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Columnist, Naila Francis Takes Us on a Trip to LaLaLand!

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Naila Francis is an award-winning feature writer for Calkins Media, publishers of three Philadelphia area daily newspapers: The Intelligencer, the Bucks County Courier Times and The Burlington County Times. She covers arts and entertainment for all three papers, with an emphasis on music and theater, and has interviewed a range of prominent and emerging artists over the years, including James Earl Jones, India.Arie, Audra McDonald, Ben Vereen, Anna Deavere Smith, Laura Izibor, Emeli Sande, Cyndi Lauper and Tim Robbins, to name a few. Naila is also a columnist whose biweekly Life in LaLa Land column chronicles her own journey through the world with candor, humor and vulnerability. She is an ordained interfaith minister, though she is not affiliated with a specific church but prefers to live her life as ministry in action, practicing compassion, love and tolerance wherever she is in any moment. She also considers her writing, both through her column and her poetry, a form of ministry as she enjoys engaging others in the experiences that shape and define our lives. Naila is an officiant with Journeys of the Heart, a nondenominational ceremonial ministry providing weddings, funerals, baby blessings, civil unions and other ceremonies to mark life’s many passages. A child of the Caribbean, Naila grew up in an interracial family with a father of African heritage and a mother of East Indian descent. She moved to the States at the age of 10, where after living her young life as a “majority,” she suddenly found herself one of a handful of black students in her suburban middle school. Thus began her negotiations with race, though as a rule she has never let it define her or her perspective on life. She chooses instead to see the human being first and to connect and engage in the world based on what interests, energizes and inspires her.WON'T YOU JOIN US?

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