Archive of ‘Community’ category

Calling all Freelancers + Full-Timers, Let’s Talk Money With MY Fab Finance Coach, Tonya Rapley, Hosted by Chevon Drew, Board member, #WAMNYC

Tonya Rapley is a Money Coach with national acclaim. She’s the founder of, which promotes financial literacy​. She has been featured on the cover of Black Enterprise Magazine, on ABC’s Here & Now, in Woman’s Day, Yahoo! News, and more. She is also an agent for social change in the fight to end Domestic Violence and the financial abuse that can come with it.

We talked money with Tonya, and she was knowledgeable, humble and helpful (a plus when you have a roomful of people who are unsure and shy about how to handle money)! Check out some of the tips from the discussion and follow Tonya on Instagram or Twitter @MyFabFinance, for more financial love.

tony myfabfinance chevon wamnyc


Short and Long-Term Saving
Try CapitalOne360 for savings. Make your savings money inaccessible! You can also further “bucket” your savings within the account by segmenting it according to your goals. For example: create one savings bucket for the car you want, another bucket for the emergency money fund, and yet another for that holiday trip you want to go on.

Beating Your Own Habits
Use for monitoring your account behavior. They’ll tell you how you’re spending, and they transfer small amounts of your money that you won’t miss, to your savings account automatically throughout the year. (It’s like a painless way of stacking your pennies).

Get 401K-Crackin’
For many, the term 401K denotes a scary financial device they don’t fully look into until it’s too late. It doesn’t have to be that way! Your 401K, if you have one, is provided by your job. Many employers MATCH however much money you put into the account, too! Take full advantage of this. No exceptions. Ask HR for help if you need it.

Retirement Investing On Your Own
In Brooklyn, the Bridge Street Development Corp. will help you invest and match your money in some cases! Pratt Area Community Council has a similar service. Nonprofit investment help is available in many cities. Search for the one nearest you and take advantage of it.

When the Rent is Too Damn High
Having trouble building credit? Use your rent! If you setup an account with William Paid, they will disburse your rent to your landlord and report each month to the credit agencies in order to build your credit.

Aim for saving 20 percent of your income if you’re single. Is 20 percent tough for you? Then make sure to at least set aside a few dollars from each paycheck for your emergency fund. This can’t be understated. You never know!

Now go forth, be financially fruitful and multiply!



Our 2015 WAM!NYC Women In Media Conference At Barnard College, Columbia University Was Awesome!


The 6th annual WAM!NYC Women in Media Conference took place on June 20th at Barnard College. Following last year’s incredible Janet Mock keynote, the 2015 conference featured three powerhouse keynote speakers: Alicia Garza, co-founder of #BlackLivesMatter; Lizz Winstead, co-creator of The Daily Show; and Sarah Maslin Nir, New York Times reporter and author of the viral investigative series “Unvarnished,” which exposed the working conditions of nail salon employees.


More than 90 percent of Oscar-Winning films are ​led by male directors. Alt​hough minorities comprise roughly 37 percent of the U.S. population—they comprise​ a tiny 12 ​percent of American newsrooms and are outnumbered 7 to 1 among lead roles in  Broadcast Television. In the news cycle, white men continue to dominate the ranks of Sunday morning talk show guests. How can we organize for more balanced, diverse and just representations of women in media? That’s the question we set out to tackle at our 2015 WAM!NYC conference in New York City.


The all-day summit brought issues of race, gender, class and social justice to the forefront, and explored media and activist-based solutions to challenges facing our nation. To view conference photos, click here. You can also view the full speaker lineup, panel listings, schedule and sponsors here.

The New York City-based chapter of Women, Action, Media (WAM!) is run by Regina Mahone, Clarissa León, Chevon Drew, Amy Littlefield and Martyna Starosta (collectively the WAM!NYC Board). WAM!NYC provides a progressive space for feminist journalists, editors, publishers, media activists and gender justice activists to convene, build skills, address issues, network and strategize on getting their voices more fully heard in mainstream, independent, and alternative media.Join WAM!NYC by emailing a three-sentence bio to the board at You can also keep up with our monthly events by joining our Facebook Group!

LADY PARTS sounds like a sex toy shop, but it’s an “Any-Profession-Goes” diversity-rich networking event

When I signed up to co-work at Lady Parts, I had no idea what to expect. Sometimes networking events can be short on diversity, inauthentic and painful to attend. Not so here. You know how football fans react when the referee signals a kick was good? That’s how I felt when Lady Parts was over!

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Lady Parts, an event series hosted by Cassie Marketos, included handpicked mentors who volunteered to “give advice, answer questions, or just shoot the shit about working life.” I walked in and wondered about the format of the event. I wore business casual attire, but would people be in sky-high heels only? Were we meant to co-work more than we networked? Would someone ask us to wear name tags with our old AIM screename on them or play some droll name game? And the burning question many people have. Would there be a diverse group of women in attendance?

As it turned out, all of the women networked in whichever manner they were comfortable with. Some brought laptops and shared their work, while others connected immediately on topics like fashion or food. Bold participants moved deftly from one group to another, while more introverted guests were advised by Cassie on who to approach and what to ask for help with. It felt like speed dating mixed with counseling, but with surefire fun personalities and funky food selections. I was delighted to know I made the night easier for someone by connecting them to my contacts, and I met some fascinating women myself.

The experience was very unique and I’m thankful to Barkbox for sponsoring the space. Watch the video to see who I helped at Lady Parts. Plus: learn about the fabulous FOOD sponsors who made the night special!



The One Type Of Street Harassment I Never Talk About Is Perpetrated By White Women


My grandfather, a Caribbean islander of mixed background who presents as white in some situations, Latin American in others and black in others, has seen (and heard) a lot in his 90 years.

He has little patience for naiveté so at a young age, I knew how to saw sheetrock, I knew about sex, and unfortunately, I knew about the construct of race. “Your white friends won’t be treated like you,” he’d say as he poked at my shoulder forcefully. “Hear me now or feel it later!” He taught me about privilege and I took copious mental notes. But he never mentioned the ways it would get physical.


Street harassment is a topic of discussion on social media, but I’ve been discussing it with girls and women in my life for years. It can be verbal or physical. These unwanted public acts perpetrated by strangers result in acute feelings of persecution, intimidation, and sometimes end in physical violence.

Recent viral media campaigns would have us think street harassment is perpetrated only by men, largely of color and that women of all stripes should band together against it in a monolithic manner, but one of the most prevalent types of street harassment I experience comes from pale-skinned women on the island of Manhattan. I just don’t talk about it.


Speaking truth to power is a task that becomes difficult as I mature. Whether in public or private spaces, I choose when and where to “tell it like it is” and to whom. Many of these choices involve complicated social circles, professional circles, integrated families and of course, the social media sphere. So why today? Simply put: I think it’s time for people to hear it. My grandpa is getting on in years, and today just seems like a good day to speak plainly. He’ll be proud of me as will some of my friends (including my white girlfriends).


A micro-aggression is new phrase describing what my grandfather simply calls acts of racism. Buzzwords and term-coinage help bring existing issues to the forefront. I believe the term microaggression has succeeded in bringing to light the daily acts of racism perpetrated by a group of young people called “millenials” (another buzzword used to describe people who were supposed to be “over” racist acts by now). These racist acts include things like white people using this word, talking down to their “Asian sidekicks“, or treating black men like “magical negroes” as Spike Lee describes here.


The weekly acts of racism that I’ve endured for years, but haven’t spoken about involve white women who grab at me or body check me in Manhattan (and now the overwhelmingly white parts of Williamsburg). In the first instance, they feel entitled to my body. My grandfather would say it’s because they see me as property, so they don’t feel bad about reaching out and grabbing at parts of my body that they find “entertaining”. Very often – my hair.

The second instance is when they feel entitled to my space. I don’t delight in walking through predominantly white parts of my city, because too often, I contend with white women’s street harassment. They walk up with or without a male friend. Sometimes they walk up with a girlfriend. As they approach they make sure to walk straight toward me, even when I’m taking up as little space on the sidewalk as a lone-walker can. I’ve been body-checked into to the gutter throughout my college career. It got old.

I started walking on the sidewalk like other normal people, only to find these women bump headlong into me, hard enough to leave a bruise, then turn and shriek–


– if I don’t step into the gutter.

This is a weekly occurrence that I’m very “game-on” about at this point. Though The New York Times and Thrillist have provided tips on “Walking in New York”, they both left out “Don’t Push Negroes Into The Gutter To Get By.” This happens so often that the only respite I get is when I am in a black area – where neighborhood folks say “excuse me” to be polite, even when they don’t have to.

Every area has it’s pros and cons. I’m still trying to find a balance that works best for me. I’m not sure Manhattan is it, but I delight in my memories of living on the island despite the street harassment I endured there. Have you ever experienced something like this? How do you deal with it?


ChevonMedia and Soulful Sips Teamed Up To Take 4 Little Brown Girls To See Kehinde Wiley’s Art At The Brooklyn Museum – Watch Their Reactions

Can seeing faces that resemble yours in art function as a form of self care? Can committing to take a group of girls to the museum be a form of self care for you (and them)? ChevonMedia and Soulful Sips set out to answer these questions and were delighted by the art, and the girls earnest reactions to each Kehinde Wiley piece. At the end of the video, tell me if you catch the moment where one little girl seems to realize that she, like the women in a painting, will need to team up with other black women for protection in this world. Watch her eyes.


The Ruse x Leisure Life NYC Mural and T-Shirt Release Party Was Jammin’ With Music From DJ J.Period

Reflecting on his life inspired by art, music, fashion and travel, Charnier Corey created Leisure Life NYC to provide creative business professionals aspirational living with an edge. I dropped by for the Ruse x Leisure Life NYC mural unveiling and t-shirt release jammy jam. The back yard was so cozy.

An inside, the store offers meticulously curated selection of vintage clothing and accessories, mixed with their in house brand. The physical space is a reflection of the products they sell; the room pulsating with a classic, intellectual feel.  The vintage pieces and main label pieces have stories. The space has stories. Charnier has stories. Visit the shop to hear some.

Leisure Life NYC Address: 559 Myrtle Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205 | Phone: (347) 725-3167


New Online Service Kidpost Helps Busy Parents Share Special Moments With Family And Friends


Kidpost is a new online service for busy parents. Kidpost collects your kid-related social media posts, bundles them up into a daily email digest, and sends it off to your family and friends. Have an aunt who refuses to use Facebook or a cousin who doesn’t “do” Instagram? No problem. The Kidpost digest arrives as an email, making it easy for your loved ones to keep up with everything you post about your kids – without having to be a part of any one social media site.

Find out more about Kidpost here and get an additional discount by emailing me for 30% coupon before you sign up!


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