Latest article in Of NOTE magazine’s Summer 2017 “The Gun Issue”: “Vanessa German: “Power Figures” Armed with a Mantra for Justice”

Tanisha Anderson. Yvette Smith. Miriam Casey. Shelly Fray. Darnisha Harris. Malissa Williams. Alesia Thomas. Shantel Davis. Rekia Boyd. Shereese Francis. Aiyana Stanley-Jones. Karen Smith.

It can be a unique yet daunting position to be a Black woman in America. The cognitive dissonance of having to survive in a world which renders you inferior but relies so heavily on your strength can be overwhelming. The intersectionality of oppressions—your race, gender, sexual identity, class and more—are often overlooked as afterthoughts; in which you are constantly fighting and advocating for a place and space in a world which does not recognize your existence. Rendered as a “superwoman,” you are expected to save everyone but yourself. In the face of pervasive violence, who is supposed to save you? Read more at OF NOTE.

Latest article on Black Perspectives: “Candomblé, Afro-Brazilian Women, and African Religiosity”

While prejudicial, racial, and discriminatory ideologies of religious exceptionalism in regards to African spirituality persist even today (as many still hold on to the clichéd worldview of African religions as “savage, “wicked,” and/or “demonic”), African mysticism has evolved into various denominations, adapting to a new order of cultural, social, and political characteristics just as its fragmented disciples were forced to do during the Transatlantic Slave Trade. In the wake of slavery, Afro-Pessimism, and other caustic methods that attempt to thwart African cultural and religious identity, indigenous African religions have had and continue to have an impact in the African Diaspora — especially the manifestations of the Yoruba religion, Ifá, which has transcended into other monikers in the Pan-African paradigm such as Santeria and Vodun. Rea more at Black Perspectives.

Latest article on The Huffington Post: “Lucia McBath, Jordan Davis’ Mother, Speaks On Why The Need for Gun Reform Is Critical In Continuing Her Son’s Legacy”

Jordan Davis was not only Lucia McBath’s son — she says he was and still is her greatest teacher.


In November 2012, Davis was shot and killed at gun-point by Michael Dunn at a gas station in Jacksonville, Florida. Dunn shot 10 times into the car Davis and his three friends were in, after Dunn objected to the “loud rap music” the young men were playing. Davis was only 17 years-old. While Dunn was sentenced to life without parole and McBath said her son “has received his justice”, unfortunately for many victims of gun violence, they do not get the same outcome.

That is why McBath is working hard to ensure her son’s story and the stories of others who have lost their lives to gun violence are being heard. Read more at The Huffington Post. 

Latest article on The Huffington Post: “How “One Common Unity” is applying the politics of compassion in D.C.”

Political woes about climate change. Tensions about healthcare. Probes on U.S.-Russian relations. Deciphering the meaning of “covfefe”.

These are only but a few stories buzzing about the political climate in Washington, D.C. While national media coverage has primarily focused on controversies surrounding the current presidential administration, much of the news about the nation’s capital seems to have overlooked its most important feature: young people. However, in wake of contentious politics, One Common Unity (OCU), an organization whose mission is to “break the cycle of violence through music, arts, and peace education” is applying the politics of compassion to ensure the voices, needs, and the creativity of young people in D.C. do not fall by the wayside. Read more at The Huffington Post.

Featured on National Women’s Studies Association: 2017 Women of Color Leadership Project

Swift was recently chosen to be a part of the 2017 cohort of The National Women’s Studies Association Women of Color Leadership Project (WoCLP). The WoCLP is designed to increase the number of women of color students and faculty within the field of women’s studies and women’s centers and, consequently, to have an impact on the levels of participation and power by women of color in the field of women’s studies and women’s centers, in NWSA, and in the Program Administration and Development and Women’s Center Committee. Read more about the WoCLP.

Latest article on The Huffington Post: “Young People Around The World Stand In Solidarity to End The U.S. Blockade”

Millions in Cuba and thousands around the world, marched in solidarity with laborers in honor of International Workers’ Day, which is celebrated annually on May 1. With marches in Buenos Aires, Chicago, and Paris, International Workers’ Day (widely known as “May Day”) in Cuba not only celebrates the working class on the island, but more specifically, the Cuban Revolution and its leaders including the late Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, and Camilo Cienfuegos. While May Day in Cuba elicits much jubilance among its many participants, it is also a day that sheds light on the political tensions that continue to exist between Cuba and the United States, especially in ending what many have deemed a violation of human rights— and this is the U.S. economic and financial blockade against Cuba. Read more on The Huffington Post.

Latest article on The Huffington Post: “How Zain Verjee is ensuring that “stories made@africa” are being heard”

Zain Verjee is surely a household name in the media world. After 15 years at CNN, interviewing prominent political players and covering some of the biggest stories, Verjee realized it was time to go on a new path to create stories and to ensure narratives that were unheard did not fall to the wayside. With this inspiration, she started aKoma, an African open source content platform where African stories are created, discovered and shared, with her Nigerian co-founder, Chidi Afulezi. Seeing a dire need for African storytellers to have creative spaces to generate stories from their perspectives, Verjee, who is from Kenya, also launched a paid pan-African, six month fellowship called Amplify Fellowship for Content Creators, that identifies and nurtures storytellers and content creators who craft compelling content about Africa. With the company tagline being “stories made@Africa”, Verjee is catalyzing the next generation of African storytellers with Amplify, which is in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation and GE, where fellows receive training and input from media industry’s experts on content creation on the continent; technical, creative and business skills; and tips on how to carve a career in the media. Read more at The Huffington Post.

Latest article on Black Perspectives: “The Erasure of People of African Descent in Nazi Germany”

Recently, Donald Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer made some peculiar and offensive comments comparing Syrian leader President Bashar al-Assad’s chemical attacks to those of Nazi Germany leader Adolf Hitler. In attempts to justify Trump’s random missile strikes against Assad, Spicer asserted that what Assad did was completely inhumane—so inhumane that he claimed not even Hitler used chemical weapons against his own people, when in fact he did. Spicer would later on apologize for his Hitler comparison.

His comments were met with much backlash, and many have claimed they were disrespectful to the Jewish community and therefore diminished the horrible plight of the millions of innocent Jewish lives lost at the hands of Hitler and the Nazi regime. What is critical in understanding Spicer’s offensive statement is assessing not only his erasure of the violence enacted on the Jewish community during the Holocaust, but also the effacing of the experiences of Afro-Germans, African-Americans, and persons of African descent during the Nazi era. Both national and global discourses have excluded the narratives about and perspectives on Afro-Germans in German society. Read more at Black Perspectives.