Kitty Pope, Publisher -
Executive Director International Association of Black Travel Writers
Kitty J. Pope is the founder/ executive director of the International Association of Black Travel Writers. A graduate of University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, she is also the publications manager for AfricanDiasporaTourism.com, an online magazine, exploring the culture and heritage of people of African descent around the world in order to promote travel.
The author of one book, 'Beside Every Great Man' (Amber Publishers), Pope is the former lifestyle editor of the Atlanta-based Upscale Magazine and the former Coordinator of Counseling at Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina. She is also the director of membership development in North America for the International Council of Tourism Partners. (ICTP)
Pope is also a black heritage travel consultant, and a member and media partner for the African Travel Association (ATA). She is also the founder and executive producer of the African Diaspora World Tourism Awards, a gala-ceremony that recognizes achievements of people in the areas of black culture and heritage tourism.
International Association of Black Travel Writers
The Leading Organization of Professional Travel Journalists of Color
2) Michael Adams- Atlanta see Board Members
3) Lola Akinmade- Sweden
Born in Nigeria and currently living in Sweden, Lola Akinmade is a an editor for the online travel website Matador Traveler Network. Her work has appeared in Vogue, National Geographic Traveler, World Hum, Forbes Traveler, Sherman’s Travel, ISLANDS Magazine, Fodors.com, United Airlines’ Hemispheres and many other publications. Some of her articles and photography have been syndicated on MSNBC, Yahoo, New York Daily News, Chicago Sun Times, and Time Warner. She also worked as a field journalist on the web team during Eco-Challenge’s Expedition Race in Fiji and currently volunteers as a photojournalist with the Swedish Red Cross and World Hope International, documenting their projects in countries such as Nicaragua, Sweden, and Cambodia, and C.H.I.E.F – an NGO based in Nigeria that promotes grassroots health development, HIV/AIDS awareness, and the empowerment of women. For more information, visit www.lolaakinmade.com.
4) Victoria Arana- Washington, DC see Board Members
5) Sam Baddoo – Ghana
Sam Baddoo is a tourism professional living in Ghana. He is fluent in English, Spanish and Italian, and has over twenty years of experience in designing tour programs and hosting tourists. He is the owner and operator of Go Home Ghana Tours. He writes extensively about Ghana and West Africa and for travel trade publications. He has written for Global Guidelines Internationals and AfricanDiasporaTourism.com.
6) Lysa Baldwin- Kansas City
Lysa Allman-Baldwin writes for numerous online and print publications including: the Weekly Travel Writer for the New York Amsterdam Newspaper, the oldest African American newspaper in the country; as a senior travel writer for SoulOfAmerica.com, an Afrocentric travel website; and as the Cultural Travel Writer for http://www.Examiner.com.
7) Diolis Beard -Atlanta
Diolis Beard is the former editor of Real Atlanta, a lifestyle and entertainment magazine geared toward Latinos in the Atlanta metro. A graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in journalism, she has written for AfricanDiasporaTourism.com. She is also an editor for NomadikNation.com, an online site for culture travelers.
8) Rosalind Cummings-Yeates -Chicago
Rosalind Cummings-Yeates is a freelance journalist, writer, presenter and blogger. She specializes in Caribbean and Latin American culture and travel and her features have appeared in a range of print and online publications including Hemispheres, Brides, Relish, Go Magazine Uptake, Woman’s Day, Chicago Sun Times, Travel & Escape and Jet Magazine. Rosalind has been a speaker at TBEX and Blogher and her travel essays have appeared in the anthologies Rough Guide to Women Travel, Go Girl: The Black Woman’s Book of Travel and Adventure and From The Grand Canyon to The Great Wall: Travelers Best, Worst and Most Ridiculous Stories From The Road. She has also served as a judge for the annual Wanderwomen Write travel writing contest for three years and will participate in Chicago’s Passport Party Project, which distributes passports to girls of color. Follow her adventures on her blog, Farsighted Fly Girl.
9 ) Heather Greenwood Davis – Toronto
Davis is a multiple award-winning journalist, travel columnist, freelance feature writer and blogger. Her columns and feature articles have appeared in some of the most popular newspapers, magazines and online publications around the world including Budget Travel, Hemispheres, Disney.go.com and Elle Canada. Her family travel columns and expert advice are featured in The Toronto Star (9 years), Lexpert Magazine (4 years), Canadian Family Magazine, Metro News, Urbanmoms.ca, Best Family Travel Advice, the Canadian Tourism Commission and many more. She is currently on her biggest adventure yet: A one-year round the world trip with her husband and two sons, Ethan (8) and Cameron (6). For details visit http://www.globetrottingmama.com.
10 ) Gwen Deru- Birmingham
Gwen Deru is Vice President of Operations The Lewis Group, Inc., a political, project and policy consulting firm. She is co-founder of Birmingham’s chapter of the Executive Women Golf League (EWGL), Alkebu-Lan Images (an importing/exporting business) and the No Limit One to One Job Training Program. Her business initiatives received national attention when she was named in Newsweek and mentioned on MSNBC as one among Black Women Crossing the Gender Gap. Well-versed in several languages, she is an avid traveler and a writer for the Birmingham Times.
11) Gale Gay – Atlanta/ Washington, DC see Board Members
12) Renee Gordon- Philadelphia
Renée Gordon has written a weekly travel column for the Philadelphia Sun Newspaper for the past thirteen years and has published articles on local, national and international travel in numerous publications. Her columns focus on cultural, historic and heritage tourism and her areas of specialization are sites and attractions related to African American and African Diaspora history. Renée has been a guest radio commentator on various aspects of tourism and has appeared in a documentary, “The Red Summer of 1919”. Renée considers herself a “missionary journalist” and as such she continues to promote heritage and sustainable tourism. Her newspaper articles are archived at http://philasun.com/travel.html” .
13) Greg Gross- San Francisco
Gross has been a writer and journalist for 41 years. He has worked for the San Francisco Examiner, the Associated Press and the San Diego Union-Tribune. An avid travel writer for a few years, one of his goals ia to dispel the myth that black people don’t travel. His travel blog is “I’m Black & I Travel.”(www.imblacknitravel.com)
14) Tracey Gross – Philadelphia
Tracy Gross is a twenty year veteran of television/film and event production for such programs as Saturday Night Live, Def Comedy Jam, The Emmys, The Oscars, The BET Awards, the Keenan Ivory Wayans Show and the Wayne Brady Show. She has conducted two month long motorcycle tours in Asia: Rajasthan, India and Vietnam. She has written travel articles for SoulOfAmerica.com, I’m Black And I Travel and also serves as a photo journalist depicting the ethnic and female travel experience. She is currently in development of an African American Adventure TV series entitled : Black Diaspora Travels. She resides outside Philadelphia and works with MindTV and Independent Media.
15) Vicki Howell- Birmingham
Vickii Howell has worked in media and journalism for almost 20 years, starting her career as a reporter with Birmingham News. She is currently the publisher/producer of the Birmingham View Magazine and Television Program and a senior partner at Avant Media Communications. With a specialty in writing, editing graphic design, TV production, web design and public and media relations, she joined the world of travel writing in the past few years. She writes extensively about the Civil Rights Trail in Alabama and Montgomery and has written travel articles for AfricanDiasporaTourism.com
16) Evelyn Knight – Greenville, North Carolina
Evelyn Knight is a senior citizen traveler who says “What’s age got to do with it?” She took her first flight when she was almost 70 and has traveled up and down the East Coast and to California. She writes about her many travels and has written for the Bethel Herald Newspaper in her hometown. She has served as a local president of the NAACP and is a member of several senior citizens clubs. She also helps to plan group tours.
17) Elaine Lee- San Francisco
Elaine Lee is the author/editor of Go Girl: The Black Woman’s Book of Travel and Adventure. A freelance travel writer and a contributor for American Airline’s Black Atlas, she has written for many publications including Black Enterprise, Odyssey Colour and many other national and local magazines, newspapers and webzines. A practicing attorney, she has also contributed stories to five anthologies and two books. Lee has been featured on popular national as well as local radio and television shows including appearances on the Travel Channel and Savvy Traveler. Her travel website, Ugogurl.com, which average 8,000 hits per month, provides a medium to share her travel writing as well as that of other travelers and travel writers. She is an internationalist who has completed two solo trips around the world and has visited 51 countries.
18) Donna Pierce – Chicago
Donna Pierce is a contributing editor at Upscale Magazine, a national award-winning food and travel journalist and former Assistant Food Editor and Test Kitchen Director for the Chicago Tribune. She grew up with deep roots in Mobile, Alabama, where her family lived for five generations before her parents moved to Missouri.Donna lived in San Francisco and Los Angeles before a return to Missouri where she was an adjunct instructor for the University of Missouri Journalism School.She has traveled to Africa, Europe, and the Caribbean exploring the roots of African American culinary traditions. The founder of BlackAmericaCooks.com and SkilletDiaries.com is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, the James Beard Foundation, the Association of Food Journalists and Les Dames d’Escoffier.
19) Sandra Jackson-Opoku – Chicago
Sandra Jackson-Opoku is an award-winning writer who has published numerous articles, works of fiction and books on Africana literature, travel writing, and African American studies. She has taught Literature and Creative Writing at Chicago State University and the Fiction department of Columbia College. Opoku has written travel articles for such publications as Black Bride and Grooms, LiteraryTraveler.com, Los Angeles Times, Ms. Magazine and About Time
20) Modou Tala Jobe of Gambia, West Africa
Jobe started writing as a peer health educator with the Nova Scotia Gambia Association, where he contributed to the newsletter, and thus began his passion for writing. In the year 2008, he was appointed to work with the Gambia Tourism Authority as the Marketing Officer in Communications where he developed a quarterly newsletter that showcased travel information on the Gambia. He has written articles on the potentials of the Gambia as a tourist destination. He has also written extensively on responsible tourism and issues affecting tourism development. As a young travel writer, he has attended various programs both locally and internationally on tourism related matters, shared articles with other sub-regional travel writers and has done many articles on destination Gambia. He is now working for the Association of Small Scale Enterprises in Tourism in the Gambia (ASSET) where he is in charge of all in-house publications on tourism promotion and marketing. He also hosts a radio program on tourism and the Gambia.
21) Ashlea Pope – Atlanta
From an early age, Ash discovered the joy of traveling, learning new languages, and cultural experiences. Fluent in both German and Spanish, Ashlea Pope graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. in both German and Economics. Ash is currently an entrepreneur, and her travel stories have appeared in AfricanDiasporaTourism.com and FamilyTravelForum.com
22) Kitty J. Pope – Atlanta see Board Members
23) Kristina Pope- Atlanta see Board Members
24) Bill Smith – Oakland, CA
William ‘Bill’ Smith grew up near Spanish Harlem in New York City where he first became interested in Spanish language and culture. Even though he loved Latin music, it never occurred to him that this music had roots in Africa. He spent a lot of time reading up on black history which he found included black Latino history. It was at the Schomburg Center for Research and Black Culture in Harlem, New York City, where he learned more about the black presence in Mexico all the way down to Argentina. In his later adult years, he adopted Spanish as a second language and began traveling to places of the Afro-Latino cultures that led to his research and writing. After serving in the U.S. Naval Aircraft USS Rangers Division, he settled in Oakland where he put all of his Afro-Latino knowledge into launching the travel journal/blog African American-Latino World (www.ahorasecreto.blogspot.com). He is also a contributing writer for AfricanDiasporaTourism.com. He currently works as a bilingual educational-vocational specialist.
25) Kalin Thomas- Atlanta
Kalin Thomas is a freelance travel and lifestyles producer, reporter, writer, still photographer and speaker with more than 20 years media experience. Before starting her multimedia company, See the World Productions, she spent 17 years with CNN where she won several awards for her work as a producer/correspondent for the weekly travel program, CNN Travel Now. Broadening the program’s appeal to a multicultural audience, Thomas’ stories included: African American Travel Trends, Tourism in the New South Africa, Civil Rights tourism. Her travels have taken her to six continents – including Antarctica. Kalin is travel & leisure editor for WomenatForty.com, and is a senior travel correspondent and photojournalist for SoulOfAmerica.com. She sits on the advisory board of the International Association of Black Travel Writers, and is currently writing a book about her travels. For more information, visit www.seetheworldproductions.com.
26) April D. Thompson – Los Angeles, CA
A native of Valdosta, GA, April D. Thompson is the ultimate travel addict. Her wanderlust can be attributed to her military upbringing and 3 years living in the Philippines as a child. She is the founder of Absolute Travel Addict, a collection of personal travel stories, photos and videos, reviews of accommodations and destinations and the latest travel deals for those aspire to see the world. She is also a contributor for online publications such as Wyndham Women on the Their Way, and travel writing student in the Matador Travel Writing Program. Thompson is a trained engineer and accomplished corporate sales and marketing professional lving Los Angeles. Now bringing her expertise to the hospitality, travel and tourism industry, she will be presenting at the 2011 Conference on Social Media and Tourism in Verona, Italy in October.
27) James Weaver- New York
Building on a long career as a public relations consultant, James Weaver travels throughout North America, Latin America, and Europe for stories on interesting destination, attractions, and people. Working as an independent feature writer, he currently publishes in five newspapers, five national magazines, and three web-based publications.
28) Monique Wells-Paris
Dr. Wells is a co-owner of Discover Paris! – Personalized Itineraries for Independent Travelers. An author, freelance travel writer and editor specializing on life in Paris, Dr. Wells has written for many different publications including SoulofAmerica.com, Bonjour Paris (web site) Global Travel Review. Her book, Paris Reflections: Walks through African-American Paris (McDonald & Woodward, 2002;co-authored with Christiann Anderson ), contains abbreviated versions of the walks that Discover Paris! proposes to its travel clients. Dr. Wells is also the author of the soul food cookbook, Food for the Soul (Elton Wolf Publishing, 2000).
29) Roy Williams- Birmingham see Board Members
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