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Sierra Monae ON HER OWN BEAT



Kelly Breuer Cheryl Kates-Benman Kelly Breuer


Christopher “Goodknews” Cardwell Marisa Nicodemus


Regina Smith Gary Ariel Washington Vialma Ramos Titiana Curry Bre Marshall Jessica Lewis Yolanda Smilez Dr Kiki Michelle Mr Carlyle Williams Sheila Young Ayanna Jackson Latiffany Anderson Renee Cobbs Hill Akilah Moore Tammy Reese Shettima Webb


Kelly Breuer


The Next Design


The Next Design



105.5 The Beat Radio Personality Sierra Monae was photographed at the studio of photographer Christopher “Goodknews” Cardwell for the latest edition of RWO’s “Something 4the Sista’s”. Make-up courtesy of Rosalind Matthew with clothing by She Says So Boutique.

Rochester Woman ONLINE is the premier professional woman’s online publication in the greater Rochester area. Our feature articles address major topics that interest local women. Each issue includes articles on health, fashion, fitness, finance, dining, lifestyle and personal perspectives, as well as a spotlight on local area women. The electronic magazines are distributed freely through your favorite app store and will be in your inbox electronically by the first week of every month. The publication is available free of charge. Please feel free to contact publisher Kelly Breuer at 585.727.9120 or you can email us at networkrocqueen@gmail.com. Download our current media kit at www. rochesterwomanonline.com. The magazine is published 12 times a year by Rochester Woman ONLINE. Copyright © 2017 Rochester Woman ONLINE. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or republished without the consent of the publisher. Rochester Woman ONLINE is not responsible for unsolicited submissions, manuscripts, photos or artwork. All such submissions become the property of Rochester Woman ONLINE and will not be returned.






An Interview with Radio Personality, and 105.5 the Beat’s very own Sierra Monae

They are struggling just like the next man or woman to make a name for themselves and build a fan base. With all these alternative choices, it’s much harder to do than it used to be.

For decades, WDKX held a monopoly on the R & B/ HIP Hop/ Old School genre of music in the Rochester area. At first, we only had FM/AM to choose from. In this age of technology, we are flooded with options and no longer must settle for less than what we want to hear. Alexa, play Buju Banton! Now we can hook up our smartphone through our car radios and customize our play list. Music we want to hear, oh yeah and with no commercials. Plug in an alternate source radio station, such as I Heart Radio or Pandora. And don’t forget, we can also grab a subscription service such as Sirius Radio. What about all of the podcasts? Self-promotional, social media DJ’s? And alternative radio stations popping up? With the multitude of choices for our listening pleasure, where does that leave the local radio personality?

Let’s not forget the radio personality business is also a male-dominated career choice where women struggle to get a seat at the table. As in any career in the entertainment world, it helps if your pretty. Many local radio

personalities’ also end up as hosts for local concerts, events etc. Their job is not just seducing your ear drum, they become public celebrities in the community. RWO is pleased to have local radio personality, Sierra SiMonae from 105.5 The Beat, Rochester’s new competitor to “ the X” as our special feature MC at the upcoming fashion show, April 25th at the Rochester Museum and Science Center. So, who is this “new kid on the block” doing the microphone checka? She’s blonde. She’s beautiful and she’s rocking the airwaves. Radio personality Sierra SiMonae Dunklin. Sierra shares a favorite memory with RWO saying, “One of my favorite memories is the first time I ever hosted a show at the Blue Cross Arena. I remember as a kid, at around 12-years-old, I was in a competition and lost. I always told my Mom I was going to make it back on that stage. So, when that day came it was surreal. Just seeing my career and dreams come to fruition is an accomplishment within itself. Being a radio personality, hosting shows, it’s all my reality now.



{{ COVER COVER STORY STORY STORY }} { COVER } “Whether it’s right at home on the radio with my team at 105.5 , The Beat, but syndicated in 20 different cities or it’s hosting on your T.V. I plan to be heard and seen across the globe!”

. Six or seven years ago, that was just a dream and I have the Facebook post to prove it!”. I wanted this so bad. I learned everything step-by-step and I came on the scene with no prior radio experience. I had to really go hard at it. I’m loving it and learning everything I can”. When Sierra is not on the radio, she is employed by American Airlines. She is truly a people person who enjoys working in customer service and meeting 522

different people from all walks of life and cultures. Of significant importance, Sierra found she first learned things come to a point where you must become your own advocate and forget who is for you or against you. It was a big lesson and included proving to herself she was capable of achieving anything she set her mind to. She blocked the naysayers and went after what was hers! She finds support from her family, parents, siblings, and friends. They are a


very important part of her life. Her son ArReis is the most significant person in her life. “Even when I don’t have the courage or the strength, somehow, some way I find it in him. He makes my life complete. He’s an amazing, respectful and very intelligent boy, whom I teach through action. I know he’s watching, so I show my son no matter what, you can have dreams and work hard to make them come true. I’m thankful everyday and I’m truly blessed to be his Mom”.



“I see so many women and girls and I feel like we all have something amazing to bring to the table. But now that I am looked at as such and I have this platform, I do recognize my story is one of positive influence.�

{ COVER STORY } “I want to inspire our women and girls to be their very best version of themselves and they too can do anything they put their minds too.”

Sierra aspires in 5 years, we will find her on a national platform. She indicates, “Whether it’s right at home on the radio with my team at 105.5 , The Beat, but syndicated in 20 different cities or it’s hosting on your T.V. I plan to be heard and seen across the globe!” Sierra wants to give all of our readers this message: “Listen, I know it sounds like a cliché but don’t give up. Nothing worth having comes easy! It takes dedication but it also takes pain and sacrifice. And when it becomes painful just know it’s growing pains. It’s like working out to build muscle. It hurts…bad…but the end results make it all worth it. Stay steadfast in your faith and never ever give up!” Many public figures find there is an expectation from them to be a role model because they are in the public eye and Sierra was no exception to this philosophy. She says, “I’m going to be honest, this was difficult for me because I never saw myself as a role model. Mainly because I’ve never seen myself as someone to imitate or look up to. I see so many women and girls and I feel like we all have something amazing to bring to the table. But now that I am looked at as such and I have this platform, I do recognize my story is one of positive influence. I’m more mindful now. And not to mention, so many of our little girls need this. Someone they can relate to. I want them to know I was just like them. Same streets, same schools, same rec centers. And I embrace it now. I want to inspire our women and girls to be their very best version of themselves and they too can do anything they put their minds too. 526






Welcome to the “I Love Smilez” column by your local Rochester, NY comedian, that’s me, Yolanda Smilez! My goal with writing this column is to make you smile by the end of every read. I hope here, you will find you can smile, even when things in your life are not going right. Keep this in mind, “No matter what you go through or are going through, you will smile again”. It’s a known fact, smiling gives power and energy to the human soul. We must try to always remember this. Do you have a Judas sitting at your table? Yes, girl, she betrayed you. Talked about you to everyone. Started rumors about you. In your mind, “That’s my friend. We are close. She would never”. It’s at that moment, you find out the rumors are true. Trusting a friend to protect your darkest secrets, emotions, and character but to find out their mission is totally opposite. I believe we all were betrayed in one way or another at some point in life. There are stages in your friendships where you feel naked in front of the world. Your smile is kidnapped. You have no clue of how someone could smile in your face, act like a team player, but the entire time they were secretly hating on you. All of us go through something and struggle with the trust issue. If we let

someone in our space and our energy, it’s because we trust the character we saw. Never forget, some people are like Halloween. They dress up like a friend. They look and sound caring. You feel comfortable around them.

You began to open the doors of your life to them. You helped them, when no one else would. To have this sharp pain in your back and you feel this wetness of being stabbed there. You’re in shock, because you can’t believe you were stabbed in the back

and someone kidnapped your smile. You become angry, bitter and upset with yourself because you didn’t protect yourself from the so-called friend. You are on a mission of revenge and your energy is shifted to negativity. You don’t understand how you got to this place of darkness. You are like Liam Nelson in the movie Taken. You’re doing everything you can to get your smile back as he was trying to get his daughter back. You’re rewinding all the evidence in your head putting all the clues together. You’re reading your bible to get strength: Deuteronomy 32:35 Ne w K i n g Ja m e s Version: 35 Vengeance is Mine and recompense; their foot shall slip in due time; for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things to come hasten upon. Romans 12:17-19 New King James Version: 17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have[a] regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.



{ I LOVE SMILEZ } “Don’t allow others behavior to stop you from being you. Just make sure you understand the relationship and signs people are showing, so you can protect your space. ”

At that moment, you are ready to pay the ransom for your smile back. You stop beating yourself up for being you. You are able to filter the disbelief, the anxiety of trusting, out of your system. You’re able to pour back into yourself and remove all the negative energy out of your space. The day comes when it’s time to do the exchange with your kidnapper, your Judas, your so-called friend. 530

You stand straight up and hand them the bag with the full amount of the ransom. You’re able to reunite with your smile, your hugging and kissing your smile. Letting your smile know you will never let another one take it away. Don’t allow others behavior to stop you from being you. Just make sure you understand the relationship and


signs people are showing, so you can protect your space. Never allow them to make you wear a false mask. If you love for real, then love. If you are a giver, then give. Be smart of how you handle who you are. This way you always keep your smile! Better days will come.




I am the owner and publisher of Rochester Woman Online, as well as Central NY Woman and Something 4 the Sista’s. I started in this business to empower, inspire and inform other women on everything from business to health and wellness, beauty inside and out and more! I graduated from Alfred University with a BFA in Graphic Design & Photography and have worked in the fields of print, advertising and design, and in corporate business for many years before starting my own businesses as a freelance designer and marketing professional and events coordinator.


She’s blonde. She’s beautiful and she’s rocking the airwaves. Radio personality Sierra SiMonae Dunklin. When Sierra is not on the radio, she is employed by American Airlines. She is truly a people person who enjoys working in customer service and meeting different people from all walks of life and cultures.

I have now been working in the fields of publishing, advertising design and event coordination a for over 15years. Working with different businesses and non-profits to help promote them to the community and help them grow is my passion. It has been an amazing journey so far and just growing bigger and bigger each year with all the amazing women I get to work with every day.




Yolanda Smilez, is a nationally recognized comedian, radio personality, highly sought after host and the founder of the ROC Awards. With much talent to her credit, she ventured into the world of authorship in 2016. She will release her debut novel, under her professional brand, Smilez Entertainment, in April 2018, titled Big Momma is the True Trap Queen. While establishing her presence in Rochester and abroad, she had taken notice of the talented members of her community; those that were working hard on their respective crafts with little to no recognition for it. From that, the first ROC Awards was birthed in 2012. Opening to rave reviews, the ROC Awards, under her leadership, entered into its 8th year. If there wasn’t more to her credit, Yolanda is also the co-founder of the Ms. Kurvie NY Pageant, which celebrates the beauty, talent and uniqueness of Kurvie women. Yolanda is one of the writers in the online Magazine Something for Sista’s her I Love Smilez column encourage others to find their smile again.

{ IROCWOMEN } “Featuring some of Rochester’s most amazing women who have found a way to become boss’d up.”


Tiffany Mccloud was born in Rochester NY to Charles and Kathy Mccloud. At an early age tiffany was drawn to making other girls her age and older feel better about themselves after experiencing bullying herself. In 2013 Tiffany started a positive body image blog entitled “The Diary of a Curvy Girl”. Her mission for the blog was to encourage other plus size women to embrace who they are as beautiful queens, and to remember the number on the scale is just a number and they can be fabulous at any size! In 2014 Tiffany won the title as Miss Kurvie Upstate NY a plus size pageant. In her year of reign she accomplished many goals, starting a mentoring program and ultimately entering a national pageant, to which she was crowned Miss Rochester Plus America 2016. Since then Tiffany has co created The Queen Code show with Kelly Pope. Which airs on 100.9 wxir FM radio, Tiffany has been published in several online articles with her blog The Diary of a Curvy Girl. Tiffany’s work includes being a mental health advocate as suicide survivor she wants to promote healthy mental health among the black community, as well as break the stigma surrounding therapy.



Natalie has overcome many obstacles in her life and now she is helping women do the same. Natalie is CEO of Release The Queen In You Enterprises, LLC where she encourages, empowers and equips queens to break free from their past so they can move forward to get their breakthrough.

I have 3 beautiful grown college graduates Shanell Robinson who’s married to my son in love Rondell Robinson, Reginald Lane and Jeremiah Rose. I’m a US Army Veteran who has served in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait and have service in Operation Desert Storm and Desert Shield.

Natalie published her first book titled Release The Queen In You in 2015. The second book she co-authored with thirteen other amazing authors W.O.M.B Sisters Chronicles Volume 1 the following year made her a #1 Amazon Best Selling Author. Her third book Broken No More will be released on May 10th, 2019. Natalie has also traveled internationally as a motivational speaker empowering Queens to be the best version of themselves. Natalie is also the founder of Wonderfully Made Girls where she group mentors young girls in 5th-8th grade. She helps them to learn to love themselves just as they are. Natalie is a wonderful speaker, coach, and mentor. Natalie’s overall goal is to continue to travel the world sharing her message of faith, hope, and love. For more information about Natalie visit her website at www.ReleaseTheQueenInYou.com

I work for Windstream Enterprises Corp in the chat/email dept and I run the FASHION FORWARD EDITION Facebook page alongside my sister Mary Reaves who runs the IG page. I’m also a Evangelist Missionary at Zion Dominion Global Ministries where I work with Women In Ministries and I have had the privilege to go into homes of people and minister to them while sick, I’ve found my greatest work in ministering to young women and letting them know that they’re fearfully and wonderfully made and God didn’t make a mistake when He created them. I live my life to love my family and my friends and be EVERYTHING God called to me to be while I live on this Earth and make an impact wherever I go.













If it costs you your happiness, it’s too expensive. All too often women find themselves placing the onus of their happiness on someone or something else. You’ll hear things like “he doesn’t make me happy,” “I’m unhappy with my current situation,” or “food makes me happy,” or “shopping makes me happy.” Do you know that the key to your happiness resides within you? There is not a thing or person on earth responsible for your happiness. Happiness comes from within. True happiness is having joy deep down on the inside. It doesn’t mean you won’t have bad days. It doesn’t mean you won’t get upset, but it’s the feeling that returns after you’ve reconciled your emotions. And, little do most people know, you have to practice being happy. I know that sounds a little weird, but think about it like this. Sometimes people dwell in their sorrow. Others are ‘Negative Nancy’s.’ You have to practice rebuking those spirits so they don’t become habit. Don’t sulk if you’re in a bad situation. Know when it’s time to move on. When it comes to other situations, know when it’s appropriate to keep your opinion to yourself. You may not like your co-workers shirt, but maybe that’s her favorite shirt. You may disagree with your supervisor’s approach to

solving a problem but that’s how he is choosing to deal with it. It’s almost like picking and choosing battles within yourself. Does this require a response from me? How will my words or actions impact the other person? Know that what you put out, you will get in return. People who do a lot of complaining

their thoughts and feelings and to find clarity. The process of putting pen to paper and then seeing your words on the page can help you solve problems while keeping matters in perspective and priorities straight. You may release pent-up emotions in the process which is a good thing, too. You can also try prayer. Praying to God allows you to tell Him all about it. Whatever is weighing you down, you can tell the Father. Some practice meditation or mindfulness. Positioning yourself to quiet the mind and body can produce benefits to relive stress and anxiety. All of these are ways to practice balance which will give you peace and ultimately happiness.

often find themselves alone. Nobody wants to be around that type of energy. People who are genuinely happy attract people because they give off good energy. What kind of energy are you giving off? If you find yourself battling within try journaling. You have to rid yourself of the everyday test and trials. Journaling has been shown to improve problem-solving abilities. Many people find that using a journal helps them to better assess

If none of these work and you still find yourself wracking your brain trying to figure out life’s inevitable challenges, speak to a professional who can help get to the root of your problems and find solutions that work best for you. For these and more tips on finding happiness from within, LIKE Single Dope Black Chick on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ singledopeblackchick/









LáLew Public Relations provided top notch service organizing our annual luncheon and securing television coverage to promote this year’s event. William G. Clark

Urban League of Rochester CEO

LáLew Public Relations is a full service PR firm specializing in media relations, marketing, branding, web management, social media and community engagement. In August 2017, LáLew PR was recognized by the Rochester Business Journal as the Small Business Feature of the Week.

LÁLEW PUBLIC RELATIONS Jessica Lewis, Owner P: 585-773-1140 Email: lalewpr@gmail.com www.lalewpr.com



Rochester Woman Online is pleased to introduce Titiana Bogar to our editorial team for SFTS! She brings an interesting perspective to her column Miss Titiana. This will be a safe place. She welcomes reader input and encourages you to contact her with column ideas (womanletstalk@gmail.com) . Her vision is to create a place where women can feel comfortable talking about sensitive issues. She kicks off her column sharing some of her own story including being bullied and surviving depression. Titiana is a customer service representative for the Department of Health. She is also a small business owner and entrepreneur as the owner of Passion Through Love. She started off in the medical field but after experiencing an injury she was left having to choose a new career (after 12 years). She loves her career as a consultant as she is able to help women explore themselves and becoming open with their sexuality. Titiana is a strong woman who overcame not only her disability but was raped when she was 14. She became pregnant. Through all of this she lost herself and it was a long journey learning to become herself again. She also overcame the trauma of being physically, mentally, and emotionally abused by the man she loved. She is thankful for all of the supportive people she has in her life and they are part of the force behind her ability to overcome these struggles she experienced in her 542

life. Her children are a great motivating force as they are the reason she lives. Her sisters Tonya and Daisha where her first true loves. They were the first people to give her reason when she lost everything. Titiana considers them her best friends and they were there for her through it all. She also gained inspiration

years including having a second book published and expanding her business with multistate offices and even internationally in Durban, South Africa where her mother is from. She is currently finishing up her first book. Titiana shares: “ I decided to become a writer to help me with my depression. I started writing poetry, which I was blessed with winning awards for such when I was younger. I then progressed to writing short stories. Writing helped me express my feelings. I was feeling closed out. Writing saved my life, as there were times when I contemplated ending it all. My book is a tell all/fiction novel. It’s about learning who I am as a person and the real struggles I went through and overcame. I’m hopeful telling my story will help others struggling with the same demons.

from her grandmother, Shirley Taylor who she lost in 2016. This was another tough time to overcome.

My readers can expect a column which allows them to be themselves with me and where they can “ ask Titiana” and /or learn through sharing of every day living, battling medical issues, and living in a world where women feel they can’t be who they are without judgment. I want to be an ear for those who need it and able to share and give advice”.

Titiana plans to make great accomplishments in the next five

RWO welcomes Titiana and is thrilled to add her to the editorial team!




My name is Titiana, but some know me as Harley. I am a mother of six children; ages 20,18,17,15,13 and 12. I have three girls and three boys. Welcome to my column, where all things are open for discussion. In this column, you will be able to read, ask me anything and get advice. You will be able to do it anonymously and indirect, if you’d prefer. I am here to talk about all things including what we as woman go through and are afraid to talk about. Many topics we shy away from as we fear criticism. This is a safe place to be you and to expand on what the definition of you is. We’ll call it becoming you. This is about opening open and feeling free to love the shoes you’re in. Growing up the oldest, out of seven I often swallowed who I was and put aside me as a person. I felt as if I couldn’t be who I wanted to be. Through my years in elementary, I was bullied because of my eyes being big and beautiful, being a smart book worm, loving to sing and not doing things that normal girls was doing. My biggest flaw was growing up without a mother. I grew up not loving myself or who I was. I started to lose myself and go into a depression stage. Depression is not just a mood disorder, it is a medical condition, we as women face and are scared to talk about it. Often because of not having someone to

understand us or fear of people judging us. Depression is a battle we shouldn’t fight alone. Having depression didn’t come easy for me and it got harder as I got older. I got thrown to therapists and put on medications thinking it will

I know some people think, “How could you want to take your own life?” When it comes to depression and suicidal thoughts, you don’t think about it in that manner. At that moment, nothing in life is worth living for. Everything that really matters is out and there is nothing but a black hole in your life. People always tell someone “Keep your head up, don’t say that, think positive. You overcome challenges before you will get through this; but what one fails to realize is in a depression stage none of those words are encouraging. Life is a battle all in its own. When we come to the point in our lives where we want to be locked in, away from those who love us, we cry and cry. We feel hopeless and have no reason to be who we once were. We need just to be cared for. Life is not about just telling us we can get over it and things will be okay. Sometimes those words of encouragement are useless, and we are not listening to you.

solve all that I was going through. Yet, it didn’t help. It got worse and I became suicidal. It went from thoughts to having attempted to kill myself.

I still suffer from serious depression, but one will never know, unless you knew me, or I told you. I survived being mental health arrested. I was thrown on medication and forced to attend counseling. No, I am not cured. It is a lifelong struggle. I found my own ways of coping with my depression. I started writing again, started getting back into things that I like doing, such as

{ MISS TITIANA } “I found my own ways of coping with my depression. I started writing again, started getting back into things that I like doing, such as modeling.”

as modeling. With all the stigma which goes around having a persistent illness such as depression, one will have a hard time talking about it . Well Sista to Sista I am here to say, don’t be afraid of what you are going through. You are not alone in this world to battle this alone. Don’t be afraid to speak up and speak out. I want you to all remember that you can’t just snap outta depression. No matter what one may say. Suffering from depression is not a sign of weakness. You may feel certain things or experience 546

triggers which alert you to know depression stage is coming. For me I feel persistent sadness, empty mood, hopelessness, irritability, decreased energy, decreased fatigue, difficult sleeping or oversleeping, aches or pains. Often it is much worst. If you feel thoughts of death, suicide or suicide attempts I ask you to reach out to someone, whether they are close to you or if you need to reach out to stranger just to talk please do so. There are national hotlines available if you feel desperate. Suicide is a permanent thing. There is


no coming back. Remember you are someone special. You are valuable in your own way. If you shall ever need to talk you could reach me and I will be willing to be an ear to anyone who wants to talk. I can be reached by email @ womanletstalk@ gmail.com . Please reach out and let’s talk about it. My column will include interactive feed back from social media and people who contact me can assist in determining what the topics will be about! So, woman, let’s talk!





Dashé Cleopatra began singing in the church as a little girl before she formed her band ZHänre including her on lead vocals, (Keyboardist ) Jeremiah, (Bassist )Dr. D, (Drummer) Buddah, (Guitarist ) Tykeese Breland, and Background Vocalists Nazmiah Jenkins , Martino Storm. An in demand performer in Central NY opening up for Legend R&B singers Slim of 112 and Lil Mo at the Landmark Theater. Dashé commands the stage leaving her audiences healed feeling love and positive uplifting energy . Given the name Dashé Cleopatra because of her power, and strength, also carrying herself as humble royalty. A Queen. She is a huge inspiration for those who want to stand their ground, follow their dreams through obstacles while not holding back. A mother and grandmother who sings with her beautiful daughter as well has many fans, family, and community support. Writing her own music defines her mark she has made in the Central

NY region that you can create your own opportunities , write your own music and succeed. When Dashé writes she lets go which makes people relate to her. She wants people to know what she is thinking or feeling

when a woman is hurt or damaged be their support system, encourage them to move forward like many people in her life has encouraged her to get into the studio and sing, to get on stage and perform and bear her soul to write her own songs. Let women know everything will be ok and you will hold their hand if need be. Build each other up ,and support women dreams. Much advice Dashé has for young women wanting to be a performer like her includes : Make wise decisions, don’t let guys get in your head and put yourself first so you are not playing catch up. Definitely finish school, practice recording yourself singing and don’t hesitate or expect anything from anyone. Lastly whatever you are experiencing let the music be an outlet for you it will help you along the way

from experiences when she shares her voice. She writes and sings with absolute purpose.

To book Dashé Cleopatra and her band ZHänre, email her at dashecleopatra@ gmail.com

Women empowerment to Dashé Cleopatra is uplifting women spirits ,minds and, souls period. She believes ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS EDITION 2019







In our society, it appears the more negative one is, the more popular they become. Videoing the acts which depict violence, fighting, and all moral-less behavior go viral, sometimes unbeknownst to the participants in the video. It could be said, the popular “challenges” consistently get more and more morbid, even causing the death of the participants. Cruel comments, hate-filled behaviors all seem to crowd the breaking news updates in social media, and the nightly news. How is it possible for people to spew hate filled jargon, instead of shedding words of kindness? We as human beings can in fact do a little more individually to change the landscape in our communities, one person at a time. There is hope that we can all benefit from acts of kindness and make the world a better place. We must first be willing to assume a position to take responsibility and make a difference. Unlike the times of old, we cannot afford to wait for someone else to take the mantle and help our planet. After all, the future of our children depends on us to change the playing field, immediately.

This brings me to the focus of the article, kindness. It will take courage for us to not laugh at the off-color jokes we hear which tear others down. It will take

courage to take the high road instead of inciting violence, hatred and other melancholy behaviors. It will take each of us begin courageous to stand up for kindness, love, peace and those pleasantries we all desire. It will demand we vow to band together collectively to support our neighbors

as they support us. What happened to the acts of kindness we used to exhibit? Holding the door for others, saying “please and thank you,” and acknowledging when we are wrong, then apologizing? What happened to fixing cakes and pies for our new neighbors? What happened to supporting local businesses and doing favors for others without expectation of being paid back? How can we depend on the next generations to take care of the aging generations if we don’t infuse the world with more kindness? Kindness is free. Some may say it’s a different time and we must deal with others as they deal with us. I disagree. We can choose to let the world become darker and darker, or we can stand up and dare to be kind. How can we exemplify kindness? We can begin with thinking how we would want others to treat us and our loved ones, in any given situation. In the moments before responding, we can stop to think about our responses to see if they reflect our true character, and our reputations. One should think, “if i do or say this, am I prepared to handle the backlash and consequences associated?” If we would be ashamed or somehow embarrassed of our actions, words or



{ DR KIKI SPEAKS } “We as human beings can in fact do a little more individually to change the landscape in our communities, one person at a time. There is hope that we can all benefit from acts of kindness and make the world a better place.”

r deeds; then perhaps it is something we should avoid doing or saying. Being a bigger person and walking away from conflict or demeaning situations does not show weakness, it is indeed a position of power and a sign of being poised under pressure. How can we expect the children in our society to be productive members of society when we do not know how to show kindness to them? Recently I overheard a mother in the store parking lot cursing at her elementary school children. She used 552

every foul word she could find to tell the children how dissatisfied she was with them for bringing a toy into the car, for which she had no idea was in there. The mother proceeded to call them names as if they were complete strangers, and yelled to the top of her voice from across the parking lot. The children just dropped their heads, got out of the car and put the toys in the trunk, as the mother continued to call them names and berate them. I could only hope she would notice everyone looking and calm down, and refrain from her


behavior. She didn’t, and that is sad as it is a cycle of systemic verbal abuse which the children will more than likely repeat. While the scenario certainly plays out in households across the country, it is important to understand that a verbally abused child in this situation, will then go to school and display aggressive behavior towards teachers; and mimic abusive behavior to friends and bully others. Let’s break the chains of systemic ills in our communities, be the change we wish to see and dare to be kind!






Always try to be on point because you never know who is watching. You want to look Fly every time you step out. Weather you are going to the store ,to work out or out on the town.

deal. Make boss moves..because you will be judged. At work people look to see what you are wearing every day to see how you are put together. You Fashionista!

Choose and coordinate your look to feel happy. It makes a difference and will make you feel good the whole day. Neon colors are so hot from head to toe right now. Or mixing it up with Black is so Awesome and available everywhere you look. Putting together your looks help others do the same.

It is so easy to do with a half of yard of fabric or with two scarves. You will be so surprised. If you have extra..your male friend or husband can get a matching look too. A bow tie, Ascot with a matching pocket square.

So be prepared to get compliments for your attire when It’s Fly. Even for work your appropriate Business attire..A Suit with a skirt or pants will show you know and are very serious about the way you look. In some industries you must come correct. Your business looks and outfits you wear will make or break a business

of what you can come up with. That plain black dress, add a colorful wrap to it. That pants suit, try wearing it without a blouse under it...Sexy! Or Rocking a solid black necktie with it would be fly with your suit collar turned up. An Afrocentric or printed head wrap and a shawl to match is hot.

Be Creative.

Always being CLASSY is a true sign of being a leader and a role model. Preparing for your next event and need a new look? Try reinventing and recreating from out of your own closet first. You will be so surprised

You’re going to Love the way you Look. The versatility is numerous. You never know what all you can do with a yard of fabric. lf you have any problem just contact MR.CARLYLE Studio Atlanta 470.418.7277 Follow MR.CARLYLE ig: iammrcarlyle email: mrcarlylew@ yahoo.com








Greetings readers! I hope you enjoy reading about Katlady productions© 101 Fashions & Furs. You will never believe what’s happening! City Council member, Corey D. Johnson is pushing a bill to ban furs in NYC. Fur lovers, we need your loyalty!

As our conversation continued, he agreed we need to do better with “our people”. At the end of our conversation, he suggested Katlady Productions come by his Bronx

We vehemently oppose the enactment of this legislation. Instead, we ask our legislators to protect consumer freedom, and continue to allow independent personal choice with fashion style. We love fashion & furs. We ask our council members to respect and uphold the American dream! Generate income for our families, and tax revenues for all residents. We urge Councilman Corey D. Johnson to protect the family livelihoods the fur industry created in our communities. We are not killing animals. We also request he carefully considers the impact of such a prohibition upon people who are making a living in this industry. As a resident, a tax payer, a creative designer, an event planner, stylist , educator and activist please hear my voice!. I discussed the proposed legislation with Mark Gjonaj, the district leader from distinct 13 in the Bronx. City Council member Mark Gjonaj stated: “There are far more important things to worry about, like homelessness”. (Shaking his head).

to choice, whether for our bodies, our food, our families, our sense of fashion etc. could be infringed upon or outright denied by our elected members of NYC council or any other governing body. We vote them in, we can vote them out. Fur, leather, suede, cashmere and wool are all choices. A consumers ability to make their own decision to purchase such items should never be compromised- and certainty not in a dismissive manner. We are long-standing artists, craftsmen & women. The furriers and fine products created by talented people should never be subjected to the auspices of radical and political animal rights organizations who impose their whims, and rules which are unconstitutional and hostility.

office to discuss doing a fashion show in September 2019, with the community affairs. At this time, we are appalled our right

We all have the right to choose. As an American citizen, we have constitutionally protected rights. Our rights are being looked over. Don’t forget, we also have the right to vote. We will consider a vote against anyone who would strip us of our choices of what to wear or what to make, especially when it comes to fur products. That, of course, is only one of the choices available to the consumers, considering the power of co-equal braches of our government. I know we went a little hard on the NYC




councilmen in this column, but when it comes to fashion & furs, we go hard on and off the runway. Furthermore, we have so much to do! You can see Katlady productions© in ATL City on July 21 ,2019, or the 6th annual REAL HARLEM reunion will be in August 10, 2019 at River Bank State Park. We invite all of our readers. We 560

would love for you to be a part of an amazing experience with Katlady productions©. As we continue bridge building, collaborating with each other in the fashion industry, we will get better together. There is nothing more special than the notion of creative minds coming together. Especially when meeting and enjoying new


creative designers, models, make-up artist and photographers. New faces, are always wonderful . Thank you Rochester Woman Online for inviting Katlady Production©.






The Mr. Gay Pennsylvania America Experience Preparing for any beauty pageant as you now realize takes focus, dedication, and proper planning. Reigning and representing Friday, April 13th, 2018 will go down as one of the most important dates in my life. Many superstitious individuals look at that date and say to me, why is that date so important? Isn’t Friday the 13th considered unlucky? It maybe traditionally an unlucky day for most but for me its a truly ICONIC day. The last 11 months I have the blessing to reign as the very 1st Mr. Gay Pennsylvania America 2018. On April 12th, 2019 in the capital city of Harrisburg, I will be humbly crowing my successor. This article is dedicated to my journey representing the keystone state through out the year and on the national level. Many say it so hard to say goodbye, and I honestly am feeling it while also agreeing. I wanted to take this moment to share essentially my farewell letter to Pennsylvania. Initially I was not looking into competing for the national title for Mr. Gay America. I had literally came off a miracle performance at All American Gent that I wasn’t necessarily looking onward. I truly was in a euphoria until a conversation took place between myself and coach Kyle Ean Haggerty who was then reigning as Mr. Gay America 2017. He spoke to me about my potential, what he wished for me to strive for, and ultimately follow the legacy of his own illustrious career. So, I took that month to prepare a new but yet brilliant package for the preliminary. I didn’t necessarily think that I had it in the bag, I was focused on being the best entertainer & competitor I could be. Taking

that wave to Pennsylvania, I prepped my interview, after 6 attire, presentation looks and tweaking my talent for that audience. I entered into Harrisburg, PA on April 12th, 2018 at Stallions Nightclub and took home the honor of Being the inaugural symbol of excellence for the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. I also confess that part of me being the FIRST MR crowned went over my head because I was in another euphoric state of mind. What I also realized is that

not only did I earn another opportunity for a national title, I also was the man who had to build this entire program. Feeling pressure to be great, I pushed forward two days later and got right to work. Planning early, executing accurately was what was needed since I had two months until nationals. This performance ultimately starts the momentum for the next men to follow in the future!

I take being a titleholder extremely serious, it is a 365 day position yet I take every single moment like it literally would be the last reign ever. I immediately upon arriving home in sash & medallion, I dropped my bags off at home and went directly to my formal wear providers Portabella Menswear Harlem to get after 6 started while thinking about my Heroes, Villains, & Fairytales presentation look. I hit the pavement with promoting the title, getting the Facebook page up an running, and making my essence known in my home state and in my adoptive state. Majority of my reign has garner praise for how much I post, hashtag, and go so hard towards making a strong precedence in reigning properly I rarely took many days off. Nothing, I mean nothing as much of a small iota was going to stop me at all while representing thanks to this title. Reminder when reigning a title, depending on your reign is what will inspire those next men and women to want to take your spot as king or queen for That state. Some highlights include gaining a national campaign with Seven Souls & Pacific Blue clothing lines earning a spot on the website and in the take home catalogue. I was booked for pride events in both New York & Pennsylvania, I was a featured guest performer at the Toolbox NYC the oldest LGBT bar in the Upper East Side. Enjoying my duties during the farewell of outgoing queen Miss Tatiana Clark and embracing the crowning of Miss Gay Pennsylvania America 2018, Miss Jaslene Dickson. Oh, I even was a performer in a benefit show for a regional winner who is vying for the title of Miss Gay Maryland America. Serving as head judge for Miss Gay Philadelphia America, to walking in the ICONIC New York FASHION WEEK in 2 shows!!! No opportunity offered accept



{ AN ICONIC MOMENT } “Isn’t Friday the 13th considered unlucky? It maybe traditionally an unlucky day for most but for me its a truly ICONIC day.”

just one, I took and built a remarkable portfolio of memories, performances, and lasting memories. Taking this title has built a solid spotlight for myself in the pageant community as a competitor, coach, and as a civilian in our world. Now your probably thinking, What happened at Nationals right, what’s the tea? I road tripped with my promoter Mr. Jeremy Clayton & Mr. Adam Fesser and 1st alternative Mr. Patrick Turner Lee from Pennsylvania to St. Louis, Missouri. In the back of my head knowing that this was my coach’s farewell in a title he literally took over a decade to win. I had the want, need, and desire to follow the path to winning the title in the most ICONIC way possible. I did suffer through challenges behind the scenes prior to my final night appearance where I had to really fight through the distractions that came my way and compete. I took my anger out during my portrayal of the villainous puddin cup Harley Quinn. Bringing to the stage my throwback sensibilities into overdrive in a spirted 4 the 90s mix by Todrick Hall. Lastly, closing the contest in a stunning Chinese porcelain inspired all white &touch of blue floral printed red carpet evening wear. All of this along with a honest, focused, and extremely unapologetic interview I placed 11th overall out of the 18 contestants. Unfortunately, I wasn’t crowned Mr. Gay America 2018, that honor was bestowed to Mr. Judas Elliot who represented as Mr. Gay Southeast America 2018. Was I feeling sad, no lie of course but the silver lining to the playbook I represented. I did my best given all the circumstances that happened and reminded myself that I still have a job to finish. My biggest wish hopefully Was I made everyone take note of the potential of the Mr. Gay Pennsylvania America system and what it can do for everyone!!


Now were here in my final month, and I sit here writing fighting the tears while reminiscing on everything I accomplished. I had prior to nationals selected my farewell theme which I called this “50 Shades of Camouflage” this idea of an all camouflage print parade has been my brain child in my head for over three years. I didn’t think about the under tones of my theme, feeling the patriotic swagger I also am using this opening as a massive thank you to all who has served our country. Why not celebrate this moment in the home of the liberty bell and our independence as American citizens. I am performing three times during the preliminary. Opening with a military mix of each branch of the military anthems merging into 30 seconds to mars classic “This is War.” My opening also features former and reigning Mr. Gay America’s, Jaslene my reigning queen, and the parade of contestants. Following a strong message to our country comes a “sexy” rendition of the smash hit of “Love Lies” by Khalid & Normani covered by Next Town Down. Sadly & proudly In my final act upon the crowning of my successor, I end this journey with ballads “All I Ask” by Adele and “Flashlight” by Jessie J both covered by Leroy Sanchez. Being Mr. Gay Pennsylvania America 2018 has been an experience of a lifetime. I have fallen madly deeply in love with the states and all my constituents. Without a doubt, I have another place I can call home. I personally want to thank every single person who followed my life over this year. Thank you to both my promoters who believed in my vision, challenged me, and assured me I was doing a great job. To Kyle, you didn’t allow me to quit or not take this on and trusting in my process for that I thank you. Tatiana & Jaslene, thank you for being two of the most amazing queens to reign with regardless of it all I will always love


you both. To every single former forever MISS Gay Pennsylvania America winner’s you inspired my excellence, I followed the brilliance, I am honored to be apart of the family. To my successor, take your love of competing amplify it times 10, make the reign yours, and fall in love with the keystone state Like I have. Never forget whatever you need or challenges you I will always be there to help you. Never take what I did as pressure to overwhelm you, just build, promote, and crack the top 10 if not win the national crown. Treat your queen right, support all the formers, congratulations and welcome to the family. Last, yet most importantly to Pennsylvania, thank you beyond. Opening my eyes to the beauty, honesty, and truth of why its cool to rep has filled me to be the best. Allowing me to be your first king has changed my life dramatically, graciously, and competitively. As I sit here, with tears rolling down my face I will forever be grateful to sit on this throne and live to tell about this. As I move on as the newly crowned Florida’s All American Gent 2019 & New England’s Perfect Man 2019, heading to both national contests all I will hold on to this and use this as inspiration. I will always promote, perform, and endorse to everyone single male pageant goer that being Mr. Gay Pennsylvania America is beyond the best thing ever. My legacy will hopefully live long and I am positive that 5, 10, 20 years down the line everyone will still be thankful to my journey. Signing off officially, I am forever now former Mr. Gay Pennsylvania America 2018, Gary Ariel Washington. Thank you, thank you, and thank you.







Working as a stylist can be challenging and heartwarming at the same time. I’ve encountered my fair share of gives ups or what they call kitchen due. (kitchen due – processing hair in your own house in the kitchen, bath room or living room). I never thought I would be processing hair and in a shop. I have done hair in my kitchen or bath room. There is nothing wrong with helping someone become beautiful no matter how it gets done. However, the difference is the pricing. When you perform the same gift on someone in your home, most people will not pay the full price as being in a shop.

not realize knowing about whether clients experience some of these symptoms can be helpful when you are processing any hair product on a client. It is important information to gather.

- Most times, when coloring for the first time, a box color may not be the best choice for product. Box and or semi-permanent dye often washes out in a few weeks. The artificial pigment color can linger in your hair for years (literally) and is very difficult to “lift” later if the client wants to go lighter or add highlights. - When using color, it’s best to change shampoos made to preserve the color. Make sure the shampoo is for colored-treated hair. Clarifying shampoo’s which most people use can strip your hair of color.

My gifts are totally different from most, if not all. I specialize in coloring, haircuts, sew ins, crochets, natural hair braiding, relaxers, natural styles and many, many more. I worked with the greatest stylists and some who do not know much about hair during my career. Let’s get some pointers on some of these subjects, I will start with coloring. Anytime I get a new client, I always want to do a consultation just so I know what my client is about and what he/she likes. As well as reviewing their medical history, if they are diabetic or have high blood pressure. Most people do

and how many colors ( highlighting or blending several colors).

- Coloring or bleaching hair can damage hair. Always use conditioner and/or get conditioner treatments to make sure the hair stays healthy.

CONSULTATION – Discuss with your client any information you need to know and especially find out what it is they are really looking for from you. COLORING – what color, what style

Let me provide another tip for some of you beautiful stylists or for those who are still learning the grip of hair and the personal care that comes along with hair care. Relaxers can be a bit tricky for most as well. RELAXERS - Chemical hair relaxers are designed to straighten extremely curly, coiled or tightly coiled hair by breaking the disulfide bonds found



{ BEAUTY LIES WITHIN } “Working as a stylist can be challenging and heartwarming at the same time. I’ve encountered my fair share of gives ups or what they call kitchen due. (kitchen due – processing hair in your own house in the kitchen, bath room or living room).”

within the cortex layer of the hair. Hydroxide and Thio are the most common types of hair relaxers. - If you have natural hair which we call it VIRGIN hair, it needs more precedence than already relaxed hair which we call it a RETOUCH.

breakage or over processed hair, Heck, I’ve done it myself on clients and it does not feel too good. However, what really matters and what counts is how you fix the mistake and try your best not to do that again. As stylists we encounter so many people of many

- Virgin hair must be processed completely different than Retouches. Now no matter what product you get or have in your hair, it needs personal care. Chemicals are not to be played with and can damage and break your hair, especially if you try to use two chemicals at once. Now as far as natural hair, they say it is the easiest to care for. Sorry to disappoint you, but it’s not!!!! It takes more patience and time for natural hair. One nice factor about natural hair is, it is healthier, stronger and chemicalfree. I recommend using products with coconut, olive oil, ghee, grass-fed butter, avocado and many more. These fats contain healthy omega 3’s, which help to assist providing softness and sheen in natural hair or for that matter, any type of hair. Now, I have come across damaged, 572

cancer, alopecia or any type of hair loss. They need more love than most. It is severely damaging for a woman with loss of hair or no hair if it’s not your choice. Life can be hectic. Taking time out to pamper yourself, once a week, every two weeks or once a month can be good for your soul. Try a mani or pedi. Take some time out for you to relax. As women we get so busy or have so many obligations we often forget about what we need. I’ll leave you with this…

races, attitudes and personalities. Any time you are in some type of customer service you must be built to be tough but at the same time compassionate to your clients. Some clients present with special hair needs such as those who have


of the body.

No matter what hair do you chose, or what chemical’s you use or even if you get braids or locks, take good care of your hair. Refrain from having dry scalp, dandruff and or bumps. Find a stylist that fits your budget and needs. Your hair is an important part of your body and deserves the love like any other part

I say “Healthy Hair ROCKS” Sheila Young 515 Thurston Ave (585) 224-6014








Over the weekend I attended my oldest son Daiquan, and his longtime girlfriend, Destiny’s wedding ceremony. As I sat in the wedding hall and watched the both of them exchange vows it made me reminisce about my wedding day many years ago. I couldn’t help but cogitate on the innocence of young love. Young love can be so inexperienced, immature, and unpredictable, yet young hearts beat wildly and love hard. While the older generation try to worn of the uncertainties of young love, I have faith in it. My brother Brian married his high school sweetheart Monica just a couple years after graduation, and 20 plus years and 4 children later they are still going strong. My mom and dad met at the tender age of 15, they fell in love, got married, and will celebrate 51 years of marriage this August. There is nothing sweater then the innocence of a young man and a young lady longing to spend every minute of their day together. It would be dissembling for me to say I hadn’t secretly imagined a fairytale wedding as I could have been the young lady dressed in a Christina Wu gown, with my hair pinned up in beach curls adorned with Waterford crystals, as I made my royal entrance down an eliminated aisle sprinkled with Juliet roses and my King would stand proud awaiting for my presence. I sat sunk in oblivion thinking of the first time I fell in what I would say was real love. This love for me was easy and carefree, and everything seem to fall into place, and at times made no sense, but made perfect sense. I was 20 years old, and I had just moved back home to my parent’s house after going off to college, I had been on my own for about a year and a half. I had a couple guys I was talking to but nothing major. I knew I wanted to experience love, but none of the guys I was talking to tapped into that emotional part of my soul, nor

were they articulate enough for me. Then I met Him, the rough around the edges, timberland boot wearing, no filter type of guy. He had the most companionable smile that reeled me in, he caught me that night I met him and I knew he was something special. He was that guy that didn’t mind staying up all night to the next morning talking on the phone with me about what every I wanted to talk about. He worried about my well-being, and I appreciated his honesty and transparency. Those late

night phone conversations turned into us moving in together, falling in love then getting married. Upon my arrival to the wedding, Daiquan was standing outside dressed in an all-white penguin tux with royal blue, alligator shoes. As I walked up to my Daiquan, I took a second to study his face and I saw an array of emotions. I could see the nervousness and anxiety, but I also saw the joy, happiness, and peace, and he looked proud to be getting married. In that moment, I knew that marrying Destiny was something that was right for him. Daiquan stood outside

waiting patiently for guest to arrive, and most importantly to except his queen as his wife. I felt immensely overjoyed to see Daiquan, his dad, and 6 siblings all together taking pictures. It had been many years since they had taken a group photo. I felt joy watching the kids interact with each other, my eyes got a litter watery because I starting thinking about when they were little. I married Daiquan’s dad when he was about 7, and I instantly became a mother to 3, then my husband I had 3 more, and I never regretted it. As guest arrived, I sat in the front of the room and eagerly awaited Destiny’s grand entrance. Destiny’s daughter walked down the aisle first as the flower girl. She was beautiful with a bright smile, a princess dress with Sunday shoes. Next came the bride, she walked in with tear filled eyes and she was absolutely stunning. Her gown beautifully complemented her pregnant belly anf Destiny was adorned with a crystal crown and jewelry. Her hair was perfectly pinned up in curls, and her face was flawlessly beat by Brian Agular. She was the most stunning perfect bride I had ever seen, and she took the aisle gracefully. As everyone watched the bride, I looked up at Daiquan and his face wet with tears as he excepted his wife to be. Tears flooded down my eyes as Destiny and Daiquan held hands, and took a moment to stare in each other’s eyes and exchange vows. Who’s to say young love is just infatuation? Funny thing is, the older generation preach about waiting to fall in love, but many of them fell in love and married at young ages. Young love often times comes without all the baggage and strings attached, creating an environment where love has the capacity to grow. Young love is fun and carefree, and can be just as strong as experienced love.








THE GIFTS AFTER THE PAIN (One woman’s story regarding her struggle to conceive after fibroids)

We all have dreams as little children. Some dreams and wishes of little girls are falling in love, planning a wedding and becoming a mother. There is also the quiet anticipation of having our monthly, as this certifies we are a woman, once it comes. The one thing no one prepares you for is when the dreams don’t go the way we imagine. Five weeks after being married, Cynthia went for her annual OB/ GYN appointment. She was not prepared for some shocking news. While she was not pregnant, her uterus was the size of a woman who was five months pregnant. Cynthia learned she suffered from Uterine Myoma (fibroid tumors). Fibroids are noncancerous growths of the uterus that often appear during childbearing years. Doctors scheduled Cynthia for an abnormal Myomectomy. Cynthia was prepped to undergo an hour-and-a -half procedure. That hour-and-a-half turned into two hours, three hours, hour-after-hour the surgery went on. Seven hours later, it was finally over. Doctors suspected multiple fibroids. However, in Cynthia’s case the intensity and severity were still a surprise to them. The smallest fibroid removed was the size of an orange. The largest was the size of a large grapefruit. Cynthia was thanking God on her way to recovery, there was no damage to her fallopian tubes. She and her husband wanted to have a family. This was their dream, to have children.

Recovery was no walk in the park, as a result of the extensive surgery, Cynthia underwent a blood transfusion. She required in-home nursing visits for a month afterward. Cynthia was also on a special diet of red meat and iron-rich foods, due to the enormous amounts of blood lost during the surgery. After six months of uterine strengthening and healing, she would be able to plan to conceive. Cynthia says this gave her hope! She held on to the scripture that reads “ For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “ plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”( Jeremiah 29:11) A future which could include her being a loving mother.

It wasn’t over, on November 3rd, 2012, while sitting in her car, Cynthia suddenly felt violently ill. She knew something was terribly wrong because she could hardly breathe and was in a tremendous amount of pain. She called her husband. She knew he was on his way, but, feeling as if he would not reach her in time, Cynthia dialed 911. While at the ER, the doctors looked for the cause. They were uncertain so, she had exploratory surgery the next day. This caused a lot of anxiety for the couple not knowing what was going on.

The pain was so bad, Cynthia just kept praying for God to deliver her from the pain or take her home. Her thoughts about dying were intense and at that moment, she felt it was a much better place than living with this pain. Nonetheless, Cynthia survived yet, another surgery. She learned the myomectomy she underwent earlier that year resulted in extensive scar tissue. This scar tissue wrapped around her small intestines, cutting it off and leaving three feet of a gangrene colon. Doctors assured Cynthia and her husband, if she arrived a day later, she would be dead. Cynthia kept moving forward with trying to conceive and she saw a fertility specialist. She just wanted to ensure that her uterus was healthy enough to carry a child. After running some tests, according to the doctor, her egg count was low, and her eggs were too “aged” to have a baby. This was a very difficult time in her life. She was lucky enough to enjoy the experience of being a mother to her nephew. It was disappointing and sad for Cynthia. Cynthia discussed this with her husband and the couple decided to put their faith in God. Low and behold, her faith pulled her through. Cynthia and her husband were blessed with two children. Cynthia wants other women to know that when your back is against the wall, God will make way for them too. Just because someone says something can’t happen never means it won’t. Cynthia’s story is inspirational and the hope is by sharing it someone else going through a similar issue may gain hope to never give up on your dreams.







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Daijah Barnes is a powerful woman from her walk to her talk. She’s naturally optimistic and is notorious for transforming the lives of any who come in close contact with her. Her peers describe her as Authentic, Elegant, Grateful, tender-hearted, h u m b l e , l oy a l and many more. Daijah’s natural nurturing skills were tested early on when she began to help her single mother raise her large family.That was the beginning of her journey of resilience. “Life wasn’t easy and that job was a tough one, but I wanted to make things to be easier for my mother.” Daijah opted out of caring for her siblings when she learned she would bear a child of her own. Her then boyfriend turned from beauty to beast after her first dating violence assault occurred while she was in her last trimester of pregnancy. Attacks of the likeness continued to occur throughout their time together, and each time it became worse. The then-teens welcomed their

second child on their own and in their apartment. The completion of their relationship was when he pulled a knife on her with their child in the room and asked her if she wanted to die. She left everything except the

children to start a better life. They reunited a year later for the sake of their children she thought and was informed by him that he had begun dating. Her efforts to make his then-

girlfriend knowledgeable of his traits and behaviors felt that they were in vain after she found out he was charged with manslaughter for her death. After feeling defeated Daijah decided to use her story as a driving force to ignite change in others. Her words are “therapeutic and inspiring” said one of her listeners. Her goal is to make the youth and young adults worldwide knowledgeable of dating violence and early signs of it. “If I share my knowledge and have gone through the turbulence, it makes it easier for the ones after me, they have to be better than me.” Says Daijah. She wrote and selfpublished “Scared in Love” which is grounded from her true story of dating violence in novel form to inspire, and encourage change within every community that faces dating violence. Her book will be available in July of this year and ready for purchase at www.daijahb.com.



“Life wasn’t easy and that job was a tough one, but I wanted to make things to be easier for my mother.”


“Daijah Barnes is a powerful woman from her walk to her talk.”

She has had the opportunity to share her knowledge with many networks such as USA Today, Democrat and Chronicle, The Center For Youth, YMCA of Greater Rochester, National Council of Negro Women, Inc, and many more. She plans to continue speaking and raising awareness through her literature and words verbally. Daijah says gratitude is an attitude and the more she practices it, the more she’s thankful for every single person that’s active in her life. “It takes work to be a part of someone’s life, and I’m grateful that my loves 594

invest in me, even if it’s a call. We all have occupied lives, but my heart smiles when time is put into anything, because who invests time in something they’re not passionate about? No-one. I’m a simple woman, and I don’t need too much, but that’s my love language.” Daijah loves parenthood, family presence, dancing, singing, cooking, taking pictures and creating new experiences. Her motto is to give love and receive it but always let life teach you its course and pass with an A (attempt) because you gave it your best. To keep up with Daijah


and her future endeavors, please feel free to follow the links below: Facebook: www.facebook.com/ ScaredinLove/ Instagram: www.instgram.com/ ScaredinLove_books/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/ BarnesLiteratu1 Linkedin: https://www.linkedin. com/in/daijah-barnes-a134b8153/








Roe V. Wade, 1973 United States Supreme Court case affirmed that access to safe and legal abortion is a constitutional right. Now, 2019 just 46 years after making history we are now about to let it become unconstitutional again? Do you know the harm it will cause to women in America? Planned Parenthood is not the monster, the government is making them out to be. They do more than provide abortion services. Planned Parenthood, provides rape crisis counseling, birth control services, reproductive health screenings as well. Now we have 16 states ready to introduce or pass bills that would ban abortion at 6 weeks!! Total devastation. Planned parenthood isn’t the only place that provides abortion services, some OB/ GYN offices provide those services as well, it’s safe for the woman, apparently that doesn’t matter anymore. Since January 2019, more than 250 abortion restrictions have been introduced. Attempts to ban access to safe, legal abortions have soared to an all time high. So tragic. Women can face charges if they miscarry after 6 weeks So far 6 states are down to 1 abortion provider.

and died for, we take 1 step forward and 2 steps backwards. Whether you’re Pro Choice, Pro Life, be Pro Common Sense!! Every woman who chooses abortion is not making that decision lightly. I have had a few friends that had to have them due to medical reasons and the doctor felt that was the best choice. Why would we ask a woman who has been molested or raped to carry the child of her attacker for 9 months, because of how we feel, How, about how she feels!! People of low income and people of color will be among those disproportionately affected. The efforts to restrict or ban abortion are spreading quickly. In Georgia, Kentucky, and Mississippi, banned abortion access at six weeks, other states, Missouri, Ohio, South Carolina, and Tennessee are stand to follow suit. With politicians filling proposals for similar bans in Florida, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Texas, and West Virginia.

We have been so blinded about other things happening lately in Congress or dealing with this border issue, that laws that were passed decades ago are being dismantled right in plain sight, and we are not trying to stop this tragedy.

None of this that is happening is right. It’s hunting season on all pregnancies, which shouldn’t be a stressful time but the way this going, folks may not want to have kids. The government does not have the right to tell a woman what to do with her body, with her pregnancy wanted or not wanted, that is decided between her and significant other. I have no idea what she may be going through or what her situation may be so we can not judge unlest we be judged.

We have become so invested, Russian probes, Clinton’s emails, trumps taxes, mueller reports, whether or not Cardi B drugged men, WHO CARES!! We have lost sight of what Americans have fought

This hits home for me because, when I was a young teen, Planned Parenthood was there for me to provide me with non judgemental advice and birth control services, I used Planned Parenthood for

multiple services for a long time. I never once felt anything but grateful they were there for me at the time I needed them. A lot of teens can’t turn to their parents to be understanding about birth control, but Planned Parenthood is and they are very much confidential, so a teen can have total control of their reproductive health without fear from family. So back to my story, on one of my appointments at Planned Parenthood I was greeted by protestors outside with their signs, pictures of aborted fetuses, quoting scriptures with bibles in their hands saying “ God Loves You”, well I know that already, and didn’t need them to tell me that. It was a scare tactic to keep me from going into my appointment, so what did this very clever young lady say to them. I said “ Well you do know they assist with things so that you don’t have to have an abortion if not needed,” The one protestor said that birth control was a sin and I said, “Well, a lot of folks going to hell saved and not saved, since a lot of people use birth control to keep from getting pregnant to keep from having to make that difficult decision to terminate.” I politely turned away and walked myself into my appointment at Planned Parenthood. The secretary told me I was brave to stand up to them, I said not bravery just standing up for what is right. Can you say the same about yourself??








Not only was march a celebration of spring and St. Patrick’s Day, March is our time to celebrate women’s history. Women have always made incredible contributions to the world. I think women’s history should be celebrated all year around. It is now April, and I would like to introduce Kurvie Korner’s readers to business women who I believe are on their way to impacting the world. Y ou all know I am a firm believer in selfcare. Self-care for each woman is a different experience. My self-care includes yoga, writing poetry, listening to music, taking a drive alone and bubble baths. For years my self-care experiences have been aided by the amazing products from Your Goddess Glow. Candice Simmons began Your Goddess Glow as a way for her to combat the struggles of postpartum depression. Candice has an array of products such as sea salt body scrubs, bath bombs, lotions, candles, and much more yet the first product produced was the herbal bath tea. Candice started with the Herbal Bath Tea because bath time was her sacred moment to reset her mind from the often unspoken stress of a newborn. Candice added her newest form of stress stemmed from being a new stay at home mom, that had a gap between her children of 13 years. In order to keep sane and productive, as well as contributing to her household “Your Goddess Glow” was created. As a woman in business Candice has found it hard to find those who take her seriously. She has discovered that many feel like her business is just a hobby. She plans to use her amazing products and her passion to change the ideas of the naysayers. Candice adds a tip for any woman who plans to start a line.” Be sure to get great pictures, be consistent in your social media posting, try to get into vendor opportunities as often as possible”

In the near future Candice would love to see her products distributed internationally. She is manifesting visions of “Your Goddess Glow” on the shelves of Ulta Beauty, Target, and Walmart. Candice is using her love for her children as motivation to achieve her goals. She says “It brings me the most joy to know that I have a tangible, reallife example of taking something very difficult to deal with and turning it into something amazing that helps so many

other people heal.” Your Goddess Glow has been progressing for two years, and can be found on www.yourgoddessglow,store. These incredible products can be found on Facebook, Instagram and Etsy. If you’d like to exert some energy, have fun and bond with women in a loving, stress free environment head over to Wukk out with Yana. Yana is the instructor of her class Soca with Yana. Yana has been dancing since the age of three. Yana is a trained dancer who has experience in Classical Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern, and west African dance as well. By day Yana is a nurse but modeling and dancing are her passions.

As a child, because of her size. Yana was overlooked by her dance teachers. With the support and advocacy from her mother, Yana was eventually put into dances at her school. After the experience of being body shamed, Yana decided that no woman or child should be ashamed to participate in activities that they love. The drive for a change of societal norms, and her love for dance drove Yana to create “Soca with Yana” “Soca with Yana” provides a comfortable environment, in which you can experience a new form of exercise and also loose weight. Yana mentioned” The purpose of my classes is to promote body positivity among women with a little Caribbean flava.” Classes are held at 250 Cumberland street Suite 218 on Tuesdays from 830pm- 930pm and on Saturdays from 10am- 11am. In order to stay updated on class information follow “Soca with Yana” on Facebook. Although her class is increasing in size and had gaining interest Yana has an obstacle to overcome. Yana is searching for a space to accommodate her class and capture her vision. This will not hinder Yana from continuing to pursue her passions. Yana’s motivation comes from her son who cheers her on as she creates new routines. Yana is motivated by her best friend who pushes her, and has believed in her when she doubted herself. Yana’s support is unmatched, she adds “My Boyfriend motivates me with his words of encouragement, and positive voice when I need it the most”. Yana also adds that she has an incredible “Sister Circle” that shares her flyers, donate funds and brings others to her classes. In a year Yana plans to her have class in its own building and providing an outlet to young ladies who would like to dance. Yana plans to continue to promote body positivity across the globe Caribbean style.



“I would like to introduce Kurvie Korner’s readers to business women who I believe are on their way to impacting the world.”

Profile for Rochester Woman Online

Something 4th the Sista's May 2019  

Rochester Woman Online's May edition of our incredible ALL NEW "Something 4the Sista's" online magazine features 105.5 the BEAT radio person...

Something 4th the Sista's May 2019  

Rochester Woman Online's May edition of our incredible ALL NEW "Something 4the Sista's" online magazine features 105.5 the BEAT radio person...