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Equity Defines Election 2020
by Nechel Sheree Best

Girl in a jacket

photo credit Nechel Best

San Diego, CA Califia NOW brings the Marianne Williamson campaign and the reparations conversation to town. Partnering with California NOW to host the Speaking Truth to Power Townhall on April 29, 2019, at the Jacobs Center. A 21st century conversation on reparations, with Author and Presidential candidate Marianne Williamson engaged a packed house.

Early in the bid for the 2020 Presidential election, the Marianne2020 campaign is making San Diego and a base of women voters a priority. The non-partisan event attended by the public and new leaders that came out to hear more about Ms. Williamson’s platform showed promise for the candidate in their diverse representation of progressive goals and seemingly aligned ideals.

At the VIP Candidate Mixer, District 9 City Councilmember Georgette Gomez had the opportunity to meet the candidate and outline her initiatives on economic equity and representation in an interview with the San Diego Monitor News. Pointing out that she is the first openly queer Latina female councilperson and the first Council President to implement a yearly work plan. Seeking to “put the Mayor on notice” of agenda items that are important to her and her constituency.

Michelle Price, President of San Diego Califia, the African American women’s sister organization of California National Organization of Women (CA NOW), had the support of chapters throughout the state.

Ms. Price and Adria Fox, Califia member, and event organizer brought current President of CA NOW, Kolieka Seigle, the first African American women to represent the entire state of California for the national organization of women. Kolieka shared that CA NOW board of directors is presently composed of all women of color with an expanded legislative program that reflects issues beyond reproductive justice, including police reform.

Along with a host of volunteers eager to empower women, Los Angeles Califia President Cheryl Branch took to the stage paving the way for Marianne Williamson’s keynote also focused on equity. Dismal economic study findings of a $5 median net worth of Black women in contrast to $26,000 to their white women counterparts in the same situation sparked her activism.

Presidential candidate Marianne Williamson believes the average white American is woefully ignorant about the impact of 400 years of slavery on Black Americans as a group.

Credited with bringing the reparations issue to the fore in the 2020 election cycle, she introduces the subject matter with a detailed history lesson defining slavery’s evolution into black code laws as “domestic terrorism” ensuring generational inequity “subpar social, economic and political opportunities for black people” says Williamson.

What’s most interesting about Madame Williamson’s petition for paying reparations is that she has the focus on reconciliation for all Americans. Citing Germany having paid reparations for the Jewish holocaust meliorating guilt by “doing the right thing”, she is embraced by rousing applause and a standing ovation from this very diverse California crowd. And then shares how typical this positive reaction is everywhere she goes.

© May 4, 2019 *Nechel Sheree Best*

Marianne Williamson, the presidential candidate says her platform is what America deserves

by Nechel Sheree Best

I’m proud to have written this special news feature profiling the ‘Speaking Truth to Power’ town hall event in the weekly publication SDMNews.

In partnership with California NOW (National Organization of Women), the presidential candidate Marianne Williamson was hosted by the San Diego chapter of Califia NOW. Which aims to support women of color in political action and economic empowerment.

Of course, these are initiatives I care deeply about. So when asked by the Editor, to shoot, interview, and produce video content of the presidential candidate to post on social media, I happily obliged!

To see excerpts of the interview, click here.


News Writing | Storytelling

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Black Tech San Diego’s Pitch Contest is a Winner
by Nechel Sheree Best

Girl in a jacket

Photo Credit: Nechel Sheree Best - The winner Pranav (center) is featured here with several participants and judges.

San Diego, CA Ideas win in environments devoted to Black excellence; diversity and inclusion are byproducts.

The next big idea was definitely on the mound at San Diego State’s Black Resource Center’s Pitch Contest on Thursday, April 11th. The evening event was the first of its kind in a new campus space dedicated to the well-being of students and staff from the African diaspora and beyond.

Hosted by Black Tech San Diego co-founders, Carson Lunsford and Ronald Williams the duo created the event to help students and entrepreneurs connect, develop and “compete with their original ideas.”

The competition before the panel of judges was fierce! Contestants were given 3 minutes to pitch and were judged on communication, investment plan and their selection of a brand ambassador. Each participant took the challenge very seriously, gave concise and thorough explanations answering follow-up questions that showed off their preparedness.

Most impressive was the high energy, laid back intellect and synergy around innovation both technological and sociological in the room. Pitch ideas were similar to the range of Wakanda-like iconography from the rhino shepherd to the high-tech science lab. Surrounded by students attendees, we were pitched by a collective social entrepreneur artist community with a shared mindset of upending capitalism to a veteran/rapper’s digital ID.

When all the pitches had been thrown, the judges: Cheryl Morrow, Editor-in-Chief of San Diego Monitor News, Doug Brantley of the SDSU Zip Launchpad and Luiz Martinez, Co-Director of Startup Grind San Diego had a very difficult decision. The Digital ID, secured third place runner up having a strong investment plan, he walked away with invaluable advice on re-prioritizing his distribution channels. The next Walt Disney’s virtual reality experience that will help improve lives took second place and walked away having decided on a specific business model. It was fabulous and fascinating watching the pieces fall into place for these proprietors that each won gift cards.

Finally, our pitch with the homerun idea is an innovation of an outdated product dispenser whose upgrade has been sorely neglected. Not surprisingly, the product is for women’s reproductive health, and yet unexpectedly and most appreciatively has been re-envisioned by a young man from India. He pitched She Vend, a state-of-the-art vending dispenser for sanitary napkins, wipes and tampons to replace the often hard to find dilapidated white tin boxes that easily jam and offer no selection.

Pranav Kalra explained that he was inspired to improve upon women’s access to clean menses related products by the widespread ostracization of menstruating women in the southeast Asian corridor including Nepal and Pakistan. In parts of India, traditional beliefs about the impurity of menstrual blood are taboo and women are shunned and isolated during this time.

The She Vend pitch revealed Pranav’s idea is already functioning in the world with the support of the Prime Minister of India. He won the audience vote and the Judges vote, with a solid investment plan for marketing in the west and received helpful feedback on better brand ambassador representation. You can find out more about She Vend at

The Pitch Contest winner received a $100 Amazon Card. Black Tech San Diego hit this one out of the park.

© April 16, 2019 *Nechel Sheree Best*

BLACK TECH SD; Presents “The Pitch”

by Nechel Sheree Best

Black Tech San Diego’s Pitch Contest is a Winner

The Pitch Contest was a fun and heartwarming event to cover at the new San Diego State Black Resource Center (BRC).

The student-organized event was set up on the heels of what seemed like a racialized backlash against the BRC.  In the month prior there were media reports,  that the center had been broken into and vandalized. Moreover, a BRC visitor inadvertently recorded a verbal assault involving the use of the n-word.

Newswriting and media are great tools for advocacy. For that reason, covering this story at this time was gratifying. In doing so, I was able to show how the students and the BRC were undaunted in the face of adversity.  More importantly, they were focused on making the BRC a valuable experience as intended.

In contrast, to other San Diego State campus organizations, the Black Resource Center is a physical space for students to learn and access resources in an environment that is culturally safe and positive.

This article was published by the San Diego Monitor News, a weekly digital publication


News Writing | Storytelling

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How to make Date Night magic by Nechel Sheree Best

Girl in a jacket

It can be hard to find time to get together when we are all so busy, but it’s important for all relationships. Especially for lovers, those we’re so fortunate to share with in deeply personal and secret ways. You know, your boo!

Both of you deserve some time and space reserved just for making sure what has been desirable and precious stays that way. Obviously, as an event planner for a little more than 20 years, I am almost always involved in some manner of special romance. Be it weddings and anniversaries or planning intimate birthday celebrations, I know the couple that plays together stays together.

So, I’m sharing my sage advice for making sure that dating your spouse or significant other becomes a tradition. First, things first, if necessary, you must set a standing appointment so that these special times just automatically happen. This makes sure it does happen because you will get used to scheduling other things around it.

Here are 3 of my surefire recommendations for making date nights magical.

1. The Twist

Mostly everyone loves pleasant surprises. When a loved one takes the time to think about the intricacies of our personalities and craft an experience that is totally catered to us. You fill in the details, but here’s the twist. Give some reasonable excuse for a change to date night. Like doing something they’d rather not. Then make it their most cherished memory ever!

2. The Escape

You’re probably thinking “yeah, yeah take a trip.” Nope, escaping is not for the faint at heart. You must take a balanced approach to this endeavor and be willing to get out of your comfort zone; and if necessary, lovingly coax your darling into a daring adventure.

Try shedding who you think you are for who you want to be. Yes, role playing! Meet up for coffee or drinks instead of your usual movie and pretend to be strangers that just met. Or in private become the Queen of Sheba that flirts with her male attendant. You get the idea and the scenarios are endless.

Interestingly, role playing is a huge field of academic study that improves emotional intelligence. Google it, you'll see, then grab some ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

3. Whisk Away

You knew it already, of course “getting away” makes a magical date night. And though it can be, this doesn’t have to be an expensive trip. Staycations within a 10 minute to 2-hour radius of your home are so refreshing. What I love about the “whisk away” is how the rekindling of a cozy connection gently lightens the weight of the world. Couples are so often challenged by the practicalities of life that its easy to lose sight of why it all matters. A few slow hours dedicated to the rhythm of whispers, cuddles, giggles, and hugs will prioritize LOVE and let the world know to adjust.

© May 4, 2019 *Nechel Sheree Best*

How to make Date Night magic

by Nechel Sheree Best

Longtime San Diego event planner, Belita Butler decided to throw caution to the wind. Going beyond fears and doubts to seize her dreams of publishing a magazine.

Advising her with the concept and design, I also provided content development and brand promotional design. This article was ghostwritten for Belita’s Beyond magazine’s second edition.

I really enjoy the whimsy of beauty and fashion editorial. Revisioning the “Date Night” topic in a voice and style Belita’s audience appreciated was not only fun. Indeed, I challenged myself to make sure this well-worn topic delighted and surprised with unusual recommendations.

See for yourself, it’s a quick read.

A seasonal publication, this article was featured in Beyond Magazine’s Valentine’s day release in 2019.



Content Writing | How-To Storytelling | Concepting




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