Created By: The AJC + The Nation

The Experts

Black on Campus Expert Writing Squad

It takes a village to raise a writer. The 2018 Black on Campus Cohort works closely with program directors Professor Melissa Harris-Perry and Professor Sherri Williams. In addition they have access to a dedicated team of mentors who serve as an "Expert Writing Squad."  These four professional writers are in distinctly different places in their careers: from emerging to established. They use their writing skills in distinct ways: from political persuasion to creative production. All are committed to using their authentic voice to create a more just world. 

As members of the Writing Squad they will meet with the Black on Campus cohort, offer advice and support, and help ensure the work of these young storytellers reaches the widest possible  audience. 

This is what commitment looks like...

  Veronica Chambers    Veronica Chambers  is a prolific author, best known for her critically acclaimed memoir,  Mama's Girl  which has been course adopted by hundreds of high schools and colleges throughout the country.  The New Yorker  called  Mama's Girl , "a troubling testament to grit and mother love… one of the finest and most evenhanded in the genre in recent years." Born in Panama and raised in Brooklyn, her work often reflects her Afro-Latina heritage.  She coauthored the award-winning memoir  Yes Chef  with chef Marcus Samuelsson as well as Samuelsson’s young adult memoir  Make It Messy , and has collaborated on four New York Times bestsellers, most recently  32 Yolks , which she cowrote with chef Eric Ripert. She has been a senior editor at the  New York Times Magazine ,  Newsweek , and  Glamour . Born in Panama and raised in Brooklyn, she writes often about her Afro-Latina heritage. She speaks, reads, and writes Spanish, but she is truly fluent in Spanglish. She is currently a JSK Knight fellow at Stanford University.   .

Veronica Chambers

Veronica Chambers is a prolific author, best known for her critically acclaimed memoir, Mama's Girl which has been course adopted by hundreds of high schools and colleges throughout the country. The New Yorker called Mama's Girl, "a troubling testament to grit and mother love… one of the finest and most evenhanded in the genre in recent years." Born in Panama and raised in Brooklyn, her work often reflects her Afro-Latina heritage.

She coauthored the award-winning memoir Yes Chef with chef Marcus Samuelsson as well as Samuelsson’s young adult memoir Make It Messy, and has collaborated on four New York Times bestsellers, most recently 32 Yolks, which she cowrote with chef Eric Ripert. She has been a senior editor at the New York Times MagazineNewsweek, and Glamour. Born in Panama and raised in Brooklyn, she writes often about her Afro-Latina heritage. She speaks, reads, and writes Spanish, but she is truly fluent in Spanglish. She is currently a JSK Knight fellow at Stanford University. 

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  Mankaprr Conteh   I’m proud to call myself a journalist, and even more proud that I became one in college, with the help of the journalism minor. I primarily write about arts and culture, and I consider race and gender issues as I do it. One of the first journalism classes I took at Wake Forest was called “Writing for a Social Purpose”—I always want to be doing public interest work, even if I’m writing about a rap album. For sites like Elle.com, Essence.com and Okayplayer.com, I’ve written about books, songs, poems and shows that offer black healing, I’ve interviewed popular television star Kofi Siriboe, and I’ve reported on conversations between polymath Questlove and some of the greatest minds in film and TV.

Mankaprr Conteh

I’m proud to call myself a journalist, and even more proud that I became one in college, with the help of the journalism minor. I primarily write about arts and culture, and I consider race and gender issues as I do it. One of the first journalism classes I took at Wake Forest was called “Writing for a Social Purpose”—I always want to be doing public interest work, even if I’m writing about a rap album. For sites like Elle.com, Essence.com and Okayplayer.com, I’ve written about books, songs, poems and shows that offer black healing, I’ve interviewed popular television star Kofi Siriboe, and I’ve reported on conversations between polymath Questlove and some of the greatest minds in film and TV.

 
  Angelique Roché    A. Angélique Roché  is an attorney, educator and communications professional. Prior to joining the Ms. Foundation, she was the campaign manager for a statewide campaign for Ohio Secretary of State, making her the first African-American woman to run a statewide campaign in Ohio. From 2008-2011 Roché served as a legislative aide for United States Senator Mary Landrieu. In that position, she worked on labor, justice and law enforcement issues, including voting rights, domestic violence, gender discrimination, fair pay and juvenile justice.  With a lifelong commitment to the empowerment of women and girls, Roché founded The Washington Middle School for Girls Civic Engagement Program, an externship giving young women from a middle school in Washington, DC the opportunity to engage in hands-on afternoon civics classes at the U.S. Capitol. The externship allows students to learn about the democratic process while interacting with congressional staff and representatives from various administrative agencies. The program is now in its fifth year.  In addition to her work at the Ms. Foundation, Roché is a freelance journalist, author, and photographer currently contributing to NBCBLK, Black Girl Nerds, and Rewire News. She is also a part-time host on SiriusXM Progress and a frequent guest on various podcasts focused on the intersections of pop-culture, current events, and social justice.  Roché is on the advisory boards of KAPGW focused on elevating the voices of women “living out-loud” and Lesbians Who Tech, a national organization focused on diversifying both race and gender in tech related fields. She has received a number of awards including, the EnVest Foundation’s National Capital Region’s 40 Under 40, Apex Society’s 30 Under 30, and the Southern University Law Center’s Young Trailblazer Award. She is a member Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity, Phi Alpha Delta International Law Fraternity, the Louisiana State Bar Association and the American Inns of Court  .

Angelique Roché

A. Angélique Roché is an attorney, educator and communications professional. Prior to joining the Ms. Foundation, she was the campaign manager for a statewide campaign for Ohio Secretary of State, making her the first African-American woman to run a statewide campaign in Ohio. From 2008-2011 Roché served as a legislative aide for United States Senator Mary Landrieu. In that position, she worked on labor, justice and law enforcement issues, including voting rights, domestic violence, gender discrimination, fair pay and juvenile justice.

With a lifelong commitment to the empowerment of women and girls, Roché founded The Washington Middle School for Girls Civic Engagement Program, an externship giving young women from a middle school in Washington, DC the opportunity to engage in hands-on afternoon civics classes at the U.S. Capitol. The externship allows students to learn about the democratic process while interacting with congressional staff and representatives from various administrative agencies. The program is now in its fifth year.

In addition to her work at the Ms. Foundation, Roché is a freelance journalist, author, and photographer currently contributing to NBCBLK, Black Girl Nerds, and Rewire News. She is also a part-time host on SiriusXM Progress and a frequent guest on various podcasts focused on the intersections of pop-culture, current events, and social justice.

Roché is on the advisory boards of KAPGW focused on elevating the voices of women “living out-loud” and Lesbians Who Tech, a national organization focused on diversifying both race and gender in tech related fields. She has received a number of awards including, the EnVest Foundation’s National Capital Region’s 40 Under 40, Apex Society’s 30 Under 30, and the Southern University Law Center’s Young Trailblazer Award. She is a member Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity, Phi Alpha Delta International Law Fraternity, the Louisiana State Bar Association and the American Inns of Court

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  Damon Young   Pittsburgh native Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of  VerySmartBrothas  (VSB) and a professional Black person. He enjoys selfies with his infant daughter, getting hurt playing pick-up basketball, and unsolicited pancake dinners.

Damon Young

Pittsburgh native Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VerySmartBrothas (VSB) and a professional Black person. He enjoys selfies with his infant daughter, getting hurt playing pick-up basketball, and unsolicited pancake dinners.