WE’RE ON THE MOVE
By Kai EL’ZABAR
Defender Executive Editor
A year ago, October 6, 2014, I walked into the Chicago Defender office and began my first day as Executive Editor. I was excited and filled with the passion that continues to carry me forward providing editorial leadership for the 110-year old iconic paper. My vision has been to breathe new life into the brand that has been a strong, powerful voice of the people, exposing and introducing our community to things they should know, providing information that can make a difference in their lives, capturing, reporting, as well as making the news. Also, we want to restore your faith and pride in what we do and what we represent as a media entity. We are not the Chicago Defender of old but rather we are the continued evolution of what we have become—growing, adapting and expanding. We publish daily digitally (here) at www.chicagodefender.com. We print a weekly edition every Wednesday that you can pick-up at an outlet near you or you can subscribe. You can access us on your smart phone, tablet, laptop or desktop. You can check us out on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to stay in communication and on top of news unfolding as it happens, or lend your voice to our stimulating dialog. Our social media presence has grown leaps and bounds since we began and we continue to grow thanks to you. I had a vision that we’d have a stable of powerful voices to speak to the people on various subjects and interests. We are committed to continue on the path to greatness, wherever that will take us, as the voice of the people. So with much pleasure, I introduce to you the voices of the Chicago Defender—CD Bloggers who roll out this month. Just look for them under VOICES. Check them out!
Guest Blogger: Andrea Zopp, U.S. Senatorial Candidate’s blog will take us on her national campaign journey, up through the November 2016 election, sharing the inside story from where she stands, her platform and the challenges that confront her. As a prosecutor in the US Attorney’s office, Andrea fought to keep our neighborhoods safe by taking on illegal guns, violent crime and criminal organizations; and worked to protect victims of domestic violence. She has spent her life being an agent of change fighting for stronger communities, better schools and safer streets on many fronts. As CEO & President of the Chicago Urban League, she fought to increase opportunities for small businesses and entrepreneurs striving to recover from the Great Recession. She was the first woman and first African American to serve as First Assistant State’s Attorney in Cook County.
1. Blogger: Teefa brings you “HopTalk” Vlog, a video blog. “Hop Talk” is all about highlighting current events related to the Hip Hop culture, sharing content including but not limited to artists-influenced interviews, album reviews,vignettes, event recaps and more.
As one of the hottest Hip Hop female emcees and radio personalities on Chicago’s airwaves today, Teefa has a steady growing listening audience. During her career as a major recording artist, Teefa has worked and toured with the biggest artists in Hip Hop and R&B including Kanye West, Common, Eminem, Lil Wayne, Syleena Johnson and more. Teefa is a natural talent behind the mic, and regularly wins the minds and hearts of the people she engages with. Her Vlog “Hop Talk” promises to be equally as exciting.
2. Blog Team: The BIGS- Terrence Tomlin & Eugene McIntosh bring us thebigs.us covering the Chicago Sports scene in a major way. We are proud to introduce and roll out Terrence Tomlin, Chicago Defender contributing writer as he joins Eugene, another sports fanatic and they will keep you on top of Chicago’s sports franchises, college and high school teams. You can catch them anywhere from Soldier Field checking out the Bears to Simeon getting a look at the next up-and-coming hoops phenom. Wherever there are Chicago sports, you’ll find the BIGS.
3. Blogger: Gina B. graces us with her blog titled ‘Many Hats,’ so appropriately named, will provide perspective from a woman’s view who has many varying jobs: relationships, natural products, job-seeking advice and what ever shows up. Gina B. is the founder and Chief Alchemist of Naturals by Gina B., and an original member of Six Brown Chicks. A long-time relationship columnist, Gina is a woman who has many lives, remains a voracious student and chronicler of human behavior. She’s all that, yes! And you will find her strange sense of humor funny, on point, insightful and outrageously witty bringing an interesting perspective to the foreground upfront and personal.
4. Blogger: Freedom Jones presents ‘Caviar & Grits,’ a blog with a gritty tone about Politics, Film, Technology, World Events and everything else that matters by Freedom Jones. Imagine a talk show as a blog. This is it! Jones is a an Emmy award winning media veteran who comes to CD voices with a background in television production, writing,and film editing credits and has served as a talk show host. Currently, Jones is the Chief Technology Officer for United NFC a Mobile Application Development Firm that specializes in consumer-based Event Marketing and Advertising.
5. Blogger: Neffer-Oduntunde A. Kerr brings us ‘Be Great or Be Quiet,’ a blog. Deconstructing the current state of affairs, politics, entertainment, and society from a millennial perspective. Affectionately known as ‘Boom’ because when she speaks her voice resonates with a loud boom hitting the reader prolifically. She is a performance artist, mother, and closet chef. She has mastered the art of sarcasm and infuses it into her writing with a hint of compassion. Honesty is the best policy with her, as she does not shy away from harsh topics, addressing them with an authentic tongue.
6. Blogger: David Roman brings us, ‘A Little This, a Little That.” blog. David invites you to check it out and discover for yourself what ‘its all about.’ Like the photographs he takes and the poetry he writes, his blog captures what the beholder sees and feels.
David says, “I’m a photographer/writer, gallery owner living in Europe.” I have 12 books, of which, 8 are poetry and the other 4 coffee table books. My flower canvas prints are in demand around the world hanging in some of the largest companies and finest homes. My poetry is read by thousands. You can find all my books at the Apple store or at Amazon. Things I believe in: I live life with a passion with respect and love of humanity. Stupidity, closed mindedness, racism and nationalistic hate have no place in my world, no place in my life, it’s always been the downfall of mankind. Here’s one of my favorite quotes: “Keep away from those who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you believe that you too can become great.” ~Mark Twain
7. Blogger: Lynn Norment brings, ‘The Lynn Life — On the Move,’ a blog about passion for life that captures and reflects events, people, injustices, inequities and other passions that inspires or inflame. ‘The Lynn Life’ reflects her world, which encompasses media, music, dance, art, theater, museums, and simple joys such as walking and viewing public art. It also includes service to the community and involvement in social service agencies. I will capture extraordinary people who are passionate about life and what they do. I’d like to share my passions and experiences while encouraging others to get out and live their lives with gusto while giving back to others. I enjoy life and want to share my passions via the written word. I am immersed in the media community and active on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Lynn Norment continues to enjoy a fulfilling career in the media, after a long tenure at Ebony magazine, where she was a senior writer and managing editor. She authored hundreds (perhaps thousands) of stories, including articles on Whitney Houston, Beyoncé, Prince, Janet Jackson, Will Smith, Queen Latifah, Tina Turner, Al Green, Denzel Washington, Mariah Carey, and Vanessa Williams. And she is honored to be profiled in The HistoryMakers’ archives, which are housed in the U.S. Library of Congress. Today, she heads Lynn Norment Media, where she utilizes her media expertise to assist clients in establishing and strengthening their brands and gaining media exposure for their projects and events.
8. Blogger: Lora King brings, ‘Real Talk about Alzheimer’s’ the conversation you don’t want to have. Lora says, “Like me Alzheimer’s can be staring you in the face but if you aren’t familiar with the symptoms you won’t recognize them. And it can cost you time with a loved one.” So her ‘Real Talk . . . ’ is a weekly commentary to increase awareness about an insidious disease-a dementia called Alzheimer’s (aka AD) which is escalating at a rapid rate in our communities. She will share insightful information, facts, suggestion and medical updates that can make a difference in your and your loved one’s quality of life. Lora is the author of Stolen, living in Los Angeles and holds a MA, MFCC. She has been a social worker for most of her adult life and continues to serve and embolden those who require her special brand of sensitivity and insight. When her father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2004, her path took an unexpected turn. Since then she has become an advocate for Alzheimer’s education and awareness championing the necessity to inform everyone about the disease silently creeping up on so many. Her book, Stolen, is a chronicle of her and her brother’s journey as primary caregivers through her eyes.
9. Blog Team: BeautyNBlack is lead by Blog Leader, Margo LaDrew. She brings you, ‘a lifestyle’ blog about beauty and health awareness, and well being. It will provide content about everything you want to know about beauty for women of color. The intent is to inspire women to want to live a healthier lifestyle and choose to live because they’re worth it.
Margo Wade LaDrew has over 30 years of experience in sales, marketing, consumer promotions, event management and community relations. She began her career as a model and landed a position with Johnson Publishing Company, (Ebony/Jet) in the health and beauty industry at JPC’s subsidiary company-Supreme Beauty Products as well as Modeling for Fashion Fair Cosmetics working directly with the CEO and Publisher, the late Mr. John H. Johnson.
Margo launched her own company Wade & Associates Group, representing major companies in the ethnic hair care market, and entertainment industry has provided services to beauty companies entertainment clients including the The Essence TV Awards, and The Black Movie Awards as has served at the Event Coordinator for the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo, and produces the Celebrity Soul Rodeo.
She currently is the Founder of the Black Beauty Shop Health Foundation, a health prevention and wellness organization and one of the Founding Members of Women of Color, Inc – an entertainment networking group, which produces signature events.
10. Blogger: Andrea Berry brings to our daily digital edition “Unstoppable Visions,” a lifestyle blog for those who are acting or preparing to act on their visions. The focus will be also achieving your goals, how to be prepared for opportunities and current issues! Always very clear about her hopes and dreams, Andrea Berry has broken barriers in the broadcast field for the last thirty years. An award winning broadcast media executive for the FOX and CBS television networks, she has led technical teams for many very high profile events including the World Series, the Olympic Winter Games, NFL, NCAA, and NASCAR. In addition, Andrea has held key roles in the launch of new cable and broadcast television networks and managed network Digital Media Management initiatives. One of the few female graduates of the prestigious Illinois Institute of Technology, Andrea earned a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science with a minor in Electrical Engineering. She holds an Executive Certificate in Management and Leadership from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (M.I.T) Sloan School of Business; an Executive Certificate in New Media Management from the USC Marshall School of Business, and is a graduate of the Los Angeles African American Women’s Public Policy Institute. “I am a firm believer that you can design your own destiny and achieve your goals,” she says.
11. Blogger: Dr. Karen R. January presents, “Ask Dr. Karen,” a blog about parenting, love and life, and a questions and answers column. Dr. January answers questions from readers on parenting, relationships and other family/interpersonal/behavioral issues that confront Chicago Defender readers. Dr. Karen R. January, is the author of Lessons Mama Never Taught Me, and has 25 years experience as a teacher, counselor and behavioral specialist in the Chicago Public School system. She also was an administrator at an alternative transitional high school, and a professor of psychology at Chicago State University, her alma mater. Dr. January currently works with incarcerated juveniles with Chicago Public Schools. She has initiated several youth programs bringing tangible knowledge and wisdom to our youth.
12. Blogger: SD Searcy brings us ‘About Wine,’ a blog about everything you need to know about wines because she knows everything. She says, “Seriously. calm down. It’s just grape juice,” are her words to drink by. SD Searcy is a wine buyer for America’s first national certified organic grocer.
13. Blogger: Velda Tucker brings a blog about the Issues that impact Black men and subsequently impact the Black community, our youth, our women and how it affects our entire overall well-being, providing insight and knowledge to raise our consciousness about this often misunderstood topic. Velda Tucker was born in Chicago. She graduated a year ahead of her class from the High School for Health Professions and enrolled at the University of Houston majoring in criminal justice. Later she earned a B.S. degree in business from the University of Phoenix, and a M.S. degree in criminal justice from Boston University. She is currently a doctoral student at Northcentral University studying business administration and philosophy with a concentration in criminal justice.