Javacia Harris Bowser is the founder and editor of See Jane Write which is her online space that not only showcases her work, but is also a network and community of talented writers. She has written for publications that include USA Today, Birmingham Magazine, and a weekly column for B-Metro Magazine. A teacher by day and night really as her work helps women blossom through their writing, Bowser is a booming voice among creatives in the South. (Her crew practically filled our morning session at Be Blogalicious, so I know she is offering something special.)
Maya Earls is a Philadelphia transplant working as a general assignment report for The Philadelphia Tribune. She is a self-proclaimed soccer nut and fitness enthusiast and an accomplished writer. Most recently, Earls received her Master’s degree from the Columbia School of Journalism in New York City. Her work has been featured in The Baltimore Sun, RVA Magazine, Haitian Times, and more.
The Chief Creative Officer of Creative Smart Girl, Nia helps women navigate the space of chasing their dreams while doing it with the utmost style and grace. A fashion blogger, content creator and event curator, Nia has taken all of her lessons in business and molded them into a dynamic online space that is Creative Smart Girl and a poppin’ Twitter chat under the same moniker. Her work aids both the full time entrepreneur and the side hustler that is working to make it all make sense while balancing a 9 to 5. Her story is one of perseverance and finding your divine purpose even through the curveballs like sometimes throws our way.
Ka’Lyn Banks is a woman balancing it all. A recent newlywed, graduate student, content creator and digital community manager, she has a ton on her plate but does it with humor and flare. Studying at Bowie State University to obtain her Master of Arts in Organizational Communications as a teaching assistant, you can add professor to her impressive list of skillsets. Featured on XO Necole as one of three women who boldly quit their jobs and changed careers, it seems at least from the outside looking in, that Banks has found her stride. An advocate for women of color and against the stigmas of mental illness, Ka’Lyn knows exactly what she is working towards.
Nneka Okona is a phenomenal writer and world traveler that shares her personal thoughts, travel adventures, and much more through her own internet space Afros Y Paellas as well as thoughtful freelance essays in major publications. Her writing has been featured in Ebony, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and much more. Her work is reflective, thoughtful, engaging, and truly written with and from the heart. She also coaches writers with her Heartist Writing Sessions which encourage writers to “write from the hidden parts of themselves.” Always reminding us to write from the deepest places, Onoka is a breath of fresh air in a time when so much feels related to follower counts and likes.
Chasity Cooper is a bright light that radiates right through the digital realm. A communications strategist and freelance writer, Cooper finds the space to let her love for social media and technology and writing live and breathe together. She serves as the Director of Digital Community Development and Programming for Her Agenda managing the 200+ membership community. Her writing has been featured in Teen Vogue, Essence and much more. A wine enthusiast, runner, and fellow tea lover, Chasity doles out motivation, professional tips and just the right amount of trap music!
Gabrielle Hickmon is splitting her time between total world domination as a UPenn Grad student and writing for a generation that thrives off authenticity and forward thinking. She is the co-founder of The Reign XY which creates community and encouragement for millennial women of color. Created by Gabrielle and college friend, Toi, the site explores their journey from the college experience into the professional realm. Full of style, grace, and a love for politics, it’s easy to see Gabrielle as an emerging leader in the millennial generation that will affect change in more ways than one on both a local and global scale.
When I think of grace not perfection I see a second chance. I see an opportunity to embrace all of who I am fully, without regret. I sit and reflect on the times that I had no idea who I truly was. There was a point it was uncomfortable for me to be my true self. There were days that my desire for perfection made pretending to be someone that I was not feel ideal. At some point, I realized that all that time I was masking my pain and scars. I was ignoring what I needed to do to properly heal. Wearing a false mask enabled my self-hatred for many years. Grace is a constant reminder that my refusal to meet my true self halfway all those years was the path that I needed to take to become whole. It was the pain and the triumph that taught me the true beauty of growth, self-acceptance and self-love. I stand tall, perfectly imperfect, but gracefully me.