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Patrice Grell Yursik is a Trinidadian writer who currently lives in downtown Chicago. In August 2006, she created, a blog to fill a void that existed in print and online media - a continual celebration of natural hair and women all shades of beautiful. Afrobella readers are enlightening and entertaining, intelligent and glamorous, friendly, fabulous and fun. If you love the skin that you're in and the beautiful natural texture of your hair, if you enjoy learning about different cultures and listening to eclectic music, if you have an obsession with makeup and fashion and all things fabulous -- then this is the blog for you.

Afrobella has been featured in Essence, Ebony, Glamour, People Style Watch,, the Trinidad Guardian, Trinidad Newsday and Fast Company. 

Patrice Yursik has contributed writing to Essence,, and, and was one of the initial contributors to Italian Vogue’s Vogue Black. 

She has been featured in full page print advertising campaigns for hair care brand Crème of Nature – these ads have run in every major African American magazine from Essence and Ebony to Sister to Sister and Hype Hair. She has participated in online advertising campaigns for cosmetics brands Urban Decay and Lancôme, and hosted events for brands including the Huetiful hair steamer, Design Essentials and Carol's Daughter. 

In 2011 Afrobella partnered with MAC Cosmetics to create her own custom lipgloss called "All Of My Purple Life," part of the Bloggers' Obsession collection (which debuted on June 21, 2011). Her lipgloss sold out in a week was re-released, and then sold out again in another week. To promote the lipgloss, she created a Tumblr blog where fans of All Of My Purple Life could submit their photos.  Currently there is a fan-created petition calling for the color’s return.

Afrobella is currently on Ebony Magazine’s Power 100 list, alongside the likes of Jay-Z, Oprah and the Obamas. is one of few blogs in the Black Weblog Awards Hall of Fame, and to date Afrobella has won more than ten online awards, ranging from Glam’s Best in Beauty Award to Best Writing in a Blog from the Black Weblog Awards. 

Afrobella is on The Root’s list of 20 Black Bloggers You Should Know, Black Enterprise’s list of 20 of the Blogosphere’s Best, For Harriet’s list of 45 must follow Tumblr blogs, and on Mike Street’s list of top 10 African Americans to follow on Pinterest. Afrobella is on the Signature 99 list of top beauty and fashion bloggers in the world.

 Follow Afrobella on Twitter @Afrobella.

Luvvie Ajayi 

Lovette “Luvvie” Ajayi* is a writer, social media strategist and trainer. She’s also an experienced blogger who’s been at it for 9 years, 5 of which are at her humor blog, AwesomelyLuvvie. Luvvie's background is in Marketing, Communications and New Media, and she’s presented at several conferences over the years on these topics. The conferences include: The Nonprofit Technology Conference, BlogHer, Blogging While Brown, Chicago Social Media Summit, Blogalicious Weekend, NeighborWorks Symposium.

Luvvie’s also passionate about social justice and she's addicted to shoes. She combined these loves and founded
The Red PumpProject with Karyn Watkins. Red Pump is a national nonprofit organization that raises awareness about the impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls. Their work has earned them a Congressional Record from the U.S. House of Representatives as well as Resolution adopted in their name by the City Council of Chicago.

  Follow Luvvie on Twitter @luvvieig.


Akotoa Ofori-Atta

Akoto Ofori-Atta is the assistant editor at The Root, where she manages the editorial social media strategy for the online magazine. She has held positions at the McGraw-Hill Companies as a communications assistant and as a marketing associate for BusinessWeek magazine. She graduated in 2005 from Hampton University with a B.A. in print journalism, and from Georgetown University's Communications, Culture and Technology master's program in 2011, where she was the managing editor of Gnovis, an academic journal that explores culture, media, technology and the arts. In her spare time, she reads, writes and talks about music, food and Ghana. She resides in Brooklyn, NY.

Follow The Root on Twitter @TheRoot247.


Erin Bailey 

Erin J. Bailey is a 20-something beauty and lifestyle writer living in the Baltimore-Washington Metro area. Erin started her beauty blog, Scandalous Beauty, in 2005. In the years since, she’s met and interviewed her favorite makeup artists, traveled across country and got the exclusive scoop backstage at New York Fashion Week.

Her avid use of social media and the inquires from companies inspired her to start Bailey New Media in 2010. She helps create social media, blog marketing, and promotional strategies for companies and bloggers. She created her food and lifestyle blog, Erin Joy in 2012.

Follow Erin on Twitter @ErinScandalous.


 Wayne  Bennett 

Wayne Bennett is an attorney in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He acts as a magistrate for the first Judicial District’s Domestic Relations Division and has his own private criminal defence practice. He is a member of the Philadelphia Bar Association, the Pennsylvania Bar Association, and the Domestic Relations Association of Pennsylvania. Wayne Bennett has written articles on child support and the state of urban families, and is involved with various civic charities, community organizations, and various boards in the Philadelphia area. He is the founder and publisher of the Field Negro  which has received numerous awards, honours and has been featured in publications such as GQ Magazine, Essence, the New York Times; and the Los Angeles Times. Wayne Bennett has appeared on NPR’s News & Notes, the Eric Dyson Show, The Walter Olney Show, and various other news programs. Wayne is married and resides in Northeast, Philadelphia.  

Follow Wayne on Twitter @fieldnegro.


Elisa Camahort Page

Elisa Camahort Page co-founded BlogHer, Inc., in 2005 with Jory Des Jardins and Lisa Stone, and serves as the company’s COO. Elisa leads events, marketing, public relations and research for the company and with her leadership, the BlogHer conference business has grown from a single conference hosting 300 attendees in 2005, to many diverse events that hosted over 5,000 attendees in 2011. The flagship event is the largest conference for women social media leaders in the world and has been described as “ComicCon for women who blog” by Variety magazine.

Elisa’s other major focus is to bring the story of BlogHer and the influence of the women in its community, to life via research, helping BlogHer’s customers glean critical insights about how women connect, share and behave online and off.  Elisa’s work leading BlogHer’s consumer insights team, as well as marketing and public relations, has resulted in coverage and profiles from many of the leading media outlets, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, Advertising Age, Forbes, Fast Company, CNN, The Today Show, the Wall Street Journal, and  many more .

Elisa is a frequent public speaker, bringing research data about women and online communities to life in recent keynotes at Social Media Week, Marketing to Women, MediaBistro Circus, Fem 2.0, New Communications Forum, BlogPaws, She's Connected and WOMMA Marketing Summit and sessions at Web 2.0, SXSW Interactive and CES.

Together, BlogHer co-founders Lisa, Elisa and Jory have been named among the most influential women in Web 2.0 and technology by Fast Company ( 2008 ,  2009  and  2010 ), Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalists (2010) and among the  seven most powerful people in new media  by Forbes Magazine (2009). In 2011 they were jointly awarded the  PepsiCo Women’s Inspiration Award and in 2008, the  Anita Borg Institute Social Impact Award . Elisa has been honored as an  NCWIT Hero  and as one of the  AWM's Sixty@60 .

As the co-founder of a mission-based for-profit organization, Elisa is a founding Fellow of the  Society for New Communications Research  and serves on the Board of Directors of the  42nd Street Moon Theatre  in San Francisco, the programming advisory committee for  SXSW Interactive , Advisory Board for  Food on the Table , and the Board of Advisors of the  Anita Borg Institute .


Toni Carey

Native of Nashville, Tennessee. Carey graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tenn., with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications with concentrations in Public Relations and Advertising and minors in marketing and Spanish. She also received a Master of Arts and Science degree from Seton Hall University in South Orange, N.J. She has worked with Dye, VanMol & Lawrence Public Relations in Nashville, Tenn., as an account executive and Avis Budget Group, Inc., a Fortune 500 Company located in Parsippany, N.J., as a corporate communications and industry relations specialist. She currently works as an account executive for a mid-size public relations agency. Carey was named as one of the best black bloggers by and recognized as one of the best health and fitness bloggers by Shape magazine. She was also featured in Ebony magazine's 2011 Power 100 list. Carey resides in Virginia Beach, Va 

Follow Toni on Twitter @blackgirlsrun.


Aymar Jean Christian

Aymar Jean Christian researches new media and television at the University of Pennsylvania. He edits two blogs, his personal site, Televisual, and Hacktivision, supported by Quinnipiac University. He has been published in mainstream outlets such as The Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek and blogs such as Racialicious, Tubefilter and AfterElton. 

Follow Aymar on Twitter @aymarjchristian.





Lou Dubois

Lou Dubois is a Philadelphia-based Social Media Editor for NBC Universal's local news affiliate (WCAU-TV). He is an experienced writer, editor and marketer who has worked with and written about Fortune 500 companies and small businesses, focusing on social media, emerging technologies, small business success, entrepreneurship, sports business and corporate policy. Previously he worked for Social Media Today, Sports Illustrated, the Associated Press and SOBeFit Magazine, along with various newspapers.


Kimberly C. Ellis, Ph.D aka Dr. Goddess

Affectionately known as "Dr. Goddess," Kimberly C. Ellis, Ph.D. is a Scholar of American and Africana Studies, an Artist, Activist and Entrepreneur who loves Technology and Social Media. She has become a staple at such conferences as Netroots Nation, Blogging While Brown, Blogalicious, Black Thought 2.0 (Duke University) BlogHer and SXSW. A published author, speaker and producer, she has successful campaigns under her belt and her work can be found on,,, NPR Radio, BBC_WHYS,,, AOL and more!



 Kathryn Finney

When Kathryn Finney started her wildly successful site The Budget Fashionista  in the summer of 2003, she had no idea she was creating the “Budget Fashion” movement.

Kathryn’s frank advice and Midwestern charm turned a small site about looking fabulous on a budget into one of the top fashion sites on the Internet, with over 10 million unique visitors a year. In 2010, Kathryn joined Maria Shriver and Elizabeth Warren on AOL’s list of the Top Ten Women in Money.

The release of her Amazon best-selling book, How to Be a Budget Fashionista- The Ultimate Guide to Looking Fabulous For Less (Random House/Ballantine Books), made her the first fashion blogger to receive a book deal from a major publishing house. The book is currently in its 7th printing.

Kathryn has been profiled and/or featured in The New York Times, O Magazine, Instyle, People, Wall Street Journal, Essence, Redbook, and over 600 other print publications.

Her October 2010 cover story for Savvy MN magazine was the best selling issue in the history of the magazine.

She’s a contributor to AOL Shopping, Lucky Magazine, and Real Simple Magazine. She’s also a frequent style contributor to television shows such as NBC’s TODAY Show, CNN Headline News, E! News and ABC’s Good Morning America and has served as a spokesperson for top brands including Febreze, Paypal, Rightfit, Marshalls/TJ Maxx and Sears.

As a top keynote speaker, Kathryn gives over 30 presentations per year, on topics such as entrepreneurship, new media and women, and challenges facing women leaders. She’s been a keynote speaker at top conferences such as SXSW Interactive, Black Enterprise Small Business Conference, Blogher Business, Women Funding Network, and Professional Business Women’s Conference.

An honors graduate of Yale University and Rutgers University, Kathryn continues to receive numerous honors for her work, including selection as one of America’s Smartest Shoppers (Style Network), Essence Magazine “Woman of Style”, one of Silicon Alley’s Top 100 People in Technology, one of the 100 Most Useful Websites by MSN Money, A Top Ten Twitter Feed by The Griot, and listed as a “favorite” blog by publications as diverse as Instyle, Real Simple Magazine, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, and Women’s Wear Daily.

Kathryn is a strong supporter of projects that improve the lives of women and of projects that increase access to technology in African and African-American communities. She’s a founder and trustee of theRobert Finney Technology Fund, a fund created in honor of her late father, Robert, who was an engineer at Microsoft and EMC2. The fund provides scholarships to African-American high school and college students pursuing studies in technology related fields.

Follow Kathryn on Twitter @KathrynFinney.


Darryl Frierson

Darryl Frierson is a graduate of Iowa State University with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications and a degree in History. Born in Chicago and raised in St. Louis, he has lived and/or traveled to almost every state in the United States. He describes himself as a Writer, Progressive Philosopher, Sports Junkie, and Promoter who Grinds hard like a 808.

He is currently working on his first book, a romantic comedy, called ”Loose Ends”. Darryl has written for the Huffington Post, The FreshExpress, Black Sports Online,, Delux Magazine, Show Me the Blog and various other sites. He also currently is the creator and co-shost of “StraightOutta LoCash”  Podcast with comedian Jovan Bibbs. He also is the 2011 Black Weblog Award winner for “Best Culture Blog” and “Best Blog Series” for “The Marcus GrahamChronicles”. Catch on his blog From Ashy to Classy.

Follow Darryl on twitter @diggame.


Dawn-Marie Gray

Dawn-Marie Gray is veteran brand strategist with nearly 20 years of integrated marketing communications experience, Dawn-Marie Gray joined CVS/pharmacy in January 2010 as a Senior Marketing Manager focused on multicultural consumers. In this role, Dawn-Marie collaborates with key stakeholders across the enterprise to influence national media campaigns and prioritize investments; achieve greater resonance with diverse audiences through support of brand relevant community initiatives; and drive revenue by growing share of wallet from Asian, Black and Hispanic consumers. 

 In addition to developing business strategies for both Front Store and Pharmacy marketing programs targeting multicultural consumers, Dawn-Marie manages the CVS/pharmacy To Your Health community program which is designed to address health disparities and access to care issues that negatively impact communities of color by offering free preventive services including health screenings for adults 18 years and older. In 2011, the program operates in 8 key US markets and Puerto Rico. 

Prior to joining CVS/pharmacy, Dawn-Marie served as Director of Marketing for the ad*itive – a full service multicultural marketing and communications firm – with a mission to improve, strengthen or positively alter the state of client business. As brand steward for several global organizations including Volkswagen, Colgate, KFC, Ultra Sheen, Coca-Cola and Timberland, she created and activated dynamic experiential marketing programs enabling the brands to successfully intersect with the right consumers, at the right time and in the right places.  

A native of Washington, DC, Dawn-Marie received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Broadcast Journalism from Howard University’s School of Communications. Currently residing in Providence, RI, she is an avid reader who enjoys exercising, watching movies, relaxing with family and friends and attending professional sporting events.

 Kaneisha Grayson

Kaneisha Grayson is the founder of and the author of Be Your Own Boyfriend: Decide to Be Happy, Unleash Your Sexy, and Change Your Life. Her writing, videos, and coaching focus on helping smart women gain clarity and tack action in life, love, and business.

 Kaneisha’s writing has appeared in Jane, Yahoo! Shine, Betty Confidential, Datingish,, and IvyDate. While in graduate school, Kaneisha served as the featured dating columnist for the Harvard Business School student newspaper and had a live call-in talk show on local television.

 Kaneisha speaks at and moderates sessions for conferences on the following topics: dating, personal development, decision-making, networking, non-fiction writing, blogging as a business, blogger outreach, power couples, Black dating, interracial dating, Ivy League dating, and Type A dating.

For two years, Kaneisha founded and ran an admissions consulting firm called The Art of Applying, for which she worked one-on-one with over 50 clients to gain admission to top MBA and MPP programs. Kaneisha has an MBA/MPA from Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School, and a BA from Pomona College. She lives in her hometown of Austin, Texas in the SoLa district.

Follow Kaneisha on Twitter @KaneishaD.


Harry Hairston

Emmy Award-winning journalist Harry Hairston joined NBC 10 in 2004 as an investigative reporter and substitute anchor.

Before working at NBC 10, Hairston was an investigative reporter at WXYZ in Detroit, an anchor and investigative reporter for local Viacom stations as well as stations in Tampa, Florida and Erie, Pennsylvania. During Hairston’s tenure in Detroit he became one of the city’s most recognized television reporters. Through his investigative reporting, Hairston gained the reputation of being a crime fighter. He also received an Emmy for ‘best talent’ in that market.

Hairston's journalistic excellence and dedicated community service have earned him numerous awards and citations. A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., Hairston holds a bachelor’s degree from Gannon College in Erie, Pennsylvania.


Jimmy Hammock

Jimmy Hammock of Morristown, Tennessee, was elected International President of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. July 9, 2009, during the 95th International Conclave in New Orleans, LA. Prior to being elected to the organization’s top post, Hammock served in various leadership capacities including, Southeastern Regional Director, International Treasurer, and International First Vice President.

The Hammock administration’s goal is to make Phi Beta Sigma synonymous with community service under the theme “Changing Lives Through Service.” “I’m a living witness that we can make a great impact in the lives of communities and individuals because my life was changed dramatically because of the committed service of one person,” shares Hammock.

Hammock, a native of Fordyce, Arkansas, retired from ArvinMeritor, formerly Rockwell International, as Materials Manager after 29 years of service.  He graduated from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) with a degree in Business Administration. Prior to attending UAPB, he attended J.E. Wallace High School in Fordyce, and received a full four-year academic scholarship to UAPB.

Hammock is married to Vicki Hammock, former educator and member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., and they have a son, Andre, who is also a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity.


Ashley Hicks

Hicks was named as one of the best black bloggers by and recognized as one of the best health and fitness bloggers by Shape magazine. She was also featured in Ebony magazine's 2011 Power 100 list.Hicks is currently working on a Master of Science in Communication at Columbia University in New York. 

Ashley Hicks is a lover of all things creative and outdoors. From the hours of nine to five she spends her time producing and editing documentaries. When she isn’t working, you can find her scouring the shelves of Home Depot for new home improvement projects, experimenting in the kitchen or brewing her own beer, Hicks Lite.

Follow Ashley on Twitter @blackgirlsrun.


Scott Hanselman

Scott Hanselman works for Microsoft as Principal Community Architect for Web Platform and Tools, aiming to spread the good word about developing software, most often on the Microsoft stack. He's been making software for twenty years. He will speak about computers (and other passions) whenever someone will listen to him. He's written in a few books, sold some software, and blogs for the last decade. Scott podcasts weekly.  He also has a popular video on the art of technical speaking . Scott also enjoys reading, social media, and braiding hair.

 Follow Scott on Twitter @shanselman.


Todd Hunter

Todd Hunter is an Assistant Editor at Atria Books, a division of Simon and Schuster, Inc. where he’s had the unique privilege of working under the guidance and leadership of Senior Editor and Atria VP, Malaika Adero, assisting her with a broad array of books and authors including Zane, T.D. Jakes, Common, Tananarive Due, Mikki Taylor, Lorene Cary, Victoria Rowell, Jewell Parker Rhodes and more.

In 2003, he graduated from Temple University with a BA in Journalism.  After graduating he worked as a Research Analyst and Account Manager for Universum Communications. In 2006 Todd decided to pursue publishing as a career and enrolled in Drexel University where he obtained a MS in Publication Management.

Todd continues to build his list of titles at Atria including Mogul by Terrance Dean, Swirling: How to Date, Mate, and Relate, Mixing Race, Culture, and Creed by Christelyn Karazin and Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn and the forthcoming You Get What You Play For by Jeff Farley.

He is known for easy-going spirit and “gets it” most of the time.  He’s a native of the Washington, DC area and lives in Brooklyn, NY.  Visit him at or


 Slim Jackson

Slim Jackson is the Executive Editor for Single Black Male, the 2011 recipient of the Best Blog Design and Best Blog Post Series awards. Single Black Male has also been listed in Ebony Magazine's Power 100 list, in addition to being mentioned on both Essence and Clutch Magazine's websites.

Outside of his efforts at SBM, Slim maintains a personal development blog. He's also been a guest on the Michael
Baisden show and various online radio productions. You can also find Slim writing for other online venues including Uptown Magazine. Slim resides in Harlem, where he maintains a day job as an HR professional.

Follow Slim on Twitter @slimjackson.


George James, LMFT

George James is CEO of George Talks, LLC, a communication and consulting company.  He is a nationally recognized speaker and workshop leader on various topics.  Mr. James has taught, presented, spoken and consulted with many organizations, universities and places of faith. Additionally, he has been a reoccurring expert guest on many radio, TV and online programs.

A Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, he specializes in helping couples improve their relationship, reconcile conflicts and overcome intense situations such as affairs and parenting struggles.  He also works with adolescent and adult men on various issues. 

Mr. James attended Villanova University as a Presidential Scholar, and majored in Psychology and concentrated in Africana Studies. He received his Masters of Family Therapy from Drexel University.  He is currently working on his doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Immaculata University. 

He is married to Candace and they are parents to Nalani.


Angel Laws

Angel Laws is the founder and editor-in-chief of popular entertainment blog, CONCRETELOOP.COM . Since 2005, Concrete Loop has been a recognized voice in urban lifestyle and culture, covering news, music, fashion, entertainment and politics. Concrete Loop has since been named one of TIME magazine's top websites of 2008 and Angel was an invited guest to the White House in 2010 and 2011 for her many blogging achievements.

The 27 year-old is also an accomplished photographer, stylist, graphic artist and now best selling author. Her how-to blogging book, "Angel's Laws of Blogging" is an AMAZON.COM top seller. For more info visit her personal site: ANGELONFIRE.COM .


Naomi Christine Leapheart 

Naomi Christine Leapheart is a teacher, facilitator, and consultant in nonprofit capacity-building, curriculum design, youth engagement, and leadership development. Naomi developed a passion for social justice education while an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania.  She currently teaches math, social studies, science, language arts, and writing at an alternative school in Philadelphia for adjudicated youth, and is a graduate student at Palmer Theological Seminary.

Follow Naomi on Twitter @nachristine.


Tyrha Lindsey

Tyrha M. Lindsey is the Managing Director for L.A.I. Communications. Ms. Lindsey has 14 years experience in public relations with a highly diverse communications background that covers multicultural and mainstream public relations, promotion, entertainment and targeted marketing disciplines.  

 Prior to joining UniWorld Group, Inc., Tyrha ran her family’s retail and communications agency, L.A.I. Communications.  Specializing in promoting women’s empowerment and health issues, Tyrha created strategic public relations solutions for a number of non-for-profit and corporate institutions including-The Kroger Company, The Institute for Healthcare Disparities at Nassau University Medical Center and ADP, Inc.  

 Tyrha worked closely with the National Speaking of Women’s Health Foundation, which was funded by Procter & Gamble.  Based on a P&G Fund grant, Tyrha developed “Universal Sisters,” a national multicultural diabetes awareness initiative.  This program was supported by its Women’s Health brands (i.e. Olay, Secret, Tampax, Crest and Actonel) and Wal-Mart partnered with P&G in the overall program.   

 Tyrha raised millions of dollars for the National Speaking of Women’s Health Foundation and worked as the Director of Development for LifeCenter Organ Donor Network.  She was the former PR Director for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and has consulted in a marketing and fundraising capacity for the Institute for Healthcare Disparities at Nassau University Medical Center, American Diabetes Association, Nepperhan Community Center, Iris House, Hebni Nutrition Consultants and Highmark Blue Cross*Blue Shield.  

 Following an extensive performing career in dance, music and theater, Tyrha began her career in Hollywood working for the likes of Quincy Jones * David Salzman Entertainment, NBC, Creative Artists Agency and Edmonds Entertainment developing television and film properties.  She received her Bachelor of Science in Radio/TV/Film from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and her Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree with a concentration in Marketing from the Peter F. Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California.  


Lyneka Little

Lyneka Little is a reporter who has covers personal finance, mutual funds, celebrity, wine, consumer news and arts and entertainment. Recently, Ms. Little worked as a Staff Writer at’s entertainment and personal finance Web site Currently writing for the Wall Street Journal, she began her New York media career at the magazine O, The Oprah Magazine. Ms. Little has extensive Web site production skills, including Content Management System (CMS), and developing videos. Ms. Little is also experienced in brand building, and used Search Engine Optimization methods as well as social networking tools like microblogging Web site to promote content. Ms. Little holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Howard University, and has written for numerous publications, including, an AOL personal finance blog, People Magazine, and Her work has appeared on Yahoo! News, CNN, and AOL’s Homepage.


Demetria Lucas aka "A Belle in Brooklyn"

Affectionately known as "Belle”, Demetria L. Lucas is the author of A Belle in Brooklyn:  The Go-To Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life (Atria); the creator of the award-winning personal blog; and the founder of Coached By Belle, a boutique life-coaching service, where Demetria helps clients solve their dating dilemmas and build healthy long-term relationships. Demetria is also a contributing editor for The Root, where she pens a weekly dating and relationship advice column, "Ask Demetria”, and is a contributing writer for the websites of Essence, Clutch, Vibe Vixen and Uptown. 

Demetria was named one of “the Blogosphere’s Best” by Black Enterprise Magazine, selected among "30 Black Bloggers You Should Know" by The Root, picked as one of's “40 Fierce & Fab Under 40”, and featured as "The Best of Brooklyn" by Brooklyn News 12. Additionally her debut book, A Belle in Brooklyn, was nominated for “Best Self Help” at the 2011 African-American Literary Awards, and her blog was awarded Best Personal Blog in the 2010 Black Weblog Awards. 

Since being dubbed “the Black Carrie Bradshaw” in a Washington Post profile, Demetria has become a sought after media personality and speaker. She’s appeared on The Today ShowThe Anderson Cooper Show, Access HollywoodGood Day New York, Issues with Jane Velez on Headline Newsand the Oprah Radio Show. She’s also been a guest speaker at Harvard, Princeton, Howard, NYU, and Spelman College. For more information about Demetria, visit her site: 

Follow Belle on Twitter @abelleinbk.


Tamika D. Mallory 

Tamika D. Mallory is the National Executive Director of National Action Network (NAN), one of the nation’s leading civil rights organizations found by renowned preacher and social justice leaders Reverend Al Sharpton. Just 30 years-old, Ms. Mallory has been a member of the organization since its inception in 1991, and she is the youngest National Executive Director in the history of the group. Currently making headlines around the country for her tireless activism and strong stance on women’s issues, anti-violence, and voter registration, Mallory was chosen by Ebony Magazine as one of the 30 most influential national leaders under 30-years-old and she was publicly applauded as “a leader of tomorrow” by Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama, Valerie B. Jarrett. She is currently being heralded as one of the youngest champions of the civil rights movement.

Ms. Mallory has been celebrated by the NAACP who gave her the Roy Wilkins Award, and NV Magazine, for her achievements as a young professional, and she has been featured on CNN, Fox, TV One, MSNBC and many other mediums as a leading voice on key issues. She sits on the News Corp Diversity Advisory Council and is a board member of Youth-in-Action. Ms. Mallory holds a B.S. in Communications from the College of New Rochelle, and resides in New York City with her 12-year-old son Tarique.

Follow Tamika on Twitter


Frederick Mwangaguhunga

Identified as one of the “Top 10 rising celebrity gossip bloggers,” by the New York Times and one of the “Top 50 Influencers in Media,” by Business Insider, digital entrepreneur, pop-culture expert and attorney Fred Mwangaguhunga is the founder and editor of Profiled by Inc. Magazine for building a “hugely profitable blog,” Mr. Mwangaguhunga is a graduate of Columbia University where he received his law degree and MBA. Prior to founding, Fred worked on Wall Street as a corporate tax attorney at the esteemed law firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton, until making the decision to follow his passion for entrepreneurship, entertainment and technology to launch The site was an immediate success and today with 300 million page views/10 million visitors a month and ranked #17 among all celebrity gossip sites on the internet by website ranking authority ComScore, Mediatakeout is the leading urban celebrity gossip site worldwide. MTO has also developed into a multi-tier media company covering digital media, original web TV production and retail.

Fred Mwangaguhunga is a frequently called upon expert by Wired, Crain’s Business, Newsweek, Access Hollywood, Fox, CNN, NBC, and BET to share his perspective on topical news stories, the future of media, and the emergence of the burgeoning blogosphere. His company, is often cited as a primary source for breaking news by CNN, People Magazine, The New York Post, Entertainment Tonight and TMZ among others.

Maria Niles is BlogHer's Client Services Director. Her business experience includes branding and marketing strategy, social media strategies, consumer market research and new product development. Prior to joining BlogHer, Maria founded ConsumerPop Marketing Consulting and she held brand management positions at consumer goods and services companies such as Netflix, Campbell’s Soup and Kraft Foods. Maria’s experience in the social media space has led to speaking engagements in a variety of settings from the MIT Media Lab to conferences covering social media use for business and how digital media is transforming business.

After establishing ConsumerPop Marketing Consulting in 2005, Maria assisted a variety of companies with their social media and marketing efforts. Clients included LiveWorld, JWT Digital and Kleenex® brand tissues, JFK University, a global cosmetics company, a leading CPG healthcare brand, retailers, advertising and PR agencies. Projects included development of marketing strategy and plans, mission statements, brand essence and identity, corporate blogs and blogging strategies, blogger outreach strategies, ad network development, video blog strategy and production, social media monitoring programs and online community development and management.

Maria holds an MBA from the Ross School of Business at The University of Michigan, a Master's degree from the University of Chicago and BA from UCLA.

Follow Maria on twitter @marianiles.

 Dr. Amy Nunn


A social scientist by training, Dr. Nunn has worked in several countries and conducted domestic and international research on a variety of health topics, including HIV/AIDS, access to reproductive health services, and family planning. Dr. Nunn has also conducted global health policy research that explores how politics, economics and intellectual property rights affect AIDS policy and access to medicines in developing countries. She is the author of the book "The Politics and History of AIDS Treatment in Brazil," whose foreword was written by Brazilian President Fernando Cardoso, and which was published in 2009 by Springer. She has also written numerous peer-reviewed articles about Brazil's AIDS treatment program. 

She has received research grants from Harvard University, the US Departments of Defense and Education, the Rhode Island Foundation, the MAC AIDS Fund, and the National Institutes of Health. She received the "Outstanding New Researcher Award" at the 2009 CDC HIV Prevention Conference and an NIH Career Development Award in 2010. Dr. Nunn holds masters and doctoral degrees from the Harvard School of Public Health and is a former Fulbright Scholar.

Marlin Page

Mrs. Marlin Page is the President and CEO of Knowledge Brokers LLC, a national professional services firm specializing in Technology Recruiting and Strategic Diversity Talent Acquisition Solutions

As a former Chief Information Officer, Diversity and Human Resource Executive, Marlin's ultimate goal is to help corporations attract, secure, and retain top talent to compliment the organization's core competencies. Having started her career as a mainframe programmer and ultimately becoming a CIO, she is living proof that strategically recruiting for technology positions and casting a wider net will yield unlimited possibilities.

As Deputy CIO for the City of Detroit, Ms. Page lead the collaboration across 10 unique external agencies to support the technology and infrastructure required for Super Bowl XL, which resulted in flawless execution. With the assistance of her team, she successfully developed the city's first e-government initiative, which allowed 900,000+ citizens the opportunity to engage city government via the Internet. Marlin was responsible for the recruitment and retention of technology employees and contractors.

As Director of Diversity and Business Development for a Fortune 100 Corporation, Marlin developed and implemented the first diversity initiative in the corporation's 30-year history. The strategy enhanced the recruiting and retention efforts, modified the corporate mission statement to include diversity, added diversity as a corporate guiding principle and identified diversity driven business objectives that were strategically aligned to the bottom-line.

Ms. Page developed the highly successful "Selecting Technology While Optimizing Processes (S.T.O.P.©)", which enabled clients to experience cost savings, increased productivity and long term results.

One of Marlin's proudest moments was being selected as alternate speaker for the late Civil Rights Activist, Coretta Scott King for an annual diversity celebration. Most recently she was selected to serve as a Keynote Speaker for Microsoft Corporation's DigiGirlz Technology Camp.

Marlin completed her undergraduate studies at Wayne State University, received her M.A. from the University of Detroit Mercy, and became a Certified Organizational Development Specialist with an emphasis in diversity and leadership through DePaul University. Marlin now serves as a national speaker, panelist and technology and diversity expert.

Follow Marilin on Twitter .


Donna Pierce

Donna Pierce is a Chicago-based, contributing editor for Upscale Magazine and the former award-winning Assistant Food Editor and Test Kitchen Director for the Chicago Tribune.  She has traveled to Africa, Europe, and the Caribbean exploring the roots of African American culinary traditions.

Donna spent a decade in San Francisco and Los Angeles before a return to Missouri where she was an adjunct assistant professor and Food Editor for the University of Missouri Journalism School.

 She is a member of Les Dames D'Escoffier, the Southern Foodways Alliance and The James Beard Society. She is a board member of the National Association of Food Journalists.

Pierce, the founder and CEO of BlackAmericaCooks and SkilletDiaries is the author of “Skinny Soul Food” and “Slow Cooker Soul”.

Follow Donna on Twitter @BlackAmerCooks.

Jennifer Polk

Jennifer is a Vice President with Edelman Digital. In this role, she provides digital thought leadership, strategic counsel, client service and account leadership to corporate clients and consumer brands.  Jennifer’s areas of expertise include strategic planning, development and execution of integrated marketing and communication strategies leading to improved audience engagement.  Jennifer also has experience leading online conversation monitoring and reporting, influencer outreach and engagement, community management, as well issues management, which has helped Edelman clients identify and address issues facing their business and brands. 

Previously, Jennifer was Director of Social Media Strategy for Sears Holdings Corporation (SHC) and a member of their Senior Leadership Program. In this role, Jennifer  led an in-house social media agency, provided strategic counsel and developed digital marketing programs for Sears and Kmart, their e-commerce websites and various business units. Prior to this, Jennifer served as Chief of Staff to the Chief Information Officer of SHC, re-launching the internal IT web portal and managing communication on behalf of the CIO. Jennifer also held the position of Brand Manager for Kenmore, leading  the multi-billion Cooking category and brand re-launch for the category.

Before joining SHC, Jennifer worked for JPMorgan Chase where she held several positions and was most recently a  Commercial Banker. During this time, Jennifer earned a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in strategic management from University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Jennifer also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in finance from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Jennifer is a Chicago native who currently lives in the Western Suburbs with her husband and two daughters. When she is not at work, Jennifer enjoys using social media, blogging, reading, shopping, cooking and watching movies. 

Follow Jennifer on twitter @JenPolk1.

Adria Richards 

Adria Richards is a Business Technology Consultant who solves business problems with technology solutions. An industry veteran, Adria’s passion for cutting-edge technologies has led her to partner with some of the largest companies in the business including Dell, Motorola, John Deere and Zendesk.  Since launching her consulting firm in 2006, Adria has been recognized as a trusted voice in her field and has been called on by several media outlets including The Rachel Maddow Show, NPR, Computerworld, The Associate Press,, Black Enterprise and The Pioneer Press.

Adria’s mission — to make technology accessible —has kept her in demand as a speaker at blogging and technology conferences across the country including O'Reilly's Web 2.0, SXSW, Blogher, Blogging While Brown, Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference, Blogworld, Wordcamp and private speaking engagements with companies and organizations.
Read Adria's blog and follow her on twitter @adriarichards.


Anslem Samuel Rocque

Anslem Samuel Rocque has been a culture critic/journalist for over 12 years. After a four-year stint as Culture Editor at The Source, the New York native became the founding Editor-in-Chief of The Ave, an independent quarterly publication that combined entertainment, social issues and politics. From there, he served as the Senior Editor for XXL magazine for three years before moving up the ranks to Digital Content Director for Currently, he serves as the Senior Producer of Interactive Media at

Over the course of his career, Anslem has written for a wide array of publications, including   Essence,   Blender,   Penthouse,   Complex Vibe,   King  and  Rides.  His work has also appeared on AOL's, Barnes&, and, among other media publications. In 2008, Anslem started penning his own personal tales about the pursuit of life, love and understanding the opposite sex on his hilarious and insightful daily blog, Naked With Socks On [], which earned a Best Blog Series nod in the 2009 Black Weblog Awards. Extending his personal brand even further, Anslem broke into online radio with the Naked Radio Show, where he moderates frank discussions on sex, relationships and current events every Tuesday night from 10pm-12am EST on


Mananya Soobhawan

Mananya Soobhawan, Digital Supervisor at Weber Shandwick, has seven years of experience in integrated marketing communications in developing programs that encompasses both traditional and emerging media for consumer clients. Her expertise includes general advertising, social media, blogger engagement, community management, brand positioning and development. Mananya has a strong knowledge and love for strategizing, planning, and executing genuine social media programs to help brands connect and build long lasting relationships with consumers and influencers.

Read Mananya's blog and follow her on Twitter @Mananya. 


Terry Smith

Professor Terry Smith is a Distinguished Research Professor at DePaul College of Law in Chicago and is author of Barack Obama, Post-Racialism, and the New Politics of Triangulation  (Palgrave Macmillan, June 2012).  Prior to joining DePaul's faculty, he taught at Fordham Law School in New York City for 16 years, practiced law in Washington, D.C., and clerked for the Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones on the United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.  Professor Smith’s opinion pieces on voting rights, black politics, and labor issues have appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, AOL News, the Huffington Post and the Providence Journal.


Alexis Garrett Stodghill

Alexis Garrett Stodghill is the New York and Lifestyle editor of, a division of NBC News. Her reporting on the Trayvon Martin tragedy was part of the package of stories mentioned recently by The New York Times and other outlets as important coverage of the case. Ms. Stodghill has also contributed on air commentary regarding Trayvon Martin on MSNBC, where she has discussed other Grio stories on shows such as "News Nation with Tamron Hall." She was also the first reporter at NBC News to write about Jakadrien Turner, the African-American teen who was mistakenly deported to Colombia, which she also discussed on air. Previously, Alexis was an editor at AOL Black Voices where she wrote about various topics and co-produced a web news show. She has also written for Jet, News One, The Atlanta Post, and Clutch magazine. Ms. Stodghill graduated summa cum laude from Brown University with a double B. A. in Modern Culture and Media and English and American Literature. She lives in New York City.


 Michelle Talbert

Michelle began blogging about issues impacting single parent college students in 2009. On December 25, 2010, as she loving prepared a Christmas dinner for herself, she birthed her blog BlackLoveRules, where she discusses issues related to sex and dating and love. In September 2011, Michelle self-published her first book, “Don’t Do What We Did! A Conversation About Online Dating With An Ex-Not-Quite Couple Who Met on the Internet.” With almost 20 years of collective experience in online dating, she and her co-author (and ex-not-quite boyfriend), Ricardo Kingsbury, give talks and webinars on successful online dating. She is writing her first novel, “Divorce Party.” She works, dates and lives in Washington, DC with her college-aged children, when they are home from college and other life activities. Her passion is giving singles the tools required to successfully date and ultimately achieve their relationship goals. 

Follow Michelle on Twitter @BlackLoveRules.

Lamar Tyler

Lamar Tyler has been called a New Media Strategist, Consultant, Blogger and Filmmaker but basically he just creates good content.

Lamar¹s strategic approach of using social media to promote his independent film projects has resulted in a huge following, including a fan base of over 80,000 on Facebook. Lamar has leveraged that fan base to build relationships, and develop a grass roots distribution network across the country. Along with his wife Ronnie, Lamar runs the award-winning blog 
Black and Married With Kids  and has been featured in The Washington Post, Parenting Magazine, Essence Magazine on CNN¹s Headline News, NPR, Sirius\XM and many other print, broadcast and online media outlets.

After spending 15 years in the IT industry Lamar currently focuses much of his time coaching professionals and major brands spanning several industries, on how to leverage audiences by using strategic social networking techniques.

Follow Lamar on Twitter @lamartyler.


Jennifer A. Williams

Jennifer Williams is the head of J Sharpe Agency Public Relations, a boutique public relations and brand marketing firm specializing in the digital media, music, consumer and corporate entertainment markets. Jennifer has built a reputation for crafting and executing sharp, creative and winning PR and branding campaign strategies and has advised influential companies, personalities and brands such as Chris Ludacris Bridges’ music social media site, EMI Music Group, Warner Home Entertainment, Ebony Son Management, Dell, Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment,, Sephora and a host of others.

Prior to establishing J Sharpe Agency PR, Ms. Williams acquired extensive experience in music, technology, consumer and corporate communications as a PR executive for companies such as Weber Shandwick, Rogers & Cowan and the Elektra Entertainment Group. Ms. Williams is a graduate of Howard University.

 Shawn Williams

Shawn P. Williams launched *DallasSouthBlog* now known as Shawn P Williams  in June of 2006.  In 2008, Dallas South was one of aselect number of blogs nationwide to be awarded credentials for theDemocratic National Convention. The website has been featured on *NBC Nightly News, The Chicago Tribune, CNN, NPR, BBC*, and many other national outlets. 

In June 2009, Shawn helped to organize *Dallas South News*, a nonprofit news organization that utilizes technology, social media, and journalistic principles to empower and inform underserved communities.  He serves as Publisher and Editor of the hyperlocal news website that focuses on Southern Dallas*.  Dallas South News* won Momentum Texas’ inaugural Southern Dallas Business Plan Competition in October 2009.  Dallas South News recently received an $11,000 grant from the Dallas Foundation’s Community Impact Fund. 

In 2010, Shawn received the *Austin American-Statesman*’s Texas Social Media Awards which recognized the Top 25 social media users in the state. He is a guest columnist for the Dallas Morning News and a panelist for the 2012 SXSW Interactive Conference. Shawn is also a member of the national advisory board of the Poyter Institute for Media Studies.

Follow Shawn on Twitter @shawnpwilliams.


Tony Williams

Tony Williams currently serves as the Director of Government Affairs for Comcast. A former speechwriter and policy advisor, Tony’s work at Comcast focuses on developing community outreach campaigns that engage and excite people about technology and media. 

Before coming to Comcast Tony worked in the community on behalf of non-profits and Government. At the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs worked to improve access to care through the development of outpatient clinics and education programs. While in D.C., Tony’s hometown, he ran for city council as well as worked to increase educational opportunities, eliminate food deserts, and bring resources to his neighborhood.  

Today in Philadelphia Tony has dedicated himself to fostering organizations that engage kids in their education serving on the board of Children’s Literacy Initiative, Philadelphia Young Playwrights and the Philadelphia Youth Poetry Movement.


David A. Wilson

David A. Wilson is the Executive editor and founder of David began his career at the assignment desks for local news. He worked on the award-winning CBS News program 48 Hours, where he researched and developed content for the news magazine show. He also served as lead producer and oversaw newsroom operations for NNS (Network News Service), a national news gathering service, and an ABC, CBS, and FOX News conglomerate. David also directed and wrote the critically acclaimed MSNBC documentary, Meeting David Wilson, a film that chronicled his personal journey to find answers to today's racial disparities in America.


Damon Young

Pittsburgh native Damon Young is the co-author of

Your Degrees Won't Keep You Warm at Night and the co-founder of the award-winning  VerySmartBrothas.

His work has been featured in numerous publications, including The Washington Post, The Root, Essence Magazine, The Huffington Post, NPR News, Black Enterprise, The Good Men Project, Jet Magazine, Clutch Magazine, and Madame Noire.  

Recently, his blog was named to Ebony Magazine's Power 100, an annual list that celebrates “innovators, movers and shakers…who are shaping the world in new and different ways.”

Young currently serves as an contributing editor for

Follow Very Smart Brothas on Twitter @VerySmartBros.