To shine a much-deserved spotlight on the many achievements made by Black women game-changers, Chase Sapphire, VIBE, and SHE Media have teamed up to honor its five Voices of the Year (VOTY), launching on Juneteenth. Voices of the Year is a longstanding SHE Media initiative that celebrates culture-shifting creators and the incredible work they’ve done in their respective fields. This year, the VIBE and SHE Media Voices of the Year were chosen by an esteemed panel of judges led by Datwon Thomas, Editor-in-Chief of VIBE, and comprised of SHE Media and VIBE editors. The Voices of the Year will be a three-month celebration that will honor and amplify powerful voices across an array of industries.
Meet the Panel
Datwon Thomas is the Editor-In-Chief of VIBE Magazine and Vice President of Cultural Media for MRC. Thomas held positions as Founder and Editorial Director of the men’s lifestyle guide, KING Magazine; the urban car enthusiast’s favorite, RIDES Magazine; and was the Editor-in-Chief of hip-hop’s street authority, XXL Magazine. In addition, he’s also presided as Founder/Editorial Director of XXL Presents Hip-Hop Soul, a publication dedicated to documenting the successful hybrid genre of R&B and Hip-Hop. Thomas was also Editor-in-Chief of hip-hop photojournalistic magazine RESPECT.
Christine Imarenezor is the Executive Editor at VIBE, where she oversees the website’s daily editorial content and manages its dynamic team of editors, reporters, and writers. Prior to joining the team, Imarenezor began her digital journalism career as a contributing writer at ConcreteLoop.com. She was also an early adopter of social media marketing while managing various artists’ social media accounts in Bad Boy Entertainment/Warner Music Group’s new media department. Imarenezor is an alumna of Northwestern University and a former high school band nerd, who loves gospel, R&B, and enjoys day hiking.
Eugenia Miranda Richman is the Editor-in-Chief of SheKnows.com, SHE Media’s flagship site, and premier parenting destination. As an editorial strategist and award-winning journalist, Richman has led the evolution of SheKnows from a lifestyle publication to a site that serves moms holistically with the latest food, celebrity, health, and parenting news, plus shopping stories, essays, and features on all the issues that matter to them. As an Argentine-Nicaraguan editor with 15+ years of experience in publishing and digital media, Richman is not just bringing new content offerings to SheKnows but diverse perspectives and voices.
Jiji Ugboma is the founder of Clever-ish Magazine and a former VOTY Winner herself. In her role as Senior Manager of Publisher Engagement at SHE Media, she provides editorial and audience growth strategies for partner publications in the SHE Media Collective. Ugboma is a writer who believes in the power of content to power valuable conversations that affect change. Her work champions the discourse of self-actualization and mental health for young adults and has been featured in publications like CNBC, Variety, BlogHer, Bustle, Eater, and her own website Clever-ish Magazine. In her spare time, she writes about the Nigerian food scene in New York.
Meet the First Three Honorees
Diarrha N’Diaye-Mbaye is the founder of Ami Colé, a clean beauty brand for people with melanin-rich skin. She is a trailblazer in both the beauty and business categories. Diarrha has worked at major publications and beauty brands before launching her own business to redefine how people view Black beauty.
Shavone Charles is a true renaissance woman who is a classically trained musician, author, tech change agent, and current head of DEI at TikTok. She supports Black women in music and amplifies the stories of creatives of color through Magic In Her Melanin, her very own creative collective and in-house agency that serves as a key platform for all creative direction surrounding her art and music.
Adrienne Smith is an athlete who has won two gold medals and two national championships in women’s tackle football. As an entrepreneur, Adrienne is the co-founder of Harlem Hip-Hop Tours, the founder of Gridiron Queendom, and the creator of Blitz Champz.
More honorees will be announced in the next few weeks so stay tuned to see which trailblazers we’ll be honoring next.