea. So, I've been looking around the city at other hotels. A few of them are $100-200 dollars cheaper but lodging is still my biggest expense. I'll keep looking and make my decision soon.

What do you think? Do you have any suggestions?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Update on the Travel Buddy Situation...

It's a little...slow.

I've gotten a couple of "maybes" and "might be able tos" but nothing concrete. It's a little disheartening but I'm not giving up. Preferably, I would like to room with a member of NABJ as opposed to a family member or friend. I love my family and friends, but I don't want to make them sit in a hotel room while I'm gone all day. I would want them to be able to enjoy themselves. I think that might be another reason I haven't gotten that many responses. That's too much money to spend wandering around a city. My hope is that I find someone that will room with me. They don't necessarily have to travel to Philadelphia with me but rooming together would save a lot of money.

What do you think?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

POLL: Where should the 2012 NABJ Convention Be Held?

Leave your answer in the comments section!

NABJ Withdraws From UNITY

(PHILADELPHIA, PA) April 10, 2011- After careful consideration and thoughtful deliberation, the National Association of Black Journalists, Inc. (NABJ), a founding organization of UNITY: Journalists of Color Inc., voted today to discontinue its participation in UNITY. While NABJ remains committed to the coalition's mission of achieving parity in newsroom employment and accurate coverage of people of color, NABJ board members concluded that as a business model, UNITY no longer is the most financially prudent for NABJ and its membership. NABJ, with the support of members of the Founders' Task Force and Council of Presidents, will withdraw from UNITY and its 2012 convention. NABJ will hold its own convention in 2012. As the largest organization of journalists of color, NABJ remains vigilantly committed to the common ideals for which UNITY was founded, and further, remains allied with each UNITY partner in its individual mission of achieving these goals.

I find this to be very disheartening news. I was looking forwards to attending a UNITY conference but I doubt NABJ would make a decision this huge without strong consideration. I'm sure our 2012 conference will go on without a hitch and you'll probably see me hustling for that one as well! I hope this decision doesn't create any hard feelings between NABJ and the UNITY organizations. Journalists of color need to stick together, especially in light of statistics being released stating journalists of color are essentially disappearing from newsrooms. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Road is Looking a Little Rough

I feel like I am at a crossroads right now.

Early registration deadline is in two days and I'm not entirely sure if I want to still go on this trip. I've crunched the numbers and it will cost at least $800. I have that in my savings but I was hoping the fundraising would pick up because I don't want to deplete my bank account. I've only sold three shirt and have yet to receive a donation. I'm not writing this to ask for money or promote anything. I just have no idea what to do at this point and I would like some feedback. I have a couple of ideas and would love it if you would help me out.

I have two fundraiser ideas at the moment: selling ad space for this blog and holding an on-campus fundraiser (i.e. selling snacks or baked goods).

Also, if you have any cheap travel and hotel ideas, I am receptive to anything, within reason.

I don't want to abandon this project, but my current efforts aren't working.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Kumbaya...or not.

President Times and other members

My preparation for this trip has enticed me to get more involved with NABJ and become active in its online community. I regularly check Twitter hashtags and peruse every NABJ-affiliated fanpage on my Facebook.

Consequently, I've noticed something about the NABJ online community. It seems unless someone is promoting their own project, members are not that engaging online. The only group that seems to attempt to regularly engage each other are the student members. Otherwise, only a select few try to forge any type of online community.

As I learn more about NABJ, my love for the organization grows but I hate that I have only three NABJ members on my Twitter page that I speak to regularly and none on my Facebook. Perhaps, it's something that I'm doing or not doing but I don't want to wait until August to be able to fellowship with other members. When I go to the convention, I want to be able to recognize some faces. Although I will be networking and making career connections, I want to leave the convention with a couple of budding friendships. I am sure there are other members that wish to do the same.

What do you think? If you want to link up, leave some contact information in the comments section!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

New Direction

My newest tee. It's available at my CafePress.

I was thisclose to stopping my t-shirt operation.

My shop is currently hosted on Cafepress, a well-known printing website. The site is relatively easy to use and has other benefits, but I feel like it isn't the right place for me to start a business. It just seems like a place to put random pictures on random objects and although selling tees started out as just a fundraising method, I can see myself doing this after my trip. Trying to keep my t-shirt operation together has become another project for me, in addition to my planning this trip. To put it simply, this is my hustle and I'm serious about it.

Usually, when I find out something isn't going to be easy or handed to me, I quit before I can fail. That habit has saved me a lot of heartbreak but it has stunted my growth and left me a with a few regrets. I'm hoping this won't be one of them. I'm determined for this not to be one of them. 

But I didn't feel that way this morning and I hadn't for the past few days. My worrisome nature began to rear its ugly head and I was ready to give up and try something else. I expressed some of my feeling on Twitter and one of my followers approached me about it and we had a talk. A designer herself, she gave me a ton of great advice and helped me to regain my direction. She inspired me to make some changes. 

As of right now, my designs will remain on CafePress but I will start trying to sell my shirts out of my house and have them printed by a local seller. I will also have a fundraiser in the coming weeks. More information on  both at a later date. 

Ashleigh ( I need a siggy. lol)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

New Travel Option

I was looking at the Pennsylvania Convention Center's site today and decided to look at their page dedicated to travel. Among the options listed was the Amtrak train station, a well-known cross country rail line. I decided to do a quote on the site and this is what I got:
$246 for 16 hours. 

Compared to:
Over $340 for an approximately 2 hour flight.

Although the idea of sitting on a train for 16 hours sounds a tad excruciating, I think Amtrak might be the better deal. It'd be a bit more friendly for my pockets. 

What do you think? NABJ-ers, how are you getting to Philly? Leave a comment.