NewU Participant Biographies – NABJ

National Association of Black Journalists

Ciara Calbert

I studied journalism in school and found that it was often difficult to make myself fit into a box. Plus, I never really knew what side of the media I wanted to be on: Did I want to report the news, or did I want to BE the news? I think good journalism is a combination of journalism and PR. I believe in journalism as artistic expression.

Journalism is my kind of art. I’d like 2 help others express themselves creatively through journalism—a combo of creative writing, poetry, music and song lyrics, mixed media and multimedia art.

With new media, there is room to grow. You can report from the center of your own experiences. Really we are never without our own experiences. We feign objectivity, but our own experiences shape the way we cover stories. In the web 2.0 world, there is no reason to pretend not to be the 800 lb gorilla in the room. Objectivity happens. And, people forgive a little swayed vision if over time you show yourself to be someone who is overall concerned with showing “truth” in its many forms, someone who has an overall desire to uplift humankind.

Journalists have a number of resources at our fingertips. We can travel far and wide, have access to equipment and technology that can present clear images and sounds to the public. Oprah often says, “Use your celebrity.” Let’s use our access to help others. I’d like to help others tell their stories and make a profit from it as freelancers. More good will come to and from the profession when more people use their own power for the greater good.

So, where does that leave us? I love it when I hear of people who pick up their pens, their computers or their laptops, their cameras or their camera phones and tell stories about the world they see. Journalists have the ability to connect worlds. That’s where the power comes from, in some ways. We get to be the eyes and ears of the world and help the world reconnect with itself.

I want journalism that incorporates poetry, music, songs, lyrics, academic principles of writing, quotes from books, citing authors whose words speak to real-life issues. I want a journalism that is human, creative and forgiving. We can handle the responsibility.

Cassie Chew

Cassie M. Chew is a career journalist with experience as a traditional news reporter, photographer, videojournalist and documentary filmmaker. In her work as a staff and freelance journalist, she has covered general business news, state politics, the arts and technology. As a Capitol Hill reporter she has filed reports and analysis on federal health care, banking and education policy. Upon receiving a Kaiser Family Foundation media fellowship, Cassie produced a series of stories on the impact of the Internet on the business of health care. With a planning grant from the Washington D.C. Humanities Council, she studied the feasibility of producing an independent multimedia project on Congress. Cassie earned a master’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism, focusing on business reporting and online news production. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English, with minors in Spanish and African American Literature, from the University of Illinois. Cassie also has earned about 40 credits toward certification in website development, video and audio production and photography from Montgomery College.

Yanick Rice Lamb

Her mission is to give voice to the voiceless and share the gift of knowledge through the written word. She’s award-winning journalist and author Yanick Rice Lamb. Yanick has had a blessed life and career. She is associate publisher and editorial director of Heart & Soul, the health and fitness bible for black women with a readership of 1.5 million. She also shares her expertise at Howard University, where she is developing a national student magazine. She is an associate professor and coordinator of the Print/Online Journalism Sequence in the John H. Johnson School of Communications.

As a vice president in the BET Publishing Group, Yanick simultaneously served as editor-in-chief of Heart & Soul and BET Weekend magazines. She was promoted to editorial director based on her success as founding editor of BET Weekend. Her editorial vision led to the magazine becoming the second-largest publication targeted to African-Americans with a circulation increase of nearly 40 percent from 800,000 to 1.3 million in just three years. She was also an editor-at-large at Essence and a contributing editor for Emerge.

Previously, Yanick worked for The New York Times Company for 10 years, most recently as a senior editor at Child magazine. At The New York Times, she worked in various newspaper roles, including assistant style editor, deputy home and living editor, assistant editor of Connecticut Weekly, metropolitan copy editor and a layout editor on the news desk. She was also a copy editor at The Atlanta Constitution and a reporter at The Toledo Blade. Yanick and her staffs have won numerous editorial and design awards, including a Folio: Editorial Excellence Award and four Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists. Her individual honors include a McDonald’s Black History Maker of Today Award in Journalism. Lamb is also a former president of the New York Association of Black Journalists.

Yanick is also co-author of Born to Win: The Authorized Biography of Althea Gibson (Wiley 2004) and Rise & Fly: Tall Tales and Mostly True Rules of Bid Whist (Random House/Crown, 2005). In addition, she wrote the text for The Spirit of African Design (Clarkson/Potter, 1996) and was a contributor to Aunties: 35 Writers Celebrate Their Other Mother (Ballantine Books, 2004); Health & Healing for African-Americans (Rodale, 1997); and Sisterfriend Soul Journeys (PromoTrends, 2000). She is also completing her debut novel, Nursing Wounds.

A native of Akron, Ohio, she holds a bachelor’s in journalism from The Ohio State University and a master’s in business administration from Howard University. She has one son and lives in the Washington area.

Juontel White

Juontel White is an alumna of the University of Southern California, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Print Journalism from the Annenberg School for Communication in 2009. As an undergraduate, she was a prominent campus leader, serving as president of Annenberg’s Black Student Association and editor-in-chief of Black Voices, USC’s black student newspaper. Juontel has worked for several major publications including; Essence magazine, E! Online and Hollywood Today. In addition to her passion for writing, Juontel has a strong interest in education, which led her to become a mentor for the Chaka Khan Foundation and co-founder of a leadership program for at-risk middle school students. Juontel aspires to a career in international affairs and hopes to use her gifts to highlight education issues in developing countries.

Mentor Bios

Gina Gayle:

Gina Gayle is a Professor of Practice in the School of Mass Communication and Journalism. Ms. Gayle came to the University Southern Mississippi in the fall of 2008 while working in New York City as a freelance photojournalist whose clients include The New York Times, The Associated Press, Newsday, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, Ebony Magazine, WireImage and USNewswire. Prior to moving back to New York, Ms. Gayle worked for the San Francisco Chronicle as a staff photographer. She was hired at the San Francisco Chronicle after completing the two-year Hearst Journalism Fellowship Program, which included rotations in Houston, Texas, Midland, Michigan, Albany, New York and San Francisco, California.

Ms. Gayle is the recipient of many awards and fellowships, most recently the National Association of Black Journalists’ Gulf Coast Fellowship. The fellowship allowed Ms. Gayle to continue a story on the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club of New Orleans as the organization rebuilds itself, its community and each member’s lives. In addition to her photojournalism work, Ms. Gayle’s fine art photography has been included in private collections, group shows and solo shows in New York, Chicago and Cleveland, Ohio. She is an active member of the National Press Photographers Association the National Association of Black Journalists’ Visual Task Force. Ms. Gayle has been the guest speaker at conventions and workshops across the country, talking about photography and multimedia. A self-taught photographer, Ms. Gayle holds a B.S. in Marketing from the University of Cincinnati and an M. A. in Arts, Entertainment and Media Management from Columbia College Chicago.

Mike Green

Mike Green is the CEO of Vizitnow3D, a startup corporation that combines social media, 3D and video game technologies destined to shift the paradigm of Internet experience from a flat 2D experience to 3D. Mike is an award-winning community activist, columnist, journalist, editorial writer and Web editor with 14 years in media. He is a New York Times Leadership Academy Fellow with training at Mike was selected in 2008 by Dow Jones Local Media Group to lead online experiments for its family of community newspapers. After a year of implementing award-winning online operations, Mike resigned to pursue an innovative entrepreneurial endeavor currently in the prototype stage of development. Mike is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), lives in Medford, Oregon with his wife, Emily, and 10-year-old daughter, Madison, and continues to maintain a blog on The Huffington Post.

Doug Jackson

Doug is an executive leader with experience and expertise in leading highly visible, world-class organizations. Doug has a proven track record with extensive experience in Consumer Packaged Goods brand management (The Coca-Cola Company, Kraft Foods and Procter & Gamble) and Technology and Telecommunications with both Fortune 50 and start-up companies. Doug has demonstrated a proven ability to build market share, deliver results, increase revenue, develop relationships and lead people. Additionally, Doug is a strategic thinker, quick study, personable, team player and maintains strong business acumen.

Before starting Shared Vision, Doug was Senior Vice President, Marketing of Proximiti Communications, Inc., where he was recruited by the former Trinsic CEO to join the executive management team and lead the development of both the marketing and sales organizations for this rapidly growing VoIP company. He developed Proximiti’s overall go-to-market strategy for both the consumer and business arenas, as well as led the strategic development and tactical implementation of Proximiti’s Channel Marketing efforts.

Prior to joining Proximiti, Doug served as SVP of the Consumer Services Division and corporate officer of Trinsic Communications, where he led the marketing, sales and product management for this $300M telecommunications company. Doug’s primary challenge was focused on developing products, go-to-market strategies and plans that increased consumer demand for Trinsic’s products across channels in focus markets. Doug led, managed and coordinated three departments with responsibility for over 50 people. Doug also established and maintained relationships with Advertising, Promotions, Public Relations and Local Activation agencies to ensure that company’s message was relevant, resonated and consistently reinforced to target consumers.

Prior to joining Trinsic, Doug held brand management positions with the Coca-Cola Company, Kraft General Foods and Procter & Gable Company where he has shaped, position and build brands like Dasani, Jello and Mr. Clean to name a few. Doug holds a MBA from the University of Michigan and a BA from the University of Virginia.

Doug also has been a board member of several of Trinsic’s subsidiary companies and has sat on the board of the Suncoast Boys and Girls Club of America for the past 4 years. Doug currently resides in Atlanta with his son, Nicholas and his dog, Monster.

Shawn Williams

Shawn P. Williams launched the nationally acclaimed and highly recognized now known as Dallas South in June of 2006 where he serves as publisher and editor. In 2008, Dallas South was one of a select number of blogs nationwide to be awarded credentials for the Democratic National Convention. The website has been featured on NBC Nightly News, The Chicago Tribune, CNN, NPR, BBC, and many

other national outlets.

Last year Williams 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 President and Editor-in-Chief of the hyperlocal news website that focuses on Southern Dallas. Dallas South News won Momentum Texas’ inaugural Southern Business Plan Competition.

In March, the Austin American-Statesman recognized Williams with a Texas Social Media Awards. He is a guest columnist for the Dallas Morning News and has written articles for D Magazine, the North Dallas Gazette and Paris News. He also provides monthly commentary

for WFAA Channel 8’s Inside Texas Politics.

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