Today we talk with two women leading our communities in different ways.
Melody Joy Short is a graduate of Morgan State University’s Earl Graves School of Business and a marketing executive, focused on business development and brand development for small businesses. Melody jump-started her career in the Urban Marketing Department of Sony Music Distribution. Her career in the music industry afforded her the opportunity to establish relationships with small business owners in the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, and Southwest markets. This proved pivotal to Melody’s career because it’s where she developed a passion for supporting small business owners. As an entrepreneur and co-founder of the Richmond Night Market, she supports small business owners and independent artists in areas to include public relations, marketing, and business development. Melody is the former Director of Marketing and Business Development for the largest collection of Black-owned Inns in the United States, Akwaaba Bed & Breakfast Inns, and was featured as part of the cast of their television show, on the OWN Network, Checked Inn. Melody served the small business community of Richmond, Virginia with a focus on minority and women-owned businesses as the former Director of Marketing & Communications at the Metropolitan Business League. She is the Co-founder of The Jackson Ward Collective, a hub for Black business owners and selected partners to share resources, experiences, and expertise to build and grow strong, sustainable Black-owned businesses in Richmond, VA, and as a consultant for the Black Business Opportunity & Investment Study and Virginia Community Capital’s Open For Business Loan Fund. In addition, Melody serves on the board of the Afrikana Independent Film Festival, The Valentine Museum, ChamberRVA, CultureWorks, and the Minority Business Enterprise and Emerging Small Business Advisory Board for the City of Richmond. All this while managing her most important role of all–mother to 13-year old Nia Abiose.
Kenya has served as the Education reporter for the Richmond Times-Dispatch over the last two years and is joining Capital B News in Atlanta as their new health reporter. She will be reporting on health outcomes in all aspects of Black life in the city, whether it’s environmental justice, abortion access, climate change, or COVID-19. She is excited to build out her vision for the beat, like hosting panels and working with Atlanta’s Black residents to provide the news the Black community deserves and needs. Kenya has always had a passion for journalism and the liberation of Black people:
“As I’ve grown in my professional career, I began to see the ways in which traditional media is broken and doesn’t truly serve Black people. I wanted more for me and for all Black folks, who deserve serious coverage in the press. It’s also really important for journalists to know the community they’re reporting on. We often center detachment as an important asset of being a reporter, but reporting from home is important. When journalists report from home, they report with love, and that is important. When I saw the job listing at Capital B, and specifically one for my hometown, I knew this was the perfect opportunity for what I want in my career.”