When you think about pursuing your dreams and passion, what comes to mind? You might think to yourself what do I want to do? Who do I want to impact? Where do I want to go/be? How do I do it?! Whatever it might be, pursuing your dream(s) requires two things: a decision and an action.
This week, we introduce you to a young lady whose passion has led her to take action on a subject that we care very much about at SEGEI: images of women, especially women of color in the media. Asha, a 23-year-old native of Brooklyn, New York, is a journalist and documentarian and the creator of The Dinner Table Documentary.
Here is Asha’s #StrongEnough story:
- Tell us about (describe) yourself.
I’m a journalist and documentarian from Brooklyn, New York. I’ve done journalism and entertainment work companies like AMC, BET, Her Agenda, Teen Vogue, Madame Noire, VIBE, the NBA.com, Carib News and several others. I’m doing my best to wake up each morning and fulfill my God-given purpose. I don’t take my influence for granted. There’s nothing I love more than helping people be the best versions of themselves.
- What are your hobbies (things you enjoy doing)?
I love photography and video editing. Those probably sound like strange hobbies because they’re what I do at work (i.e. journalism and documentary making), but I guess that means I really love what I do.
- What activities are you involved with in your community?
I love giving back by empowering girls in my community. I’m also very involved at my church.
- Who or what inspires you?
My mom. She’s been an inspiration to me for as long as I can remember; such a great example of a woman who is enough.
- Is there something you are passionate about? If yes, what is it?
My passion is helping young women live at their fullest potential and I do it every day through my project, The Dinner Table Documentary. The Dinner Table provides healthy images of women of color through an engaging five part documentary series. We also offer workshops that aim to inspire and empower high school and college students while providing media literacy and self-esteem building resources.
- What is the biggest challenge that you see facing girls in your community?
Thinking that things are as serious as they are. I think that’s something girls face across the board but it truly worries me in the “social media era” because there’s so much at stake. When I think about the untimely death of Amy Joyner my heart breaks in two not only because she faced a cruel death (being beat up by a group of girls in her high school bathroom) but the fact that several other girls stood around recording instead of intervening. Society has done a great job at desensitizing an entire generation to the physical abuse of young women of color and it’s unfortunate. I want young women to know that when it comes to media images, social media and entertainment it is serious because it affects you in ways you can’t even begin to comprehend.
- What advice would you like to share with girls in your community?
That you are beautiful and truly powerful beyond measure. I want to encourage the young women in my community to live above the standard that society has set for you. You don’t have to conform or change because someone won’t accept you at your most authentic state. Continue to be yourself; it’ll make you so much happier later on in life. Also, everything you do doesn’t have to live online. Even though that’s the trend now, one day you’re going to wish you kept some things private.
- Who is your favorite female leader/role model, and why?
There are so many women that inspire me but I would say it’s a tie between First Lady Michelle Obama and Audrey Hepburn. They’re both so beautiful and widely successful. However, for them, giving back is just as important as any accolade or award they could receive. In my career I’d love to remain that grounded and connected to serving others as I progress socially and financially.
- What do the words “Strong Enough” mean to you?
That not only are you enough, you are strong enough to get back up from any hard fall. You are resilient you are loved, and you are supported by a community that has your back even when you don’t know they’re there.
- Do you have a favorite quote/verse/song lyric?
I have so many but the one that has resonated the most with me lately is from one of my sheros, Audrey Hepburn. The quote is as follows, “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”
Thank you for being enough, Asha! We are inspired by your tenacity and heart for helping girls find and use their voices. We celebrate you as our #StrongEnoughGirl [SEG] of the week. Keep representing for women of color. More grace and strength to your efforts. You go, girl!
You can keep up with Asha via her personal social media handle @AshaKayB. Her work, The Dinner Table at @DinnerTableDoc (on instagram and twitter) and on the website: thedinnertabledoc.com.
*Do you know an outstanding young lady (aged 13-25 years) in your community? Recommend her to be featured. Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “SEG of the Week.”*