A few weeks ago, I took a leap of faith and stepped out of my comfort zone.
Growing up, I have always dealt with fear and I am currently learning how to not allow anxiety and overthinking take over me. I was searching online for writing internships and I could not come across anything I found an interest in. I then realized that I may need to invest into an online subscription with Black Girls in Media. Black Girls in Media is an online subscription, networking organization for Minority women of color in the media industry, founded by Tasha McCaskiel. At first when deciding if I wanted to subscribe, I was hesitant because I was setting myself on a budget and wondered what this platform would get me that I could not find anywhere else. Little did I know this investment was one of the best decisions I could have made, it allowed me to be a part of a network of female entrepreneurs and phenomenal women in media. As a result, I was able to discover a post to write for this blog.
I want to thank NaTyshca Pickett, the founder of Arizona Coffea Magazine and this Blog, Coffea Topics, for seeing the potential in my writing. I had never written for a blog before, but I saw the opportunity and went after it. I have always wanted to write but due to fear, I held back. Over the last two years, I have been writing as a screenwriter for my web series titled ‘Risen8theSeries’, I am currently working on releasing. I knew God had been telling me to blog for a while but as I mentioned, I had always crippled with fear.
My advice is if you see an opportunity to go for it. When I applied, I didn't have any blog samples, but I reached out to NaTyshca and she informed me I could still apply with two writing samples. It was out of my comfort zone, but I knew I needed to face my fears. With hard work, doing research on blogging, and prayer I was able to produce two blog samples. Now the process was not smooth, I would overthink what I wanted to write, how I wanted to write, and then I realized I simply just needed to write. Once I allowed my thoughts to flow from what was on the inside of me the writing came out naturally.
As I mentioned earlier, I had been perfecting my craft as I screenwriter for the last two years. Screenwriting is about developing characters, a plot, and creating a world that will transition onto the screen. Blogging, on the other hand, is different, it's a different structure but as I started to write I realized I was sharing my story and what I felt passionate about which is similar to when I would screen-write. Blogging allows me to use my voice in a way I had never done before. It was as if I was writing in a journal for the world to see.
I would also often overthink how would people consider me as a writer, I knew I could screen write but could I transition into blogging. Those were questions I would constantly ask myself as I would brainstorm and start working on my writing samples. Which I realized was a form of overthinking. According to Merriam-Webster, overthinking is to think too much about (something): to put too much time into thinking about or analyzing (something) in a way that is more harmful than helpful.
I was allowing the fear of the unknown to determine my outcome, which I later found out it was only holding me back from reaching my true potential. With this being my first blog piece, I am still finding my niche and voice as a writer. However, with time and consistency, I know it will come. Have you ever thought wow this task/assignment will be hard to accomplish? But when you try it out you later realize that wasn’t so bad? That’s how I felt when I finished my blog samples. I am currently taking that experience and learning to apply it to all parts of my life. I am growing and learning every day how I can allow my faith to be bigger than my fears. I hope as you read how I was able to face my fears it encourages you to choose faith over fear! “Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe”. (Saint Augustine)
Here are some ways you can get over your fear and choose faith!
1. Just start, and do not look back! Do not allow procrastination to get the best of you. What you can do today, do not put it off until tomorrow. I know that statement is easier said than done because I am currently working on applying this to my life. But ask yourself some questions. What is the purpose behind this? How will I make an impact? What are the short term and long term affects this will have on my life?
2. Write out what your goals are and pick the ones you want to accomplish first. Some advice I was given by one of my mentors, Nikki Brown Walker, is Dream big! Don’t limit your goals but prioritize what goals you want to tackle first so you can start seeing results. As someone who gets overwhelmed this method works best for me.
3. Get into a network/community of people where you can build personal and professional relationships with. Social media has a lot of online communities such as Facebook Groups, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
4. Watch inspirational podcasts or online videos and read books that will help you reach your goals!
A scripture that always sticks out to me when I am becoming anxious or dealing with fear is 2 Timothy 1:7
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline”.
Please share how you have conquered faith over fear.
Black Owned Restaurants in Arizona
We are honored to have a platform that allows us to showcase these great establishments throughout Arizona. Although our numbers are few in the state, the Black community is making amazing strides.
We would love to have featured all of the amazing restaurants in Arizona. In our research, we have found that we have plenty well known and hidden gems in the state that are Black owned. Here is the list of some of those restaurants below.
Please note: This is not a comprehensive list of all of the Black owned restaurants in Arizona, as there are constant changes in the restaurant scene.
Alafia West African Cuisine 1040 N Swan Rd Tucson, AZ 520-331-7161
BXQ Bodega Metro Wildcat 501 1 N. Park Ave Tucson, AZ www.bqbodega.com
Cedde Jamaican Kitchen 5305 E. Speedway BLVD 520-759-3400 www.ceedeecafe.com
Cotton Family BBO Food Truck Tucson, AZ
D'S Island Grill JA 3156 E. Fort Lowell Rd Tucson, AZ www.dislansgrill.com
DA Boots BBQ Shot 1830 S. Park Ave Tucson, AZ 520-347-5169
Hush Social Club 1112 S. Wilmot Rd Tucson, AZ 520-747-1559
Mr. Cookmans BBQ & Soul Food Food Truck Tucson, AZ
Mr. K's Original BBQ 6302 S. Park Ave Tucson, AZ 520-792-9484
Nur Market & Restaurant 3565 E. Speedway BLVD #171 Tucson, AZ 520-881-6333 www.nurmarketaz.com
The Red Light Lounge at the Downtown Clifton Hotel 485 S. Stone Ave Tucson, AZ 520-623-3163 downtowntucsonhotel.com/redlightlounge
Smokey Mo 2650 N First Ave Tucson, AZ 520-203-8250 www.smokeymo.com
Zemam's & Zemam's Too 2731 E. Broadway Blvd & 119 E. Speedway Blvd Tucson, AZ www.zemamsrestaurants.com
Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe 808 E Jefferson St. Phoenix, AZ 85034
JL Smokehouse 1712 E. Broadway Rd Phoenix, AZ 85040 602-620-5132 http://www.jlsmokehouse.com/
Honey Bear's BBQ 2824 N. Central Ave Phoenix, AZ 85004
ATL Wings 3320 W. Southern Ave Unit 120 Phoenix, AZ 85041 www.atlwings.com/
Ezekiel's 4825 E. Warner Rd Phoenix, AZ 85044 https://ezekielsaz.com/
Rhema Soul Cuisine 1153 E. Jefferson St. Unit 1 Phoenix, AZ 85043
Mingo's Louisiana Kitchen 3424 W Southern Ave #180, Phoenix, AZ 480-540-7872 https://mingoslouisianakitchen.com/
Stacy's Off Da Hook BBQ and Soul Food 1804 W Glendale Ave, Phoenix, AZ, 85021 602-242-1922 http://www.stacysaz.site/
Monroe's Hot Chicken Nashville Style 45 W. Jefferson St. Suite K Downtown Phoenix, AZ. 85003 602-872-7100 http://monroeshotchicken.com/
Island Sensation Cuisine 830 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85014 602-279-5866 https://www.islandsensationcuisine.net/
Papa Joe’s Fish-N-Que 2019 W Bethany Home Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85015 602-973-7003 https://www.papajoesfishnque.com/
Lolos Chicken and Waffles https://loloschickenandwaffles.com/
Café Lalibela 849 W University Dr. Tempe, AZ 85281 480.829.1939 https://www.cafelalibela.com/
The Original Pancake House 6840 East Camelback Road Scottsdale, Arizona 85251 480-946-4902 https://www.originalpancakehouse.com/
Caribbean Cuisine 6031 N 67th Ave Glendale, AZ 85301 www.caribbeancuisineaz.com
Caribbean Palm Restaurant and Bar 2125 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85257 480-947-4343
JJ's Grubshack www.jjsgrubbshack.com/
"One cannot think well, love well and sleep well if one has not dined well."
~ Virginia Woolf
Purple Tree Organic
Purple Tree Organic Açaí blends are yummy blends of pureed organic açaí palm fruit prepared with granola, a variety of juicy fruit toppings, and locally sourced honey. The açai berry is a super-food because it contains amazing amounts of nutrients, amino acids, protein, fiber and antioxidants.
With a flavor that faintly resembles raspberries and chocolate, the fruit has 10 times more antioxidants than red grapes and 10 to 30 more times the artery-protective flavonoids of red wine. Purple Tree blends are vegan and wholly free of wheat, soy, and artificial sweeteners.
They also offer savory soups, organic coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and a variety of vegan/GF baked goodies!
Their food truck appliances are majority solar powered making full use of the sun to help create our special blend of Açai goodness!!!!
***The Co-Founder Andre Newman has recently passed away and the family is accepting donations at this time via Go Fund Me. You can send your donation to www.gofundme.com/f/support-for-the-family-of-andre-newman
They are on Instagram and Facebook, so be sure to follow their pages to stay up to date on where they'll be.
Jupiter Rings and Wings
Welcome to Jupiter Rings, Wings & More, where they serve Traditional , Vegan ,and Boneless Wings, Eggrolls, Fries, and more! They're located near Steele Indian School Park on 12th Street.
If you're ever in Central Phoenix and have a craving for some of the best wings in town, look no further. Jupiter Rings, Wings and More have just what you need to cure your appetite!
4700 N 12TH ST 122
PHOENIX, AZ 85014
Hop Street Lounge
Hop Street Lounge is a local Tucson craft beer and wine bar on the east side of town, overlooking the Rincon mountains. They strive to offer an inviting and comfortable environment. They also feature selections from Tucson’s best and greatest local breweries as well as many options from around the country!
Established in 2019, Hop Street Lounge is a contemporarily modern bar and taproom that resonates with the lifestyle of it's Tucsonan regulars. Born out of the love for the Arizona beer scene, they strive to offer an inviting and comfortable environment for beer and wine lovers alike.
They provide 47 rotating taps and over 600 varieties of bottles and cans all to enjoy in the taproom or to take home.
If you're looking for your favorite craft beer and wine or maybe a local cold brew coffee, Hop Street Lounge is the place to go!
7215 E 22nd St. #101
Tucson, AZ 85710
The Larder + The Delta
The Larder + The Delta is a restaurant that is part of a new movement. It's comprised of a community of chefs who work collaboratively and share collectively. It provides a menu that's designed to illustrate the diversity through local Arizona produce with dishes that highlight how one ingredient can be presented in various of ways. Taking the unfamiliar and making it enjoyable, most importantly evolving the rustic and making it new.
If you're ever in the area, this is one place you must try.
200 West Portland St #101 Phoenix, Arizona 85003
Cybersecurity Awareness Month
By NaTyshca Pickett
Held every October, National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) is a collaborative effort between government, academia and industry to ensure every American has the resources they need to stay safe and secure online while increasing the resilience of the Nation against cyber threats.
NCSAM provides tips and resources to keep up safe while on the internet, on our smart phones, and using our in-home smart devices. Along with these needed efforts and provisions to protect our privacy, job openings are increasing in the field of Cybersecurity.
Renee Small is the Founder and CEO of Cyber Human Capital, a recruiting firm for those seeking a career in Cybersecurity or those in the field looking to expand their expertise.
“In the pandemic there has been a 400% intake in Cyber Security attacks. Over the last month, there has been a 28% increase in job openings in the field. The job outlook is going to be 3 million opened positions that are unfilled,” Small stated.
Small also stated that there is a lack of diversity in the industry, not just on the surface but in the areas of lived experiences and diversity in thought.
“There are people of color in IT companies, but they are in the roles of receptionist or operations and not in the role of the tech. They are also not in the room making the decisions. We are missing women and people of color and we need that diversity because this is a white male dominated industry,” said Small.
According to Small, many believe that Cybersecurity is a difficult field to get into. “One of the myths I often hear is that people must be heavy in IT and have a coding background, but that is not the case. People think that you must be a genius or have a degree in technology or engineering. It’s all a big myth. You do have to be analytical or have an analytical mind, but it’s not required to have a background in IT. We have pulled people right from high school,” Small stated.
Small also added, "those in the field of administrative assistant or receptionist are highly needed because they have transferrable skills."
One focus of recruitment that Small is working on is at the high school level to bring awareness to the growing need in the industry.
“I believe there is a huge lack of awareness overall. It’s on us, the people in the Cyber Security community to leave our bubbles and go into those communities and bring awareness to them. We need to go to the schools, for example, adopt a high school, and go in and show them what we do and how they can have a lucrative career in this field. I am working on partnering with organizations to bring cyber security curriculum into the schools,” Small stated.
Small also has a podcast, ‘Breaking into Cybersecurity,’ where she speaks to experts on this topic. “For the entire month of October, we are doing 30 Days of Cyber. We are going to have experts come in and bring awareness to the industry,” Small stated.
To learn more about Cybersecurity Awareness Month, you can go to
To learn more about Renee Small and her organization, please go to her website www.cyberhc.com.
For her podcast, 'Breaking into Cyber Security,' go to https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/breaking-into-cybersecurity/id1463136698.