Happy Birthday, Mama O! Ten of Oprah’s Most Empowering Quotes

Today not only marks the return of the best shows on television, (#TGIT baby!) but it also the birthday day of one of the greatest media moguls of our time, and the most epic Mentor-In-My-Head ever.

It’s Oprah Winfrey, y’all. 

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via O Magazine

I could write several blog posts on the history that this woman has made, her numerous (and lucrative) business ventures, how she has always SLAYED on the cover of her magazine, or even her acting skills — but today I’m solely going to focus on the words of encouragement that she has given the world ten times over.

Check out my 10 favorite Oprah quotes, and join me in wishing the Queen of Talk a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

1. “Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.” 

2. “What God intended for you goes far beyond anything you can imagine.” 

3. “I am a woman in process. I’m just trying like everybody else. I try to take every conflict, every experience, and learn from it. Life is never dull.”

4. “You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.” 

5. “Surround yourself with people who are only going to lift you higher.”

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#TechTuesday: When Facebook & Instagram Were Down, Twitter Saved The Day

Happy #TechTuesday!

If you were up around the 1:20 AM hour like many of us night owls, you found that Facebook and Instagram all experienced an outage worldwide for about 40 minutes. Whenever one social network stops working, it always amuses me how everyone flocks to another, to talk about that social networking site being temporarily out of service.

Facebook released a statement to USA Today saying:

“Earlier today many people had trouble accessing Facebook and Instagram. This was not the result of a third party attack but instead occurred after we introduced a change that affected our configuration systems. We moved quickly to fix the problem, and both services are back to 100% for everyone.”

Also, because Tinder relies heavily on Facebook connectivity, it experienced a moment of silence too. Once the services were back up and running, everyone’s chill returned and many of us went back to sleep.

Below are a few funny reactions to this morning’s #SocialMediaMeltdown:

Where were you during #FacebookDown? Sleep? Scrolling through your Tumblr feed? Curled up in the fetal position under your bed? Sound off!

Chasity

3 Things I’ve Learned From Mentor-In-My-Head Danyel Smith

I’m super excited to spotlight the first “Mentor in My Head” for 2015! She’s not only a well-renowned journalist that has written for publications such as of SPIN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, The Root and TIME; but she is also an iconic leader that has served as editor for Billboard Magazine, editor-in-chief of VIBE magazine, and continues to change the landscape of journalism as we know it. (She has also interviewed all of your favorites in the process.) She and her husband, the G.O.A.T. of hip-hop journalism Elliott Wilson, have founded HRDCVR, a book-shaped magazine that looks to serve the ‘new everybody’ — a multi-culture demographic that is not currently being served by mainstream media. Her creativity, authenticity and fervor for change inspire me daily, and her iconic piece 1994 piece Dreaming America for SPIN Magazine empowers me 20+ years later.

Meet Danyel Smith.

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Danyel has a way with words that not only evokes emotion, but challenges you to evaluate your surroundings, and how you can change them for the better. In watching her presentation on HRDCVR as a part of the John S. Knight School Fellowships at Stanford University, I couldn’t help but admire how sincere, honest and transparent she was about what she believes will ‘change the soul of journalism.’ She tactfully demands your attention, leads with intention, and is the epitome of a BOSS.

Here are  three lessons that Danyel has taught me:

1. Embrace the evolution of your careerNot only does she bring her experience as a seasoned journalist to life with HRDCVR, but she’s sharing her expertise and creativity with future journalists as well. Danyel is currently a professor at Syracuse University (my beloved alma mater) in New York City, teaching a course on Race, Gender and the Media. One of my favorite classes while I was at ‘Cuse, I’m positive that Danyel does an awesome job in bringing a modern flare to this course, and empowering her students to think differently about the way the media impacts our lives.

2. Failure is not an option.  From watching a number of her interviews and reading her extensive body of work, I can tell that without a doubt Danyel believes in herself,  her dreams, and the power of speaking her truth. Yes, there may be roadblocks, detours and bumps, but you can’t give up on your dreams…EVER. I admire Danyel’s strength, her willingness to persist until she succeeds, and her openness in sharing the journey to reaching her goals.

3. See the beauty in everything around you. If you follow Danyel and/or HRDCVR on Instagram, you’ll often see amazing shots of murals, images and skylines from across the country with the hashtag #HoodsDeepWorldWide. To me, this not only shows that she’s very in tune with the world around her, but that she appreciates the power of imagery — no matter how intricate or simplistic it may be — and the story that lies behind it. To me, this is a vital part of storytelling; igniting the imagination to work more purposefully and intuitively. I’m very excited to see the final product of HRDCVR.

Danyel, I want to thank you for being a constant inspiration to myself, and millions of other millennials that aspire to be change agents in the world of journalism. Your ingenuity, leadership and focus to incite change are the blueprint — and I appreciate the awesome and necessary work that you do.

You can follow Danyel on Instagram and Twitter at @danamo, and of course learn more about HRDCVR by visiting their website. Don’t forget to subscribe to the HRDLIST too!

Have a great weekend,

Chasity

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Breathe, Stretch, Shake: 5 Ways To De-Stress After Work

Happy Wednesday, Friends!

It’s been absolutely way too long since my last installment, and I promise I’ll get better with that! But yesterday, I took a trip to the dentist (one of my favorite things to do, actually) and while everything was in pretty excellent shape, my dentist noticed that there was evidence of me grinding my teeth.

Now, I’m sure some of you are wondering, “Why on Earth is Chasity sharing with us her tales of dental hygiene?”  Well friend, because the grinding of teeth is usually directly connected to stress.

We love it, we hate it and some of us even thrive off of it — but the truth of the matter is that stress is unhealthy and can impact us in more ways than one. In that moment, sitting in the dentist chair, I had to sincerely think about the things that could (or do) mildly stress me out from time to time. The first thing that came to mind? Work.

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Millennial On A Mission: Avonda Turner

Happy First Friday of 2015!

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing this week’s “Millennial on a Mission” for a few years, and I’ve been blown away by her creativity since the day we met. She’s not only a talented self-taught graphic and web designer, but has recently launched her own jewelry company, ERIN/ANDERSONthat looks to provide young women professionals with quality, stylish products at an affordable price.

 

I’d like for you to meet Avonda Turner.

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A southern girl with a love for the city, Avonda is a graduate for Old Dominion University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications & Public Relations. “While interning as public relations associate at two the nations top brand agencies BCF and The Martin Agency,” Avconda says, “I decided that my passion was in the design of identities and campaigns and decided to purchase the Adobe Create Suite and teach myself graphic design.” With 5+ years of freelance and corporate graphic /web design experience under her belt, she stepped out an faith to follow her passion and founded ERIN/ANDERSON, the online destination for #desktodinner fashion jewelry.

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15 Books for Millennials To Read in 2015

Happy Monday, Millennials!

Since I can remember, I’ve always loved reading books. Short stories, poetry non-fiction, inspirational, business and marketing — there’s just so much you can learn from picking up a book. So get your library cards, Barnes & Noble gift cards or iTunes cards read, because you’ll be wanting to get your hands on these ASAP!

As part of #Manifest365, I’ve challenged myself to read 15 books this year (with hopes of surpassing that mark, of course.) With a variety of book genres listed, I’m hoping to not only learn from the pages I flip (or swipe), but also get a few laughs and maybe shed a tear or two. Additionally, I thought that these books would be great of my fellow millennials to check out as well.

Take a look at the list below of the books I’ve picked, and send me a tweet to let me know know which books you have on your list for the new year. Happy reading!

1. Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy

2. Leave Your Mark by Aliza Licht

3. Make Your Mark: The Creative’s Guide To Building A Business with Impact by Jocelyn K. Glei

4. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life & Business by Charles Duhigg

5. Don’t Waste Your Pretty: The Go-To Guide for Making Smarter Decisions in Life & Love by Demitria Lucas

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The Focus for 2015? To Manifest.

Happy New Year!

Now that 2015 is here, I’m so excited to set new goals, try new things and push myself beyond my comfort zone.

Last year, I chose three words that would serve as my focus for the year. They were: consistency, faith and excellence. I put those words up above my desk in my room, wrote them down in my journal and did my best to apply them to the many facets of my life.

This year, I’ve chosen just one word: MANIFEST. The origin of this particular word for me stems from a gospel song with the same title sung by Walt Whitman and the Soul Children of Chicago. Each time I hear this song, it’s a reminder that I’ve been blessed to experience so many amazing opportunities. Additionally, I’ve been blessed with tools and gifts to not only make my dreams come true, but to help others reach their full potential as well. That’s why this year, I really want to focus on living with intention. From my professional life to personal endeavors to the people I interact with, I want everything I do to be purposeful and meaningful.

Throughout the year, you’ll see me using #manifest365 on my social media accounts, not only to hold myself accountable for my goals, but to encourage others to live intentionally.

I’m so excited to share this journey with you all, and I challenge each of you to finally do those things that you’ve been putting off for so long. Believe in yourself and your ability to create dopeness, and you will be surprised what amazingness with come to pass.

Here’s to a great new year!

Chasity