Da'cheray Thomas is a fearless Queen who has impacted her community in so many ways. She dedicates her time and energy towards inspiring and motivating her students to be more than what society expects of them. Her drive and determination shines through her, and her will to succeed enables her to be a role model to her young Queens everyday.
Da'cheray is fearless in numerous ways and wants you to know that no matter what others say about you, you are capable to conquer the world.
I am fearless because I became the first female in my family to graduate from a 4 year college.
I am fearless because I finished In 5 years majoring in education and English with a Minor in psychology and a resume so juicy employers thirst after me.
I am fearless because I became a teacher a month after I graduated college.
I am fearless because I took on a mentoring role for 29 young ladies and got the chance to mold them into Young Queens.
I am fearless because I take my Queens into the community and show them what service is really about!
I am fearless because I made a decision to be a better educator and moved to Rise Academy.
I am fearless because I work In Newark everyday with hopes to change lives and no traces of fear in my heart.
I am fearless because 400 kids watch me everyday and I lead by careful example.
I am fearless because in 2017 I'll have my masters in Education Leadership so I can take on an entire mass of impregnable minds. I am fearless because I am succeeding when people expected me to fail.
I am fearless because I have faced adversity and have persevered through.
I am fearless because I turn anger parents into understanding beings.
I am fearless because I have one of the most tedious, challenging yet rewarding jobs.
I am fearless because I put my whole heart into the atmosphere knowing it can be crushed.
I am fearless because I've seen young children die and my passion never wavered.
I am fearless because I am a black woman and I have survived one of the most challenging challenges yet: being a strong black woman in the face of curious young black kids.
I am fearless because despite the environment I encourage my students to want more.
I am fearless because I work hard and I enjoy life with no limit.
Again, I'm fearless because my backbone is metal, molded from the women before me....
Thank you for being FEARLESS and inspiring young girls to become Queens!
Follow Da'cheray's journey on her Instagram page @thommy_cake3
Fearless Queen Tanayah Flores is so inspirational. She has been fighting a continuous battle with Lupus for a majority of her life but still finds hope by inspiring others. Here is her story...
My name Tanayah Flores. I was born and raised in New Jersey. I graduated from Ramapo college with a Bachelors degree in Fine Arts and a concentration in Education at the age of 20. My hobbies include anything artistic. I paint, draw, sculpt, act , model , sew. I am the youngest girl of six siblings with a very loving mother and father.
I had a pretty normal 21 years of life. Currently I am 23 years young and I am a lupus warrior.
Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks normal, healthy tissue. My symptoms include inflammation, swelling, and damage to joints, skin, kidneys, blood, the heart, and lungs. Lupus is genetic. My family has a history of lupus, both on my mother side and father's side. I started having symptoms when I was 14 years old. My knees and feet would swell so bad to the point where I couldn't walk. I didn't think too much of it at the time because I was into sports and modeling.
The moment that triggered my mind into thinking that this was something much more was when I was becoming a lady of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated in college. Lupus symptoms are mostly brought on by stress and climate. The process I went through for Zeta was very stressful and at the time I was not athletic. I began getting burning rashes across my face and hives covering the front of thighs and forearms everyday. I was aware that I may have had lupus because my first cousin on my dads side was diagnosed when I began having Symptoms at 14, she was 18. My mom would encourage me to go get tested and I would tell her I went and was cleared but it was all lies. I honestly didn't want to face it. I always put it to the far back of my mind and tried everything I could to not feel the pain or notice my skin flaring. Applying makeup to my skin became a huge way of hiding it.
Spring of 2014 my mother came home from one of her many doctors visits due to the severe complications she was having with her body. I have lupus she says and my heart drops. I knew at that moment exactly that it was no more running from it. We talked for hours and I finally confessed I never went to go get tested.
She urged that I should get tested while staring into my flared face. I promised her I would if she would come with me. Of course the test results came back NOT in my favor.
Systemic lupus erythematosus also know as lupus. I was truly devastated. Doctor visit after doctor visit. Hospital ER rooms like clock work. Breathing treatments. Blood work. More tests. It was very emotional because people can't see what you feel so they automatically think you're okay. On the inside it's Hell . Changing my lifestyle. Eating different, meats became a huge trigger to flares. I had to stop partying as much, drinking, modeling, couldn't even paint or draw like I loved to.
It was so exhausting. My boyfriend at the time was not supportive and eventually told me he didn't want to be with me because of my lupus. I became the most angriest person ever. Over and over I asked myself why would God do this to me. I have been nothing but a good person. I graduated high school at 15 with a 4.0 GPA I had my own car. I always had a job. I graduated college with a Bachelors degree at age 20. I was a great faithful girlfriend. A loving and caring daughter why me ???
It took a lot of time to heal. And I'm not even fully there yet. I gained so much support from my friends and family but just letting everything out. Telling people how I felt. My mom and I grew closer because it's one thing to talk to someone about your pain but it's another thing for that person to know the pain.
I also gained my lover and best friend. He was always a friend but when the devastating news came he showed how much he cared. He has never missed a doctors appointment, makes sure I take my medicine. He is the one who's up with me at 4am with the flares and the tears. This is not an easy journey but it has gotten so much better which makes me feel so much hope. I don't need to apply make up when I flare anymore. Instead I post it on social media.
I like sharing my story because I was once so discouraged that people wouldn't love me for me. But! this is me. I'm a lupus warrior and now I know GODS plan. God gave me this battle because he knew I would be strong enough to handle it and that it would make me a better person. Everyday is a fight, and everyday I'm a step closer to taking back control of my life. -Tanayah
Thank you Tanayah for sharing your amazing story and journey. You are truly an inspiration!!
Please continue to be FEARLESS, it's already in you!
Follow Tanayah's journey by following her on Instagram at @say_nay
I am fearless because life is a learning experience. There is a lesson in every accomplishment, every failure and every adventure. I’ve learned to trust the journey! - Briana Taylor, Founder of No More Rounds
Briana Taylor is an amazing activist, marketing professional, and creative genius. I am so inspired by Briana's story and journey. She started an anti-gun violence organization called"No More Rounds" to put an end to gun violence all around the world. Not only does she have events, programs, workshops, and creates inspiring content to spread awareness to end gun violence in her community, but she also makes an impact all around the world which is SO important. We have to get out of just our neighborhoods and join the fight everywhere. Briana's FEARLESSNESS enabled her to be present, make a difference, inspire many lives, and take action and that is what I love about her. Here is her story...
No More Rounds: End Gun Violence is an anti-gun violence movement I founded after the death of my friend Demetry Presley in hopes to educate the urban community about the rising gun violence epidemic, develop ways to protect our youth and inspire our generation to be more proactive. After witnessing such a tragedy, I took a step back to analyze the current state of urban communities and the direction we’re headed just didn’t sit well with me. The fact that very little is being done to address gun violence and the socioeconomic issues occurring in the urban community in general just didn’t sit well with me. To kick off NMR, I decided to produce a documentary that brought the effects of gun violence to the forefront. When speaking about gun violence, the public rarely sees the pain and trauma families and friends experience from losing a loved one, until it happens to someone in their family.
The mission of NMR is “To raise public awareness of the rising gun violence epidemic in America through education, advocacy, and collaboration. We will utilize all resources to promote a positive lifestyle and educate the public, policy makers, and media on the toll gun violence has on our children, communities, and future. We will support all gun violence initiatives and advocate for sensible gun legislation – without banning guns.” In order to fulfill that mission, my team and I have taken our educational program to schools, universities and youth organizations around New Jersey, collaborated with other organizations and non-profits to bring peaceful initiatives to our community, and have organized and participated in rallies and marches happening in our area to take a stand against the violence.
I have to add that “anti-gun violence” is not to be confused with “anti-gun”. When sharing my organization I often get turned away because people automatically assume that my organization’s mission is to ban guns completely and that is not the case at all. The mission is not to conflict with the 2nd amendment, but to address the irresponsible use of and easy access to guns.
I have attended amazing marches, protests, and walks that I was so inspired to be apart of.
March 3rd 2013 Suffrage March Reenactment Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (DC)
This reenactment march was a life-changing experience for me. To retrace the footsteps of my founders, to actually stand for something, really opened my eyes and sparked a flame in me to do more within social action and fight for social change. During this march, I only planned on being a part of the crowd, but little did I know that my alumni chapter had different plans for me. My line sister, who was the state facilitator for New Jersey, was supposed to be there holding the state banner and since she couldn’t make it, I was volunteered. To be one of the faces of the state of New Jersey was such a humbling and memorable experience.
August 14th 2014 Day of Rage: Ferguson (Midtown NYC)
The Day of Rage was my first time completely stepping out of my comfort zone and into more of like a war zone. The plan was to meet in Union Square for a candlelight vigil. During the vigil, people began shouting “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” and expressing their anger toward the Mike Brown Tragedy and the events occurring in Ferguson. Afterwards a herd of people began marching up to Times Square to meet another massive group of protestors. As we approached Times Square, the vibe of the area had completely shifted. Tensions were high and I could feel so much hatred in the area. Once we arrived at the Ruby-Red Stairs in Times Square, I heard protestors shouting “No Justice, No Peace” and saw the NYPD surrounding the perimeter. At that moment, I had realized why tensions were so high; their presence agitated the entire crowd. There were times when they wouldn’t let us cross the street or leave the area. Those who didn’t obey them were made examples of, arrested in the most aggressive way possible and taken into custody. That agitated the crowd even more, the chants got even louder and the NYPD were getting deadly stares at that point. Before the protest dispersed, a news channel asked me to explain the shirt I was wearing, which was a NMR shirt and tell them all about my organization. My experience at the Day of Rage can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=briOh-NOyeE.
December 10th 2014 NJ Shut It Down (Downtown Newark, NJ)
Outside of NMR, I also work with the NJ Shut It Down movement which is an organization of New Jersey colleges standing together to fight the injustices of our judicial system. On Dec 10th, we organized a statewide protest to disrupt the flow of business as usual and shut down New Jersey. Newark was the central location and where many of the clusters of schools ended up. I started out at my alma mater, NJIT, collecting as many people as possible and went down to Rutgers-Newark to recruit students from there as well. We began our march down the middle of University Avenue chanting “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” until we met the rest of our comrades at the intersection of Broad and Market. The minute we got there an outsider walked through our ranks and tried to distract us from the task at hand. He was removed from our circle and we had a die-in in the middle of the intersection. We had money die-in that evening; in the middle of McCarter Highway, in front of Newark Penn Station and in the Ironbound section of Newark (within walking distance of Penn Station). We covered a lot of ground that evening and turning Downtown Newark in the middle of rush hour into a parking lot. We also created a list of demands which we recited at every stop during our protest. We also disrupted the Christmas Party taking place at City Hall, where Mayor Ras Baraka was in attendance. He felt our rage, came out to talk to us and heard our list of demands. He was rather snobbish though, snapping back at all of our demands as if we were just a bunch of kids who needed to go back in the sandbox and play. Despite his attitude, I was pleased to hear of some of the initiatives that were coming down the pipeline. Some I witnessed came into fruition, such as the Civilian Complaint Review Board.
April 29th 2015 Freddy Gray Tragedy (Midtown NYC)
After the death of Freddie Gray and the “riots” of Baltimore occurred, the city of New York came together to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters affected by this tragedy. We convened at Union Square and marched up to Times Square. By this protest, the NYPD was tired of us protesting. They were extremely violent this night. Every attempt to take the street failed. The NYPD snatched up protestors without giving any warning. They snuck up behind protestors in the street to arrest them. Halfway up to Times Square, a young girl around my age stood in front of a car that was trying to drive through the intersection as we crossed. She was snatched up by police, slammed to the ground and was arrested. A woman nearby who was recording also was taken into custody. When we arrived at Times Square, tensions were still very high and the NYPD was just as aggressive as they were downtown. For some reason this protest dispersed a lot earlier than usual. I was on the subway home at around 10. Usually the protests don’t end until about 11pm or midnight. While I was on the train, I ran into a couple of people talking about the riots in Baltimore. My immediate thoughts were that my sign sparked their conversation. One side of their conversation agreed with the riots and the other side did not. The other side actually did not have enough knowledge on the topic to really pick a side, but their opinion was voiced out of ignorance and they had no intentions of educating themselves on the facts. I chose not to jump into their conversation, instead I glanced at a woman who shared my exact thoughts and chuckled a little.
May 2nd 2015 Freddy Gray Tragedy (Baltimore, MD)
A few days after the NYC protest for Baltimore, I was offered a ride down to Baltimore with the NYC Revelation Club. The trip was a mixed crowd and debates on the ride down were very interesting. When we touched down in Baltimore, I soon realized that this group, NYC Rev Club had a different agenda. They did not seem to want to stand in solidarity with the people of Baltimore, but instead they wanted to steal the spotlight from the topic at hand and act as “saviors” to Baltimore. They wanted everyone who rode down with them to pass out their flyers and hold their signs only. That was not what I signed up for and I did not agree with their approach of recruitment. I carried the sign I rode down with that read, “A riot is the language of the UNHEARD” By Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I opted for my own sign because it was relevant to the situation we were in and Baltimore indeed was not being heard until the youth started rioting in Downtown Baltimore, which I might add was the only place impacted by the riots. The media tried to make us believe the youth was destroying their own communities, but the youth are way smarter than that. Their own communities were already run down from the Baltimore Riots of 1968 and were never really rebuilt, so they hit the city where it hurt this time; destroying the businesses only visited by tourists and upper class folk who don’t give a dollar to rebuild the urban communities in Baltimore.
For this protest, everyone convened at Baltimore City Hall. Once again I felt like I was in more of a war zone than about to participate in a peaceful protest. There were hundreds of national guards surrounding the perimeter of City Hall with snipers on the roof of EVERY nearby building. I prayed so hard that everything would go as planned with this protest because I wanted to make it home that night. The media also played a role in tainting this positive event. I witnessed cameras getting footage of every agitator and distraction, instead of filming the vendors giving away free food/water to protestors, the youth with their “I MATTER” signs chanting alongside their elders or the Blood and the Crips joining forces to protect us from the police. We peacefully marched from City Hall to the torched CVS at the corner of Penn & North. After the protest, I knew I had made the right choice coming back to Baltimore no matter how nervous I was. To witness something as historical as this really put things in a different perspective and forces you to think twice about what you see on the Idiot Box [TV].
October 10th 2015 Justice or Else: Million Man March (DC
Currently I am working as a program manager in partnerships and licensing at WebMD. While at WebMD, I’ve learned the power of persuasion, how to be a better leader and how to launch/manage a portfolio of partnerships/initiatives at once. All skills needed for the relaunch of my organization, No More Rounds: End Gun Violence. Outside of work, I have been co-hosting a “Peace on the Streets” event series that addresses different topics affecting our youth, as well as continuing my journey to business school. Because getting into business school has become so competitive over the years, I have decided to not be as involved with NMR as I have been prior to starting this journey and dedicate most of my time to getting into a top tier business school where I wish to pursue an MBA in Brand Management and Social Entrepreneurship. My goal is to turn NMR into a social enterprise, leave my corporate title behind and fulfill my purpose of driving change in the urban community full-time.
Briana has proven to be an inspiration to her community as well as in society. Thank you for being FEARLESS, you are an inspiration to us all!
Learn more about No More Rounds and follow Briana's journey by clicking on the links below.
Briana Taylor Instagram
No More Rounds Instagram
No More Rounds Facebook