Just before Christmas, Harrods—the London department store—reached out and commissioned me to write for their magazine. My assignment: Interview and profile CEOs and founders of global luxury and beauty brands that #giveback.
From the brilliant founder of UOMA Beauty who is leveraging her brand to elevate Black entrepreneurs and advocate racial equity to the mastermind behind the “Brilliant Breakfast” supporting young women and girls through the Prince’s Trust, I gained new insights on the power of #philanthropy around the world.
The April/May issue, with my article “The Human Touch” was released last week to over 80K of Harrods’s top clients!
As a contributor, the editors asked this hypothetical question, You can join your favourite TV series character(s) on holiday this spring – who are you with and where are you going?
My answer: “I’d join characters from Succession (I have so many questions!) on holiday in the Seychelles. We’d have a luxurious time and there would never be a dull moment.” Lol
Photo: June 2020 protest against injustice, Charlotte, NC | V. Fullwood
Earlier this month, I spun a whirlwind of emotions and thoughts into an op-ed and posted it on Medium.com. I made an appeal to my Southern city, Charlotte, North Carolina, and hope it’s listening. Below is an excerpt.
By elevating and strengthening Black leadership and voices of groups that historically have been marginalized, our city can make strides in de-centering Whiteness. We must dismantle systems of anti-Black racism that have dominated Southern culture and sustained institutions and structures that perpetuate distrust, oppression, inequity and injustice.
“You should write because you love the shape of stories and sentences and the creation of different words on a page. Writing comes from reading, and reading is the finest teacher of how to write.” — Annie Proulx
Me…talking about the things I write about
We’re coming up on four years since Giving Back was first published and released in October 2011. Before that, it took four and a half years to write the stories and capture the photography for the book. Over the past eight-plus years, if I’ve learned nothing else, I know within me is the heart, mind and soul of a writer. It’s not just what I do, it’s who I am. The scarcity of time to write about all that I’d like to haunts me.
Write or wrong—my frustration is fueling ideas about how to hoard some time to nestle into and write to my heart’s content.
Never feels quite right
Too long bundled and uptight,
like a Nubian entombed or plainest Mennonite.
Tension risen, watch the bite
Mind churning, so burst it might.
Eternal tunnel absent a whisper of light
Sun conceded to perpetual night.
Well-plumbed valleys, nary a heavenly height
Nearly convinced no mercy in sight
Then, I write.
— ava wood
There she goes again. And why not, it’s National Poetry Month!
Packard Place, located in uptown Charlotte, houses QCF and other groups that support the creation of fast-growth businesses. I wrote a piece about Packard Place, including an interview with Director Adam Hill as well as with Manoj Kesavan and Charles who are tenants. Packard Place was once a showroom for the iconic luxury car and is now a bustling hot spot for a community of innovators, creators and entrepreneurs.
Residents of the Charlotte area can pick up the latest issue of Pride to learn more about Packard Place, Manoj, Charles and their contributions to create a healthy ecosystem of thriving start-up business and social enterprises in our city. The issue also includes my mini-column about TEDxCharlotte and the roles that businesses and other entities can take on to help spread great ideas.
A bright and beautiful Romare Bearden collage covered a recent thank-you card from Mrs. Jeanne Brayboy. After Pride Magazine released its Mar/Apr 2013 issue that featured a story I wrote to honor her life and achievements, she penned the kind message below.
But doesn’t she know? The honor of sharing her story, yet again, is all mine.