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Chekwube Uchea epitomizes versatility and resilience in the professional arena. With over a decade of experience across Finance, Media, Tech, and Sustainability, she has forged a distinctive path in HR, Tech, and Sustainability, making a lasting impact at every turn.

Professional Ventures

Currently serving as the Founder and Lead Career and Transition Coach at CLUDIVE, a tech-enabled company facilitating professionals’ transition into the Tech industry, Chekwube also holds the role of Founder and Product Manager at GEMMA CLEANS. This sustainable development company operates in Nigeria and the UK, providing innovative cleaning solutions.

On January 1, 2024, Chekwube initiated The Career Path Mentor (TCPM) community, dedicated to inspiring and assisting career professionals facing challenges in their current paths, fostering growth for those feeling stuck or unfulfilled.

Professional Journey

Her professional journey includes a stint as the former Senior HR Manager at VerifyMe Nigeria, a tech company offering digital identity and verification services. Academically, she holds a second-class upper degree in Sociology and a master’s degree in industrial Sociology from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Additionally, she earned a master’s in human resource management from the University of Liverpool, UK.

Chekwube Uchea

Thought Leadership

A thought leader in Human Resource Management, Chekwube shares insights and expertise through LinkedIn, boasting a substantial following (28K+ on her profile and 78K+ on her business page). She advocates for Mental Health, Vulnerability, Empathy, and Sustainable Development Goals while championing Diversity and Inclusion.

Personal Triumphs

Beyond her professional achievements lies a compelling personal story. In 2020, Chekwube faced a setback with her Canadian visa application. Despite the initial disappointment, she redirected her focus to relocating to the UK. The journey was challenging, involving survival jobs ranging from cleaning to caregiving in various roles. Yet, this adversity shaped her perspective and fueled her determination.

Lessons Learned

Chekwube’s relocation story serves as a beacon for those planning similar journeys, highlighting the importance of preparation, resilience, and the understanding that each path is unique. Her experiences underscore the challenges of finding employment in a new country and offer valuable tips for those navigating similar landscapes.

Through networking, building confidence, and embracing rejection as redirection, Chekwube emerged stronger. Her story, a testament to the transformative power of determination, serves as an inspiration for those seeking to navigate career transitions, overcome obstacles, and achieve personal and professional growth.

Chekwube Uchea

As Chekwube Uchea continues to empower careers and enrich lives, her journey stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of resilience and the pursuit of excellence.

INTRODUCTION TO DOROTHY B. GILLIAM

Dorothy B. Gilliam is a trailblazer in American journalism who has made significant contributions to the industry. Born in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1936, Gilliam grew up in a segregated society and faced many challenges as a young woman of color.

Despite the obstacles she faced, Gilliam pursued a career in journalism and became the first African American woman to work as a reporter at a major newspaper. Throughout her career, Gilliam has worked to increase diversity and inclusion in newsrooms and has mentored countless young journalists.

In this blog, we will explore the life and legacy of Dorothy B. Gilliam and examine the impact of her work on the industry and society as a whole.

EARLY LIFE AND CAREER OF DOROTHY B. GILLIAM

Dorothy B. Gilliam’s early life and career shaped her worldview and inspired her to pursue a career in journalism. Gilliam attended Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri, where she studied journalism and became involved in the civil rights movement.

After graduating, she worked as a teacher in Nashville, Tennessee, and later as a public relations specialist in Washington, D.C. During this time, she became interested in journalism and began taking classes to improve her skills. In 1961, she was hired as a reporter at The Washington Post, starting a career spanning several decades.

CHALLENGES FACED BY WOMEN IN JOURNALISM

Throughout much of the 20th century, women faced significant barriers to entry into journalism. Many newspapers and magazines had strict gender roles, with women relegated to writing about “soft” topics such as fashion and cooking.

Women were often not taken seriously as journalists and were frequently subjected to harassment and discrimination in the workplace. Despite these obstacles, women like Dorothy B. Gilliam persevered and fought for equal opportunities in the industry.

Gilliam’s success as a journalist paved the way for future generations of women and people of color in the field.

DOROTHY B. GILLIAM’S CAREER AT THE WASHINGTON POST

Dorothy B. Gilliam’s career at The Washington Post spanned several decades and covered many important issues. She was a strong advocate for civil rights and education and worked to increase the representation of women and people of color in the media.

In 1972, she was promoted to assistant editor, making her the first African American woman to hold an editorial position at The Washington Post. Gilliam’s work at the newspaper helped to shape the national conversation on issues such as race, gender, and social justice, and her impact on the industry continues to be felt today.

IMPACT OF HER WORK ON WOMEN IN JOURNALISM

Dorothy B. Gilliam’s work at The Washington Post and her advocacy for diversity and inclusion in journalism have impacted the industry. Her commitment to telling the stories of marginalized communities and her dedication to increasing representation in newsrooms inspired many young journalists to follow in her footsteps.

Gilliam’s work helped break down industry barriers and create a more inclusive and diverse media landscape. Today, more women and people of color are working in journalism than ever, and the industry strives for greater diversity and representation.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION RECEIVED 

Throughout her career, Dorothy B. Gilliam received numerous awards and honors for her work in journalism and advocacy. In 1983, she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Special Local Reporting for her coverage of school desegregation in Washington, D.C.

She has also received awards from the National Association of Black Journalists, the Women’s Media Center, and the International Women’s Media Foundation,

DOROTHY B. GILLIAM’S CONTRIBUTIONS TO DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION IN JOURNALISM

Dorothy B. Gilliam’s contributions to diversity and inclusion in journalism are far-reaching and enduring. She has been a vocal advocate for increasing newsroom representation and creating a more inclusive media landscape.

Gilliam has mentored countless young journalists and has worked to create opportunities for women and people of color in the industry. Her work has helped to diversify newsrooms and ensure that the stories of all communities are represented in the media.

 

BOOKS AUTHORED BY DOROTHY B. GILLIAM

In addition to her work as a journalist, Dorothy B. Gilliam has authored several books on race, gender, and journalism. Her first book, “Paul Robeson: All-American,” was published in 1976 and explored the life of the African American singer, actor, and civil rights activist.

Her other books include “Skin Deep: Black Women and White Women Write About Race” (1996), which she co-edited with Julia P. Johnson, and “Trailblazer: A Pioneering Journalist’s Fight to Make the Media Look More Like America” (2019), which chronicles her own career and advocacy work.

Books Authored by Dorothy B. Gilliam

 

LEGACY OF DOROTHY B. GILLIAM

Dorothy B. Gilliam’s legacy in journalism and advocacy has been significant. Through journalism, she helped shape the national conversation on civil rights, education, and social justice issues. She also fought for greater diversity and inclusion in newsrooms, mentoring young journalists and advocating for more excellent representation of women and people of color.

Gilliam’s advocacy helped break down industry barriers and create a more inclusive and diverse media landscape. Today, her legacy inspires and guides journalists striving for more significant equity and representation in the industry.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, Dorothy B. Gilliam’s contributions to journalism have been significant and far-reaching. As a trailblazer and advocate for greater diversity and inclusion, she helped break down industry barriers and create a more equitable media landscape.

Through her work as a journalist and author, she brought attention to important issues such as civil rights, education, and social justice. Her legacy continues to inspire and guide future generations of journalists who seek to make the media look more like America.

As we progress, we must remember and honor the trailblazers like Dorothy B. Gilliam, who paved the way for a more inclusive and diverse industry.

 

When it comes to helping your business succeed there are a few things that you can do. At the end of the day though, all that matters is that you can do what you need to well. So, if you’re looking to get media coverage for your small business, then you need to know How To Write A Press Release and how to write it well. This is an essential skill that will take some time for you to learn, however, it’s very important that you can manage this.

You can’t just write anything and hope for the best. If you do this then it is likely that it will not work, and your press release will be a failure. You need to know how long a press release should be. What sort of information should you include? Ultimately, it’s not just a ticket to earn you news coverage though, you should also be thinking of your press release as a valuable piece of marketing content that can help your business succeed. So how do you write the perfect press release though?

Make Sure Your Story is Newsworthy

There’s no point writing whatever you feel like. Before you even start writing a press release you need to think about what people will actually want to read about. If you don’t know what to start with then think about what you like to read, watch and listen to what is on the media, this should help give you a good indication of what will work well. If you are still struggling to think of something after that, then most people will generally be interested in something that they haven’t heard of before, or something that surprises them, or even something that can help them solve a problem.

So, before you start writing your press release you need to ask yourself a few questions: is there anything “new” in your story? Is there anything unexpected about it and would anyone be interested in this? You need to think about the people who are already aware of your business, but also you shouldn’t forget about the people outside of your business. So, if you are a small gardening company, how can you impress people who have limited gardening skills, or hire a personal gardener to do the work for them? Will your press release interest them or only people who like to garden?

Write Killer Headlines

Even if you write the most perfect press released ever, you won’t get very far if you have a boring headline. You need to stand out from the crowd and entice people to read more. When you are sending your press release to journalists to review, you need to remember that they will probably go through a hundred emails a day, so it’s a good idea to label your email with something like “press release” and then also have a great subject line as well.

Don’t try and be too clever though, you need to make sure that they can understand it. So, if your subject line is too complicated and means that they’ll have to think about it for more than a few seconds, they will probably just bin it and move on. You need something that is catchy and draws in people’s attention. Writing a killer headline is a sure way to get seen, and you’ll soon have plenty of people interested in reading more about you and your business.

Be Concise

When it comes to writing your press release, you might be tempted to show off your business and just waffle on. This would be a mistake. The ideal length of a press release is about an A4 side, or about 300-400 words in length. If you go much longer than this, then you probably have a load of unnecessary things in it, that won’t add any value to your story. If this is the case, then you need to edit your piece down and get rid of a few words or paragraphs.

You will also want it to look good as well. You need to have the same number of lines in your paragraphs. You will also want to include things like sub-headings and bullet points to help the person read it with ease. Bullet points make all the information a lot easier to digest particularly if you’re including statistics and figures. Don’t forget it’s not just press releases that can help your business – why not check out these small budget advertising strategies for your business here to help you take that next step!

Source: baucemag.com

Tolulope Babajide, the Lead strategist of Ink & Ideas Consulting is a passionate and creative Communications specialist. A 2006 graduate of English and Literary Studies, Tolulope started her career in Advertising as a copywriter and swiftly moved into core journalism at the defunct 234Next as a copy editor, Arts and Culture reporter and a columnist.

Since then she has worked in the Non profit sector as a Communications and Programmes strategist and also consulted with organizations on grants writing, rapporteuring, social enterprise strategy. She is highly committed to using communication in changing human narratives and excited in helping organizations get their writings done more creatively

“Growing up in family where intellectual conversations are held around the dining table helped me to be in constant search for knowledge/”, Tolu says as she shares her story with me in this interview.

Early life
I grew up in Ilesa, Osun State and as a young girl, all I was surrounded with was books and thought-provoking conversations. My dad had this huge library (at least to my eight-year-old mind) and he compelled us to read as many books as we could. He encouraged us to read across all genres, so one minute am reading medical textbooks, the next minute am buried in Wole Soyinka’s books. This has particularly helped me in having a rich imagination which has in turn strengthened my writing skills. My parents made it their priority to consciously train children whose minds are not controlled by their environment and backgrounds. Through the books I read, I went and experienced so many cultures even when I haven’t been there physically.

Meet Me!
My name is Tolulope Babajide. I am a graduate of English and Literary Studies. I am a Communication specialist with the belief that any narrative can be changed with the right approach of communication. I started my career as a copywriter, then as a journalist at the defunct 234Next newspaper and moved into Development Communications (Nonprofits).
I love learning new things, this is what drew me to online learning. I don’t miss out on any opportunity to stimulate my brain. I am an unrepentant optimist and a firm believer that our dreams are worth fighting for unless they remain just dreams.

Inspiration behind my initiative Ink & Ideas Consulting
The inspiration behind Ink & Ideas Consulting is the need to do more and be more, a bespoke content creation agency with services including speech writing, grant writing, rapporteuring and social enterprise strategy. It has always been my side hustle, from helping people to write compelling grant applications to crafting human centered and creative speeches to offering my scribing services to organizations and strategizing with social enterprises. I finally got to the point that I wasn’t comfortable again having it as just a side gig. I believe that there are millions of grants for nonprofits and startups in Nigeria, all they need is a passionate grant writing agency who will go all in. There is also an urgent need for creativity to be infused into speeches; most of the speeches I hear today lacks the passion and not memorable at all.
Rapporteuring/report writing also has become one service that is undervalued in Nigeria. There is a need for every organization to have an objective, accurate record of their retreats and business meetings.

Impact of working in the print media and advertising sector for a while
I am particularly grateful that I started my career in Advertising as a copywriter. It gave expression to my creativity and helped me to receptive to endless possibilities in life. On a lighter note, it helped me discover my very playful side.  In the print media, I learnt a lot from the industry’s best, the likes of Molara Wood, Kadaria Ahmed, Dele Olojede, Victor Ehikhamelor etc. My time at 234Next newspaper is still one of my most exciting experiences in life; there I learnt that the world is not just black and white. That I can question status-quos and not be put in a box of conformity.

Helping organisations in the non-profit sector write grant proposals
It was my move to Abuja that exposed me to the Nonprofits industry. There I learnt that living for oneself is selfish and smallminded, there are tons of great causes to advocate for. Having worked on projects including Female Genital Mutilation, Immunization, Adolescents Access to Family Planning Services, Maternal and Newborn Health, I discovered that I enjoyed helping these causes to raise funds through grant writing. There are many great nonprofits who really need a funder so that they can scale up their activities.
There was this Cancer Outreach nonprofit that I worked with on grant writing. They go into very rural areas to screen women for breast and cervical cancers; we can all attest that it is not cheap to get test kits for the screening. Nonprofits like this need donors’ money to be able to continue with their good work.

Challenges
I just moved from Abuja to Lagos. I guess that that is a challenge in terms of building networks and making them see reasons why they need my services. But the prospect of meeting new people, businesses is exciting and am all in for the ride.

What next?
I am presently working on projects that advocate for Adolescents to have a safe, no-judgement access to Sexual Reproductive services in Nigeria. I am also passionate in the fight against Female Genital Mutilation, I believe that no female should be cut. I am blessed to have this bubbling energy that enables me to collaborate with people on projects that are dear to my heart. It is an ongoing journey and am excited about it.

Reward
Getting into the Cherie Blair Foundation Fellowship for Women in Business is one reward that I am so grateful for. I just became a Mentee in the Foundation’s Mentoring Women in Business and it runs for a year. Being peered with my International mentor will redefine my game and belonging to this awesome community will strengthen my networking and business skills.

My view on the advocacy and development sector in Nigeria and access to funding
The advocacy and development sector are doing a lot and they should be commended. I cannot imagine a Nigeria without the tireless input of this sector. Nationwide Immunization success will not have been possible without organizations like Gates Foundation, GAVI, John Hopkins etc.
Still on the immunization angle, I believe that there is an inadequate funding. There are new vaccines that are unaffordable for the common man; vaccines like Rotavirus, Chicken Pox, Typhoid, Meningitis etc. It will be great if these vaccines can be subsidized, there shouldn’t be anything like ‘Special Vaccines’. All vaccines are important.

Women in advocacy not celebrated
They are appreciated majorly in the terms of salary and emoluments but not celebrated.

My Inspiration…
My kids inspire me to be more in life. That might sound so cliché, but it is so true. They are my greatest motivation.  Also, the need to touch everyone I meet positively. People need to know they are needed, respected and their opinions are valid even if it disagrees with mine.

Being a woman of Rubies
My refusal to be broken by life’s pitfalls. It doesn’t matter how many times I fall, I keep on standing up. I don’t have the luxury of giving excuses.  I am also not shy in blowing the horn of another woman. Rising together as women is the sweetest. What is the essence of living in a castle if you are going to be there alone.

Advice for young women who want to go into the communication sector
Read, Read and Read. It stretches your mind and gives you insights into a variety of subjects. Don’t be that woman that knows only one thing, be all compassing. This will help in dealing with different clients from different sectors.  Be flexible, learn how to be a people’s person.