The Newseum Wants You To Know They Are “On Deadline”

In January, Freedom Forum, Inc., the founder and primary funder of the Newseum, announced that the building that houses the Newseum had been sold to John Hopkins University.

Knowing they would close their doors in December, I’ve tried to soak up as much of the Newseum as I can this year, attending their open Winter Open House, and talks/book signings by trailblazing former Washington Post journalist Dorothy Gilliam and CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta. (I still chuckle when I think of Jim Acosta speaking at the Newseum, triumphantly holding up his hard pass that the Trump White House took away, but was ordered by a judge to return to him. A victory not only for Jim Acosta but for press freedom.)

On February 24, 2019 the Newseum held it’s Winter Open House.

On April 20, 2019, CNN journalist Abby Phillips interviewed trailblazer Dorothy Gilliam, the first female African-American journalist at the Washington Post. Afterwards, Ms. Gilliam held a booksigning.

<p><a href=”″>Jim Acosta at the Newseum July 13, 2019</a> from <a href=”″>Shalana Millard</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

CNN’s Jim Acosta was interviewed at the Newseum on July 13, 2019 about covering Donald Trump as a candidate and as president.

I also feel blessed to have attended two evening programs at the Newseum this year. At their Free Press event sponsored by the Freedom Forum Institute and the Boston Globe, it was a moment that nearly brought me to tears to hear Washington Post global opinions editor Karen Attiah speak about editing Jamal Khashoggi’s final work after his murder.

<p><a href=”″>Sen. Chuck Schumer at the Newseum 022419</a> from <a href=”″>Shalana Millard</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

At a #FreePress event at the Newseum on February 24, 2019, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) encouraged journalists to not let Donald Trump knock them off course. And during a panel discussion, Washington Post global opinions editor Karen Attiah spoke about her murdered friend and colleague, journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

I left the Newseum feeling inspired by America’s ingenuity and can-do spirit, after attending the special screening of the PBS documentary Chasing The Moon to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.

For those, like me, who hoped that December 31 would come slowly, the Newseum jarred us back to reality this week with their reminder that they are “on deadline” and will officially close their doors on New Year’s Eve.

The Newseum is in a reflective mood, asking their Instagram followers yesterday what their favorite memory is at the Newseum.

It’s difficult for me to pin-point one favorite memory, out of 11 years worth of memories at the Newseum. But the President and the Press, and Inside Media events, held at the Newseum’s Knight TV Studio and Annenberg Theater, have left indelible impressions on me. I’m thankful that after these programs, I’ve had the opportunity to tell journalists like Abby Phillips and Jim Acosta to keep up the great work, in spite of the attacks from the White House.

I’m thinking of the solemn moments spent at the Newseum’s memorial to fallen journalists. The breathtaking moments at their 9/11 exhibit, and standing in front of the casing of Dr. King’s jail cell at the Make Some Noise exhibit.

And did you know the Newseum could make you laugh too? Just check out the hilarious headlines gone wrong found on the walls inside their restrooms.

For more than 11 years, the Newseum’s observation deck has also been a main attraction to take in the city landscape. Whenever I’m on the observation deck, I always think how appropriate it is that a museum that is dedicated to the first amendment and a free press, gives you one of the best views of the United States Capitol where our laws are made.

When I walk out of the Newseum for the last time and look back at the building, I will not say goodbye. I will say “until later, Newseum. May the vital work you do shining a light on our five freedoms, continue at another location to be determined in our nation’s capital.”


Thank You, Newseum

You’ll have to excuse what may seem like a period of mourning for many news lovers. Yesterday, Freedom Forum, the creator and primary funder of the Newseum, announced that the building which houses the Newseum, has been sold to John Hopkins University. The Newseum will remain in the building through the end of 2019.

The Newseum is the only museum in Washington, D.C. dedicated to press freedom and the first amendment.

The most sacred area in the Newseum, is their memorial to fallen journalists.

Google best museums or attractions in D.C., and you will see the Newseum often makes the list. After yesterday’s announcement, reaction on social media was one of sadness and heartbreak.

I first visited the Newseum at its original location in Arlington, Virginia. And was ecstatic when they announced they would be moving to Washington, D.C. It opened at its current location on Pennsylvania Avenue on April 11, 2008.

The Newseum is not only home to powerful exhibits, but they have had great programs such as Inside Media and The President And The Press, featuring incredible speakers.

In June 2017, I had the pleasure of hearing veteran White House correspondent April Ryan speak about what it has been like to cover the White House. She also signed copies of her book At Mama’s Knee.

In April 2015, Tavis Smiley visited the Newseum and talked about his book My Journey With Maya.

Some of my favorite moments at the Newseum, have included hearing author and commentator Tavis Smiley, and White House correspondent April Ryan, speak and sign books.

If you are in the Nation’s Capital, soak up all that you can of the Newseum this year.

A favorite attraction for many at the Newseum, it the observation deck. Not only is it a beautiful view overlooking the city. But it is powerful moment to be at a museum dedicated to the first amendment, and look out at the Capitol building.

And most importantly, let’s all re-dedicate ourselves to supporting those organizations that have committed themselves to press freedom.

Thank you for all that you have done so far, Newseum. Here’s hoping that your story will continue at a different location, still in the heart of D.C.

In Praise of The Pop-Up Bookstore

As a child, I loved walking into a mall and finding one of my favorite bookstores: Waldenbooks and Crown among them.

That era, of course, has long gone by. And today’s children will likely never know the joy of spending an hour getting lost (purposefully and wonderfully) in your favorite bookstore.

I’ve adapted to today’s technilogical advances, and love reading books in electronic (ebook) and audiobook format.

But I must confess: I still love walking into a brick-and-mortar store and inhaling the smell of books in print format.

So imagine my joy at finding Carpe Librum, a pop-up bookstore. Carpe Librum is the fundraising branch of Turning The Page, and education-based nonprofit.

Indulging one’s love of books while also supporting a great cause? Now that’s what I call winning!

Learn more about Capre Librum (“seize the book”) and Turning the Page:

National Book Lovers Day

National Book Lovers Day is celebrated annually on August 9, and sometimes the first Saturday in November.

It gives bibliophiles another reason to celebrate the joy of reading.

I am thankful to have been nurtured with a love of books, from a very early age. I was surrounded by a mother and other adults who enthusiastically encouraged reading.

I continue to surround myself with books today, whether in physical format, or electronic and audiobooks on my tablets and phone.

It is quite appropriate that on this National Book Lovers Day, a new study suggests that those who love to read, live longer.

So curl up with a great book right now!

Remembering Fallen Journalists

Mark your calendars for May 3, 2016, recognized as World Press Freedom Day.

On this very special and solemn day, interested citizens, and those in the news media, will join together in remembering journalists who have paid with the ultimate sacrifice, their life, while simply doing their job and bringing us the news.

This amazing day of rememberance of fallen journalists is the brainchild of Sarah Jones Reports, in collaboration with Plus Social Good, Committe to Protect Journalists, etc.

I already hear you asking, ‘how can I get involved?’


Visit the Remembering Fallen Journalists+Social Good Facebook page at:;

On May 3, you can participate in many ways, including:

1. Wearing a black Press ribbon. Here is the one I proudly wore last year on May 3, in honor of World Press Freedom Day 2015 and remembering fallen journalists.

2.  Between 6:oo PM and 9:00 PM your local time on May 3, use your social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook etc.) to post in honor of fallen journalists. Use the hashtag #remembering. 

Last year, I spent World Press Freedom Day at the Newseum. The Newseum is a haven not only for journalists, but for anyone interested in ensuring a free press and the values enshrined in the First Amendment.

I made sure to stop by the World Press Freedom exhibit and the Journalists Memorial.


 I look forward to participating again this year, and hope to see many others #remebering fallen journalists.

The Case of The Disappearing Bookstore 

Recently, I ventured to my favorite Barnes and Noble bookstore, of course expecting to go in, browse, and perhaps make a few purchases.
Imagine my surprise when I walked up and noticed a sign indicating that the bookstore had permanently closed. It was as if I was living that memorable scene straight out of the 90’s classic romantic comedy You’ve Got Mail. “Quelle nightmare!” (Where is Meg Ryan when you need her? Only this time, the big-chain bookstore that served as the villain in You’ve Got Mail, has become the victim too.)

The closure of this particular Barnes And Noble leaves my city with zero- that’s right, zero- big chain bookstores.

Thanks to several adults in my life, I grew up nurtured with a love of reading. I always felt right at home at B. Dalton, Waldenbooks, or Super Crown. I’d spend forever looking for the latest in Francine Pascal’s Sweet Valley High series. I just had to have the latest Judy Blume book. What? Me leave the bookstore without the latest installment in Emily Chase’s Girls of Canby Hall series? Never! Fortunately, my mother indulged my addiction. My aunt would sometimes also pass along her books to me after she finished reading them, including her copy of a biography on famed athlete Wilma Rudolph.

They may be a little worn, but I still have some of my original books by Emily Chase, Judy Blume and Francine Pascal that I read growing up.

As a child, whenever I curled up with a good book, I felt transported into the world of the characters in those books. (I feel like I grew up right beside twins Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield in Pascal’s Sweet Valley High series.)

But my love of reading served another purpose. I believe it was being an avid reader, and falling in love with the written word, that made me want to become a writer and obtain a journalism degree.

Today of course, the reading experience is a lot different than it was when I was growing up. I still enjoy the physical copy of a book, and smelling the print as I turn the pages. But like so many others, my primary method of reading has become the electronic book (e-book) on my phone and tablets. I also enjoy listening to a great audiobook while in transit.

Today, like so many others, I love reading ebooks on my iPad (left), and listening to audiobooks on my Kindle (right).

But the calm, oasis and magic found in a brick and motar bookstore is something that still cannot be replaced.

If you’ll excuse me now, I am in a period of mourning.

Writing Vision Board

I’ve been reading lately about the use of vision boards to help stay focused on any goals you have set.

Using the Wishboard iOS app in the iTunes Store, I created a digital writing vision board to help keep my ‘eyes on the prize’ and serve as a constant reminder of my writing goals this year.

Chime in, writers! Are you using a vision board for your writing goals?


Welcome to A Write Life!

Welcome to A Write Life, a blog dedicated to my love of books, writing, and journalism.

I grew up fascinated by books and the written word.  I love how the best writing has the ability to transport you to another world. (Something I hope to accomplish in my own writing).


Please share this blog with the writers in your life!