From teen mom to CEO by the age of twenty, Tamika Newhouse, the author of 16 novels, has landed on numerous best sellers’ lists and is the winner of 8 African American Literary Awards. Only nine months after debuting her first novel in 2009, she landed a major publishing contract without an agent and went on to become the CEO of Delphine Publications. To date, she has published nearly 200 titles, launched the careers of hundreds of writers, and produces the only entertainment award show for African American writers, called the AAMBC Literary Awards.
Valerie Twyman was born and raised in Joliet, Ill, a thriving town outside Chicago. Valerie began her career in the corporate world as an expert in Business Administration, Training, Coaching / Mentoring, Account Management, Vendor Relations, Workforce Management, and Human Resources. Although she enjoyed success in business, her passion for writing kept calling her. She suffered trauma at the young age of 9 and found comfort in writing. This childhood trauma was the basis of her 2022 Hurston Wright Foundation’s Crossover Award Winning memoir Blue Butterfly: Explorations of Innocence. The judge of the 2022 Crossover Award, writer Ron Nixon described her submission as "a wonderfully written and moving story about childhood trauma. She also established NHerself Expressions in 2019 to focus on helping others heal from childhood trauma. An excerpt from her memoir was subsequently published in Text Power Telling Magazine. She found community at Lit Diaries, a book lounge and event space that curates literary and cultural events, where she serves as the Communications Coordinator. With so many stories to tell, Valerie has only just begun
Growing up in Decatur, GA, Ashley Teagle realized that not much media reflecting her life and her community. From there, she quickly developed a passion for film, Black representation, and her community. Ashley is currently an aspiring editor eager to work with new and exciting stories centering African Americans. She is continuing to learn and grow as a creative to help these narratives reach audiences that can finally relate.
Carnita Amedee was born on June 22 in Broward County, Fl. She is a full-time senior majoring in Film and minoring in Human Communications at the University of Central Florida. Her love for arts grew since she was a young child. At the age of five she began modeling, acting, and dancing. She attended a Performing Arts Middle and High School before heading to college to study Film. Carnita hopes to become a future documentary filmmaker and a film editor. Her passions include helping others and using art as a form of expression.
Content Writer & Strategist
Life’s circumstances have prompted Heidi to discover new avenues of opportunities in her future career goals. For the past 11 years, Heidi has been an online student at Ashford University and the University of Arizona Global Campus pursuing and accomplishing her BA in Psychology, MA in Organizational/Human Resource Management, and PhD in Organizational Development & Leadership with specialization in Organizational Diversity. Because learning and increasing her skill set is critical to Heidi’s future growth potential, she is always pursuing to enrich the necessary skills and knowledge pertinent for future growth and career opportunities. Heidi’s tenacity and determination to not allow life’s circumstances (no matter how great or small) to deter the goals and future successes she aims to achieve keeps her striving towards the career opportunity prize at the end of this journey.
Content Writer & Strategist
Brianna “Breezy” Green, hailing from Dayton, Ohio, earned her B.A. in Mass Communications and Journalism from Kentucky State University. With broadcast as her field of study, Brianna has the ultimate goal of dominating the entertainment industry with her creativity and passion, whether it’s through music, radio, or television. There are no limits to her desires. While hosting her podcast, Unpredictable Conversations, and working on content for her social media platforms on YouTube (STARINTHEMAKING TV) & Instagram, she’s a mother to a toddler boy with autism. Brianna is a growing advocate for Autism Awareness and hopes to break the stigma associated with autism.
BOOK STORE MANAGER
Kimberly Latrice Jones is an American author and filmmaker, known for the New York Times bestselling and NAACP Image award-nominated young adult novel, I’m Not Dying With You Tonight, and for the viral video How Can We Win published during the George Floyd protest. That same year, a seven-minute video featuring Kim using a Monopoly analogy to explain the history of racism and its impact on Black Americans went viral, being shared by Trevor Noah, LeBron James, Madonna, and more. Kim’s literary roots run deep, with features in numerous publications, including Seventeen, Bustle, Publisher’s Weekly, Shelf Awareness. She served on the Selection Committee for the Library of Congress’ 2016-2017 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, the 2015 Children’s Choice Illustrator Committee for The Children’s Book Council, and the advisory board that created the Creative and Innovative Education Master’s Degree program at Georgia State University.
Sha'Quiel Smith is a Graphic Designer from Chicago, Illinois. Recently is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Visual Communication Design at Purdue Northwest University in Hammond, Indiana. She also has an Associate in Applied Science for Multimedia Arts. She specializes in Branding, Advertising, and Illustrations. In her spare time, she loves a good book or two and also is an avid horror movie watcher. When not busy with work and schooling, she is a wife and also a mother to a beautiful little girl. Sha'Quiel loves creating art that inspires awe in the mind and is continuing to craft her skills in hopes of one day starting her own business.
Grant Coordinator & Researcher
An aspiring historian, Ayann’ah Batiste is a lover of the arts and history. A bachelor’s in history and minor in religious studies she graduated from the University of Houston-Downtown Fall 2021. Ayann’ah is currently a grant writer fellow interested in the museum field and exploring other nonprofits. At the AAMBC, she hopes to redevelop professional writing, research, and communication skills. Her spare time is spent researching, writing, and creating art.
Known as Chanel Renee on the socials and founder of WPD Media, Chanel is a self-taught web developer who later went on to get a degree in web design and marketing. Coding caught her attention in 1998 while initially navigating the web trying to make money as a SAHM. "In 2004, Chanel was already proficient in coding and graphics. Those skills, combined with her knowledge of Photoshop, were a game-changer. She then began to craft beautiful and impactful websites for her clients. Her goal encompasses the company's slogan "Creatively Designing Your Web Presence," which allows her to continue to pursue her love of creating beauty for the web and bringing visual branding to life.
Lay’Na Anderson’s body of work encompasses the power of undefined lines and negative space, exploring the thought of color and texture whilst playing with the idea of bold and blended. An avid daydreamer, Lay’Na’s technique of layering and removing color while creating texture, tells a story that draws the viewer in. The final result is a visual record of blended combinations and contrast in depth, with an ethereal, dreamy feel throughout.
“Through blended colors and negative space, my work is created to evoke a sense of peace, calm and joy that opens you up to keep dreaming and to remind you the dream is bigger than you can ever imagine”