#LivingHERstory Interview w/ @YayaEarth on her new book, Job’s Daughter [[Video]]

yaya ftIf you’ve been on the poetry scene in DC or out protesting for change you’ve probably crossed paths with this Street Intellectual. She has been a supreme supporter of cultivating poets and young hearts through her work with the DC Youth Slam team. She’s also been known to murk a number of poetry slams with her quick wit and canny delivery. I first took note of this heroine performing at DC’s local community poetry session, Spit Dat. It was there that I was captivated by her allure as she reconstructed and resurrected my soul! Her natural skill for the art of words goes unmatched. I’ve followed her as she progressed to perform and host numerous slam poetry shows at Bust Boys and Poets, Graffiti DC and many other venues. It has been a delight to get to know her and share in her many accomplishments.

Yaya is slowly cementing herself as a powerful artistic force within the DC metro area, most notably with her involvement and lead in the budding underground arts movement, the Sanaa Project. I was honored to have had a chance to sit down and interview this queen at the Mousai house and get first looks into her book. She shared her thoughts on transitioning from a performance poet to 1/3rd of the band Gully Waters and now author. Her book Job’s Daughter: The Adventure’s of Trill Yeezy is set to release December the 10th.

Check out her interview below:

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Purchase Yaya’s new book here.

Living HERstory: Challenging the Stigma of Mental Illness with @Regal_Fro

October is here and there are tons of causes to bring awareness to like breast cancer, domestic violence and down syndrome. We feel strongly about supporting each of those causes, however, just this year and over the past few months we have noticed a heightened string of events that have all been related to mental illness.

One example of this is shown in the recent passing of Hollywood actor Lee Thompson Young. Young’s death was an unexpected and devastating blow to Hollywood and the community of 20 something year olds; that have watched him grow from the beloved childhood secret agent, Jett Jackson. Young was only 29 when he committed suicide on August 19th, 2013. It was released yesterday via NYDailyNews that Young suffered from bi-polar disorder and depression.

With that being said it was shocking for most of the world to hear that news but it is undoubtedly not a surprise that most people neglect the fact that mental illness can attack anyone at anytime. It is almost always assumed that a person suffering from a mental illness should look a certain way or act “crazy”.

There are many other open stigmas attached to mental health and we wanted to focus on airing out those stigma’s and shedding more light on mental health. Therefore, we sat down to have an up close and honest discussion with one of our Instagram supporters Ms. Regal_Fro aka One Mental Vlogger. She shared her Street Intell and gave us a first hand look into how she is living her story.
On a brief visit to Virginia, we were fortunate to sit down for an up close and personal interview with this week’s living HER story feature, LaQwanda aka @Regal_Fro. Finding out that she has far more to share with the world than great hair tips.
LaQwanda has been one of Street Intell’s most active Instagram supporters and loyal followers. Looking from the outside in you can not tell that this beautiful, bubbly and brilliant, young woman has ever been through any struggle. She was such a pleasure to sit down and chat with.-Carleta Fearon
LaQwanda touched based on the importance of getting treated for mental health concerns and how she wants everyone to be able to conquerors of their condition.


We thank LaQwanda for choosing to share her Street Intell and we hope she informs and inspires more people to get help and learn more about the stigmatized condition of Mental Illness. If you connect with her and want to follow her journey further visit her on YouTube at One Mental Vlogger.

If you or anyone you know needs immediate attention call the suicide prevention help hotline :1-800-273-TALK (8255) or visit http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

Living Her Story: Jearlean Taylor

j2I was graced with the opportunity to have a phone conversation with Baltimore native, Jearlean Taylor.

Jearlean is a published author, writer, and owner of a Christian based modeling company. She shared with me that her heart’s desire has always been to make a difference in people’s lives, but there was something internally unstable in her life. Her mind, body, and soul longed for answers. She expressed how she had outer beauty, but was suffering on the inside with low self-esteem, pity, and unhappiness.

At the tender age of two years old Jearlean developed a rare cancer [Rhabdomyosarcoma] that attacked her inner organs leaving her with two ostomy bags and a dose of what she called the “Pretty Girl Blues”.

“My story continues with struggles, insecurities, heartaches, pain, suicidal thoughts, and disappointments, but through it all God was my saving grace. I hope to help those suffering with low-self-esteem by reaching out, encouraging, uplifting up, listening, understanding, and helping those in need. I do not look like what I deal with 24 hours/7 days a week. I AM A DESIGNER ORIGINAL.”

Through a series of questions,  Jaerlean shared how she’s overcome the pretty girl blues to transform her fears into building a successful faith based modeling company, JACCM. Check out HERstory  below:

What inspired you to create JACCM?

Modeling for 16 years, I’ve been in the industry and I’ve seen some things that would cause someone self-esteem to be hurt; not putting it down because I love the world of fashion. Modeling is very rewarding and has lots of opportunities for advancement. I just know that it can be discriminating, if you’re not tall enough, the right size or color. I wanted to prepare people for this industry and the setbacks they may face. Or just be the outlet for them to find themselves. I want them to know they are beautiful from the inside out. Our motto is “We build , train, and develop from the inside out”.

Have you faced any opposition in the industry by running a faith based business?

It is a faith based business but we don’t throw religion on anyone, but I will explain to them my relationship with God is what matters. I’ve been blessed that people know me and our standards therefore they cater to our needs. They know what my company stands for and they adhere to that. It depends on how you treat people that’s how they treat you.

How do you view the current state of the Baltimore fashion industry?

There is so much talent as far as designers and stylists. People don’t see it. Stereotypes about the area are assumed and people don’t give the area a chance. There are a lot of talented designers and models. People have to support them.

What other projects do you have in the works?

I am now an author, my autobiography, “Pretty Girl Blues” , details my life as a cancer survivor and unforeseen circumstances that came along with it. It is a very personal story that is being told to help uplift, bring encouragement, to give people hope and healing. http://www.prettygirlblues.com

Do you plan on going into full time entrepreneurship?

I hope to carry my schedule as it is with my endeavors with my company. I often have a full schedule with my other ministries/projects, so for now having full time entrepreneurship is part-time. Who knows how my future will change with that, but I am happy how it is now.

What is your Street Intell and how do you plan to continue your aim of inspiring young girls, women and men through fashion and faith?

By being myself and letting my “light” shine. Often times, people look at the exterior and can’t believe how I survived a deadly disease. I made it, so I want others to know and love who they are. If you are a good leader people will follow. If I lead by example people will see my “light”. Before I never thought putting my story out there was posible, I was afraid of what people would think. What I thought was a burden was actually a blessing. The story I tried to hide once is now helping and inspiring people. Seeing how far I have come encourages me to keep helping people. Through sharing my story I have touched many people and will continue to spread my “light”.
jarlean t

Living HERstory: Carla Renée

Here at Street Intell we like to spotlight people doing extraordinary things in and around the DMV area. We want to encourage you all to support Mademoiselle Phenomenal as she makes her way to the big screen. She has a tremendous story of overcoming and conquering cancer 3 times and it is refreshing to see how she has made it to this point. Join us as we help her and the rest of the cast members celebrate the release of Carlos Roman’s Sci-fi action thriller, Signals 2. Click the image below to connect with Carla Renée.

Carla Renée

Air force veteran, entrepreneur, teacher, performance poet and actress; a true renaissance woman.

We will see you all this Saturday at the Movie Premiere. Line for tickets forms at 9:30 and the film viewing is at 10:00 am.