What Do You Know About The Zika Virus?

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Have you been paying attention to the Zika virus and how it is slowly moving into our cities and communities? This has me concerned. Why? Because I am prone to being bit by mosquitos not to mention my dogs.

Being that you can get bitten by a mosquito and contract the virus causes a bit of nervousness. You can play it down and think it will not touch you but I have already been bitten by mosquitos just taking my dogs out into the backyard. You have to  make sure there is not any standing water to help keep the mosquitos down.

What is Zika?

Zika virus was first discovered in 1947 and is named after the Zika Forest in Uganda. In 1952, the first human cases of Zika were detected and since then, outbreaks of Zika has been reported in tropical Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. Zika outbreaks have probably occurred in many locations.

Before 2007, at least 14 cases of Zika had been documented, although other cases were likely to have occurred and were not reported. Because the symptoms of Zika are similar to those of many other diseases, many cases may not have been recognized.Zika Symptoms index

In May 2015, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) issued an alert regarding the first confirmed Zika virus infection in Brazil. On February 1, 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Zika virus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). Local transmission has been reported in many other countries and territories. Zika virus will likely continue to spread to new areas.

The Symptoms

The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache.

If you are pregnant and develop a fever, rash, joint pain, or red eyes within 2 weeks after traveling to a place where Zika has been reported. Be sure to tell your doctor or other healthcare provider where you traveled. The good news you very rarely die of Zika.


Mosquito indexThere is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika virus.
Treat the symptoms:
•    Get plenty of rest.
•    Drink fluids to prevent dehydration.
•    Take medicine such as acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or paracetamol to reduce fever and pain.
•    If you are taking medicine for another medical condition, talk to your doctor or other healthcare provider before taking additional medication.

In order to protect ourselves, using a repellent is the only protection we have right now. CDC recommends the use of products containing active ingredients which have been registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use as repellents applied to skin and clothing. Of the products registered with the EPA, those containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide longer-lasting protection.

This is by no means the definitive knowledge on the Zika virus. You just need to be aware as the summer comes closer how to protect yourself and who is at risk.

This is information that will hopefully make you more aware and be proactive in protecting yourself against this virus.

Beach images

Information courtesy of http://www.cdc.gov/zika/

#zikavirus #mosquitos #health #summer #protection #ujima2016 #behindthescenes @ujimamamgazine #cdc

Damita Miller-Shanklin, Ujima Magazine






1 medium head of cabbage, about 5 C. when sliced

4 T. butter

1/2 C. water

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1/2 tsp. sugar

good pinch of red pepper flakes, (optional)

Wash the cabbage and slice in half then into strips.

Place the cabbage in a 2 quart baking dish (I used my 8″ iron skillet).

Cut the butter into 4 pieces and place around on top of the cabbage.

Pour in the water and then sprinkle with the seasoning. No need to stir.

Cover with tin foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour.

Remove the tin foil and bake uncovered for an additional 15 minutes or until your desired tenderness. I like mine to get the little crispy tips before I pull it out.

Janet’s Appalachian Kitchen

Thanks Jazzy Pixley for sharing!



The Beginning of  A New Life Chapter

UJIMA had the great pleasure of attending the graduation ceremony of some special graduates. The first was a heart warming mother and daughter . The mother Andrea M. Jordan, attended Huston-Tillotson University graduating Magna Cum Laude and her daughter Jazmin A. Griffin, attended Concordia University College of Science.

Graduating from Texas State University College of Liberal Arts was another special day . This graduate is the nephew of Damita Miller-Shanklin and the grandson of  the proud Mary Linnen. He has during his school term contributed to UJIMA using his various writing skills.

Congratulations to DeAndre DeShay Miller.

Congratulations to both of them

This is the beginning of a new future for the three of them. Be Blessed


XYZ Atlas and Jennifer Chenoweth


Are you attending the West Austin Studio Tour this weekend? If so, I want to introduce Jennifer Chenoweth. Put her on your list of exhibits to see.

Jennifer Chenoweth’s groundbreaking emotional map of Austin, explores how individual attachments to place can convey a larger collective experience within a community.

XYZ Atlas is featured in an exhibition at Barton Springs during both weekends of West Austin Studio Tour May 21-22. During this weekend of the West Austin Studio Tour,
2201 Barton Springs Rd Austin, TX 78746, artist Jennifer Chenoweth will present
a comprehensive showcase of XYZ Atlas: The Hedonic Map of Austin, a multimedia public art
project that connects emotions and places. The free event provides an opportunity for people to experience and interact with the emotional topography of Austin, in the place deemed the collective high point of the city – Barton Springs and Zilker Park.

Jen color project index

An exhibition inside the Atrium Gallery of the Barton Springs Pool Bathhouse will illuminate the many transformations of Jennifer’s multi-media project, including 2D and 3D artworks, maps, drawings and large-scale sculptures. Of special note is the debut of the 2016 emotional map of Austin, collected from over 450 responses to a 20-question survey tracking the emotional highs and lows of Austin residents experienced around town. Additionally, during Weekend II, people are invited to flag their own meaningful experiences in a large-scale map of Austin that will be drawn on the lawn near the Zilker Hillside Theatre. More information about XYZ Atlas is available at http://www.xyzatlas.org/.

Saturday, May 21, 2015, 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 22, 2015, 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

XYZ   Atlas   began   in   2013   with   the   idea   of   how   we   find   attachment   to   place.   Where   do   people   experience   excitement,   sadness,  happiness,  love,  joy,  or frustration  ␣  and  how  do  these  emotions  affect  our  understanding  and  experience  of that place?  Are  these  emotional  attachments  specific  to  an  individual  person,  or  are there  places  that  convey  a  larger  collective   experience?  With  these  questions  in  mind,  Chenoweth  began  researching  different  theories  of  pain  and  pleasure  and  developed  a  20-­question  survey  to  help  determine  where  people  have  experienced  their  most  powerful  emotional  events  in  Austin.

XYZ   Atlas   is   the   latest   achievement   in  Jennifer’s art   career,   one   that   continually  blurs the lines of the relationship between artists, their work and their   audience.

For more information about Jennifer  Chenoweth  visit her at FisterraStudio.com Facebook.com/FisterraStudio/   Vimeo.com/user14158498

Jen index


#jenniferchenoweth #fisterrastudio #artist #masonkerwick #westarttour #ujima2016 #behindthescenes #everydayheroes @mariagatling @carolgonzales #may2016


Damita Miller-Shanklin, Ujima

Photos provided by Patricia Buchholtz

Embrace The Art Community


Wear Purple For Lupus Awareness Month

women lupus index

Lupus is one disease that has been around but I didn’t know what it was about. I remember a women that went to my church suffered from it and I have a good friend that is living with Lupus and managing everyday. When we became friends, I learned a lot about Lupus and how it can really take over your body.

Lupus, an autoimmune disease, happens when the immune system attacks its tissues, causing inflammation, swelling, pain, and damage. Lupus symptoms include fatigue, joint pain, fever, and a lupus rash.

Lupus is a serious health problem that affects mainly young women. The disease often starts between the ages of 15 and 44. People of all races may get lupus. However, lupus is three times more common in black women than in white women. As many as 1 in 250 young black women will get the disease. Lupus Ribbon 122392927.1

Common Signs of Lupus Are:
•    Red rash or color change on the face, often in the shape of a butterfly across the bridge of  the nose and the cheeks
•    Painful or swollen joints
•    Unexplained fever
•    Chest pain with breathing
•    Unusual loss of hair
•    Pale or purple fingers or toes from cold or stress
•    Sensitivity to the sun
•    Low blood count

We do not know why the disease is more common in black women. However, research doctors supported by the National Institutes of Health are studying this problem. Researchers are studying why minorities are more inclined to get lupus, what causes it to start, and why is it mild in some and severe in others. Other researchers are studying why the signs of lupus differ between black women and white women.

Your treatment will depend on how severe symptoms are, whether organs are involved, and if your daily life is affected.

Home Treatment-Reducing your daily stress will help you control lupus symptoms.

Medications-While medications can’t cure lupus, they can control symptoms — and possibly prevent organ damage.

Surgery-Surgery is only considered when lupus has seriously damaged the kidneys.

Other Treatment- Relaxation therapies can greatly improve your quality of life and good nutrition is important to keeping your body fueled and strong during lupus treatments.


For support groups check with your physician for resources. A good blog recommendation is Molly’s Fund. You can follow http://www.mollysfund.org/blog/. They share information on various lupus related topics.

Information courtesy of http://www.webmd.com/lupus/, http://www.healingwell.com/library/lupus/info3.asp,
#lupus #wearpurple #mollysfund #lupusawarenessmonth #ujima2016 #webmd #healingwell #everydayheroes @ujimamagazine #embracethecommunity
Damita Miller-Shanklin, Ujima Magazine


The Benefits of a Bully by L.A. Kendrick

Book Cover Kendrick GKG_rCuH.png_large Kendrick’s recent book was released on April 22, 2016. The Benefits of a Bully is a story told from a 11 yr old’s point of view. His grammar is spoken in the way young kids talk when they try to sound like adults from time to time.

Sedale, and Sterling have to use every means to avoid the bully Dexter, well at least Sterling does. So Sedale issues a challenge to stop the bully Dexter, from his rampage on the kids at school. There is a local video game tournament that, will provide the battle ground. Also strangers are appearing at school and children are disappearing without a trace, some right from their homes, by an unseen force called the Moja a.k.a. “The closet walker.” When these three kids hit the scene look out world.

If you want to find an alternative way to deal with bullies then look no further. Complete with morals, ethics, manners, and pride the story will surely produce a story for the ages and the twist is one that you won’t see coming even through Sterling’s glasses.

The book is available at Amazon Books, Barnes and Noble, Ingram and Taylor, BAM, Kindle, Nook. These characters represent all walks of life, every young person has a relateable face.

This is one of 6 books that I have published 3 novels, Destiny vs Chaos, Sky Hammer, The Paradox of Pain, 2 comic books, The Battle for Stonehenge and The Trials of Shabazz.

The Benefits of A Bully is $10.99 on Amazon and $8.99 at Barnes and Noble Kindle and Nook downloads $3.99 There is also an incredible contest on my link ‪http://www.facebook.com/pages/LA-Kendrick/344865192283302 …‬ we have to inspire the youth but be fair in showing characters they can relate to!

@lakendrick25 #childrenbooks #bullies #stopbullying #ujimamagazine2016 #behindthescenes #everydayheroes #education #readingisfun

Damita Miller-Shanklin, Ujima Magazine


The Six Key Questions To Ask About Branding

Are You Purposefully Branding?

brand 1 images

In March, Jane Sanford of Thrive Simple, spoke at the Community Spotlight and Networking with Ujima event.

She was a dynamic speaker and we all took away a tip or two that will help us improve our branding for our businesses. We enjoyed the “couch talk” and these are the tips I wanted to share with all of you.
The Six Key Questions To Ask About Branding:
1. What is the ultimate vision for your business?

2. Brand Feeling
What do you want people to feel when they encounter your brand? i.e. cheerful, inspired, comfortable, etc.

3. Brand Experience
If you have a physical space,
envision what it will look like, objects in the space, the smell. If you are online, the font and colors you choose will make an impact. What and how does the images represent your brand?

4. Brand Values
What values does your brand represent? i.e. power, benevolence, tradition, etc.
5. Brand Personality
What traits represent your brand? i.e. friendly, elegant, honorable, etc.

6. Bring your brand to life
Look at your brand and ways you can show it!

brand2 images

If you want more information about purposeful branding, you can visit the website of Kaye Putnam, branding wizard at KayePutnam.com.
If you want to reach out to Jane for services, you can reach her at getclear@thrivesimple.com.

#brandingyourbusiness #purposefulbranding #janesanford #thrivingsimple #communityspotlight #ujimamagazine2016 #networking #behindthescenes #entrepreneurship #buildingyourbrand

Damita Miller-Shanklin, Ujima Magazine

Photos from Google


What Are You Getting Mom This Mother’s Day?

Mothers Day is this Sunday, May 8th. Have you gotten your gift for your mom yet?  I haven’t gotten my gift yet but as I was doing some research I wanted to share some options that may help you.

It’s hard shopping for someone who has everything,  like my mom, but I think of a theme and get something that fits that theme. My mom relaxes and watches TV a lot. So my theme is relaxation.

My five gift ideas:

1. Tea Cup/Pot Set All In One

Tea Pot IMG_2286





2. Lounge Set/PJ’s

PJ's IMG_2287


3. Bath and Body Set

Bath and Body IMG_2288


4. Good Books

Books 2 images


5. A Card

Card IMG_2289


Some may feel a card is too simple but with my mom it’s the most important gift. She  reads each card before she opens each gift. So make sure you get a card if you get nothing else.

I hope this helps as you shop for the most important person in your life…mom!

Happy Mothers Day

I hope my furry children get me a gift:)

Damita Miller-Shanklin, Ujima Magazine

#mothersday2016 #momgifts #ujimamagazine2016 #behindthescenes

Photos from Pinterest and Google


Conquer The World

Blanton Museum Hallway 100_2805May is a beautiful month. The trees and flowers are budding and providing bright colors to gaze upon. Where I live, the weather has been a bit rainy ,mornings you are wearing a sweater and by the afternoon, you see people in shorts and t-shirts.
Change makes life interesting as each month arrives,  it may bring some good and some not so good. But life moves on.

Ujima will celebrate Mother’s Day this month. I hope you all find time to spend with your mother and make her feel like a Queen. Gifts are great but time is the best gift in my eyes.
May is Lupus Awareness Month and we will share information on this disease that impacts many lives. Other stories will be our favorite recipes and much more.

Ujima wants to congratulate all of our graduates of 2016 from all high schools and colleges. You did it!! I remember that feeling of accomplishment and now the world is all yours to conquer. Do it.

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Embrace Your Community

#publishersjournal #may2016 #ujimamagazine2016 #mothersday #lupusawareness #graduation2016


YWCA Takes a Stand Against Racism

Stand Against Racism logo index

YWCA of Greater Austin calls all individuals to join us in taking a Stand Against Racism between Thursday, April 28, and Sunday, May 1. Stand Against Racism will unite our community in a bold demonstration that delivers a clear message: we are on a mission to eliminate racism.

“Daily events in Austin and around the country remind us of the importance to come together to challenge racism in our community,” said YWCA of Greater Austin Executive Director, Angela-Jo Touza-Medina.

From Thursday through Sunday, an anticipated 750 events will take place across the country including public policy advocacy, community education, and public proclamations. Here in Austin, we will

♣ host a social on Thursday, 4/28 from 4-7 pm for community leaders and members at Polvos Mexican Restaurant, 2004 South 1st
♣ host a monthly dialogue on issues of racism and discrimination, Friday 4/29 at 12 pm to discuss controlling your narrative amidst cultural appropriation YWCA Logo index

Participants in YWCA’s Stand Against Racism range from schoolchildren to elected officials, from executives of large corporations to church leaders, and many others. For more details, or to look up a participating site, visit: www.StandAgainstRacism.org. For local information, please contact YWCA of Greater Austin at 512-326-1222.

About YWCA
YWCA of Greater Austin is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen our community. YWCA of Greater Austin is part of an international movement serving over 2 million in the United States and 25 million worldwide. For comprehensive information about this important work, go to: http://www.ywcaaustin.org and http://www.ywca.org.

Unite photo index

@YWatx #ywatx #ujimamagazine #behindthescenes #everydayheroes #eliminateracism #empowerment #womenempowerment #standagainstracism #aprilevent2016 #mayevent2016

Damita Miller-Shanklin, Ujima Magazine

Photos: Google


What Do You Know About Autism?  

autismApril is National Autism Month.

There is a concern in many communities that Black children with Autism are behind in receiving the resources and assistance they need in comparison to other ethnic groups.

Raising a child with Autism is difficult for most people, but in the Black community there are additional issues that affect our families and children. Early Intervention is the key however African American children with autism are one to two years older than white children before they’re even diagnosed. This factor has to be changed in our communities.

What is Autism?

The definition of Autism is a mental condition, present from early childhood, characterized by difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people, and in using language and abstract concepts.

Why The Disparity In Seeking Care?

● Limited access to healthcare. Even with Medicaid, the child has limited options of physicians.
● Most of the children are seen by a different clinic doctor each time they visit. This is not consistency where a “family doctor” get to know the child and can see significant changes that need to be addressed. This in turn causes the child not to be diagnosed early enough for an effective treatment intervention.
● Distrust of Medical Community. This comes from the Tuskegee Experiment that lasted forty years where Blacks were intentionally refused treatment for syphilis without their knowledge. This has followed our medical history so many people wait before seeking treatment and most likely it is too late when they do reach a doctor.
● Class/Racism. This is not every doctor that comes in contact with a Black family but it may be a subconscious thing that allows for negative perceptions and stereotypes that cause for substandard medical care. Mom and Daughter images

We have to change our mindset to ensure our children are diagnosed early and receive treatment that will enhance their lives. Finding a doctor, even at a clinic setting, that can be seen consistently will be a good start.

Behaviors To Get Checked By Physician

The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development(NICHD) lists five behaviors that warrant further evaluation:
● Does not babble or coo by 12 months
● Does not gesture (point, wave, grasp) by 12 months
● Does not say single words by 16 months
● Does not say two-word phrases on his or her own by 24 months
● Has any loss of any language or social skill at any age

Any of these five “red flags” does not mean your child has autism. But because the disorder’s symptoms vary so widely, a child showing these behaviors should be evaluated by a multidisciplinary team. This team might include a neurologist, psychologist, developmental pediatrician, speech/language therapist, learning consultant or other professionals who are knowledgeable about autism.


With appropriate services and supports, training and information, children on the autism spectrum will grow, learn and flourish, even if at a different developmental rate than others. While there is no known cure for autism, there are treatment and education approaches that can address some of the challenges associated with the condition. Intervention can help to lessen disruptive behaviors, and education can teach self-help skills for greater independence. But just as there is no one symptom or behavior that identifies people with autism, there is no single treatment that will be effective for everyone on the spectrum. Individuals can use the positive aspects of their condition to their benefit, but treatment must begin as early as possible and focus on the individual’s unique strengths, weaknesses and needs.


If you are needing services or assistance or learn more about how the Black Community is impacted please see the following links:



General Resources:



Story information courtesy of the Autism Society Organization, NPR and Autism In Black.

#autism #blacksandautism #ujimamagazine2016 #behindthescenes #blackchildren #medicalcare #medicalhistory #blackcommunity #healthdisparities

Damita Miller-Shanklin, Ujima Magazine

Photos: Google



I love sweet potatoes, almost anyway you can fix ’em but this is really a YUMMY & Healthy recipe!!
3 Sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite size cubes

2 tsp olive oil

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp of brown sugar (organic)

1 tsp of ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp of ground nutmeg

Pinch of ground ginger

Sea salt, to taste


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Coat a small baking dish with cooking spray.

Peel and dice the sweet potatoes into bite size cubes and place in the baking dish.

Melt butter in the microwave and pour over the potatoes along with the olive oil, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt.

Add more sugar or cinnamon if desired.

Toss to coat evenly.

Bake in the oven for 60 minutes

Stir the sweet potatoes once or twice during roasting





Austin Is Bursting With Fashion This Week!

AFW Logo index    Austin Fashion Week has begun. I love to see what the designers will share this year. We have attended for several years and we can actually see change and fashion innovation that keeps us returning.

There is plenty of activities to participate in around Austin but Ujima will focus on Thursday and Friday runway shows. On both Thursday and Friday evenings there will be 10 runway shows and 4 mini collections. You can’t forget the Stars which on Thursday will be Jefffrey Sebelia, Gunnar Deatherage, Sonjia Williams and Korto Momolu. On Friday the Stars will will Jeffrey Sebelia (showcasing his children line), Sean Kelley and Austin’s own Daniel Esquivel. But there will be local stars as well.AFW Red Jacket IMG_0941

If you haven’t gotten your tickets yet, go ahead and do it because the shows are always spectacular and this year will be no exception. We are happy to bring you the freshest styles and latest trends out today. So follow us on this Thursday and Friday @UjimaMagazine as we post some great designs.

Join Austin as we celebrate Fashion Week 2016 in style!

@fashionxaustin #afw2016 #kortomolu @ujimamagazine #behindthescenes #austinfashion #designers #coolclothes #handmadeclothes #ujimamagazine2016

Visit http://afw.fashionxaustin.com for more information about tickets, schedule and all the designers.


Damita Miller-Shanklin, Ujima Magazine



Crowdsourcing? Kickstarter? What About Diversity Fund?

I met Charlie Jackson at Metropolitan Breakfast Club a few years ago. At the time, he was with another company but I was intrigued by how he always has a new company he was starting or supporting.

When he introduced Diversity Fund as his new company, the words “diversity” and “fund” perked my ears. As a entrepreneur, you realize how important funding can be to a start-up or a small business that has goals to grow.

This is the conversation I had with Charlie Jackson who is the Chief Happiness Officer at Diversity Fund office here in Austin.

logoDFUjima: You have been a part of many companies, what drew you to Diversity Fund? What is your role?

Charlie: I’m a serial entrepreneur and started my first business at age 16. This is the 4th technology startup of my own and I’ve been involved in several others, either as a member of the team or a mentor.

Ujima: How does Diversity Fund work?

Charlie: Diversity Fund is an online portal, operating under new crowd funding securities rules, that allows businesses to see equity or borrow money “directly” from investors. The business owner gets to set the terms for their offer, and the “crowd” provides the financing. DF manages the entire transaction – from offer through closing and repayment, which opens the door for small businesses that want to easily sell securities up to $1 million.

Ujima: How does Diversity Fund differ from other investment platforms?

Charlie: Most investment platforms allow a business to post their “for sale” for a fee but don’t provide any guarantee. DF doesn’t charge anything to the business up front and is only paid 6% of the money funded at closing for providing the platform, back-end processing and ongoing relationship with investors.  Charlie Jackson images

Ujima: What type of businesses do you assist in getting funding for their business?

Charlie: We focus on small and medium-size (SME) businesses of all types, except real estate. We have a particular focus on women, minority, and LGBT entrepreneurs. Since we are operating under Texas securities rules, we currently can only accept Texas businesses and investors.

Ujima: What is the process for someone wanting to bring their business to Diversity Fund?

Charlie: Any business can sign up on our site in under an hour. However, it’s usually better to go through our checklist and make sure that the information about the business is well presented.

Since the business is offering securities, a simple Disclosure Statement and Offer Letter also needs to be provided for investors to review and a copy sent to the Texas Securities board. Once we have reviewed everything and the business is ready to launch their deal, it goes live. Div. Fund Group havinfun

Investors are allowed to review, ask the business questions, make comments and place interest for the first 21 days. After that, if there are enough investors, the deal can be quickly closed and financed.

Ujima: Can you share a success story where a business has work with Diversity Fund to move their business forward?

Charlie: We just launched before December with three great local businesses and are now working to onboard several others. However, we haven’t yet closed a deal.

Ujima: What is your best advice for someone seeking funding to support their business idea?

Charlie: Make sure you’ve thought through all of the things that an investor would want to know about – from market/solution to team and financial and ask yourself “Am I ready to begin operating if I receive my funding in 45 days?” startup pad images

Ujima: Where can people find more information about Diversity Fund?

You can go to https://texasdiversityfund.com or anyone should feel free to contact me directly charliej@texasdiversityfund.com

Ujima: What is your final thought about what you would like the community to recognize or know about Diversity Fund?

Charlie: We know that there are many entrepreneurs and would-be business owners out there, particularly those who have been turned down for funding or afraid to attempt it in the first place. We want to help grow business and think that Diversity Fund can have a great impact to provide finance “for the rest of us!”

Div. Fund Group on Stage images


#diversityfund #startups #funding #investing #investors #ujimamagazine2016 #behindthescenes #everydayheroes #onlinemagazine #community #finances


Damita Miller-Shanklin, Ujima Magazine

Photos: Diversity Fund, 123rf.com, google images


The Bumps and Bruises of Becoming an Entrepreneur

Community Spotlight and Networking with Ujima Magazine. Our speaker this month will be Kelley Glover of “U Better Sing!”

blackademics kelley headshotKelley Glover is the creator of a children’s music literacy cartoon and sight singing game app called, “U BETTER Sing!” Her show has been featured on KVUE Austin, Ujima Magazine, KLBJ radio, KOOP radio, and was approved by PBS-KLRU Austin’s Greenlights Committee in 2011. In February 2016, she was filmed to appear as a featured speaker on the PBS show, “Blackademics” where she talks about the lack of diversity in vocal music education programs and its effect on vocal pedagogy and Black students in institutions of higher learning and public schools who study voice.

In 2015, the first two episodes of, “U BETTER Sing!” were sent overseas to work with young Nigerian girls affected by the Boko Haram crisis in an initiative to educate and heal students through music. Her “U BETTER Sing!” music education DVDs were rated as the #1 Best Selling New Release for DVDs/Games on Amazon from their premiere date of December 2015 to February 2016.”

As a vocalist, dancer, and actress, Kelley has performed onstage with Denzel Washington, Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis, Bonnie Rait, Kris Kristofferson, and has opened for Pat Benatar with the Omar Lopez Band. Kelley also does voice over work and can be heard on local and regional radio commercials. Her original reggae music is played regularly on KAZI 88.7 FM.

With all of these accomplishments you may think she had it easy reaching her goals. Well, maybe not. Join us as Kelley talks about her personal journey and what she has learned to help continue her journey after her entrepreneurial Leap of Faith!


The Bumps and Bruises of Becoming An Entreprenuer


#communityspotlight #everydayheroes #embraceyourcommunity #networking #ujimamagazine2016 #behindthescenes #aprilevent2016 @orangecoworking #austincommunity #kelleyglover #janesanford #nayajones @mbcaustin @jeanettewhill

Photo: Blackademics


Damita Miller-Shanklin, Ujima Magazine


People’s Community Clinic Opens New Model Health Care Facility

New building will allow clinic to double the number of Central Texas patients served

PCC patient_landingPeople’s Community Clinic (PCC) is proud to announce the opening of its new 59,000 square foot headquarters located at 1101 Camino La Costa. The health care facility was made possible in part by a $10 million grant from St. David’s Foundation and will double the number of uninsured able to be served.

The new location will serve Pediatric, Adolescent and Adult Medicine patients and has several specialized patient-centered features including a teaching kitchen, health education classrooms, integrated behavioral health counseling, services, and an Adolescent Resource Center.

“We’re growing and going where we’re needed,” said Regina Rogoff, CEO of People’s Community Clinic. “More than 200,000 Austin-area residents will be uninsured by 2017. Our 14,000 square foot IH 35 facility simply can’t keep up with the needs of our rapidly increasing population, so we are rising up to help serve those in need.”

Nearly 50 percent of PCC patients live within two miles of the new Camino La Costa site, compared to 15.1 percent who reside within two miles of the clinic’s current IH 35 location. Patients in the new service area suffer from higher than the national average of incidences of diabetes, hypertension and increased need for prenatal care and mammograms.

PCC support_donate1-390x198

The new clinic will allow PCC to approximately double its patient capacity over the next few years, eventually providing about 20,000 Central Texans with access to medical care.

People’s current facility at 2909 N. IH 35, across from the St. David’s Medical Center, has been transformed into the People’s Community Clinic Center for Women’s Health providing a full spectrum of reproductive health services including prenatal care, cancer screenings, and family planning.

People’s Community Clinic has been a reliable and respected fixture in the Austin-area’s health care landscape for the past 46 years. For information about the People’s Community Clinic, visit https://www.austinpcc.org.
People’s Community Clinic is among the nation’s oldest independent clinics offering comprehensive health and wellness care to uninsured and underinsured individuals. Its mission is to improve the health of medically underserved and uninsured Central Texans by delivering high-quality, affordable health care with respect and dignity.

For more information, contact:
Joy Authur, 512-684-1722

#pcc #healthcare #clinicservices #underserved #medicalcare #affordablehealthcare #april2016 #ujimamagazine2016 @ujimamagazine @lifemusicatx @jeanettewhill @marylinnen @influentialmagazine

Photos: austinpcc.org

Damita Miller-Shanklin, Ujima Magazine


AISD Disparity Study & HUB Program

AISD Logo unnamed

A new day has come!

Please join the Austin Independent School District
as we present the findings of the
“AISD Disparity Study:  Methods, Findings & Conclusions”
prepared by
National Economic Research Associates (NERA).
We will also discuss the current informal HUB Program and
expected changes as the District adopts a formal HUB Program.

Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions
and provide comments.

There will be four opportunities, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. each evening, as follows:

April 19th, Reagan High School, 7104 Berkman Drive, 78752

April 20th, Baker Center, 3908 Avenue B, 78751

May 10th, Mendez Middle School, 5106 Village Square, 78744

May 11th, Bedichek Middle School, 6800 Bill Hughes Rd, 78745

Please RSVP at 512.754.1012 or  HUBprogram@austinisd.org
We look forward to hearing from you.

#aisd #disparities #HUBprogram #austincommunity #ujimamagazine2016 #austin #communityevent #april2016 #behindthescenes

Submitted by LaTonya Pegues, BOAZenterprises.com

Damita Miller-Shanklin, Ujima Magazine


Are You Going To the Pflugerville Book Festival?

2016-04-16 Pf Book Pfestival Authors PfTV

The festival is free and will be held in the Poppy, Cosmos and Lantana rooms on Saturday, April 16 and Sunday, April 17, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.


KAZI Book Review’s Hopeton Hay
Nationally bestselling & Edgar Award winning author Meg Gardiner
Newbery Honor Medal winner Jacqueline Kelly
St. Martin’s Minotaur Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Award winner Janice Hamrick
Chris O’Malley Fiction Prize winner Jennifer Hritz
Steve Winfrey
Mark Pryor
Stephanie Powell
Amanda Downum
Guadalupe Garcia McCall
Natalia Sylvester
Minerva Koenig
Alexandra Burt
Julia Blues
Helen Currie Foster
Marrick Armstrong
Susan Michalski
Kali Nicole Gross
Nhi T. Lieu
Edward Carey


Saturday, April 16
1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Sisters in Crime Heart of Texas Presents: Texas Women Crime Writers
2:00 – 2:45 p.m. Interview with Jacqueline Kelly
2:45 – 3:45 p.m. Diverse Voices in Fiction and Nonfiction
3:00 – 3:45 p.m. Young adult author panel with Guadalupe Garcia McCall, Susan Michalski,
Stephanie Powell & Edward Carey
4:00 – 4:30 p.m. Vietnamese-American Culture Presentation with Nhi Lieu
4:30 – 5:00 p.m. Interview with Julia Blues
5:00 – 5:30 p.m. Pf Poetry Society Poetry Reading

Sunday, April 17

1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Mystery in Fantasy and Science Fiction Novels
2:45 – 3:15 p.m. International Crime Fiction: Northern Ireland Historical Noir As Written by Adrian McKinty
3:30 – 5:00 p.m. 100 Greatest Crime Fiction Novels of All-Time

You don’t want to miss this opportunity to hear from the authors and learn about their books.

#pflugervillebookfestival #kazifm #hopetonhay #ujimamagazine2016 #april2016 #books #authors #reading

Damita Miller-Shanklin, Ujima Magazine


Rebirth and Renew Yourself In April  

Soma Vida Flowers IMG_1938(1)

April has arrived and with it Spring has sprung as well.

My favorite thing about Spring is watching the flowers begin to grow and come alive. April is always a re-birth and a time to renew my life and the things around me.

I have been getting outdoors and enjoying all the flowers and sunlight. If you want to enjoy a walk and surround yourself with some beautiful sculptures, get over to the Umlauf Garden. I really enjoyed my time there.

Ujima will be focusing on all things fashion this month. Austin Fashion Week ‪begins on April 15th‬ and we hope to attend and share the lovely fashions that will be shown this year. We will also look at trending fashions and share a few fashion bloggers you might want to follow and tips that will help you get your own fashion on point. I like fashion but in recent years I have gotten away it. But as I mentioned earlier, April is about rebirth and renewal, I just might buy a few pieces of clothing to renew my outlook and feeling of looking good:).

I love the vibrant colors of April and I will enjoy telling stories of people who are vibrant, renewing their life and having a rebirth of fashion, business and life.

#publishersnote #april2016 #rebirth #renew #afw2016 #fashion #ujimamagazine2016 #behindthescenes

Video: Nulivede on Youtube

Embrace Your Community
Damita Miller-Shanklin, Ujima Magazine



Martin Luther King, Jr./Assassinated
April 4, 1968, Memphis, TN

Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was an American clergyman and civil rights leader who was fatally shot at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, on Thursday, April 4, 1968, at the age of 39.




You can never have enough great salads for a quick healthy and tasty meal. Try this and let me know if you enjoyed it!!

Cranberry Pecan Salad


1-2 cup salad greens

2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese

2 tablespoons dried cranberries

2 tablespoons chopped pecans

olive oil and vinegar dressing or raspberry vinaigrette dressing


Place salad greens in a bowl.

Top with cheese, cranberries and pecans.

Use as much dressing as you prefer, but I like to go light on the dressing.

Courtesy of http://www.food.com
Thank you Jazzy Pixley



Are You Purposefully Branding Your Business?

Invite 3-15-16 Jane

Click Here To Register Today!

#embraceyourcommunity #janesanford #thrivesimple #communityspotlight @orangecoworking #networking #ujimamagazine2016 #behindthescenes #marchevent2016 @meintheatx @paigturna @marylinnen @lifemusicatx #austin #business2016 @demarcorealtalk @jeanettewhill @mbcaustin

If you have any questions, please email Damita@Ujimamagazine.com

Damita Miller-Shanklin, Ujima Magazine


Are You Purposefully Branding?

Community Spotlight and Networking with Ujima Magazine

Invite 2 3-9-16

Community Spotlight and Networking with Ujima

#embraceyourcommunity #janesanford #thrivesimple #nayajones #communityspotlight @orangecoworking #networking #ujimamagazine2016 #behindthescenes #marchevent2016 @meintheatx @paigturna @marylinnen @lifemusicatx #austin #business2016 @demarcorealtalk @jeanettewhill @mbcaustin #kimholiday #karenmaxfieldlunkin @sunflower_vir #branding

If you have any questions, please email Damita@Ujimamagazine.com


Focusing on Business

Orange Flower IMG_1591March has arrived and I hope you are enjoying the cool weather because you know it will be getting much warmer soon. Austin will be bustling with SXSW participants, festivals and all the fun things Austin does around this time.

This month Ujima will focus on business trends, networking tips and tools every entrepreneur can use. If you are in business you are most likely ending your first quarter. You will be evaluating and looking to make improvements or continue the course.

Ujima’s first quarter has been good. We launched the Community Spotlight and Networking event. We will have this meeting every month on the last Wednesday of the month. Look for information on our website and various social media outlets.

CSN IMG_1727

As you look at the next quarter I hope your business prospers and thrives. Have a great month.

Business photo index

#publishersjournal #march2016 #ujimamagazine2016 #business #community

Embrace Your Community

Damita Miller-Shanklin


Community Spotlight and Networking with Ujima

Invite 1 3-7-16

Register: Community Spotlight and Networking with Ujima

Jane Sanford is the owner and Lead Simplist at Thrive Simple, a marketing and business consulting firm helping entrepreneurs and business owners discover and share their true mission, simplify their marketing efforts, eliminate overwhelm, live with meaning and have fun all at the same time.  Yes.  It’s possible.

Join Us.

#embraceyourcommunity #janesanford #communityspotlight @orangecoworking #networking #ujimamagazine2016 #behindthescenes #marchevent2016 @meintheatx @paigturna @marylinnen @lifemusicatx #austin #business2016 @demarcorealtalk @jeanettewhill @mbcaustin #thrivesimple @janesanford

Damita Miller-Shanklin, Ujima Magazine




Eve Ensler’s A MEMORY, A MONOLOGUE, A RANT & A PRAYER a groundbreaking collection of monologues

 On February 25, 2016– Eve Ensler’s a MEMORY, A MONOLOGUE, A RANT & A PRAYER, hosted by First Unitarian Universalist Church, is a groundbreaking collection of monologues by world-renowned authors and playwrights, edited by Eve Ensler and Mollie Doyle. MMRP Organizer, Laramie Gorbett says,” this year’s dynamic cast embraces the powerful words of these writings, and their voices rise up to stop the violence against women and girls around the world.” These diverse voices ignite a collective roar to break open, expose, and examine the insidiousness of violence at all levels: brutality, neglect, and a punch, even a put-down. This play will simultaneously break your heart and inspire you to be part of the solution to end gender-based violence.

3 NIGHTS ONLY A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer presented at Howson Hall Theatre located at First Unitarian Universalist Church, 4700 Grover Avenue, Austin, TX 78756. All performances will benefit survivors of human trafficking at Allies Against Slavery. Ticket prices are $10 and SOULilumination will provide ASL services.

Show times:

  • Thursday, February 25th; 
  • Friday, February 26th; 
  • Saturday, February 27th. 

Doors open at 7:00pm. Show at 7:30pm. Engage in a panel discussion and meet the cast after the show. Tickets on SALE NOW! Brown Paper Tickets http://m.bpt.me/event/2502573
Eve Ensler, the show’s writer and creator, has become an inspirational figure throughout the world. Not only has she established the international women’s charity V-Day, she continues to work tirelessly to end violence and abuse suffered by women everywhere. VDAY productions, including the Vagina Monologues and MMRP, have raised almost 100 million dollars helping girls and women around the globe overcome gender-based violence. For more information about VDAY go to http://www.vday.org

#eveensler #monologues #survivorsofabuse #stoptheviolence #domesticviolence @jeanettewhill @ujimamagazine #ujimamagazine2016 #behindthescenes #paigeturna @lifemusicatx @meintheatx @marylinnen

Damita Miller-Shanklin, Ujima Magazine



Mountaintop indexI heard the cries in the night before my life was laid to rest upon the mountaintop of fires.

Heeding the call to resurrect the injustice that was produced in the minds of unfiltered lies.

I began to reach towards heaven for sophisticated words to encounter the molecules of despair.

On the mountaintop I was transfused into a vessel of democracy of love, only to be driven downwards.

 Our songs echoed the fields of whips that bloomed the minds of unrescued dreams of graves crying.

 I gave my consent to purchase my time for justice and my love became my prison for humanity.

Broken Chains images 

The Scientology of your dreams began to mascaraed your thoughts for our history of creation.

 Freedom of life authorized me to sail the seas of hatred and collect my time from bone collectors.

 On the mountaintop I induced the slaves of sharecroppers to forge their walk for endurance.

 Shaping the moment of equality, I exposed the truth of knowledge on the fields of blood stain whispers.

 Forsaken the enemy, I corralled the lessons of life with my hand entwine with the hands of prayers.

 Your freedom of life has you protecting my freedom of choice that coincides with the throne of grace.

Black Angels index 

On the mountaintop, my wings of melodies have the angels blowing the trumpet to escape your warfare.

Marching with the strength of my ancestors, my territory became my battlefield of unforeseen graves.

The rhapsody of my walk brings the dismantle of my hope and I cry out to each step; freedom lives here.

 Singing songs of escapable dreams, the day is met with rays of punishment intended for traps of nature.

 On the mountaintop I secure the next generation of love to unite beyond the eyes of devastation.

 I bring the harmony of righteousness with my flesh that your labor of love bestowed upon me.


My tears accepted the rivers of brutality that you swiftly caressed me with in the shadows of the sun.

The temperature of your words swelled my equilibrium to offset my standards of living.

 On the mountaintop the wings of the spirit cried out to me, “In my FATHER’s house are many mansions”.

 Mercy carried me to heights of revelations; grace subdued my steps to the incarnated KING.

 With words of correlations, my fight was emptied into submission with my destiny before me.

 Persuasive arts of love continued my mind of a soldier, to lay down my flesh only to ignite my battle.

 MLK Nobel Peace index

On the mountaintop, the stronghold of my captivity became my freedom from captivity.

 Pursued for wickedness, I embodied peace without dissimulation and my walk became my flight risk.

 I surrendered my life for life and the Nobel Peace Prize orchestrated my life beyond existence.

 Driven for my natural causes from birth, the hands of chaotic pleasures chose to entomb my love.

 Chains of deceit, love of confusion and barriers of ignorance, danced my name in midnight meetings.

 On the mountaintop, love foreshadowed me with the serenity of doves’ wings as I found the answer.

 MLK mountaintop index

Searching the hearts of unknown terrorism, the sword of righteousness planted my walk in still waters.

Grieving for humanity, I rose to the epitome of unworthiness to unlock the abyss of moral standards.

Subjected to the microscope of your forensic mind, the beauty of life surpassed my understanding.

My eyes and the spirit of life took me upward; “I have a dream but I may not get there with you”.

On the mountaintop the sea of love flowed down to the valley and I shouted “Free at last free at last”.


#theodoremosley #poetry #mlk2016 #blackhistorymonth2016 #ujimamagazine2016 #behindthescenes @meintheatx @paigeturna @lifemusicatx @thechocolatevoice @marylinnen @jeanettewhill @ujimamagazine

Written by Theodore Mosley

March 6, 2015


 Photos: Google Images


Damita Miller-Shanklin, Ujima Magazine






Self-Care for Soulpreneurs with Naya Jones

Invite Update 2-17-16

Please get your early bird tickets today. You can register https://www.eventbrite.com/e/community-spotlight-and-networking-hosted-by-ujima-magazine-tickets-360252525.

If you are unable to attend, please share the link with your network.  This event is part of our mission to promote and highlight people in our community that are inspiring and doing positive things.

If you have any questions, please contact me at damita@ujimamagazine.com.

#embraceyourcommunity #nayajones #communityspotlight @orangecoworking #networking #ujimamagazine2016 #behindthescenes #febevent2016 @meintheatx @paigturna @marylinnen @lifemusicatx #austin #business2016 @demarcorealtalk @jeanettewhill @mbcaustin


Damita Miller-Shanklin, Ujima Magazine


Remembering Clarksville-The Hezikiah Haskell House

Austin 3 100_3008Imagine a beautiful sunny day in Austin Texas enjoying a photo walk in the Historic Clarksville District. Have you visited this area of town lately?

As a native Austinite, I have visited Clarksville on several occasions but not to specifically become aware of, or to learn about the Black community that once thrived right here in my backyard.

The History of Clarksville

Clarksville Marker IMG_4304

During the photo walk, you are surrounded by a great story of our local history.

Charles Clark founded Clarksville in 1871. Clarksville is the oldest surviving freedom-town ‒ the original post-civil war settlement founded by former Black slaves west of the Mississippi river.

The historic district was inducted into the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 in recognition of its unique and valuable history.

At least six communities of emancipated slaves existed around Austin including Wheatville (founded by celebrated Austin black leader Rev. Jacob Fontaine, Pleasant Hill, and Clarksville. In 1968 Clarksville residents unsuccessfully protested a state and local plan to build a highway along the Missouri Pacific Railroad, which extended along the western boundary of Clarksville. The completed Mopac Expressway sliced right through the community, forcing 33 families to leave.

For more information, visit

Hezikiah Haskell House

Haskell House IMG_1666You have to visit the Hezikiah Haskell House when you are touring Clarksville. Kye and Catherine raised their family in the house and as their family grew, they added on two additions at the back, neither of which remain. However there is a garden now in the backyard that is part of the Clarksville Community gardens.

The Hezikiah Haskell House represents the kind of house that early Clarksville settlers built. It is a Cumberland-style, single wall construction home with double separated front doors. The two doors allowed two families to live in the house, an arrangement that was commonplace during Clarksville’s early years since money was very scarce.

Garden IMG_1670

The house sits on its original location and maintains a high degree of physical integrity. Its exterior is unpainted board and batten, its roof is of rough-hewn cedar shingle shakes. Its initial floor plan is unaltered. A few of the original windows and some of the square nails used for construction remain.

Visit http://www.historicclarksville.org/haskellHouse.htm for more information about this historical site.

#blackhistorymonth2016 #embraceyourcommunity #ujimamagazine2016 #clarksville #hezikiahhaskellhouse #photowalk @meintheatx @paigeturna @jeanettewhill @lifemusicatx #history #blackcommunity @thevillageratx

Damita Miller-Shanklin, Ujima Magazine

Photos: Ujima Magazine


CTAAFSC And The Support of the Hogg Foundation

Ujima met with Vicky Coffee-Fletcher to discuss the Hogg Foundation has supported the Central Texas African American Family Support Conference and the impact it makes in the community.

Hogg Foundation logo index

Ujima: Thanks Vicky for taking time to meet with me today. Tell me a little about the Hogg Foundation.

Vicky: The Hogg Foundation was started 75 years ago by Ima Hogg and her brother Will Hogg. She was the only daughter of Governor Jim Hogg, a native born Texan, who became governor.  The family was left some land and it struck oil.  Because they felt they earned the money from the soil they also felt the money should go back to the community.

Due to the foundations advocacy of consumer work and recovery it has become more aware that Ms. Ima (who was lovely called) most likely lived with depression. She left a large part of her endowment to Children Mental Health in Houston.  I manage the Ima Hogg Endowment in Houston.  She was a big advocate for ensuring children of color had services. The family has a stronger presence in the Houston area.  I am a part of the Division of Diversity and Community engagement at University of Texas.  For more information about the history, visit http://hogg.utexas.edu/about/history.

I am also the Program Officer for a Houston Area Faith based initiative that funds Black churches to educate their community about Mental Health in the Black community. The grant covers five churches in Houston, four in the  Dallas/Ft. Worth area and one in Taylor, Texas. The grant is used to get the word out about mental health , recovery and connect with local Mental Health resources in their community. Vicky Fletcher index
Ujima: How long have you been a part of the Central Texas African American Family Support Conference (CTAAFS)?

Vicky: I have been a part of the conference since theinception in 2000.

Ujima: What has the conference meant to you?

Vicky: For me it means we are continuing to educate the Black community about mental health. As a people, we are familiar with the prominent issues that we suffer and are  more comfortable discussing such as diabetes, breast cancer, more physical ailments. But there is still a big stigma and it is important to continue because we have so much outreach to do.  The conference allows professionals to be in same room with consumers and families that have the living experience and learn with them. CTAAFS images

It helps with the education of the person needing an active voice and role in their treatment. The biggest gain for me is professionals letting their guard down and getting to talk and be involved with the person that is living with Mental Health everyday. Every year I think we are there but then you hear people still speaking with the old frame of thought .
The conference is built around empowering families. The conference also provides a professional piece where cultural competency can be discussed. It an opportunity for professonals to share how to deal with certain cultures and what may work better in reaching the consumer.

Ujima: Sometimes I feel we still have to get people to the door.

Vicky:  Yes, we have been taught to pray about it or “they” do it that way, we don’t do that in regards to getting help.

Ujima: Do you feel we are reaching the black families, the black community?

Vicky: I feel we do reach the Black community but we need to triple our reach.  We need to do more advocacy. Because Austin is becoming less black, as we are pushed out, due to economics. Our challenge is to get out to surrounding areas Pflugerville, Del Valle and more, to do more work out through the churches. We see the same people every year so that is saying we are not reaching more people.

Vendors 2Ujima: What would you like the community to know about the Central Texas African American Family Support Conference?

Vicky: For newbie’s, I try to connect and get their feedback. People should know the conference is a very comfortable family feeling environment. It’s a place where people are friendly and they want to be there.
• Most people who attend find that they are not alone and other people are on the same or similar journey.
• They realize they are not the only one dealing with the issues in their family.
• People who attend are not ashamed to talk to about their situation.
• Its empowering to see people talk about their journey
• It’s validating. That there may be challenges but there is hope and you can recover.
• Your family member can heal and live a normal life.

Ujima: Anything else, I may have missed?

Vicky: You will learn new skills or ideas. If you attend, you will leave with resources, i.e. counselors, support group and materials.  It can be difficult navigating the system, the conference provides an opportunity to meet people providing the resources . You leave more educated.  It is empowering. Once you learn about the issue you can manage it better.

Our community piece is the challenge of getting consumers and families to tell 5 friends,  your pastor and family members. As we move forward, the participants will  need to carry the message to the community. It needs to be owned and driven by the community.CTAAFS children images

#CTAAFS2016 #hoggfoundation #mentalhealth #recovery #atcic #ujimamagazine2016 @lifemusicatx @meintheatx @paigeturna @marylinnen @jeanettewhill #behindthescenes #embraceyourcommunity #healing #healthandwellness

Damita Miller-Shanklin, Ujima Magazine

Photos: Google



This one is a must try!!!


Serves: 5-6


•4 cups rice, prepared (use brown rice)

•½ pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked or shrimp cooked

•1 cup peas & carrots, frozen

•1 white onion, chopped

•2 cloves garlic, minced

•2 eggs

•3 tablespoons sesame oil

•¼ cup soy sauce


1.Prepare rice according to package instructions to yield 4 cups cooked rice.

2.Heat sesame oil in a large skillet on medium heat.

3.Add onion, garlic, peas, and carrots. Stir fry until tender.

4.Crack eggs into pan and scramble, mixing throughout vegetables.

5.Add rice, chicken, and soy sauce to pan. Stir in soy sauce and remove from heat.
Courtesy of Jazzy Pixley


Community Spotlight and Networking with Soulpreneur Naya Jones

Invite3 Event 2-8-16

Register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/community-spotlight-and-networking-hosted-by-ujima-magazine-tickets-360252525

#embraceyourcommunity #nayajones #communityspotlight @orangecoworking #networking #ujimamagazine2016 #behindthescenes #febevent2016 @meintheatx @paigturna @marylinnen @lifemusicatx #austin #business2016 @demarcorealtalk @jeanettewhill @mbcaustin #rootwork


Damita Miller-Shanklin, Ujima Magazine





M.Turner Marker 2 index

Sydney Johnson rolled snake eyes and the plantation became his promise land of turmoil.

Sydney endured the beating of Hampton Smith in his sickness for not complying to work.

The demise of Hampton Smith and a manhunt ensued for justice with a rope and a tree.

Hayes Turner was seized from custody and informed of his rights with a community of activists declaring his life.

Swinging from a tree for being black man in Georgia in 1918, his wife Mary Turner was infused with the hypocrisy.

Eight months pregnant and her delivery would be of terror from her silence in the noonday.

We will “teach her a lesson”; running for her life for freedom of speech, the gates of Hades enlarged its mouth.

Folsom Bridge became her tomb as the tree of life consumed her flesh with her captors hanging her upside down.

I was nineteen; white America in his fury clothed me with gasoline and motor oil and the fire consumed me.

Dissatisfied with a consuming fire of flesh, surgery was performed; innocence became guilty with a swift cut of my flesh.

The cry of the baby enraged them and the breath of life was stomped into the whirlpool of their disaster.

Mary Hattie Graham Turner and her eighth month of pregnancy was her legacy; I have a dream today, let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

Written by Theodore Mosley
January 28, 2016

#poetry #blackhistorymonth2016 #theodoremosley #ujimamagazine2016 #feb2016 @ujimamagazine @meintheatx @marylinnen @paigeturna @jeanettewhill @lifemusicatx

Damita Miller-Shanklin, Ujima Magazine


Self-Care for Soulpreneurs with Naya Jones

February 24th-2

If you are an entrepreneur or a business person and you (like many of us) give your all to others but rarely take time to care for yourself. This discussion is for you. Put the date on your calendar, take some time for yourself and learn some very important techniques to help you take care of yourself!

Watch for more information coming soon.

#healthandwellness #rootwork #communityspotlight #networking #nayajones #soulpreneurs #ujimamagazine2016 #febevent2016 @orangecoworking #behindthescenes @meintheatx @paigeturna @marylinnen @lifemusicatx @demarcorealtalk @jeanettewhill


Damita Miller-Shanklin,  Ujima Magazine


Publisher’s Note

February Cup images

Hey Everyone, I hope your new year is going well thus far. January has moved on and we are now in February which is stacking up to be a very busy month for events, awards and fun Austin activity.

We are excited to celebrate Black History Month. Austin has a lot of history to celebrate. History that is not to be forgotten.

UJIMA will be remembering Clarksville. We will take a look at the past and the present. Clarksville played a big part in the growth of Austin.

We also want to discuss what Black History means to you? We encourage our readers to go to our Facebook Fan page and let us know. cropped-cropped-cropped-cropped-cropped-cropped-orange-ujima-logo-index1.jpg
When I think of Black History month, the words that come to my mind is freedom, legacy, rights and equality. Black History reminds me it was a fight to get where we are, but we still have a long fight ahead. With the world changing everyday, as a Black person, I have to find my way and make sure I keep my freedom by remembering the people who gave their life and fought hard so I can have the life I have today.

This month is also American Heart Month and Teen Dating Violence month. We will share some tips regarding caring for your heart. There will also be information and things to look for if your teen may be experiencing dating violence. And you can’t forget the day of love Valentines Day. Feb images

February will be about history and how we remember our history.

Have a great February and do something nice for someone else.

Embrace Your Community

Damita Miller-Shanklin

#publishersnote #blackhistory #february2016 #ujimamagazine2016 #behindthescenes


The Central Texas African American Family Support Conference Making A Difference


The Central Texas African American Family Support Conference (CTAAFSC) is around the corner. This is a yearly conference that helps to support consumers, family members and practitioners in learning more about coping with Mental Health as well as supporting someone who has Mental Health.

I spent time with a young woman and her mother who has attended the conference for the last five years. I wanted to get their feedback on the conference and how it has made a difference in their life. To keep their confidentiality, we will call the consumer Debra and her mother Ella. Erika Canales who works at Austin Travis County Integral Care , coordinated the interview with this family she also attended our meeting.

UM: How long have you attended the family support conference?

Debra: I have attended the conference for five years.

Vendors 2

UM: What made you decide to attend the conference? Why do you still attend?

Debra: It is held at a nice hotel. The speakers talk about Mental Health and I benefit from listening. I also sit in on the planning and I like to see it materialize because I see the time and effort that is put into it for the community.

UM: What do you like about the CTAAFSC conference?

Debra: I like the conference because I volunteer, I see my friends, I meet people and I become more knowledgeable.

UM: What do you do as a volunteer?

Debra: I put the evaluation sheets on the seats and I pick them up at the end. I get what the speakers need.


UM: So you are busy?

Debra: Yes.

UM: How has your life changed since you have attended the conference?

Debra: I’m interested in Mental Health and I have learned to deal with my depression and anxiety. I learn about coping skills and I read books, especially self-help books.

UM: What does the conference mean to you?

Debra: It builds my self-esteem. I learn to be calm and meditate. I meet people and I know I’m not alone. We are in this together. And the people in the conference support me and it’s okay to ask for help. You can also volunteer and learn things that will bring you a new awareness, recognize your challenges, express your feelings, which is a sign of strength. The conference is also educational, you share, learn about medications and therapy, and eating healthy. You can also learn how to recognize your challenges and you can ask for help. MH images

UM: What do you want to tell the community about this year’s conference?

Debra: That I can’t wait to see it materialize. Terrie M. Williams will be there. I have read her book. You will become knowledgeable and it’s educational. You learn a lot and you feel lifted and blessed and you meet role models like Ericka (Canales). I have become more connected and healthier since becoming a part of the conference. I have learned new coping skills and I receive and give information to others. I have found meaning and my purpose.

UM: Do you mind if I ask your mom a few questions?

Debra: No.  ATCIC Vendors CTAAFS

UM: How has the conference benefited or changed your life since you started to attend?

Ella: The conference has helped me to stay abreast of what’s going on. Things have changed and people need to know about mental health and the importance of medications. Attending the conference has kept me busy.  We have to make people aware because the stigma of having mental health is still there. The conference has been very supportive and I like helping other families.

UM: So Ericka do you have anything to add to what Debra and Ella have said about the conference?

Ericka: I just want to add that the conference is to help eliminate the stigma and provide community awareness.

Ujima Magazine thanks Debra and her mom Ella for taking the time to talk with me about the conference and how it has made a difference in their life. We hope to see you at the conference on February 25-26th. To register and find more information please visit https://www.ctaafsc.org/.

#CTAAFSC2016 #eliminatestigma #mentalhealth #education #atcic #ujimamagazine2016 #behindthescenes #embraceyourcommunity #healthyliving @ujimamagazine @meintheatx @paigeturna @marylinnen @lifemusicatx @demarcorealtalk @jeanettewhill @tcravet #january2016 #febevents2016

Damita Miller-Shanklin, Ujima Magazine


Photos:  Google and ATCIC Facebook Page


Community Spotlight and Networking With Ujima Magazine

It is February and Ujima Magazine is launching a new monthly event. So join us as we welcome people in our community that will share their knowledge on various topics to enhance your personal and business life.

Our first meeting will be held February 24, 2016 from 10:30am-12:30pm at Orange Coworking located at 2110 W Slaughter Ln #160.

Naya Smiling

Our first speaker will be Naya Jones, owner of Rootwork. Her topic will be Self Care for Soulpreneurs. A soulpreneur follows the call to build a project, org, or business. They don’t just build a project or business, they build community. They cultivate abundance in a way that’s nourishing. They bring their whole selves – mind/body/spirit – to the work.

Join us for a conversation about practicing self care as a soulpreneur. Naya will share her soulpreneur story, highlight self care tools that help her “get rooted”, and invite folks to notice what’s working for them (and what’s not).

Registration will be available soon.

About Naya Jones, MA, CRM

Ecstatic facilitator. Educator. Student. Naya Jones is a soulpreneur who is passionate about community healing. Since 2008, she has facilitated mind/body workshops as founder of Rootwork. With her life partner, she is co-founder of Food for Black Thought, a food justice initiative based in Austin, Texas. In addition to holistic training, Naya brings an academic background in community food and healing systems. She is a PhD Candidate at the University of Texas-Austin. Sharing and learning is her joy.


#communityspotlight #networking #behindthescenes #embraceyourcommunity #febevent2016 @orangecoworking @ujimamagazine #ujimamagazine2016 @meintheatx @paigeturna @lifemusicatx @marylinnen @demarcorealtalk @chiquittaharris @jeanettewhill #nayajones #rootwork


Damita Miller-Shanklin, Ujima Magazine



NEW PUBLICATION- Terminologia de Relacion by Dr. Anthony Johnson

Book Cover Dr AJohnson Terminologia de Relacion Photo

People who have known me for a long time realize my focus is on promoting and elevating others which leads to the establishment of a legacy. Indeed life continues to be interesting as I have been afforded several opportunities to assist many global populations. Many encounters involved Spanish speaking persons from the South American region who encouraged me to publish a work in Spanish so that the lives of those who speak Spanish can be empowered for generations to come. The time has come with my latest life journal publication, Terminologia de Relacion. The publication is even more special as a collaboration with my daughter Candice Johnson, who is degreed in Spanish.

It has been stated by many that everyone has a life story. I realize the stories center on our connection to all people, their culture, and their experiences which impact life for all. It is evident that our connection with others is both domestic and international which highlights a world which is filled with enormous human capacity. I have a deep desire for everyone to embrace her or his capacity to be all one can be for the betterment of all humankind. It is time for our life stories to expand to unveil the richness we share with all. Therefore, I encourage everyone to acquire a copy for all you know who speak Spanish both individuals and organizations that serve and assist Spanish speaking populations. Remember the focus is on Legacy which evolves through outreach to all people… Dr AJohnson(2)

You can acquire a copy of Terminologia de Relacion online at http://www.amazon.com or http://www.barnesandnoble.com.


#publication #legacy #terminologiaderelacion #dranthonyjohnson #reading #spanish #ujimamagazine2016 #january2016 #behindthescenes #embraceyourcommunity @meintheatx @paigeturna @marylinnen @lifemusicatx @demarcorealtalk @jeanettewhill @gwenpierce @tcravet


Damita Miller-Shanklin

Ujima Magazine



Are You Ready To Win the Texas Plus America Pageant?

Pageant poster IMG_1546Ujima Magazine had the opportunity to get behind the scenes information for potential candidates interested in the Texas Plus America Pageant.

We all see the end results of young women walking the runaway, participating in the interview portion, evening gown, and receiving the crown and sash. This is about how to become involved. This is a series of stories where you will hear from different women from the Executive Director to the reigning queen about their involvement in the Texas Plus America Pageant.

The interest meeting was held at a local restaurant. The reigning Mrs. Texas, Ashley Holmes-Lindley Mua, was open, friendly,and very well spoken. She made everyone who walked through the door feel comfortable. As the women were sitting quietly, Ashley answered questions and shared her journey. The room IMG_1441

Margie Ray Shaw is the recruiter for the Central Texas area which include the following counties, Buda, Kyle, Austin, Round Rock, Pflugerville, Georgetown, Killeen, Harker Heights, Cedar Park, Hutto, San Marcos and Lockhart.  Ray has been involved with the pageant since she won the Ms. Central Texas in 2010. In 2011, she was Ms. Williamson County and Ms. Texas Plus America.  So if you are in these counties and want to participate in a great organization, Ray wants to talk with you. You can visit their Facebook page as well here https://www.facebook.com/MTPAP.

The pageant offers a walk down the runway, but it offers new friendships, a sisterhood and a resume builder. Many long lasting relationships are built from encouraging one another, it forms a family like community that happens naturally. The Executive Director, Brianna Williams, explained the three categories of the pageant. They are:

1st- The interview portion. It is 50% of your score. The contestant goes before five to seven judges. The contestant will need to be prepared to discuss current events, questions about oneself and character based questions.

2nd-The elegant pant wear or cocktail party wear.

3rd- The evening gown.

The combined scores of the three categories will determine the winner. There is also an optional essay competition but it does not count in your final score. Pageant Queens IMG_1434

There are three crown divisions as well. They are the Mrs category which consist of women who are married (20+), Ms. for 30+ contestants and the Miss (18-29) that have not been married.

The takeaway from the interest meeting is the Texas Plus America pageant can help a young women feel pretty, increase your self- esteem and a great way to make new friends and build a community.

If you think you will have to learn everything overnight, it is not true. All contestants will participate in a bootcamp where you will learn all the ends and outs of pageant life. Including vendors to purchase needed extras to make you look pretty and elegant.

The State pageant is coming up April 23-24 and the National pageant will be held June 29-July 2nd. So if you are interested in becoming a part of this great pageant, please contact Margie Ray Shaw at margie@margieray.com. She will be more than happy to help you through the process.

#embraceyourcommunity #behindthescenes #texasplusamericapageant #ujimamagazine2016 #beauty #selfesteem @meintheatx @paigeturna @marylinnen @lifemusicatx @jeanettewhill @damita_shanklin #margierayshaw

Damita Miller-Shanklin
Ujima Magazine



Great for lunch any day!!!!:)
Romaine Lettuce

Red Onion

Mini Cucumber

Baby Tomatoes

Feta Cheese

As much of the veggies as desired, top with feta.

Topped with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar, and 1 tbsp of Chia Seeds..

Courtesy of Jazzy Pixley




What Is Your Favorite Gown?

The Golden Globes took place last night and we say congratulations to all the award winners, but the fashion is what is all the buzz. Ujima has cast their vote for the our favorite gowns of the evening. As I look at our choices, I realize the simple, minimal looks seem to get our highest vote. What was your favorite gown last night?

There was a lot of white on the carpet but overall the gowns were beautiful. What is your favorite?

#behindthescenes #goldenglobefashions2016 #goldenglobes #fashion #ujimamagazine2016 @meintheatx @paigeturna @marylinnen @lifemusicatx @chiquittaharris @jeanettewhill @damita_shanklin #tarajiphenson #violadavis #lavernecox

Embrace Your Community

Damita Miller-Shanklin

Photos: Getty Images





Peach Pockets Recipe


1 ½ cups Fresh (or can; in natural juice) Peaches
1 8oz. pack of Crescent rolls
1 egg white
¼ cup light brown sugar
Pre-heat oven 350⁰

In a small bowl add clear part of egg by separating from yolk (be sure not to get any shell in egg white)

Place crescent rolls flat on cookie sheet

Add 2-3 peaches to each crescent (make sure it is the wide side) fold over, and with the spike end of fork press end to seal.

With a basting brush lightly brush top of each crescent with egg white
Sprinkle sugar on each and bake until golden brown (approx. 12-14 minutes)

DELICIOUS treat without a lot of sugar!!!!

Courtesy of Jazzy Pixley

#behindthescenes #peachpockets #ujimarecipes #food #ujimamagazine2016 @meintheatx @paigeturna @marylinnen @lifemusicatx @demarcorealtalk @chiquittaharris @jeanettewhill @damita_shanklin @jazzyjpixley



Meet Maurice Moore Lights. Camera. Action.

I was introduced to Maurice “Mo” Moore by our mutual friend Melinda Taylor. I was excited to speak with him because I love movies and television. So we sat down and spoke about his career as an actor, writer/producer and teacher.

Maurice Purple shirt 1UM: Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to meet with me. Let’s get started by you telling me  who is Maurice?

MM: I grew up in Wadesboro, NC. I was in the cast of the Color Purple as one of kids at the dinner table scene with several other children. We were asked to talk while they filmed us and I ended up talking the most and it gave me more presence in the film. After the taping, I received a standing ovation and the acting bug was born. I met some great people, two being Danny Glover and Whoopi Goldberg. They were really good to me and that’s why I do what I do.

I lived in Los Angeles for about 10 years. I lived in Austin before but moved to Kansas to get my degree. I came back to Austin in 1997, and back to LA in 2006 I have been in Austin now for about a year. I’m not sure you are aware that I worked in theater when I lived in Austin before. I was a part of the Pro Arts Collective under Boyd Vance. I learned a lot from him. I also participated in the Zach Children Theater as well and toured with them as well. I was able to  see a financially solid company with Zach and a  company trying to build with Pro Arts Collective.

UM: Has your acting journey been hard? How have you maintained the ability to do it?

MM: I have taught acting for the last 28 years. I speak to my students about this all time. I tell them they have to be passionate about the life of acting. You want to do it or you don’t. If you are passionate you willl do whatever you have to do to make it. The negativity can be used as a motivation for people who are passionate. You have to be okay with the sacrifices you make to get where you want to be. Many people suggested I stop doing acting and get a job. But people don’t realize I rather struggle doing what I like doing than something I don’t want to do. You have to train and focus. It is not easy but life is not easy but when you find something to make you happy,  it takes a lot  to not try. Everything I do is for my 14 year old daughter. My life is dedicated to making sure I leave something for her and make sure she is happy. logo_anaik_round_square_THB

UM: What piece of advice do you have for someone who is pursuing acting and has not had the opportunity to be in a film like the Color Purple?

MM: I can’t stress this enough you have to train, train, train and be passionate about it and know it’s something you want to do. Acting is like any other job; you have to train and be good at it. People think they can just act but it is a lot of skill in what we do. If possible, go to college and do theater but any type of training you can get helps. I love theater and it is my passion. Even though I’m making films, I rather be on stage. It is a more personal relationship with the audience.

UM: You are writing and producing films. Tell me about your film making and movies coming out

MM: I’m a writer, director and I have been fortunate enough to have written screenplays for major studios in LA and for my company Anaik.  Because I’ve been writing for about 20 years, it all goes together as far as what I’m passionate about. I’m a storyteller and as a Director I tell visual stories. I hope my films reach a mass audience and open their eyes and minds to personal problems, great relationships and little bit of societal change. The films I write show that no one is perfect we have flaws but it’s how we deal with the struggles. I like to show forgiveness, what love really means and can we grow, and all with a entertaining twist. Maurice behind camera 12122847_921045194648764_6102376170686165914_n

UM: When I was doing my research I was very interested in a film you have written called Honeymoon. What is it about?

MM: Honeymoon is a film about a couple where the man is blind and in a wheelchair. The young lady that come to care for him looks find but it becomes clear she has some emotional baggage and when they come together they open up each other.

UM: What is the process for getting film to studio?

MM: The process is very difficult. There are many variables. The door to Hollywood is hard to open. You have to know people for certain walls to breakdown. If you are not connected you have to be diligent. Your work has to be quality and you build relationships.  I have been very fortunate to build some significant relationships. I am able to put my movie Founding Fathers and Honeymoon into the hands of people through my relationships.

UM: Is there any work that people can see now and when will your latest film be ready for release? web1_Maurice-Moore

MM: I have a short film called Break that was released on BET Lense a talent competition. You can also see me in the Life of David Gale, Chainsaw Massacre just to name a few. Founding Father will hit theaters within the next two years.

UM: What about your acting classes? Tell us a little about them.

MM: I teach Tuesday and Wedneday nights at The Space. I offer a variety of classes from beginners to advance. We work on different techniques such as  body control and understanding the character. I teach ages  15 years old  to adults. I’m very interested in teaching kids again but scheduling is more challenging. So for now it is more convenient for me to work with teens and adults.

If you want to learn and understand the craft of acting and grow to be a productive actor not a movie star, take my class. I don’t teach fame,  I teach acting. I teach connecting relating to the character and understanding the moment.

UM: You mentioned that you work with two brothers on all your films. We can’t go without mentioning them. Who are the Rios Brothers from Barcelona Alex and Frank?

MM: I have worked with Alex and Frank for 8 years. We met in LA and they are directors of photography and the most visual and creative artist that I know. Great part about them is I come from passion and a relationship storytelling perspective. They come from the analytical consciousness  that allow them to create shots that tell the story I may not see. We make a very good team. I will not do anything without them. They come back and forth from Spain. Hope to get them here permanently. They are my right hand men.

UM: Do you shoot in Austin at all?

MM: Yes,  I shoot a lot around Austin. My goal is to shoot mostly in Austin and open  opportunities for Austin actors to to be on the scene. That is why the actors need to be trained so they can get cast and found. I plan to cast people from Austin to allow them to be showcased with major actors. They will need to do the work to be apart of the process. Founding Fathers 12196270_10206875925269983_8272137086731876647_n

UM: Before we wrap up. You seem to always be working. What do you do during your down time?

MM: To be honest, I watch movies because I am a movie junkie. I have over 1000 movies and I go to movies as well. I love watching them.  My second passion is cooking. I like to invite my friends over for a Sunday brunch. I’m a people person so all my down time is spent with my friends. As much as I work because movies and acting is my passion, I don’t feel like I’m working. As I said before If I put in the time it better be something I like to do. And I can’t go without saying my daughter is the most important thing to me. We have the summers and talk or  Skype everyday. If we are not in sync,  none of it matters. She is my balance.

Look for Anaik Films soon. Visit their website and follow them on social media.

Website: http://www.anaikfilms.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/anaikfilms/
Twitter: @AnaikF

#embraceyourcommunity @anaikf #mauricemoore #film, #acting #anaikfilms #movies #ujimamagazine2016 @meintheatx @paigeturna @marylinnen @lifemusicatx @demarcorealtalk @chiquittaharris @jeanettewhill @melindataylor

Embrace Your Community


Photos from Google


Do You Have Glaucoma?

Did you know it is the leading cause of Blindness for Black people?

Portrait Of Young Couple Sitting In Park

January is Glaucoma Awareness Month. Glaucoma is a complicated disease in which damage to the optic nerve leads to progressive, irreversible vision loss.

After cataracts, glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in African Americans. Half of those with glaucoma don’t know they have it. Have you received an eye exam recently?

• Glaucoma strikes earlier and progresses faster in African Americans.
• The risk for glaucoma is 20% higher if glaucoma is in your family.
African Americans belonging to any of these risk groups have an even       greater risk of developing glaucoma:
• Over age 40
• Extreme nearsightedness
• Diabetes
• Hypertension
• Prolonged steroid use

Glaucoma occurs about five times more often in African Americans. Blindness from glaucoma is about six times more common. In addition to this higher frequency, glaucoma often occurs earlier in life in African Americans — on average, about 10 years earlier than in other ethnic populations.  African Americans should get a thorough check for glaucoma every one to two years after age 35.  glaucoma

For information about glaucoma, visit http://www.glaucoma.org. Pay close attention to Glaucoma and African Americans .

#blackhealth #glaucoma #glaucomaawareness #behindthescenes #embraceyourcommunity #ujimamagazine2016

Embrace Your Community

Damita Miller-Shanklin

Photos: http://www.africanamericanmarriagecounselor.org and google images






Publisher’s Note

Happy New Year Everyone. Wow! Time sure did get away from me in 2015. I have already begun in 2016 , slowing down so I can take in more moments and be aware of the present and this particular time.

I’m looking forward to the new year. It appears to be a great year to evolve and move upward just from my plans I have right now!

Ujima looks to 2016 as the year of rediscovery and new beginnings. We are in the planning stage to become more involved with our community. Ujima has a vision to give back through charity work, as well as reaching out to different communities in the area. More  fun and more trending stories are at the top of our list as well.

Growth. That is our plan and we invite you to take the journey with us.

So this month look for:
● An interview with Maurice Moore, actor, movie producer, screenwriter.
● Being healthy through eating and personal health.
● MLK Day
● And more!

We wish everyone a good year and we hope whatever you do in 2016, you give your best. Enjoy the new beginning.  Happy New Year IMG_1403

Embrace Your Community

#publishersnote #behindthescenes #embraceyourcommunity #teamujima2016 #evolving #upward2016 @meintheatx @paigeturna @marylinnen @lifemusicatx @demarcorealtalk @chiquittaharris @jeanettewhill

Damita Miller-Shanklin
Publisher of Ujima Magazine


Check. Change. Control.

Sports is known as a way for men to bond and get together. Darrell Barnett has taken that idea a step further. He is using basketball to reach Black men and improve their health. Barnett is with the Public Health Department Health Equity Unit. I heard about and had to share information about this great program he’s doing to assist men, especially Black men, to get their blood pressure checked and screening for other related diseases such as Diabetes.

Barnett began the Basketball league because most men do not go see their doctor until they are very sick, by then whatever they have, may be too late for treatment. Most men know about getting their blood pressure check annually but they don’t make time to get it done. So to reach the Black men in the the community, Barnett teamed up with churches, Heart 360 and the Heart Association and created a basketball league. The main mission is to have the men get their blood pressure check and receive education on diabetes and other related illnesses that affect Black males.

There is no cost to become a part of the league, no cost to play. The only guideline is to agree to have a blood pressure check at the beginning of the league and at the end. Team photo Darrell index

Educational brochures about Diabetes and Strokes will be made available to them through informal conversation. It is a six week league which started in January of this year. At the end of the six weeks, a comparison will be made between the first blood pressure check and the last to show the men how their numbers have changed and improved. It is the first step to a healthier lifestyle.

Barnett chose basketball as the tool to reach black men because he is athletic and “God gave me the ability to go to college on a basketball scholarship. I love basketball and I can play with men my age and finding a basketball court is easy to find,”he stated. The second reason with gyms being all around town, it is easy to sell because all you need is a gym and guys identify with basketball. The churches are used to reach the men. The church is the largest audience to reach people in the black community.

The thing to remember is the mission, and that is to reach Black males and help them get more involved with staying on top of their health.

What the Black community needs to know about our health is Diabetes is a big medical concern.  If you take medications and it doesn’t work, contact your doctor, go back and get it changed.  We know that the Black community has a history of not trusting doctors, but we have to work with our doctors, ask questions and get the information needed to have better health. We need to eat healthy and get our cholesterol checked regularly. If you have a blood pressure cuff and monitor at home check your blood pressure  regularly as well. If there is any significant change, see your doctor. Picture of Lisa & Darrell

The future of the Check. Change. Control is to reach more men. Have them to check their blood pressure and glucose regularly and start eating healthy. It is important to remember it is important for us to do better in taking care of our bodies. We have to educate ourselves and get checked routinely for things such as high blood pressure, and Diabetes so we can prevent the worse.

Check. Change. Control.

For more information you can reach Darrell Barnett at darrell.barnett@austintexas.gov and http://www.heart.org.

@ahaaustin #healthcare #checkchangecontrol #basketball #darrellbarnett #education #publichealthservice @ujimamagazine @lifemusicatx  #embraceyourcommunity

Damita Miller-Shanklin
Ujima Magazine


An Inspiring Motivator With A Love Of Technology 

Profile Picture for Kai DupeKai Dupe has been with Ujima Magazine since the beginning. He was on the cover in 2009, sharing his passion of blacks in technology. He then became a contributing writer and has been our technology writer, since that time.

If you have read any of his articles, you know how passionate he is about stopping the digital divide for our black communities, especially our young people. Kai knows there are so many ways our children of tomorrow can have access to technology and use it in a way that can benefit them and our society.

One thing I have always remembered him saying is we need to learn how to use technology to make money.  Create apps for the phone instead of looking at it as just a phone.

There are so many options for young people to choose from in technology and his hope is that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) will become a part of the education plan for our young boys and girls.

Right now Kai is a technical trainer for Amazon Web Services and lives in Seattle, Washington.  He continues to work and speak on behalf of African American males educating them in the areas of technology and spiritual education.  Kai is currently a doctoral candidate at Pepperdine University where he is conducting research on the under representation of African Americans in computing.  He is also working on his first book which should be out in the fall of 2016. Ujima will keep you posted on the release date.

Ujima thanks Kai for being a part of our positive message to the community. We appreciate his passion for technology and the time he takes sharing that with all of us. Kai Cover 11457-1

#ujimamagazine7yrs #celebratingthevision #um7 #memories #birthday #celebration #STEM #blacksintechnology #computing @meintheatx @paigeturna @rock_theone #community @lifemusicatx

Damita Miller-Shanklin


The Digital Age

Stack of Magazines IMG_3519-600x400When I started Ujima Magazine we were a printed magazine. I enjoyed seeing our work in print and having smiling faces on the cover. With all the fight inside of us, we had to make a change, and it was very difficult.

As a business owner, making tough decisions come almost weekly, if not daily.

The same time we had to make this decision we made a decision to  keep the magazine going but make it cost effective. With a lot of encouragement from our Ujima team the digital age was gaining momentum. Many famous magazines were moving to digital and stopping their printed copy. Just because they were doing it, did not make my decision easy ,because I wanted to keep printing. But we knew in our hearts, due to our revenue, we would have to head into the digital space. I was comforted knowing I was not alone and the biggest joy was Ujima would live on in our community. Yay!

We started our venture into our digital magazines. Do you remember these covers and their stories? Ujima continues to move ahead.

Thanks for celebrating with us this month. Memories make and keep us Thankful and Humble.

#ujimamagazine7yrs #celebration #birthday #um7 #community #digital @rock_theone @meintheatx @ujimamagazine @paigeturna @lifemusicatx #embraceyourcommunity

Damita Miller-Shanklin


Making Community Connections With Margaret Edwards

ME me at Opa IMG_0214When I met Margaret Edwards I needed help organizing my interviews, making calls and staying on top of my schedule. She jumped right in as my virtual assistant and got me into shape to operate my business.

After working together Margaret became a committed team member of Ujima Magazine. We were so excited to have her as the Operations Manager for Ujima Magazine, which she still remains.

Margaret and I work to make Ujima Magazine a constant presence in the community, so glad to share photos of the connections we have made with other business owners throughout the last years.

Thank you Margaret Edwards.

#ujimamagazine7yrs #uj7 #celebration #birthday #celebratingthevision #community #business #entrepreneurs #memories @meintheatx @ujimamagazine @paigeturna @lifemusicatx @rock_theone #businessconnections

Damita Miller-Shanklin