Meet the Just Like Me Authors!
Ajanta Chakraborty: “Maya and Neel Adventure Series”
Ajanta Chakraborty was born in Bhopal, India, and moved to North America in 2001. She earned an MS in Computer Science from the University of British Columbia and also earned a Senior Diploma in Bharatanatyam, a classical Indian dance, to feed her spirit. Ajanta quit her corporate consulting job in 2011 and took the plunge to run Bollywood Groove full-time. The best part of her work day includes grooving with classes of children as they leap and swing and twirl to a Bollywood beat. Vivek Kumar was born in Mumbai, India, and moved to the US in 1998. Vivek has an MS in Electrical Engineering from The University of Texas, Austin, and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern Univ. Vivek has a very serious day job in management consulting. But he’d love to spend his days leaping and swinging, too.
Myron Campbell: “The Adventures of Melvin Walker”
Myron Campbell is an author, speaker, entrepreneur, and producer for film and television. Born in Queens, NY in 1974, Myron’s family moved to South Carolina when he was in seventh grade. There he completed high school and a little college, playing lots of baseball and aspiring to make it to the big leagues one day. His passion for the entertainment industry, however, was just too strong, and he eventually moved back to New York, taking a starting position in the music industry. He eventually would become a General Manager of a label under Sony Music. After a while, he decided to go looking for bigger fish to fry, founding his own advertising firm with some colleagues, which operated for around two years before relocated to Virginia Beach, he got married and started a family.
Phelicia Lang: “Tay Early Reader Series”
Phelicia’s twenty years in education includes working for private, charter and public schools. One of her greatest joys in teaching included teaching her own four children to read. During the homeschooling years she learned that not all children learn to read the same way and that success in reading is directly connected to motivation and engagement. This critical discovery led her to pursue a Masters in Reading Language Arts with a focus on Multicultural Literature and a Reading Specialist Credential, from Saint Mary’s College CA. Phelicia currently serves as a Reading Specialist/ Literacy Lead Coordinator at an elementary school, where she also teaches Reading Recovery. Phelicia designed and coordinates an Early Literacy Intervention Summer Program for African American Male students entering Kindergarten. Entering its fifth year, this intervention program is strategically building strong partnerships with students and their families. It’s current focus is to extend support throughout the first school year. This continued partnership, intends to nurture student success in this critical first year. Teaching students to learn to read well, think critically, and develop a love of literacy is a portion of her work. Assuring students have access to literature that reflects their lives and cultures in a positive light is the fuel of her passion.
Rosa Roberts: “The Princess and the Penguins”
Rosa fell in love with writing at a very young age, making homemade greeting cards for her mother for all special occasions and sometimes just because. She is very passionate about her writing, it is truly a gift. She self- published her first novel, Losing Yourself in 2012, followed by her children’s book, The Princess and the Penguins in 2016, Monny’s Trip Around the World in 2017, followed by her fourth book What Lies Beneath in Mach of 2018 with many other books in the works. Not only is she a self-published author, she is a speaker, a mentor (with Take Stock in Children), as well as a consultant (fees apply) for up and coming self-published authors. Her goal is to write and inspire those that cross her path. It doesn’t matter where you’re from, what situation that you’re in, you can overcome to do and be anything that you want to be.
Jacquitta McManus: “Anyia Dream of a Warrior”
Do you love getting lost in a story; meeting new friends and traveling to new worlds through the pages of a book? Me too… all my life, I’ve gravitated to fantasy stories, stories I felt I could be a part of. Books took me on journeys of exciting adventures in faraway lands I otherwise never would have gotten to experience and I’m here to create those experience for children around the world. My name is Jacquitta A. McManus and I’m the author of children’s fantasy adventure stories: Anyia, Dream of a Warrior; given 5 stars by readers’ favorite, and Talee and the Fallen Object, a great fantasy adventure book for children ages 4-8. Discover new friends, adventures and worlds through my books at WorldsToDiscover.com. A place where fantasy adventures for kids reign.
Christine Gibson: “Christine’s Big Hair Adventures”
Ms. Gibson founder and CEO of Continuous Growth Educational Services LLC has a passion for instructing children and improving the education process through specialized curriculum and individualized instruction. Ms. Gibson has led numerous professional development training to support educational professionals and to enhance their classroom practices. After obtaining her Master’s degree in Multicultural Special Education, she wrote and published her first Children’s book series Christine’s Big Hair Adventures and curriculum to support healthy development for children. Ms. Gibson continues to encourage young children to believe in who they are by teaching the importance of Social and Emotional Development. Outside of writing and creating curricula, Ms. Gibson has a huge passion for serving others. Christine leads a Homeless ministry where she directs a small group monthly to feed and serve the homeless population in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is continually looking for ways to support those in need.
Sowmya Rajendran: “The Boy Who Asked Why”
Sowmya Rajendran has written several books for children, from picture books to young adult fiction. She was awarded the Sahitya Akademi’s Bal Sahitya Puraskar in 2015 for her book *Mayil Will Not Be Quiet, *which she co-authored with Niveditha Subramaniam. Sowmya has over 20 books to her credit and her work has been used in schools and workshops across the country. Her picture books *Power Cut *and *Bhimrao Ambedkar: The Boy Who Asked Why have been published in Pakistan and the US respectively. Sowmya currently works for The News Minute, writing on gender, culture and cinema.
Crystal Jordan: “Just Like You”
Author, Crystal Jordan, was born and raised in Atlanta, Ga, where I attended Bauder College studying apparel design. She wrote “Just Like You” to educate people in her community and the world of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Her son was diagnosed with ASD at 2 years old with autism. She’s open about Zachariah and her own story because she feels that the Black community does not talk about a lot of issues, particularly special needs. She wants to share a piece of her family’s life to help others who are afraid or ashamed to talk about theirs. Crystal is an advocate for awareness about Autism, and she plans to keep being a voice. Crystal is also the owner of Amor Allure, an e-commerce women’s boutique. She created a brand center around my son’s disorder called, “Zachariah’s World,” where children with ASD are not forgotten but embraced.
Jeremiah Brown: “Don’t Feed the Ducks”
Jeremiah Brown is an author and illustrator who resides in the Boston, MA area. He was in retail management for 15 years before he decided to follow his passion and become a freelance illustrator. His passions include children’s books, comic books, and anything that uses art to tell a story. Jeremiah has written and illustrated two picture books, “With Help from Monsters” and “Don’t Feed the Ducks,” which both can be found on Amazon. He has also illustrated numerous illustrations, promos, comics, t-shirts, etc. for the Seattle based Kuma Coffee roasters.
Emonie Smith: “I Like Me”
Emonie Smith is the author of “I Like Me”. This book follows a girl who learns to find her confidence. “I Like Me” strives to inspire children and empower them. Watch Emonie’s interview to find out more.
Amelia Dorsey-Crawford: “Awesome, Spectacular Daughter – That’s ME“
Amelia, author of “Awesome, Spectacular Daughter, That’s ME!”, was born in Omaha, Nebraska, USA. Amelia has always had a passion for writing and graduated with a degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She has worked for Habitat for Humanity & Easter Seals of NE, which has opened the door for many other opportunities to serve her community. Although she worked in a developmental group home at the age of 19 during college, it wasn’t until her late 20s she decided her purpose was to be a helping hand to people with developmental disabilities. She then received her master’s in Special Education at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ.
As of today, Amelia still teaches students with autism. Amelia lives in Phoenix, AZ with her husband, Michael and their Awesome Spectacular Daughter, Eden. Amelia is in the process of writing her second book called “Mina Ballerina,” about body positivity. She hopes her writing can bring a sense of joy, hope and belonging to her readers.
Natalie McDonald-Perkins: “Best in Me“
Natalie McDonald-Perkins is an elementary school teacher from San Francisco, California. She earned her Master of Arts in Teaching with a concentration in Multicultural Studies, Social Justice Education, and Action Research from California State University, Fresno in 2015. Natalie has worked in the education field for 18 years and has been a teacher for seven years. Throughout her entire career, she has been dedicated to serving underprivileged youth. She spent most of her career teaching in Sacramento, California and East Oakland, California.
Her professional interests include social-emotional learning, culturally relevant teaching, and behavior management through positive student-teacher relationships. She also enjoys mentoring and supporting other teachers with routines, rituals, curriculum, and instruction. In her free time, she enjoys writing, spending time with her family, and reading. The little girl in her desired more positive representations of African American boys and girls in children’s literature. She is honored to gift you with “Best in Me,” her debut book.
LaKeah Wilkins: “Daddy, Why Did You Leave Us?“
LaKeah Wilkins is the author of “Daddy, Why Did You Leave Us?”. She also owns a consulting company.
LaKeah has no desire for the ordinary. Her desire is to lead by motivating team members with forward-looking initiatives. As an effective leader and decision maker, she has experience executing ambitious goals. A dot connector: Innovative, resourceful, willingness to overcome challenges, and the motivation to improve service delivery. She is a game changer and a change maker that possess the ability to drive change and innovation by gathering knowledge and resources to ensure tasks are completed within timelines to a high degree of accuracy and professionalism.
Professionally, LaKeah has a well-rounded career with her career spanning over twenty-one years in the world of HR, Benefits, Education and Training. Priding herself on being a Business Support Partner and taking satisfaction in not only taking a seat at the table but being viewed as a strategic, intricate part of any business. She also mentors and plays an intricate role in the lives of many youth and adults empowering them to take control of their destiny. LaKeah wants to be the catalyst to help people make life-changing decisions that will assist in fulfilling their potential and helping them realize the past does not define the future.
Above all else … LaKeah is the mother of an active, smart nine-year old who is one half of her heartbeat!
Carolyn Watson Dubisch: “As The Sun Rises: Morning in Mazatlan“
Carolyn Watson Dubisch is the author and illustrator of nine children’s books, including “As The Sun Rises: Morning in Mazatlan”. She also writes and illustrates comics for kids. Some of her comic book series include “The Horribles” and “The Dragon in The Closet”.
She currently lives in a house by the beach in Mazatlán, Mexico with her husband, world-famous fantasy artist, Mike Dubisch, and her three daughters. She also has a very old dog and four Mexican street cats who make life interesting every day.
Jowan Smith: “Grandma Hattie’s Ice Cream“
Jowan Smith is a children’s author, writing books “Grandma Hattie’s Ice Cream” and “Zakari Goes to College”. She draws on her personal experiences that inspire her writing.
Jowan has a degree in Business Administration with a minor in Marketing. She worked in media for 15 years doing sales, public relations, voice overs, and event planning. She then went to work for Cuyahoga County for 5 years as an Caseworker. After becoming a finalist in the Accelerate competition she left her job to start Getting Our Babies to College 101. A year later she started her nonprofit 1,000 Ties for young men ages 10-17. Jowan also does voice acting work for corporate training videos and commercials.
Tiffany Parker: “Just Like Your Daddy“
Tiffany is a bestselling author, HR professional, entrepreneur, wife, and mom of 3. One of Tiffany’s goals is to create children’s books so that Black girls and boys can see themselves reflected in the pages. Tiffany wants to be a part of changing the narratives around stereotypes in the Black community one page at a time. She hopes her book inspires and affirms to all little kids, that they can do amazing things and are perfect just as they are. She is passionate about fulfilling her purpose by encouraging parents to speak life into their children every chance they get.
Just Like Your Daddy encourages parents to change the narrative and speak life into their children. Too many times when we hear, “you’re just like your daddy,” it’s a bad thing. Great daddies do exist. It is a love letter filled with daily affirmations for every child celebrating dads everywhere.
Tiffany Kouadio: “Dear Little Brown Skin Girl“
Tiffany Kouadio is a New York native, who currently resides where winters are warmer in Southern Georgia, with her husband and children. She is a Doctor of physical therapy, treating children and adults with various diagnoses, giving of her body so they can move theirs. She has a passion for children, youth, and any ministry that focuses on serving others. She also makes time as a small business owner creating homemade natural hair and skin products.
She loves to travel, with some of her richest experiences including studying abroad in Argentina-acquiring Spanish as a second language, and visiting the motherland several times. She has been blessed with the opportunity to visit at least 15 countries outside of the U.S and hopes to visit many more.
When not busy with family, ministry, and work, she enjoys singing, cooking, writing, reading, traveling, and learning new crafts. Dear Little Brown Skin Girl is her first published book, and she has more to come!
Dr. Artika R. Tyner: “Justice Makes a Difference“
Dr. Artika R. Tyner is a passionate educator, author, sought after speaker, and advocate for justice. At the University of St. Thomas School of Law, Dr. Tyner serves as the founding director of the Center on Race, Leadership and Social Justice. She is committed to training students to serve as social engineers who create new inroads to justice and freedom.
Dr. Tyner is committed to empowering others to lead within their respective spheres of influence. She provides leadership development and career coaching for young professionals. She has also developed leadership educational materials for K-12 students, college/graduate students, faith communities and nonprofits. Additionally, Dr. Tyner teaches leadership coursework on ethics, critical reflection, and organizational development. Her research focuses on diversity/inclusion, community development, and civil rights. She has presented her research and conducted leadership training programs both nationally and internationally. She lives in Saint Paul, MN. She enjoys traveling across the world, learning new languages, and gourmet baking.