Her Agenda and AlleyNYC hosted #HerAgendaLive at Animoto located at 440 Lafayette Street featuring journalist Danyel Smith who is the founder of HRDCVR, a diverse print magazine shifting content-driven culture.
Danyel shared her journey from Oakland, California to New York City which consisted of working for VIBE, Billboard and writing for highly acclaimed publishers such as The New York Times, The New Yorker, EBONY and The Village Voice. She started her writing career in California as a freelance writer and within the next few years she made the move to the Big Apple after taking an offer at Billboard magazine as an editor.
After her position at Billboard, Smith spoke about moving on to VIBE magazine as a music editor. She remembers both magazine editor positions as monumental moments in her life and also spoke about feeling as though she needed to overcompensate because she was a black woman.
Smith spoke about the diversity issues in newsrooms and also about the feeling of wanting to branch out and create something of her own during a fellowship with Stanford University. She also shared her thoughts on the trials of dating, going after her passions and truly committing to working with individuals who are worthy of being in her circle. Social media was something she shared as a major component of where Smith receives her news since she doesn’t get it from major television networks.
HRDCVR was born while she was at Stanford University as a fellow. The project is currently printing after funds were raised through Kickstarter with the assistance of a diverse team and industry expert, Elliot Wilson, who is also her husband. Danyel shared that there were ups and downs related to bringing HRDCVR to life including having to re-do the Kickstarter. She expressed that people of color don’t get the respect they deserve and that her work seeks to address this issue. Danyel also expressed that newsrooms currently lack diversity and have been lacking diversity for her entire career.
Millennials and creators were able to ask questions about safe spaces for women of color, expressing their true selves in different industries and more at Animoto. Danyel shared her journey with eager, excited attendees which made for a fun, interactive night in the city.
Watch the video of the conversation below:
Video shot by: Jason Chandler
Edits: Michael Brawley