Featured Articles

Explore a featured selection of my writing work below.

Anti-Abortion Protesters Allegedly Harass, Assault UNC Charlotte Students

On Oct. 26, an anti-abortion group called Genocide Awareness Group (GAP) appeared on campus at UNC Charlotte, comparing abortion to genocide while displaying graphic images of unborn fetuses. While this is not the first time such a group has appeared on campus at the university, some of this group’s reported behaviors raised a discussion about what happens when anti-abortion advocates stretch the limits of freedom of speech and use actions that could be considered harassment or even assault.


Brian O'Neil Returns to the Charlotte Comedy Stage

When we last spoke with Brian O’Neil in October 2019, he had recently launched a new comedy show, Revolt Comedy, which he hosted and featured a rotating cast of amateur comedians. We spoke about the momentum in the Charlotte comedy scene and Queen City Poly, a relationship podcast he was hosting about polyamory and ethical monogamy.

In the years since our last conversation, the pandemic altered much about our way of life. Restaurants transitioned to outdoor venues, concerts were held outdoors i

Newsworthy Articles

Charlotte Brothers Put Family Values to Work at Loyd Visuals

It’s rare when someone can find something they’re passionate about and manage to make a living off of it. It’s even more rare when they are able to make it a family affair. Charlotte-based production company Loyd Visuals, however, is the result of just such a dream come true.

The brainchild of Khaleel Loyd, Loyd Visuals specializes in video production, ranging from advertisements and promotional videos to documentaries. Khaleel owns and operates the company with his two younger brothers, Maleek

'The Glorious World of Crowns, Kinks, and Curls' Explores Black Hair Magic

For much of American history, Black hair has been a source of contention in society. Forced to hide behind Eurocentric standards of beauty, Black hair is often considered unruly or unkempt — rarely ever seen as beautiful by those outside of Black culture. In recent years, a movement to make feelings toward Black hair more inclusive has been gaining ground. One local theatre production, Three Bone Theatre’s mounting of The Glorious World of Crowns, Kinks, and Curls, will join that movement this w

Manny Flores Elevates Fast Casual With Que Onda and Que Fresa

After Picante, a more than decade-long staple in west Charlotte’s Wesley Heights neighborhood, closed down last fall, many wondered what, if anything, would fill its shoes and if it would be able to stand its ground.

When Manny Flores opened Que Fresa, a fast-casual taqueria similar to Picante, in its place, he hoped to continue in the tradition that Picante established while forging his own.

But first he made some menu adjustments.

“[Picante] was more burritos and bowls,” Flores said. “They

Where in Charlotte to take graduation photos

Graduation season is right around the corner, and finding ways to commemorate this achievement can be stressful yet exciting. One way to observe this milestone is by taking graduation photos on or off campus. Here are some places in Charlotte to capture graduation photos.

Romare Bearden Park in Uptown is a popular destination with lush, scenic gardens. It also features a color-changing waterfall that is often the backdrop for photos ranging from weddings to casual ones. If the photographer's ti

NC Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green Teaches Curating Your Own Past

People revere museums and exhibits because of the history and knowledge surrounding them and the way those institutions captivate them, but few people realize that they can house their own museums. North Carolina Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green hopes to change that.

“If we walk through our homes, all our homes are museums,” she said.

Jaki Shelton Green is North Carolina’s first Black poet laureate and the third woman to hold the position. She will host her Personal Museum Workshop at the Char

Opinion: Spring break should be scheduled later in the year

Spring break is when students can blow off steam after enduring rigorous midterm exams and various assignments. Unfortunately for UNC Charlotte students, spring break will be much earlier this year, which should not be the case.

At the halfway point in the semester, spring break gives students the refresher they may need to make it to the finish line of the marathon that is the spring semester.

Spring break will occur from Feb. 27 to March 4 – about a week earlier than it was last year and onl

Counterculture Club to Host Charlotte’s First Nonalcoholic Beverage Festival

January is a time for new beginnings, when people attempt to start the new year off on good footing. In recent years, “Dry January” has become a more popular part of those efforts, with participants swearing off alcohol for the month. In 2022, data for how many people took on Dry January ranged from 20% of legal-aged adults (Wired.com) to 35% (CNN), but one thing that remains clear is that the movement has only trended up since originating in the UK a decade ago.

It’s not easy; alcohol has a ho

Tragic Death of Charlotte Artist Francis Wabibi Leaves Family Seeking Justice

It was about two years ago that Francis Wabibi, known around Charlotte’s art scene as Francesko the Artist, made the jump that every artist frets over and aspires to; inspired by a trip to Charlotte Art League, Wabibi quit his job in retail and decided to pursue his art career full-time.

“I was inspired,” he told the Charlotte Observer in a profile published in February 2021. “I had the money. I had the means. I said, ‘Why don’t I invest in myself?’ ”

Now, not even two years after the article

Opinion: Printing should be free for students

The cost of printing for a student can add up over a semester, and since many students use printing services exclusively for assignments, students should not have to pay for printing.

At UNC Charlotte, printing a single piece of paper with black ink costs nine cents. For color, it is thirty cents. When college tuition costs are considered, some students fall short and avoid unnecessary spending. Unfortunately, many students are forced to print out their assignments.

Many professors still requi

Four Women of Charlotte Comedy Reflect on the Scene

“Women aren’t funny.” Despite centuries of evidence to the contrary, the statement has become a misogynistic cliché to the point that it only serves as an effective red flag for those still saying it publicly.

However, this mistaken cliché still has an effect on whose voices do and don’t get lifted up in comedy. In Charlotte, several women are doing their part to strengthen the scene through their work not only as performers but as show producers in the Charlotte comedy scene.

Queen City Nerve

Greg & Subrina Collier Prepare Second BayHaven Food and Wine Festival

Subrina Collier and her husband, three-time James Beard Foundation nominee Chef Gregory Collier, didn’t always intend on launching the BayHaven Food and Wine Festival, a yearly event that prominently features Black culinary artists from around the world in Charlotte. But after attending numerous festivals in the city where Black chefs weren’t featured, they felt the time had long since passed to do so.

“I didn’t want us to be an afterthought at festivals,” said Subrina Collier. “I wanted Black

Performers Discuss Tragic Demise of Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte

A train horn blares in the distance disturbing the peaceful, wooded area near McAlpine Creek. A gentle, chilly breeze blows the leaves onto the ground and rain droplets mist the air. Maybe the sun will come out. Fall has arrived and with it comes the time of year to frequent the arts. Today I’m seeing a play, but this production isn’t inside an auditorium — it’s at a barn.

When the figurative curtain rises on Shepherd Shakespeare’s production of Twelfth Night at the Barn at MoRa, we see a six-m

Book Review: You Made a Fool of Death With Your Beauty

Genre: Romance, Fiction

Rating: 4/5

It all happens so quickly: an orange, blossoming fire; the sound of shattering glass; blood. Boom. You're a widow. That's what happens to Feyi Adekola. She's lost the love of her life in a car crash before their first anniversary, and she spends five years mourning him. When we first meet Feyi, a very talented artist, she's broken and guilt-ridden. She feels guilty for surviving the crash and living without her husband, Jonah. She never feels that he's her ex because they never broke up; he died.

Using Social Media for Support

When you acknowledge the fact that billions of consumers utilize social media in one form or another, it's hard to ignore the role that social media can play in your business. It is likely that, in this day and age, you have some sort of social media presence. You may have been using it for marketing most likely, but if you have only been looking at social media as a means of marketing, you're missing out on additional opportunities. There was once a time when, if someone was outraged about some

How to Effectively Support Your Customers

In your quest to be the best, a few things can fall by the wayside. When you're trying to make your site visible, when you're trying to increase sales, there's one thing at the base of all of that and you cannot forget that base. Your base is, obviously, your customers. You cannot forget about them. You're probably thinking, "How can I forget my customers? I need them if I want to meet my sales goals." That is not what I mean. You can't just remember your customers when you're trying to meet you

Grow Your Business Using Affiliate Marketing

Some days owning an e-commerce business is easy and others it's very, very hard. So hard, in fact, that you want help in order to acheive the best results. There's nothing wrong with wanting or needing help. The only thing wrong would be if you don't know what kind of help to enlist. For store owners, their help comes in the form of various marketing techniques. Marketing is at the crux of every retail or commerce business structure. One cannot be successful without it.

Think about a youngster,

Understanding Your Marketing Funnel

There are ways to be successful in your line of work and there are ways to fail. There are so many moving parts to being in ecommerce that it might seem like it's impossible to win in this field. Everything in ecommerce takes time, but it's worth it in the end. But what's the endgame for you? To be successful? Well, how do you measure success? For many, success is equivalent to how many sales are made. This is totally fine and normal, but do you understand the journey your customers take to make

7 Ways to Use Instagram to Market Your Products

In case you were otherwise unaware, Instagram has become a huge marketing giant. So much of a giant, in fact, that its marketing has increased to the tune of 2 million advertisers. While that can seem superfluous and oversaturated, rest assured it's actually pretty good. In fact, Instagram can boast that 75% of all users take action after viewing the post of a business. Coupled with the fact that 50% of all users follow at least one business on Instagram, I'd say it's a pretty decent model. Ther

How To Be Productive When Working Remotely

Once upon a time, human beings needed to be present in a collectice space in order to work. Then, technological advancements and different job varieties occured that allowed human beings to work remotely, thus making their lives easier in many ways. The end.

That's the world we live in.

Gone are the days where every job requires you to be physically present at the job site at all times. We live in a world where it is necessary for some employees to work remotely much of the time if not all of

Link Building Strategies for New Ecommerce Stores

So, you just opened an ecommerce store?

I'm guessing you might be a little overwhelmed and unsure where to begin. How do you spread the word? How do you increase your site's SEO (search engine optimization)? There are a lot of questions to ask and oftentimes not enough answers to go around. One helpful thing that would be helpful for you as a new ecommerce store owner is link building. What's link building? Well, it's simple. At the very least, it can be described as an SEO strategy that will b

How to Manage Inventory Across Multiple Sites

It almost goes without saying that one of the main goals of running an e-commerce site is to increase sales and be successful. In this day and age, though, it can be a little difficult to manage such a feat. With the need to maintain visibility, be alluring, and increase profits, among other things, it may seem like you're working with the cards stacked against you. Chances are, you know the deal and you want to give yourself as many chances as possible. Let's say you want to try your hand at se

3 Ways to Better Manage Back Orders

There is no way around it. As often as many store owners try to avoid it, back orders can happen to the best of them. It's unavoidable when a particular product may be extremely popular. While this may seem like a good thing for your profits, it can also spell bad news for you as a store owner. Most consumers don't want to wait for anything and hardly anyone subscribe to delayed gratification. That doesn't mean that an instance of a back order is hopeless cause, though. It is a manageable situat

Choosing the Right Supplier

Having the right supplier is a critical facet in the diamond that is your e-commerce business. For all intents and purposes, think of a supplier as your business partner. In effect, they are and having the right, or wrong, one can make or break your business. You've probably given some thought to whether or not you need a supplier of any kind and found that yeah, you do. Honestly, it makes things a lot easier when you have someone to help. Or maybe you already have supplier and you're not entire

5 Ways to Increase Ecommerce Sales

It goes without saying that one of the goals of running an e-commerce store is to generate revenue. Of course, you do it because you love it, but you want to make money off of it too, right? That's the whole point: to generate income on your terms and be your own boss. It's a dream come true! Unfortunately, it isn't always as easy as all that. Generating revenue for your business takes work and sometimes seems an impossible feat. With all the competition out there, it's always difficult to disce

Ways to Write Product Descriptions that Sell

Think about what makes you buy a product. There are always a great many contributing factors, but what's the biggest? Is it when the products are described in the simplest of fashions? I'd be willing to bet not. Just as we need visual representation when browsing a product, so too do we need a quality description of said product. Anyone can see the blue coat on your site so there's no need to describe to us that it's a blue coat. What makes this blue coat special? Why should we buy it? How would

5 Ways to Avoid Cart Abandonment

I'm guilty. I'm not going to lie about it. I have been one of those shoppers who abandon their carts during the checkout process. I’ve done it multiple times and it’s possible that I will never stop. But guess what? I’m not alone.

Nearly 70% of consumers abandon their carts during the checkout process. That’s a steep number! If you were to calculate the amount of the consumers who visit your site and subsequently abandon their carts, I’m sure that you would find that you’re almost hemorrhaging

Tips for Taking Photos That Increase Your Sales

There is absolutely no way around it. People are extremely visual creatures. This becomes even more true when it comes to online shopping. Because we cannot see the products in person or experience them, it is critical for the customer to be able to trust that they can see the product in enough detail. Speaking from personal experience, I have totally forgone getting a product if the pictures weren't available or up to par. Clearly, you don't want this to happen to you. You want your customers t

5 Profitable Channels to Sell Your Overstock

As an e-commerce store owner, you're thinking of all of the year-end things you need to do, I'm sure. One thing plaguing you is what to do with all of this excess inventory you possess. You may have a few items left over from a time earlier in the year that didn't sell too well to being with. Or perhaps you simply ordered too many of them and the supply was greater than the demand. Maybe you're just making room for everything new coming in. Or maybe your excess items are seasonal, making it diff

5 Tips for Choosing the Right Virtual Assistant

As the owner of your business, you probably want to do everything yourself because you trust yourself to get the job done. You know what needs to be done more than anyone. Your business is your baby. Your precious, if you will. But listen up, Gollum, you have to let other people help you with it sometimes. In fact, it's critical that you do so.

Allowing others to help you with certain tasks will allow you to focus on the more critical tasks that your business needs in order to survive. For obvi

Ethical Ways to Increase Your Followers

As an e-commerce store owner, it can be pretty hard out there. There are so many factors that determine success and so many millions of ways to attempt to achieve it that you might not be entirely sure of the best way to go about getting it. In theory getting followers, or increasing sales, or optimizing SEO may seem like it'll be a home run. In theory? Not so much. In fact, sometimes it may seem so hard to attain that you'll want to take shortcuts from time to time. Toeing the line of ethics ca

Stress Management for Entrepreneurs

Managing your own business is tricky. Sometimes it seems like your best is never enough. Other times it seems like there's just too much to do. It can get really hard out there. Plenty of times it may seem as though there is advice out there for entrepreneurs, but it's not always the right kind.

Day in and day out entrepreneurs get business advice, but very seldom do they get personal advice. I've got a little secret for you: you are your business and it is important to take care of yourself to
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