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Ashley Nealy…Black Girl Magic At Its Best

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Ashley Nealy…Black Girl Magic At Its Best

InDaHouseMedia Contributor/LaTonya MeChelle

HIDDEN FIGURES is the incredible untold story of Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe)—brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of Astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world.  The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big. ~ Fox Movies ~

I had seen the previews but I had no idea what I was getting into when I agreed to a screening with 100 black girls from all over Atlanta.  Imagine watching 100 underprivileged and invited young black girls from all over Atlanta, come together to watch the movie.  Imagine seeing beautiful young girls ranging from ages 5 to 21 in the same room for the same reason.  Imagine being able to see a rainbow of different shades of beautiful,  black girls come together.  Imagine seeing girls of different religious beliefs in the same room together for the same purpose.   The high I felt was already at an unexplainable level from the lobby even before I stepped into the theater itself.

 All of this due to a woman name Ashley Nealy, decided to take a chance on her idea and put together an event for girls who may not have had a chance to see the movie.  All because of her passion for her career field in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) , she wanted to let young black girls see that anything and all things are possible and give them other options that are often overlooked.  She reached out to her social media family and asked them to donate money so that she could take girls to the viewing of Hidden Figures and purchase drinks and popcorn for them.   She received such an unexpected positive response that she was able to open up the invitation to other girl’s organizations and little girls who were interested in seeing the movie.

Celebrity photographer and disabled Vietnam veteran Jerome Dorn embodies the very definition of resilience. Born in Philadelphia, the fifth of seven children, Dorn stayed focused throughout his youth, eventually obtaining his degree in Criminal Justice. Dorn has worked with the Philadelphia Police Department, Department of Justice, World Wide Detective Agency, and several other high profile security groups. Throughout his successful career, Dorn wrestled with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, an aftereffect of his military service. Battling the pain and debilitating effect of PTSD, Dorn found comfort behind the camera. Photography proved to be not only therapeutic, but life changing as well. Dorn picked up his first camera in 1970 while serving in Vietnam and knew instantly that behind the lens was where he belonged. His shooting style and photographs were special, generating a buzz in the industry. In 1985, he began his career in photojournalism, working in a variety of genres. Dorn’s credentials include fashion, lifestyle photography, photojournalism, and celebrity/red carpet coverage. Working with MSNBC, Jet Magazine, and major publications in Philadelphia and around the country, Dorn has had the honor of capturing the images of hundreds of notable celebrities and politicians including President Barack Obama, George Bush Jr, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Maya Angelou, Jesse Jackson, Rihanna, Snoop Dog, Will Smith, and Tyler Perry. Photography has sent Dorn around the globe, inspiring his passion for civil activism. In 1995, Dorn assembled and led a group of forty-two men to the Million Man March. Together, they spent five days walking from Philadelphia to Washington DC. In his travels, Dorn observed a common theme amongst the youth of the world. Many of the children he encountered seemed lost. Understanding that opportunities for at-risk youth are minimal, Dorn was inspired to make a difference. Established by Dorn in 2011, InDaHouseMedia was built on the idea that there is room in the house for everyone. With InDaHouseMedia, Dorn’s mission is to provide the future generation with positive direction through sports, music, and photography.

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