One of my first blogs that I started back in 2007 was called GEM and was hosted on Blogger. It started with a poem I wrote called Little Brown Girl, inspired by girls I’ve witnessed in the inner-city who seem to be losing hope because they don’t know hope exists.
From seeing girls getting pregnant to dropping out of school, my heart breaks to see any child, whatever the background, fail to realize their purpose and worth. We see how women are objectified in the media and the way positive role models for African American girls are so few on TV. It’s up to us – mothers, sisters, aunts and mentors – to instill confidence in the next generation.
Overtime I started other blogs on my own domain and discontinued the GEM blog, but I recently was inspired to revisit it…
A few months back via the Internet I met an inspiring woman named Kara Norman who co-founded a wonderful organization for girls called GEMS and Jewels Empowerment Group with Adriane Simmons. Kara and I connected and she took the time to encourage me – she is truly a kind-hearted person who is being the change she dreams of seeing in the world.
Learning about the work the GEMS and Jewels Group does to motivate girls, from organizing etiquette classes to college preparation field trips, really made me begin thinking about how I could also mentor girls in my community. Remembering my own childhood and teen years as shy, unconfident girl, her group would have nurtured me so much to grow as it is doing for so many girls today. If every girl had dedicated mentors like Kara and Adriane I’m sure there would be more strong, confident women in the world.
The GEMS and Jewels recently had their Kick-Off Celebration for the year and below is a booklet I had the pleasure to create for them and a poem I’ve written dedicated to their vision and girls:
Dreams of Gems and Jewels
Your eyes glint
With passion for life,
Your dreams sparkle
So very bright.
You have purpose,
Worth, power and gifts
So walk and dream
You are one very special girl,
Who has the power to change the world.
You’re precious, unique, talented,
One day your dreams
Can come true!
This is why we celebrate you
Because you are truly
A Gem and Jewel!
More Information About the GEMS and Jewels Empowerment Group for Girls:
Mission: The mission of the G.E.M.S. and Jewels program is to promote self-esteem, self-awareness, self worth and respect within the lives of young girls and teens. Through enrichment workshops/activities, cultural awareness, community service projects, mentorship, leadership/educational programs and social activities G.E.M.S. and Jewels will accomplish these goals and create confident young women who will make a difference in our world!
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Note: I recently began a creative events inspiration blog and will be featuring inspiration for event decor, stationery, diy crafts and more. Click here to check out the blog.
I love doing event design, and have been doing various invitations for others and for my Dream Creations store lately. Here are a few designs that you can find in the store, which are some of my favorites:
Here are two bright animal print invitations, one of them which recently won a Zazzle Artist Award and is currently featured on Zazzle’s Sweet 16 Invitations page. I was inspired by bright nail art patterns I saw in a photo to create these designs. You can click on a design to purchase and customize.
Sweet 16 Invitation Bright Butterfly & Zebra Print by envibrance
Shop for more invitations on Zazzle.com
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In the past few years I’ve done several projects for Black History Month events and specials for different organizations. Here are a few of my favorites:
YBS Black History Makers
A few years back I designed a Black History Month project for a youth website YoungBlackStarz.org, to inspire young people to learn about great figures in history as well as young people today in entertainment who are making positive strides.
Here are some of the interviews we did with the teens and tween performers on the site:
Ida B. Wells Barnett was a journalist and pioneer of freedom in the 19th century. This project (click here to view) was actually the first website I ever created in high school for a multimedia contest that was aimed at chronicling the life of a leader in history. My two friends and I created the site to show the history of African Americans in America and how Ida B. Wells fought against injustice through the power of her pen. The site actually won first place in the competition and the opportunity allowed us to contribute to the National Urban League’s publication that following year.
“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”
– Ida B. Wells-Barnett, (1862-1931) Anti-lynching crusader, suffragist, women’s rights advocate, journalist, and speaker
During the late nineteenth century to the early twentieth century in America, many injustices rang out in the hearts of African Americans. During this time of intense turmoil including lynching, discrimination, and violence, a passionate woman with a courageous and determined spirit rose up to battle the injustices in society. She led a national campaign against lynching that opened the eyes of the nation to the horrors taking place in a land that had supposedly guaranteed freedom for all citizens.
Through fiery articles, unwavering speeches, spirited marches, and compelling actions, this woman risked her own life to save the lives and freedoms of others. She was a woman with great hope that inspired her to take action to change history instead of passively letting events take their own course. Her name was Ida B. Wells-Barnett.
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One of the latest design projects I did was for a contest at one of my favorite blogs Afrobella.com. It’s a wonderful site that inspires women to embrace the true, natural essence of themselves, and has posts about beauty products, natural hair tips and issues, and touches upon other important topics affecting people of color. Afrobella, also known as Ms. Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik, had a contest to design the new logo for her blog, and though I found out about the contest late, I quickly came up with some designs inspired by the natural, powerful vibe that Afrobella represents.
Though I didn’t win the contest, she recently posted some of her favorite design submissions and gave me a little shout out.
Check out some of the designs I did above and below, and be sure to visit Afrobella.com for a breath of vibrant, intelligent writing and inspiration!
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I attended UM for my first few years of college (go Canes!) and had the opportunity to design projects for various offices and organizations:
Designs for various newsletters, posters, publications, online materials and postcards for the Department of Student Affairs at the University of Miami.