Who is Marley Dias ?

1,000 Books for Black Girls was started by Marley.

Like most 11 year olds, Marley enjoys reading books. While getting lost into different books, Marley noticed that the main characters would either be white boys or dogs. What she was noticing soon led to a bigger issue. Fewer than 10 percent of children’s books released in 2015 had a black person as the main character. Last Fall Marley decided to make a change. She was on a mission. Marley’s mission was to set a goal of collecting 1,000 books about black girls. In February #1000BlackGirlBooks was created.

She is a trailblazer and was a guest editor for Elle Magazine.

Without knowing, Marley was a huge inspiration to people everywhere. One day while she was being interviewed for Elle.com, she mentioned how she wanted to edit a magazine some day. Not long after that she was invited to create a zine for their website.

She is an amazing powerhouse and ambassador for Disney.

Marley Dias announced in February of 2017 that she will be penning a book with Scholastic scheduled to launch in January of 2018. Having collected over 9,000 books, Marley has more than quadrupled her #1000BlackGirlBooks’ goals.

She is Newark’s own.

We celebrate all things Newark and the trailblazers that come out of our city, one of the youngest, and a quick rising star is Marley Dias, the founder of 1000 Books for Black Girls and she was in =SPACE for the day with GrassROOTS Community Foundation taking in all things Art & Tech.

More On GrassROOTS Community Foundation (GCF)

GrassROOTS Community Foundation (GCF) is a public health and social action organization. We invest in our community members’ collective well-being, so that they can use their health and energy to transform themselves, their families and communities. We support, develop and scale health and wellness programs for women and girls, particularly those who are impoverished. We also advocate for policies and practices that reduce disparities and foster equity.

It was a great honor to have Marley and the GrassROOTS Community Foundation in the room with us today. We are excited to see what Marley has in store for us in the near future and all the ways we can support such an amazing foundation!


Lynette Lashawn- Co Host/Style Cocktail Panelist

Lynette has worked as a Creative Director, coordinated fashion shows, created fashion moments, interviewed celebrities, served as a Judge on a Celebrity Panel at Ms Full Figured pageant USA and worked as a paid Blogger. Additionally, Lynette has worked backstage at NYC-Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, Nolcha Fashion Week and has covered many fashion events as press with published work in Magazines. In 2014 her talents landed her backstage at London’s Fashion Week in the Somerset house with a designer from New York. Lynette and her boutique

In 2014 her talents landed her backstage at London’s Fashion Week in the Somerset house with a designer from New York. Lynette and her boutique have been featured in Vogue and several other publications from Essence Magazine, Newark Bound Magazine, Fashion Bomb Daily (3 times), Social Media Sites, Websites and blogs. She continues to provide styling services to everyday women and men, while she actively contributes to the Fashion Industry as a Content Creator/Brand Influencer. Not to mention, she donates time, clothing, coats, shoes and services to charitable organizations as a way to give back to the community.

Tehsuan Glover- Style Cocktail Panelist

Raised in East Orange, NJ, Tehsuan Glover is the youngest of seven children.
He learned quickly that life lessons can be learned quite effectively by observing the successes and failures of others.

Mr. Glover was educated in the East Orange Public School District and graduated from Clifford J. Scott High School with honors. Deciding not to attend college, he began working in corporate America. Starting from the bottom as a mail clerk at The Seagram’s Beverage Company, Mr. Glover developed long-standing relationships with corporate executives and industry partners. He was eventually tapped by the London-based agency, Tag, to manage advertising production campaigns for clients including Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff, Absolut, The Children’s Place, H&M, and Reebok, among others.

After leaving Tag in 2008, Mr. Glover launched the men’s lifestyle and tastemaker brand, Gentleman Culture. Building an online audience supplemented by social media, the brand’s message and reach have attracted clients including Belairé Rose, Jimenez Tobacco, men’s hair care brand Scotch Porter, and men’s clothier St. James & Co. In 2014, Mr. Glover launched The Newark Times, an online news & media site dedicated to the lifestyles, perspectives, history, and current affairs in Newark, NJ. The Newark Times was launched to help re-write the media’s narrative as it relates to Newark. Celebrating its one-year anniversary.

Jonathan Bodrick- Style Cocktail Panelist

B.O.R.N. storeowner and fashion maven Jonathan Bodrick has been styling people since the age of five – when he first asked his mother if he could give his teacher a necklace from her jewelry box as “a little style inspiration.” Jonathan fondly reminisces about large closets filled with elaborate hats and impeccably tailored suits, as his father, grandfather and uncles were all sharp dressers, further driving Jonathan’s keen eye for fashion. As he recalls detailed stories told by his parents, as well as old pictures of The Savoy in Harlem, he says there has never been a lack of inspiration in his life. Fashion is in Jonathan’s DNA and he uses it everyday as a vehicle to influence and inspire.

InAWordFAB: Lauren Craig- Style Cocktail Panelist

Currently, as the official Glambassador for Newark, New Jersey, Lauren writes for NewarkHappening.com, the official travel and tourism blog for the city. Lauren is passionate about sharing the most glamorous aspects of culture with her audience.

As a lawyer, writer, style expert, and media correspondent, Lauren Craig has been courting the public eye since she launched InaWordFab.com in 2007. First bitten by the fashion bug during a college internship with W Magazine and Women’s Wear Daily in Los Angeles, California, it was not until after law school that she truly developed a fashion editor’s eye. It was then that she was inspired to blend her love of writing with her burgeoning style savvy to become a fashion blogger, and thus InaWordFab.com was born! Quickly, it became a go-to internet destination for irreverent commentary on celebrity style, breaking trend news, industry interviews, and pictures from the most exclusive parties and events in New York City.

Since that time, Lauren has become a writer-for-hire, contributing content to media outlets including MTV.com, ThisThatBeauty.com, and HelloBeautiful.com.

Anita Dickens- Style Cocktail Panelist

Anita Dickens was born and raised in  Newark, NJ 1972. She graduated from West Side High School and went on to receive an Associate’s in Science from Essex County College, a BA in Science from New Jersey City University and a Masters in Public Affairs and Administration from Rutgers-Newark.
In addition to her many accomplishments, Anita volunteered her services in the community and elected as a Board member of a local LGBT organization.

Anita Dickens is the founder and Owner of ANĒ formally known as A Girl&Guy Thing that started in 2013. CoOwner of a Fashion and Home Decor Studio located in Newark NJ.

ANĒ is a lifestyle brand that caters to all genders who loves and appreciates classic and vintage fashion including accessories and home decor.

Comic Book X Conversation 01 Founder, Andre Mason

Character diversity in comics books is a long-standing and overdue issue. However, it’s how many of the publishing companies have gone about creating and developing them that’s causing such controversy and backlash.

There’s a hand full of characters or color, gender, and sexual orientation is shown in a limited capacity for decades in mainstream comics. Publishers are navigating new territory by finally adding characters that are representative of today’s society. Unfortunately, this tactic doesn’t seem to be catching on. Several Indie books have shown great strides in this area and the big name publishers can take a cue from them. So how can comic book companies manage diversity and representation in their characters and make it effective for readers and sales?

Our discussion will cover:

  • Legacy vs New: The common pitfalls of inclusion in comic book narratives
  • How comic book publishers can learn from certain missteps
  • Reinforce positive representation for creators and fans and how important is it for the future of comic books

Budgeting For Unexpected Windfalls.

What are Windfalls?

Windfalls are unexpected money that we get. Some examples are a larger tax refund check than expected, hitting a lottery, money gifts from friends or family, e.t.c. Just as you budget for emergency reasons, you should also budget for windfalls. It is natural to get excited when you happen to have more money in your pocket but it is also very important to be able to contain this excitement and focus on priorities.

Windfall budgeting requires focus on three major priorities which are debt, saving and spending!

To read more on why it is important to focus on these three priorities click here

Ways To Manage Your Money.

Money management is one of the most essential tools in life. It is not only about how much you can save, it is about how much you can invest, and how you can multiply your savings.

In this video, personal finance guru and author Ash Cash offers practical and actionable personal finance tips, which you can get a jump on now. His expertise extents to subject like getting the right life insurance, importance of property investments, e.t.c.

Take a look at the video