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


Thank You To Ujima’s Contributors

Typewriter 4483111496_c5fb7542bbYou have heard the saying that you can’t do things by yourself. You always need help along the way. Well, Ujima Magazine is no different. We want to celebrate all the people who have taken time out their life to share their insight about the world, their poetry, people who they find of interest and their passions.

To all of you that have written and are still writing for Ujima Magazine sharing yourself with our readers, we say “THANK YOU.” We appreciate each and every one of you and what you have shared with us and our readers.
Tabitha Hamilton, Adolph Evans, Juanita Stephens, Shawn Smith, Brazia-Crayton Payne, Susie Piper, Naomi Richard, Shametra McGregor, Kai Dupe, Heath Muhammed, Naya Jones, Tia Miller, Chiquita Harris, Artie Tobias, Shelly Page, Dr. Anthony Johnson, Rev. Leroy Hargrove, Tameka Newhouse, Olushola Odeh, Theodore Mosley, Bryan Smith, Tramekia Charleston (Loyal’Tee Speaks), Talisha Bradford, Evelina Solis and Jeanette Hill.

If for some reason we did not add your name, just know, it was just an oversight. We truly appreciate anyone and everyone for their contributions. writing-with-pen
#ujimamagazine7yrs #birthday #celebration #memories #community #celebratingthevision #um7 #contributingwriters @meintheaxt @lifemusicatx @paigeturna @rock_theone
Damita Miller-Shanklin

Ujima Magazine Around Town Throughout The Years

This is just a sampling of photos of people we have connected with while about town. We will post more throughout the month. Did you see yourself? What is your memory of that moment? Enjoy!

#ujimamagazine7yrs #celebratingthevision #birthday #community #ujimaaroundtown @meintheatx @lifemusicatx @paigeturna @rock_theone

Damita Miller-Shanklin


Motivating Others Through The Story Selling Advantage

Paul C Headshot-31Paul Cartwright and I grew up together in the same neighborhood. We played outside together when we were young and remained “family.” In 2009, he was a part of Ujima Magazine’s father’s day issue. It also featured Heath Muhammad and my nephew Damon Miller. In the issue, Paul spoke about his role as a new father. He is the father of two children who were then seven years old and two years old. He defined fatherhood as being present, a strong leadership, and passing his belief system onto his two sons. He stated, “I am a hands on father and my wife and I share the role fifty fifty and he is the disciplinary.”

Now, six years later, Paul is  a father and husband and has become a motivational speaker and a new author. His new book is called T​he Story Selling Advantage­ (The Book to Help Sales Professionals and Entrepreneurs Increase Sales). H​e wrote this book based on his extensive 20 year background working in sales and marketing for large corporations. The techniques he shares with the readers will “bring joy and money but not too much pain.” He shares in the book his best year 1996, in real estate to private investors across the country. He has only been very successful in the healthcare and recruiting area. With his success he has written a book to help guide us in our goals to become successful with not too much pain.  Fathers Day Cover 17894-1

If you are interested in purchasing the book or having Paul as a motivational speaker, please contact him at paul@inspiralifeinternational.com or 512­-751­-9935.

We are always happy to hear about friends of Ujima Magazine making a positive impact and becoming successful. We wish Paul all the best and we will be following his upward journey.

#ujimamagazine7yrs #um7 #celebrating #birthday @meintheatx @paigeturna @lifemusicatx #memories @rock_theone #community #celebratingthevision #paulcartwright #author #motivation #speaker #inspire


Damita Miller-Shanklin


Ujima Recipes: The Love of Food

Food has always been a Ujima favorite topic of conversation. A lot of the recipes were shared with us by family and people  in the community. The one I have really enjoyed with my family is the Bacon,Cheese &Potato Chowder.  Its easy to make and it taste so good!! As the weather changes, put this recipe on your “to make” list.

Potato SoupWhat You Need
3 cups milk or fat free milk
1 can (10-3/4 oz.) condensed cream of potato soup
2 cups of frozen Southern-style hash browns
1 cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese or 2% Cheese
2-3 slices of bacon, cooked, and crumbled
2 green onions, thinly sliced

Make It
Mix milk and soup in a large saucepan.  Stir in hash browns.
Bring to boil on high heat, stirring occasionally; simmer on medium-low 10 min.stirring frequently

Top with cheese, bacon and onions.
Serving Tips
Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper just before serving.  Serve each bowl with a crusty whole grain roll or french bread

#ujimamagazine7yrs #um7 #celebratingthevision #birthday #community #memories @meintheatx @lifemusicatx @rock_theone @paigeturna #ujimarecipes #food

Mary Linnen


Recipe courtesy of Kraft Foods


Ujima Loves A Wine Tasting!

The first year the focus for Ujima Magazine was to reach the community. We wanted our readers to  know we were new in Austin and we wanted to be a platform for the Black community.

Invite 2 (1)The magazine included many great shares and tips on wine and gave recommendations to our readers. When looking for  a fundraiser, we decided to have a wine tasting event.  Alphonse Dodson, of Centenberg Vineyards, had been a featured cover story,  so it was fitting to have him be apart of the event.

On June 26, 2009, we introduced Ujima to the community with a wine tasting event held at the beautiful Green Pastures. It was a great success! Ujima made many wonderful new friends that evening. Thanks to Natomi Austin­ Blair for coordinating the event.  We want to share the photos from our very first event. Enjoy the memories as we did.

#ujimamagazine7yrs #birthday #celebratingthevision #community @meintheatx @lifemusicatx @paigeturna @rock_theone @ujimamagazine

Embrace Your Community!


Coworking Before Coworking Was Cool…

blue marvel java oIn 2008 my sister and I needed a place to meet and work on Ujima. We had to decide on stories, interviews, plans for the future and writing.  We have always lived on the opposite sides of town but I was willing to drive  to Pflugerville because we found the ultimate co­working space. Blue MARBLE Java !!

We sat at Blue Marble Java Coffee Shop, which is now a donut shop, at least five days a week.  It was our perfect coworking space. We worked from 10:00am­ 2:00pm, ate breakfast and lunch and had coffee all day with re­fills. We met people who were regulars that came as much as we did and discovered they were other business owners. The owner and the staff became part of our daily work routine it was fun and a very nice place to work.

We worked at Blue Marble Java for the first three years of Ujima. We did our best brainstorming,  polite disagreements about content or photos but we always made sure the issue was on point.

When Blue Marble Java closed it was sad for many different reasons. Not only did we have to find another working  community we missed seeing the regulars and the staff. We did not find another work space like  that for a long time. We hope everyone that worked there with us are still have viable businesses  and making their dreams real. Ujima wants to say hello!    Margaret at Blue Java 102_0378

Thanks Blue Marble Java for the best memories of our first three years!!

#ujimamagazine7yrs #celebration #birthday #bluemarblejava #memories @meintheatx @@lifemusicatx @paigeturna @rock_theone #coworking #community

Embrace Your Community

Damita Miller-Shanklin


Photo: Yelp.com


Happy Birthday Ujima Magazine!

Ujima Magazine is celebrating 7 years in business! We will be having an online celebration all month. So join us in the fun and memories.

Ujima Cake Winetasting DSC_1213 Rev.1In 2008, I left my job of 17 years to start a new journey. At the time, I did not have any idea of what I was going to do but I wanted to write. After two weeks of rest and relaxation, the idea of starting a magazine began taking shape. It was decided the magazine would focus on the black community sharing positive and inspiring stories about the people that live in Austin and surrounding areas. The exciting journey of meeting our community and all it had to offer was a gift to us we still appreciate since September 2008.

Ujima Magazine started as a 32 page glossy printed magazine, with vibrant covers and many awesome colors thanks to Quitta Harris (Majestic Design). The stories were inspiring. They still are. Ujima was able to share stories of individuals in our community that strived for excellence and wanted to make a difference. I was so inspired by all the people we interviewed. I learned something from each person which broaden my views and scope on the world. I thank each person who shared their story with Ujima.

The magazine then evolved into a digital magazine with the same vibrant covers and beautiful people sharing their stories. It continued to be a joy to tell stories and contribute to the history of our community. We are currently a online magazine site. We still cover our community with stories of individuals that make a difference in the community and provide inspiration.

I wanted to share the beginning history of Ujima Magazine to let the community know despite the changes and learning experience our team remains true to our mission as we continue to keep going to lift up our community unsung heroes. There were days I could have “closed shop” but Ujima is important to this community  We have remained true to our mission and we have kept going. We now celebrate 7 years. Ujima Magazine has a place in this community and with all the changes we may endure, you can count on quality, inspiration and stories of people in our community making a positive difference. sunflowers

I want to thank all our readers, our contributors and staff that has remained throughout the years. I could not have done any of this without you. I want to especially thank my family because I know they have sacrificed a lot to help me keep this dream alive. I love you all.

I ask that you follow us this September for a great online celebration. Each day we will have something to share to celebrate where we have been, where we are now, and the future. Thanks again for all your support.

Embrace Your Community

Damita Miller-Shanklin

#ujimamagazine7yrs #celebration #birthday @meintheatx @paigeturna @kokoamag @callherdonna @lifemusicatx @thevillageratx @rock_theone @ujimamagazine

Photo: http://www.canadaflowers.ca

Ashe quote success


Get Ready For The CASA Superhero Run on September 13th at the Domain!

Main photo website 15212247387_ceccf43478_zSuperman was adopted. Spiderman was raised by his aunt and uncle. Batman grew up with his butler, Alfred. Thor was kicked out of Asgard by his dad but eventually reunified with his family. Few superheroes grew up in a typical family situation, yet they all accomplished great things as adults. CASA of Travis County believes all children deserve the chance to grow up happy and healthy and become superhero adults themselves.

You can support CASA’s mission and help children who’ve been abused or neglected at the CASA Superhero Run on Sunday, September 13 at The Domain Central Park! You can run, walk or fly through this 5K and Kids 1K featuring a superhero costume contest, obstacle course by BAM Academy, special superhero guest appearances, bounce houses, photo booth and lots of fun family activities. Register, donate, volunteer or learn more about CASA and how you can be a superhero for abused and neglected children at www.casasuperherorun.com.

#casa @casatravis #superheroes @paigeturna @lifemusicatx @marylinnen #5k #children #austin

Embrace Your Community

Damita Miller-Shanklin

Photo: Chad Adams