Iya Bakare, GMO's managing editor, earned both her Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in print journalism. She earned her B.A. from Delta State University with a minor in English and graduated with a M.A. degree from Columbia College Chicago. In her spare time, the Chicago native continues to freelance and ponder ways to both inform and improve her community one story at a time.
She can be contacted at Iya@glossmagazineonline.com
Follow her on Twitter: @ibakare
GlossMagazineOnline (GMO) was a recent media sponsor for wardrobe stylist and philanthropist Aaja Corinne’s She’s In Color “Girl Talk” panel discussion, which featured Six Brown Chicks. Social media and how black women are portrayed in today’s society were just a few of the vast array of topics mentioned. Moderated by Bionce Foxx and Jetta Bates, this lunchtime symposium offered more than a plateful of food for thought.
With the appearance of a delicate flower whose career continues to bloom with every song she sings and every role she portrays, Syesha Mercado remains deeply grounded in her faith and her reasons for creating music. The American Idol finalist currently permeates her fragranced talents in Chicago as she co-stars in the city’s production of the Tony-Award winning musical The Book of Mormon. Recently, Syesha produced her first singing showcase at Chicago’s City Winery. Accompanied by local artists, the songstress performed original pieces and covers from other artists at what she says was her biggest accomplishment.
It would be an understatement to say entrepreneur Ryan Jeffries lives above and beyond the edge. With a hand in non-profit organizations, politics and the entertainment industry, the businessman says his unique and well-rounded childhood outlined a path to prepare him for his future.
Growing up, singer/songwriter Cha’s (pronounced “Chase”) Kimbro recalls her mother’s solos in church and admits she thought she was Janet Jackson until she saw the international star live. With childhood memories of the melodies from her mother and grandmother, the Chicago native says singing was used as a learning mechanism for her. That seed for learning cultivated over the years and inspired Cha’s to find her own voice. It was a performance by the late Whitney Houston that shook her to the core, and that twinkle in her eye ignited a spark in Cha’s to pursue music.
Every once in a while in life, we’re forced to assess what’s important in our lives. Over the course of the last few months, I’ve been tested with a situation that ultimately led me to evaluate what I’m worth to myself and others. When the enticing opportunity that catapulted this test initially presented itself, it was attractive because it was something new and refreshing. It made my adrenaline rush, but I realized that “different doesn’t mean better” and the “grass isn’t always greener on the other side.” Life taught me to love my grass and to nurture it in order to make a fertile environment.