Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The MET Fashion Photo Show presents Joy Simmons

The MET Fashion Photo Show is proud to present Joy Simmons

Good afternoon everyone and welcome back to the MET Fashion Photo Show blog. I am also looking forward to introducing you to some of New York's movers and shakers like yourselves. Today we have a very special guest who is very involved in the communities in which she lives and serves. She is the Chief of Staff for NYC Councilman Charles Barron. One minute she is working with several organizations to conduct a meeting to get things done in and around Brooklyn, the next minute she is publishing a neighborhood newspaper educating the citizens of Brooklyn about the things that are taking place in their community. It is my pleasure to introduce you to Ms. Joy Simmons.
ME: Good afternoon Joy and thank you for participating in today's edition of the MET Fashion Photo Show blog.You do a lot of work in the community. You work for a very prominent Councilman and his wife (NYC Councilman Charles Barron and his wife, NYS Assemblywoman Inez Barron) who is also very involved in politics as well. Would you consider yourself a “Community Activist?”
JOY: Absolutely!, and because I study Urban Planning, and do some international humanitarian work, I am also described as a Community Planner and Human Rights Activist, respectively. Within the trail blazed by my mentor Councilman Charles Barron, and serving as his Chief of Staff for the past seven years, I have been able to promote social consciousness, community healing and empowerment as both a personal calling as well as a direct professional vocation.
ME: Back in June you participated in an event called "The Juneteenth Celebration", please tell the audience about the Juneteenth Celebration and what it meant to you and the Barron’s to participate.
JOY: As you know, Juneteenth is an increasingly popular African-American holiday that marks our liberation from enslavement and provides a forum for us to celebrate the continued achievements and progress of our people. The Office of Councilman Charles Barron has traditionally sponsored an annual Juneteenth event. This year’s theme was “Recognizing our Outstanding Youth.” The highlight was a full production by the Oscar and Grammy nominated IMPACT Repertory Theater, directed by the legendary Jamal Joseph. This year we also joined forces with Athenia Rodney of Umoja Events, Demolition DJs and Just Us Fam Productions to expand the Celebration. We co-organized a day-long festival in Sonny Carson aka Gershwin/ Linden Park - an explosion of cultural arts and family fun including dance, singing, hip-hop, drama, fashion performances, vendors, food, workshops and more. I am so honored to have been part of bringing culture and pride to our neighborhood of East New York and to have worked with such talented people in the process.
ME: You have been working in the political arena for a while now. Do you have aspirations to one day seek political office yourself?
JOY: As the Chief of Staff for the Office of Councilman Charles Barron for the past 5 years and Legislative Director for the first two years, running for his seat when his is term is finished or sometime in the future, can be considered a natural progression, so it is a possibility. Actually, I recently ran for and won a Judicial Delegate seat and County Committee seat (local democratic party convention seats) in the last election. I would say seeds are definitely there.
ME: If people are interested in learning more about getting involved with community events and activities, how would they go about doing that?
JOY: That’s a great question because I have learned that there are many people who want to get more involved in the community for positive social change, but don’t know where to start or would like some direction. The key is to join or start a community based organization that deals with the issues a person is passionate about. The other part is to study and learn the interpersonal and leadership skills necessary to be able to work with other people and within a structure. I find this is harder than most people realize but only synergy affects change.
ME: You also write a community newsletter for the community in which you serve. Can you tell us more about the newsletter? The 24 page newspaper is called East Brooklyn On The Move (EBM). We are a small volunteer team and just printed our first issue. EBM seeks to serve as a partner in the education, enlightenment and upliftment of our neighborhood. Our goal is to not only cover news, but to make news—good news—through advocacy and activism. Further, our mission includes supporting the economic development of our community. We feature will continuously feature neighborhood businesses, with discounted advertising opportunities for those owned by local residents and who hire from within the community. I serve as the Publisher, Celeste Clarke is our Associate Editor, and Hadassa Simmons is our reporter. We also have some unique contributors.
ME: As you know this is a blog about real New Yorker’s wearing real New York fashions. I need you to describe the outfits that you recently wore for your photo shoot.
JOY: The gold sheath dress and belted jacket happens to be by Anne Klein. I’m not into name brands but I liked the professional yet feminine look of the outfit. I bought the blue multi-stone necklace at Target for a lot cheaper than it looks. The large stone ring is a genuine precious stone and sterling silver hand-made piece from a Rastafarian Street Vendor who was selling his jewelry in New Orleans street during the Essence Festival. The blue and yellow tye-dye dress is a piece I bought at the Dance Africa Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, this summer. The bright red earrings were from a vendor at the International African Arts Festival also in Brooklyn. Both the purple dress with bell sleeves and the yellow jacket with blue embroidery was made at an African Shop I often visit on 165th Street near Jamaica Ave in Queens. The exact name of the shop and the designer eludes me at the moment (I sure hope he doesn’t read this) but as soon as I remember I will update the blog.
ME: And where did you get your hair done?
JOY: I got my hair done by hair stylist Paulette at her hair salon and art gallery on New Lots Ave and Between New Jersey and Vermont in East New York Brooklyn.
ME: Can you please describe your fashion style for the audience?
JOY: Hmm…let’s see, that’s a tough one…Cultureclectic maybe? I love African Clothing and hope to build my wardrobe so that I can wear Afro-centric clothing every day.

ME: Please use three words that would best describe you and why?
Curious – I like to study why things are the way they are and the art of mastery so that I can have more control over my life and outcomes.

Passionate – When on a mission, I can be very intense at times.
Fun-loving – The world can be viewed as a terrible place (especially after watching the evening news) but also can be viewed as a place of great beauty, wonder and experiences. I have made a pact with myself to explore and enjoy as much of the wonders of life and the world as possible.
ME: Thank you Joy, in your opinion, what are three must have items for this fall/winter season?
I really couldn’t think of anything else.
ME: Joy I want to thank you for taking the time to participate in today’s blog.
JOY: Thank you for hosting me and taking such awesome pictures. This has been lot of fun.

ME: Well ladies and gentlemen, I want to once again thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedules to read this edition of the fashion photo show blog. Now some of you have expressed an interest in advertising your business, showing off your products, and/or simply wanting to participate as a subject of my blog. All you have to do is contact me at (646) 294-1936, or send me an email at so that we can set up the interview and photo shoot session. It is that simple. You will also receive copies of the photographs taken at the photo shoot to help promote your business, products and/or services. With that being said, until next time, have a safe, and blessed day!