As I sit here and pen my last "Letter From the Editor" I am thinking of lyrics from the anti-war, biblical Byrds' bop, "Turn! Turn! Turn!"

To everything (turn, turn, turn)

There is a season (turn, turn, turn)

And a time to every purpose, under heaven

A time to build up, a time to break down

A time to dance, a time to mourn

A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

To everything (turn, turn, turn)

There is a season (turn, turn, turn)

And a time to every purpose, under heaven

A time of love, a time of hate

A time of war, a time of peace

A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

The meaning of this song is clear: as one season passes another takes its place— that is the natural order of all things. The year 2020 certainly was "a time to break down," "a time to mourn," "a time to cast away stones," "a time of hate," "a time of war," and thanks to social distancing, "a time to refrain from embracing."

Hopefully, it's safe to assume that the year 2021 will be "a time to build up," "a time to gather stones together," "a time of love," "a time of peace," and "a time you may embrace."

For the past three years, it has been an honor and privilege to serve as the first woman and youngest person to hold the title of staff writer/editor of YES! Weekly newspaper, but to further quote the song, “to everything there is a season.”

Helping tell 300 or more stories from the Triad community has been a dream fulfilled for me. I’m no good at goodbyes, so writing this final “Letter From the Editor” column is bittersweet. However, I feel totally at peace knowing that YES! Weekly newspaper will be in good hands when Chanel Davis takes command as the paper’s next editor-in-chief.


YES! Weekly's new editor-in-chief Chanel Davis

As the new EIC of YES! Weekly, Chanel will be making history as the paper’s first African-American woman to hold the position. As previously reported, I chose Chanel as one of YES! Weekly’s People of 2020 because of her hard work in the Triad community as a dedicated journalist and media mogul.

Chanel is also the founder of her own public relations firm called Humbly Press’d, the president of the Triad Association of Black Journalists, and the mother of a 13-year-old.

Chanel considers herself a news-person at heart because she loves informing the public of what’s going on in their communities and why it’s important. And she’s always been that way—growing up, Chanel said her mom, a creative disciplinarian, would take away her 60 Minutes privileges when she acted up. Her journey in journalism began while she was a non-traditional student at North Carolina A&T University.

A self-proclaimed “hometown girl,” Chanel interned at her hometown paper, the High Point Enterprise, where they offered her a permanent position if she fast-tracked her journalism degree. And so, she did – balancing school, work, and being a single mom with a daughter about to enter kindergarten.

Freelancing soon became a passion for Chanel as she began garnering bylines with YES! Weekly; The Chronicle, a Black-owned publication in Winston-Salem; and the Carolina Peacemaker, a Black-owned paper in Greensboro. She’s also landed spots in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution via McClatchy Wire Services and the North Carolina Lawyer Magazine, a flagship publication of the North Carolina Bar Association.

In 2020, Chanel pivoted her passion for freelancing into a communications business, Humbly Press’d, working to impact social media marketing, analytics, and public relations strategies with brands such as Truliant Federal Credit Union, Winston-Salem Fashion Week, Mogul Movement, Williams Memorial CME Church, The Box Office restaurant and Triad Minority Business Expo.

Chanel is an active board member of Healthy Guilford, a member of her child’s Parent Teacher Association group, and her church.

Chanel’s experience and success speak for itself, and YES! Weekly is lucky to have her as the next EIC.

When I first started, Chanel took me under her wing and helped me get acclimated to the Triad by introducing me to all kinds of folks in the community. It feels almost full-circle that I get to return the favor and introduce her to the wonderful readers of a newspaper in which I poured my blood, sweat, and tears.

Chanel’s diligence, determination, and dedication will illuminate in her work as the paper’s new editor, and I can’t wait to read all of the stories she will share.

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