"Your Daily POPculture Re-up"

Diva of the Week

Diva Of The Week- Ashley Nicole Barnes

Diva coming through!!!!!

We’d like you all to meet the beautiful Ashley Nicole Barnes. She is a 23-yr-old graduate of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Receiving her degree with honors (Summa Cum Laude)  and majoring in Psychology, Ashley is well on her way in the right direction. This former NAUW Debutante, Psalmist/Songwriter has served as a praise and worship leader for Youth Taking Charge (campus bible study),and is currently a mentor and property damage claims representative for New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Group.

A proud mother and soon to be wife (he put a ring on it!),  Ashley has overcome many obstacles placed in her way. She says:

“Nothing, I mean nothing has come without faith, and not just faith to believe but faith to make moves.  With many academic accomplishments and notable achievements, fulfillment only comes when I know God is pleased and purpose is being carried out. Ministry is dear to my heart and song is usually the avenue of choice to encourage others and for restoration to take place. I hope to one day be in ministry full time in whatever capacity God requires and open my own non-profit organization geared toward complete wellness for young women.”

Words spoken by a true diva. As a friend who has heard Ashley’s voice, all these years later; I still remember it. She describes her own personal style as:

“My personal style is confidence. It’s not always what you wear, but how you wear it. Own whatever it is you do and be true to who you are. I know I’m different and I embrace it. I like to be comfortable, natural and low key but I’m always switching it up, depending on how I’m feeling. Whatever it is i wear, I wear it well.”

We here at divaMissioN applaud every positive effort and goal-acquiring endeavor you set forth on doing. Creating a non-profit for the complete wellness of young women shows your desire to give back and make a change in the lives of others. We hope that other young women will see your great accomplishments and be motivated to follow in your footsteps. We’re very pleased to have you as our “Diva Of The Week”!!!

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Diva of the Week: Loretta Cabinda/Karma Custom

And another one….Diva of the Week, that is.

Loretta Cabinda’s accomplishments are far beyond her years and in one word: breathtaking.  Also known as “Karma Custom,” this 20 (soon to be 21) year old lives in Los Angeles and has an A.A in Merchandise Product Development and a B.S in Business Management.  The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (L.A. Campus) alumni currently works for Advanstar Communications/MAGIC as a customer service representative.  For those not familiar with the company, it puts on one of the largest apparel and accessorie tradeshows twice a year in Las Vegas.  As a representative, Loretta plays in an important role in the recruitment process and even gets to attend the show: nice perk, diva!!!

In addition to her work with MAGIC, Loretta/Karma works for Beauty Bureau, Inc, a one-stop shop for beauty that can be at everyone’s fingertips.  The family-driven company offers a wide variety of services including video and photo shoots and image consulting.  The passionate team consists of Loretta, founder Donny Cole, and designers Deniseea Christine and Veela Funk. 

Phew! This diva does  A LOT! But, it doesn’t end there!  In the future, Loretta hopes to own her own company and work for Beauty Bureau on a full time basis.  Her artistic abilities aren’t just in fashion.  She is a gifted musician and performer who hopes to create art that will create, heal and unite people; especially those in her home continent, Africa. 

Loretta’s positivity and perserverance is infectious and inspiring.  She’ s been through it all, including an abusive relationship and homelessness before the age of 20.  Unfortunately, most people in those same positions can’t find a way out…Loretta did.  And as “Diva of the Week,” she wants to pass on words of wisdom to divas around the world:

“Stay positive despite what life throws at you. I know it’s easier said than done, but when you allow yourself to be consumed by negativity, you not only drive yourself away from others, but you also drive others away from you.

If there is something, anything in your life that you are unhappy with, you have the power to change it. You’ve only got today, so choose to be bitter, or get better.

Most important is to learn to get back up. You will fall! There is no avoiding that. But learn to accept not just the ups, but the downs as well and know that God never throws at you more than you can handle.

Knowing that everything happens for a reason gives you confidence to face another day. Never lose sight of your goals and your dreams because they are what will you keep you sane in such a crazy world. Never lose your voice because that is all you have in this world, even when everything is taken away from you. If people don’t want to listen, make them listen.”

I know that’s right!! *snaps fingers* Now, back to some fun stuff: Loretta’s  personal design style!:

“My design aesthetic consists of mixing colorful prints with contemporary styles and adding an urban flare. I truly enjoy the process of turning something ordinary into something unique and extraordinary. I rarely sketch because I feel that as a designer it limits you to that one idea. There are so many things that happen during the design process that sometimes the best decisions are the ones that occur accidentally.”

Loretta: Excuse our French, but you are fxcking fabulous!  You are wise beyond your years and already a success in our eyes.  We look forward to seeing your star rise even higher and the good “Karma” in your future.  XOXO

**Below is another pic of Loretta and then models wearing her designs.  Werk!!


Diva of the Week: Andrea Barbosa-Pereira

divaMissioN’s “Diva of the Week” is international!

Meet Andrea Barbosa-Pereira.  She is a 22 year old graduate of Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts.  She now has a degree in International Relations and Economics.  Her future goals include getting a masters in International Security (abroad in England) that will help her to contribute to international development and helping women and children in need; especially those caught in wars and crises.  Right now, she lives in New York City where she works closely with the United Nations.  Now THAT is diva behavior!

When she’s not working hard, Andrea likes writing poetry, art, and any opportunity to empower women.  Andrea is an international diva.  She’s spent most of her education in international school; part of her education was completed in Switzerland and the rest of her high school years spent at UNIS, the United Nations school in New York City.  It should also be noted that Andrea is a Cape-Verdean beauty- her hometown is Praia in the Cape Verde Islands.  She’s taking over the globe!!!!

Here is what Andrea has to say about her personal style:

 “Definitely feminine with an edge… (I)very rarely wear
makeup. I love the soft look with a leather jacket or boots, but
nothing over the top. Mainly it’s whatever mood I am in in the morning.”

Andrea- all of your accomplishments and future goals are more than commendable.  Our hope is that other young women will see this and be motivated to help others and chase their dreams.  You are definitely worthy of the “Diva of the Week” title. WERK!!!


Former 'Diva of the Week' Gets Published

As you know, our “Divas of the Week” are all about spreading positivity, making moves, and all having all around “diva behavior” (the good kind!).  One of our former Divas, Tatiana Johnson, is one of the most talented poet/spoken artists in New England and she’s just had one of her works published in Simmons College’s Sidelines Magazine.  Werk!

Tatiana on what the poem is about:

“I wrote this poem a while ago after I heard someone I know was bleaching her skin. It made me think of ancestry and what it means to be a woman in brown skin, no matter the shade. I wrote this for her, and for women who were born from some amazing, strong, enduring women. This poem is a dedication to them, and is a representation of something way bigger than words and myself. I want people to feel connected to something significant when they read this. It’s simply a reminder of being connected to a past that’s unfathomable”

Read her beautiful words below.  We’re proud of you Tati!!!

She speaks like the wrinkles congregating in my knuckles
Like her mouth sits in grins like my nail beds
They call her the mule of this world
She left her mark on my belly to say we were once connected
There is no silence in her birthing
Her becoming is strength wrapped around moments that break backs who’ve never felt pain
Finger prints dusted with soil from digging graves for children that were left in seas before 
Her body knew emancipation
Trauma steadily rocking her children and her childrens children in ships from
Passages that brought money to everyone but her
Will God not have mercy on her suicide that for her only meant freedom
She speaks when they call her exotic
Afraid that she may just be beautiful that the coarseness in her hair
Is a metaphor for her complexity
The forbidding of reading does not mean she contains no intelligence
Selling her down river will not quiet the voices in her stride
Taking the men that marry her will never change the truth in her matrimony 
With us
Her daughters
She is speaking
Behind 
Male dominance that never treasured the plight of her brown skin
Or hands that raped the beauty of her smile 
They searched the crevices of her 
Hoping to leave her vacant
They call her the mule of the world
Wrestling in the winter of her own darkness
When will God kiss her dark skin and remind the world that she is beautiful 
So she hopes that swimming in liquids will make her blackness fade 
Her mermaid Africa fins being compartmentalized
Like a chemist she disrupts her melanin maybe the skin in the mirror 
Won’t be so chalkboard looking
Its no longer in her smile
Its in the way she loves her face with the white foaming cleanser covering it
She is speaking
No one seems to be absorbing her cries
To notice her
As something more than that dark corner in the room
They tell her to stop talking about herself
Racism happened years ago
Racism happened years
Racism happened
Racism
Where did it go then?
Somehow its been affecting her
Reminding her that she’s stunted sometimes not trusted
Often times overlooked as nothing
But its gone
Someone define this term 
Of making her skin less worthy
She speaks
She wants us to hear her
And her daughters
She speaks to me some nights when 
I listen to the music she created while I laid rumbling in her womb
sounds of rope burning, spiritual lullabying, courage
its sung in the key of c
seas
she always knows the sound of oceans
it’s the inner seashell like sound that rocked her to sleep while crossing rivers
she’s speaking
they tell us we are just angry 
that we should get over it
but these our mothers 
these are our stomachs 
she left marks on us
calls us hers
sounds like whispering
she spoke
we listened
and we never sit silent


Former ‘Diva of the Week’ Gets Published

As you know, our “Divas of the Week” are all about spreading positivity, making moves, and all having all around “diva behavior” (the good kind!).  One of our former Divas, Tatiana Johnson, is one of the most talented poet/spoken artists in New England and she’s just had one of her works published in Simmons College’s Sidelines Magazine.  Werk!

Tatiana on what the poem is about:

“I wrote this poem a while ago after I heard someone I know was bleaching her skin. It made me think of ancestry and what it means to be a woman in brown skin, no matter the shade. I wrote this for her, and for women who were born from some amazing, strong, enduring women. This poem is a dedication to them, and is a representation of something way bigger than words and myself. I want people to feel connected to something significant when they read this. It’s simply a reminder of being connected to a past that’s unfathomable”

Read her beautiful words below.  We’re proud of you Tati!!!

She speaks like the wrinkles congregating in my knuckles
Like her mouth sits in grins like my nail beds
They call her the mule of this world
She left her mark on my belly to say we were once connected
There is no silence in her birthing
Her becoming is strength wrapped around moments that break backs who’ve never felt pain
Finger prints dusted with soil from digging graves for children that were left in seas before 
Her body knew emancipation
Trauma steadily rocking her children and her childrens children in ships from
Passages that brought money to everyone but her
Will God not have mercy on her suicide that for her only meant freedom
She speaks when they call her exotic
Afraid that she may just be beautiful that the coarseness in her hair
Is a metaphor for her complexity
The forbidding of reading does not mean she contains no intelligence
Selling her down river will not quiet the voices in her stride
Taking the men that marry her will never change the truth in her matrimony 
With us
Her daughters
She is speaking
Behind 
Male dominance that never treasured the plight of her brown skin
Or hands that raped the beauty of her smile 
They searched the crevices of her 
Hoping to leave her vacant
They call her the mule of the world
Wrestling in the winter of her own darkness
When will God kiss her dark skin and remind the world that she is beautiful 
So she hopes that swimming in liquids will make her blackness fade 
Her mermaid Africa fins being compartmentalized
Like a chemist she disrupts her melanin maybe the skin in the mirror 
Won’t be so chalkboard looking
Its no longer in her smile
Its in the way she loves her face with the white foaming cleanser covering it
She is speaking
No one seems to be absorbing her cries
To notice her
As something more than that dark corner in the room
They tell her to stop talking about herself
Racism happened years ago
Racism happened years
Racism happened
Racism
Where did it go then?
Somehow its been affecting her
Reminding her that she’s stunted sometimes not trusted
Often times overlooked as nothing
But its gone
Someone define this term 
Of making her skin less worthy
She speaks
She wants us to hear her
And her daughters
She speaks to me some nights when 
I listen to the music she created while I laid rumbling in her womb
sounds of rope burning, spiritual lullabying, courage
its sung in the key of c
seas
she always knows the sound of oceans
it’s the inner seashell like sound that rocked her to sleep while crossing rivers
she’s speaking
they tell us we are just angry 
that we should get over it
but these our mothers 
these are our stomachs 
she left marks on us
calls us hers
sounds like whispering
she spoke
we listened
and we never sit silent


Diva Of The Week: Shantell Huggins

This week’s diva is truly a one woman show. Confident, strong and very serious about achieving her goals Shantell Huggins is doing what most are not. Born in the Bronx and later living in Jamaica don’t let the tough exterior fool you. At the age of 22 Shantell has completed her undergraduate studies at Montclair State University with a major in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Leadership through Civic Engagement. Some of her internships included NJN, WCBS radio and was an associate at PAN DESI/Dish network. She currently works as an Account Executive Assistant and has active plans of pursuing her Masters degree.

As if that’s not enough Shantell strives for more, it’s what divas do! She is the Co-Production Director and Talent Liaison of “Live Up” which is  a non profit organization spreading awareness throughout communities about AIDs, STI, Cancer and other fatal diseases. She coordinates programs, workshops and talent recruits for “LIV UP’s” documentaries and web reality series. As a member of “Liv Up,” her talents will be shown through advertisement, entertainment, and broadcast journalism. Their goal is to inform everyone.LIFE IS VALUABLE, USE PRECAUTION! … LIV UP! In the next 5 years she hopes to produce several accredited, acclaimed, inspiring documentaries and network programs, to have a great career in entertainment and broadcasting, and to travel the world!  She often uses the quote,

“If there is no struggle then there is no progress”- Frederick Douglass

As far her her own personal style she says,

I want to age like fine wine…strong taste but a savory finish. LOL eventhough I am 22! I have a very Laidback look, like to wear things that others don’t typically wear or can’t find 😉 and I hate MATCHING!

MUST HAVE: COOL earrings! FLY Sunglasses, Killer combat boots and a rocking BLAZER!

As you can see Shantell is our “Diva Of The Week” for a reason, she’s doing it, from her non-profit org that we truly commend her on for aiding in getting the word out and working effortless for because these diseases still killing black WOMAN a high rate.We encourage Shantell to continue on her path and we have a strong feeling in the near future everyone will know her name! Thank you for being our “Diva Of The Week” no one else could have been a better match.



Diva Of The Week- Sheyla Mejia

As the weeks pass our “divas” are just truly becoming an inspiration and example of what a smart young woman embodies. This week our beautiful diva’s name is Sheyla Meija and she is on the road to success to say the least. This 23 yr. old graduate of  Montclair State Univeristy majored in Communications and is now working in the Human Resources field while actively striving to to pursue a graduate degree in HR.

Sheyla has a personal short-term goal to travel to a different country and/or state at least twice a year, to learn about different cultures and to expand her knowledge of places she was not familiar with before. She says,

I am interested in someday (as a side hobby) getting involved with the Wedding planning industry,  I would love to meet professionals who need a “people person” to volunteer with the planning.

As far as her style Sheyla can put it on! I’ve never seen this girl in a bad outfit…seriously. She describes her personal style as,

Chill, Chic, and Classy.

With a bright future ahead of her and a fierce shoe to get her there I have no doubt whatsoever the amount of success Sheyla can accumulate. We commend you Shey and are glad to have you be our “Diva of the Week”!!