#MediaMonday – Michelle Beaver
Today’s #MediaMonday comes to us from Michelle Beaver, a Phoenix-based editor, journalist, author and dedicated social-justice volunteer. She’s editorial director of the national medical publication EndoPro Magazine and is the founder and director of the Arizona chapter of PEN America.
Michelle, time to share:
The national medical magazine for which I serve as editorial director serves doctors, nurses and technicians in the $30-billion endoscopy market. We cover any topic that helps endoscopy professionals succeed in their careers, from the latest in medical interventions, to retirement advice and tips about how to communicate with patients.
I’ve served as editor in chief of five healthcare magazines, but prior to that work I was a reporter for Bay Area News Group (The Oakland Tribune, The Mercury News, etc.) and the Associated Press. I’ve freelanced for 20 years for outlets such as The Los Angeles Review of Books, PHOENIX Magazine, Echo Magazine, the USA Today Network, Phoenix New Times, etc. I’ve also ghost-written a health book for a best-selling Readers Digest series and co-authored a health book for the Dummies brand. My dream though, is to write creative nonfiction books, and social-justice novels. My novel-in-progress, Cypher Crew, is about five misfits who unite through hip-hop street dance to save Arizona’s oldest high school from the very people who should be protecting it.
I was raised in Upstate New York until moving to Arizona in 1993. I attended Tolleson Union High School in west Phoenix (I still hear the baritone pride call of “WEST SIDE” in my head every time I mention Tolleson …). My journalistic passion started at age 15 when I led a statewide battle against censorship of student journalists, which included drafting and presenting Senate Bill 1282 with Arizona State Sen. Joe Eddie Lopez. (D-Phoenix). The measure lost but did not quell my belief in what young people can achieve. Support of youth empowerment is part of why I’ve volunteered to help young people every week for two decades. This service has been through programs run by The Louis August Jonas Foundation (at sites in New York and Denmark), the city of Oakland Parks and Recreation Department (Oakland, California), Boys Hope Girls Hope (in Phoenix), SHINE Together (California) and the Beat Drop Kidz dance crew of Phoenix that my brother-in-law, Joe Edrozo, founded to help at-risk youth. On this theme, my husband and I are launching a kids’ non-profit hip-hop summer camp called Arizona Grooves, to debut in 2024.
I’m also shifting my volunteer work to a new source: the literary world. As founder and director of the Arizona chapter of PEN America I’ve been building a coalition of writers, editors and arts-supporters throughout the Grand Canyon State to bolster the work of PEN America.
The non-profit PEN America started in 1922 and stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect free expression in the United States and worldwide. Past and current notable members have included Maya Angelou, Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, Barbara Kingsolver, Toni Morrison, Salman Rushdie, John Steinbeck, and many others. I’m very excited about the events we’ve been hosting and the camaraderie that’s forming between attendees. This chapter is uniting writers and journalists throughout Arizona.
My favorite restaurant WAS a fabulous Tempe venue called The Sahara. The Sahara for decades served amazing Iraqi food, but it closed several years ago and I’ve been trying to “chase the dragon” at Middle-Eastern restaurants ever since, always failing. The Sahara’s vegetarian combination was the best meal I’ve ever had. All other versions of vegetarian combination pale in comparison. Do I have another favorite restaurant?
No! Not even close.
To be fair though, to all the restaurants out there, my husband and I are so busy with our jobs, toddler, and volunteer work that we don’t have much time to go out anyway. If you know of a fantastic Middle Eastern restaurant, please, do tell!
You can contact me through www.MichelleBeaver.info. (about Middle Eastern food or sundry other topics) or follow me on Twitter @MichelleBeav.