Shelly A. has been an avid reader since grade school when she learned books were wonderful ways to escape and transcend to places unknown. But it wasn't until college that she satisfied her need to learn of, and hear the voices of, African Americans whose stories were not readily available in grade school. The love affair with reading continues as does the desire to hear a wide range of voices, stories, and truths. She is also an eager gardener who currently resides in San Antonio, TX with her family. She studied African American studies and American History at the University of RI.
Heather is a paralegal and native New Yorker who enjoys reading, writing, house music, and creating custom baby supplies. She is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Tau Delta Zeta chapter. She lives with her husband in Maryland.
Davie is an artist, educator, and entrepreneur. She is the CEO of A DC Tutor LLC, a company that provides student-centered, educational services to clients in the Washington, DC area. She is also the founder of FYSM™, a movement that celebrates creative and independent thinkers. She loves writing and experimenting with music, telling stories, reading young adult novels, and making jewelry.
Tiffany M. Davis
Tiffany is the Senior Editor of QBR: The Black Book Review. She has been published in the anthologies Malaria Shots Not Included and One Day I Woke Up and Put My Crown On and The Backlist newsletter, and has contributed her award-winning writing and editorial services to clients that include National Geographic, Sodexho, the American Society for Cell Biology, and Triple Crown Publications. A graduate of Georgetown University , a Hurston/Wright Fellow, and a former chef trained at the Culinary Institute of America, she currently lives in Georgia.
Leslie Haídez De Jesus
Leslie is from the Bronx. Her poetic style stems from her personal experiences. She doesn't like to refer to herself as an artist because her writing style works more like a random moment. "I can only write, when I feel it," she says. Look for her first poetry book, PhatGyrlzRule-Image iz Everything, which should be due this year. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stacey Dennis, MPH
Stacey is a Disease Intervention Specialist with the Baltimore City Health Department and is the founder of Whispers in My Ears, a consultancy dedicated to the expansion of the sexual health knowledge of adolescents and adults. She is also the Public Health Vice Chair for the Greater Baltimore Leadership Association of the National Urban League and President of the Tau Omega Zeta chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. A graduate of a graduate of Towson University (Towson, Maryland) and Capella University (Minneapolis, MN), and an avowed foodie, she resides in Maryland with her son, dogs, and cat when she is not practicing yoga or traveling to her favorite places in Northern Africa.
Vanady Enjoli is an avid reader and member of Fresh Anointing City of Refuge Church. A member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., she lives in Northern Virginia.
Donte is a writer and editor who currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. He has written for Inc. magazine and the Black Web Media's Young Black Professional Guide, and for the websites Okayplayer, Black Web 2.0, and Politic 365. Currently, he serves as Senior Editor for the music and culture website SoulBounce.
Melinda Holliday McDonald, Esq.
Melinda is an attorney with the federal government, specializing in employee and personnel law and privacy law. She is currently writing a book chronicling her efforts to become a mother through IVF and natural conception, after the death of her adopted son. She is an avid reader and a 10+ year member of a local bookclub – Unique Women Only (UWO). A graduate of Georgetown University and George Washington University Law School, she is currently married with two living children (one deceased) and two dogs, in Maryland.
L. Jay Houston, PhD
L. Jay writes on a broad range of subjects, including government programs, public policy, and contemporary social issues. He is an avid reader, enjoying nonfiction books as well as books on the subject of African American issues, and science fiction. This native of Brooklyn, NY has lived in the Washington, DC area for over twenty years. He received his Master’s degree from the University of the District of Columbia and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Brooklyn College. In his spare time, he also enjoys volunteering.
Karriem L. is a married father of two who has been a voracious reader since the first grade, when his mother used to make him read to the family after dinner every night. He is a member of American MENSA, and is a graduate of The Hotchkiss School.
Jameka B. Lewis
Jameka is the current Head of Special Collections at the Melvin B. Tolson Black Heritage Center, located at Langston University in Langston, OK. She has a Master of Library Science degree from Texas Women’s University and loves her career as a librarian. She has reviewed books for the LU Gazette and enjoys reading and discovering new authors. In her spare time, her hobbies include writing, editing, researching historical artifacts and learning more about archives and preservation.
Tracey Michae’l Lewis-Giggetts is a writer and educator based out of the metro Philadelphia area. She is the author of six books including The Gospel According to Sasha Renee and Interruption: The Gospel According to Crystal Justine (both part of the "Gospel of Grace Women" trilogy) and The Unlikely Remnant. Tracey has written for numerous publications (regional, national, and online) including Circuit Rider, Philadelphia Weekly, Heart and Soul, and Denene Millner's MyBrownBaby.com. She holds a B.A. in Communication from the University of Kentucky, an M.B.A from Montclair State University, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Fairleigh-Dickinson University. Formerly the Managing Editor at CLC Publications, a 72 year-old publisher of Christian nonfiction, Tracey now teaches writing and publishing courses at Philadelphia University, Rosemont College, and the Community College of Philadelphia. She is also a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. You can visit Tracey Michae'l online at www.traceymlewis.com.
Tamara is from a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, where she lives with her husband and young son. She is very active in Assembly Baptist Church, and serves Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. as President of Nu Theta Zeta chapter; current Ohio Graduate Member-at-Large; and Regional Representative for Ohio. For fun, she enjoys spending time with her mother (who is also a Zeta), shopping, reading and encouraging others. She is currently at work on an inspirational book.
Malika has a fifteen-plus year career in the fields of public relations, the non-profit sector, and higher education. She currently serves as program manager and academic advisor at her alma mater, Fayetteville State University, where she earned a B.A. in communication. Ms. Mercer has also completed continuing education coursework in grant proposal writing, and is currently pursuing her MPA at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Her research interests include graduate school preparation for first-generation college students, undergraduate research opportunities at HBCUs, and utilizing social media for business promotion. She can be contacted at www.queenaoleon.wordpress.com.
Fe'Dricka is an educator, freelancer, community servant, and a Black cultural enthusiast. She enjoys listening to music, surfing the Internet, writing, traveling, participating in community service activities, and engaging in socio-political discussions concerning the African Diaspora. She currently resides in the New Orleans area.
Verna M. Odums is a Florida native. She works at a law firm in Washington, D.C., where she relocated due to her husband’s military assignment. She worked at AT&T/Southern Bell/BellSouth prior to her move for a total of 16 years ,with enough stories to fill hundreds of books and movie screens. She loves cooking and entertaining, reading, theater/movies and her childhood sports : softball and volleyball. She’s the co-founder of the book club Unique Women Only, loves people, and is often dubbed “Mama” in her circle. She attended Palm Beach State College and looks forward to returning to school upon retirement. In the meantime, she shares her passions and life lessons with whatever audience she finds herself. She’s a wife, mother of five, and grandmother of seven, with whom she shares her love of books and theater especially her oldest grandchild who is now in high school. She supports several charities and any call that promotes, uplifts, heals and restores humanity. She currently resides in Maryland.
Christina Prue is a fan of reading, WWE wrestling, and healthy eating. A member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. She lives with her husband and two children in Maryland.
Max is the founder and editor-in-chief of QBR: The Black Book Review, and the founder of the Harlem Book Fair. A native of Brooklyn, NY, he lives in Westchester County, New York, with his wife and son.
LaShelle Scott, MPM is a Six Sigma Green Belt, PhD candidate, and Project Manager with Chevron. A native of Atlanta, GA and a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., she currently resides in Houston, TX
LaTanya is a native Texan and currently splits her time living between Austin and San Antonio. She is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated - Alpha Kappa Zeta chapter and she is a board member for Austin-based Princess in Training, a leadership development program for teenage girls. Tatum is a breast cancer survivor, and was diagnosed in 2006 at the age of 29. However, she did not let her diagnosis prevent her from continuing to live her life as an exclamation mark! She was the 2012 Honorary Race Chair for the Susan G. Komen - Austin Affiliate Race for the Cure. In addition to reading, her hobbies include shopping, spending time with friends, and playing "mommy" to her Miniature Schnauzer, Madison Kaye.
Tameka is the founder of In the Words Consulting, an editorial & communications service. She has contributed articles and/or communications services to CMA Today, USA Weekend Magazine, Demand Studios, AOL, WikiChicago.com and Walgreens Company, as well as various authors and editors. Her mantra is,“Choose and use your words wisely. Remember, your words are powerful." Her book, Making the Media Work for You: Your Guide to Effective Communication with the Media, is available at Amazon.com. Follow her on Twitter (@IWC_Consulting ) or email her at Editor@inthewordsconsulting.com
Cohen Williams is a 12-year-old sixth grader who enjoys playing video games and football, and he is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. He attends a visual and performing arts middle school, where he plays the trombone in the band. He wants to be a video game designer and graphic artist when he grows up.
Lillet Williams, MBA
Lillet has worked in the mental health field as an administrator for over 15 years. She currently lives in Maryland with her almost 12 year-old son, is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., and is working on another master’s degree in Human Resources Management. She enjoys traveling, reading, and science fiction movies.
Stephen is an IT project manager in Atlanta, GA. He reads business journals and technical magazines to stay current on latest trends in technology & strategy. He is also passionate about photography.
Sydni Williams is a middle-school student in the Atlanta, GA area. She enjoys reading and movies.
Rashena is a bibliophile, writer and rogue scholar living in the NYC Metropolitan area.