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Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Why Wait Til February? @Toyota Celebrates Black Excellence All Year Long! #LetsGoPlacesBHT2017

January 15th, 2018 by Christen There’s a saying “You don't know where you’re going, unless you know where you’ve been.” In today’s racial and political climate, it’s a refreshing welcome to see an automotive company committed to highlighting, educating and preserving the rich wealth of African American history and its contributions that have shaped this country into what it is today.  
Toyota Black History Tour in the 2018 Camry Hybrid SE

Kicking off the Toyota Black History Tour in the ultra luxe 2018 Camry Hybrid SE.

  Last month, I joined several amazing journalists and influencers for a Black History Tour chronicling the African American civil rights movement – powered by Toyota.  This immersive experience highlighted the sights and sounds of independence in the south from Atlanta, Georgia to Jackson, Mississippi.  The tour enlightened even the most astute historian on the rise of the Civil Rights Movement.  (If you think you know everything about Black History, think again.) Discover the history of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. beyond The Dream and how Toyota is driving the narrative and celebrating Black Excellence all year long below.  

Our tour of Atlanta kicked off with Tom Houck and the home of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Atlanta, Georgia  

In Atlanta, GA we had the unique opportunity to experience a guided Civil Rights tour with Tom Houck – driver and personal assistant to Dr. Martin Luther King from 1966-1968.  Tom Huck worked with the NAACP, SCLC and VEP across the nation and highlighted stops included the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, the Georgia State Capital and Dr. Martin Luther King’s home.  

The final home of Dr. King before his untimely death April 4, 1968.


Fall of 1947, King delivered his ?rst sermon at the pulpit of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.


On August 28, 2017, the 8-foot-bronze statue of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was unveiled at Georgia State Capita on what marks the 54th Anniversary of his “I Have a Dream” speech.

  Did you know: Martin Luther King, Jr. was born Michael King, Jr. and his father says it was a mistake.  So in 1931, when his father became Pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, he adopted the name Martin Luther after the famed Protestant leader.  When he was six-years-old, his father legally changed his name on the birth certificate to Martin Luther King, Jr.    

Montgomery, Alabama  

In Montgomery, AL our first stop on the tour included the Dexter Parsonage Museum Tour where we walked the same steps as Dr. King where he and his young family lived between 1954 and 1960.  Dr. King was the youngest and the twentieth pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church and organized the Montgomery Bus Boycott from his basement office.  

The Dexter Parsonage Museum, historic home to twelve pastors of the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church from 1920-1992.

  Did you know: When King married his wife Coretta, their honeymoon left a lot to be desired.  Since they could not stay at a white-owned hotel, the newlyweds bunked up at a black-owned funeral home on their wedding night. But the wedding almost never happened! In the beginning, Coretta was reportedly not interested in King because he wasn’t taller than her.  

Much of Montgomery’s early civil rights activity – most famously the 1956 Bus Boycott – was directed by Dr. King from his office in the lower unit of the Dexter Avenue church.

  From Montgomery to Selma we drove over an hour the same path that activists marched to the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama.  On 25 March 1965, Martin Luther King led thousands of nonviolent demonstrators to the steps of the capitol in Montgomery, Alabama, after a 5-day, 54-mile march from Selma, Alabama, where local African Americans, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) had been campaigning for voting rights. King told the assembled crowd: ‘‘There never was a moment in American history more honorable and more inspiring than the pilgrimage of clergymen and laymen of every race and faith pouring into Selma to face danger at the side of its embattled Negroes’.  

53 Years later, injustice anywhere is still a threat to justice everywhere. (With Jawn Murray & Satchel Jester.)

  Did you know:  If you think Main St. is one of the most comment street names, think again.  There are over 900 streets named after King spanning over 40 states in the U.S.  Over the course of his life of 39 years, Dr. King was arrested 30 times. One of his arrests was for driving 30 mph in a 25 mph zone with three friends in the car after which authorities put him in jail.  

On August 6, President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Recalling ‘‘the outrage of Selma.’’


Selma, Alabama

While in Selma, we discovered the true roots of the Civil Rights Movement and the foundation honoring the attainment of Voting Rights for African-Americans at the National Voting Rights Museum.  

The National Voting Rights Museum & Institute offers America and the world the opportunity to learn the lessons of the past to assure we will not make the same mistakes in the 21st century and beyond.

  The battle for voting rights and equality did not begin or end on the Edmund Pettus Bridge on March 7, 1965. That struggle continues today through various efforts to remove barriers of voting in America and internationally. Foot Soldiers, members of the community, civil rights leaders, and survivors of the “Bloody Sunday” attack on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, founded the National Voting Rights Museum and Institute in Selma, Alabama in 1991.  

The Museum was opened to pay homage to the courage and strength of civil rights supporters who suffered hatred, bigotry, violence and sometimes death in order to gain the right to vote for African Americans in America.

  Did you know:  Adding to his accolades, King was the youngest person ever to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.  (That record was broken in 2014 by a 17-year-old activist named Malala Yousafzai.) He received the award at age 35 in 1964 and donated the $54,000 he received to a civil rights cause.    

Jackson, Mississippi

To culminate our Black History tour experience, we had the opportunity to participate in the launch and celebration of The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and adjacent Museum of Mississippi History featuring music, Civil Rights activists and more.  

The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum shares the stories of a Mississippi movement that changed the nation.


Visitors witness the freedom struggle in eight interactive galleries that show the systematic oppression of black Mississippians and their fight for equality that transformed the state and nation.

  Did you know:  Martin Luther King Jr. was killed by a single bullet fired at a Memphis hotel by James Earl Ray on April 4, 1968 but he wasn’t only one who died that night. After King’s assassination, one of the hotel workers, Lorraine Bailey (who was also the wife of the motel owner and who it was named after), upon seeing King get shot, had a heart attack and later died as well.  

Wise words from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that apply more today than ever before and along with his legacy will live on forever.


Close to 400 miles later through Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi and I couldn't ask for a more amazing team of professional journalists to travel through this black history journey with.


The Toyota Black History Tour culminates with the stylish 2018 Camry XSE in Jackson, Mississippi.

  Thank you Toyota for driving the narrative and ensuring that many of us are reminded of our rich black history all year long.  For more on the Toyota Black History experience or the all new Toyota Camry follow #LetsGoPlacesBHT2017 online or visit today.

Now Is The Time To Upgrade Your Listening Experience With Harman!

January 1st, 2018 by Christen Harman and Kia Stringer   What influences your listening experience? Is it the deep boom in the bass that makes your soul shake? Maybe it’s the aesthetic design that matches your fly or a brand name that you swear by. There are many things that could influence which audio platform you choose to enjoy your favorite entertainment on the home, office or on the road. , I went behind the scenes of the audio powerhouse – Harman/Kardon at the Harman / Samsung headquarters in Northridge, California. During my “insider experience”, I got the chance to explore the science and technology behind the design and development of the audio experience. Discover more from my audio adventure below.   Harman entrance

I'm ready for my Harman Insider experience, but first, let me take a selfie...

From visual in-store experiences powered by Samsung delivering unwavering value to retail partners like Under Armour to JBL super systems upgrading audio and visual delights in churches, nightclubs, theaters and beyond. The Harman experience introduced the variety of ways they can upgrade how you enjoy entertainment beyond headphones.   JBL

The JBL Charge 3 family of accessories offers waterproof, booming sound on the go.


The Harman Experience highlights products from JBL, Harman/Kardon and beyond.


MUST READ:  You’re listening to music in your car all wrong! Ford and HARMAN wants to change that!


Chatting it up inside the Harman Experience with Christa and Tam.


AKG headphone installation was audible and artistic.


All smiles with Dawn!

MUST READ: Team BMWi x Harman/Kardon: Driving The Sound Of The Future

No matter where your listening experience takes you, the Harman brands including Harman/Kardon, JBL, AKG, Revel and more powers supreme sounds found via the latest headphone technologies, in-store listening and even provides the ultimate in-vehicle car audio experience. During my unique Harman/Kardon experience, I learned about the science behind mastering the best audio and how that audio paired with the right vehicle can elevate your driving experience to the next level!   2018 KIA STINGER

The fleet of 2018 Kia Stingers were ready to roll out on the road...

  While in Southern, California - I had the chance drive the winding canyon roads in the all-new 2018 Kia Stinger. The Stinger comes equipped with the Harman/Kardon premium sound system with Clarifi sound technology that fills the cabin with rich sound throughout its 15 speaker system.  Not only was the Kia Stinger a technologically solid ride with Kia Wise Drive drive-assist systems like Blind Spot Collision Warning and Driver Attention Warning -- it was absolutely stunning and a fun ride to drive.   2018 KIA STINGER

Guess who's excited to hit the road?

  In a world of new year, new you - now's the time to upgrade your listening experience and enjoy music and entertainment they way it was meant to be.  It's easy and efficient to upgrade your audio experience with bluetooth speakers.  I'm currently loving my Harman/Kardon Traveler and JBL Charge 3 bluetooth speakers.   HARMANKARDON   Both provide similar benefits, including superior sound and smartphone charging capabilities - but I use both speakers practically daily, for two different uses. The Traveler is chic, stylish and the dual-microphone is perfect for daily conference calls use.  It's also a great compact speaker to enjoy streaming music or audiobooks.  The JBL Charge 3 is my favorite shower companion! It's waterproof, boasts booming sound and by pairing additional JBL Connect enabled speakers, you can create your own ecosystem of sound, which really makes this one of my favorite pieces of tech to date.  Maybe one day, I'll upgrade my in-home entertainment sound system to the pricer Harman/Kardon systems, but for now my audio experience has a major upgrade -- thanks to the Harman Insider Experience. For more on Harman/Kardon and JBL audio experience visit

Nissan Strengthens The Force With Star Wars: The Last Jedi

December 20th, 2017 by Christen   One of 2017’s most anticipated movies hit silver screens everywhere this month and it's doing a lot more than entertain super fans of all ages.  Star Wars: The Last Jedi is a culmination of hope, illuminating performances and more – all powered by Nissan. Discover my exciting Star Wars experience before the film opened to audiences worldwide below! Christen Rochon with the 2018  Nissan Leaf #NissanAndTheLastJedi A week ago, I had the unique opportunity to experience “The Force” and fandom of Star Wars with Nissan in Los Angeles. During the 3-day experience, journalists and Star Wars super fans were challenged to explore the City of Angels, through a unique scavenger hunt inspired by the Star Wars “light side” and “dark side” theme.   2018 Nissan Leaf #NissanAndTheLastJedi

The 2018 Nissan Leaf is chic, tech-savvy and the most efficient eco-friendly ride on the road.

The Light Side

Powered by the all new 2018 Nissan Leaf, we left on our mission to explore the way of the Jedi with on our quest to find lost Star Wars sidekick BB-8 in L.A.  Our stops included a journey to the famed Griffin Observatory for galaxy exploration and Jedi light saber training at the American School of Martial Arts.   Star Wars BB-8 in Hollywood #NissanAndTheLastJedi

BB-8 greets us outside the Griffith Observatory in Hollywood.

  Star Wars Light Saber training with Jawn Murry and Nissan #NissanAndTheLastJedi

The force is strong with Jawn Murry and I after our light saber training.

Nissan offers innovative technologies to help keep you safe on and off the road.  Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, Blind Spot warning and ProPILOT Assist with Intelligent Cruise Control are just a few ways Nissan’s innovative intelligence is helping you master the drive.  Whether you’re conquering the dark side in the 2018 Rogue or the light side in the 2018 Leaf – Nissan is powering drivers to rule the world (and the galaxy).   Nissan Rogue #NissanAndTheLastJedi

A fleet of 2018 Nissan Rogue await to take us on our Star Wars "dark side" journey.

The Dark Side

Powered by the all new 2018 Nissan Rogue, we traveled to the top of Los Angeles for an panoramic OUE Skyspace Los Angeles experience which included an alternate universe experience of lights, sounds and even a stunning 360-views of Los Angeles ending with skyslide 1000 feet above LA.   BB-9 and the dark side with Nissan #NissanAndTheLastJedi

BB-9 showing us how dark and deep life on the dark side can take you at OUE Skyspace. 

    Nissan and the last jedi #NissanAndTheLastJedi

This 2018 Nissan maxima has transformed into a sinister sedan inspired by Kylo Ren.

The Star Wars: The Last Jedi Red Carpet Premier Powered By Nissan

Imagine the height of all things Jedi coming together in a place where super fans converge for a Star Wars marathon screening event to watch “The Phantom Menace”,Attack of the Clones”, “A New Hope”, “The Empire Strikes Back”, “Return of the Jedi”, “The Force Awakens” all leading up to the premiere of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”. The red carpet experience at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood hosted a variety of iconic Star Wars characters and character-inspired Nissan vehicles.  I even got in on the action and dressed up as my favorite Star Wars heroine – Princess Leia.   star wars and the last jedi red carpet #NissanAndTheLastJedi

Princess Leia and the 2018 Nissan Maxima inspired by kylo ren’s TIE silencer’

    Nissan and the last jedi #NissanAndTheLastJedi

Who says the boys get to have all the Star Wars fun? 

  Star Wars: The Last Jedi was an excellent film for the entire family. (PS: Checking out Star Wars: The Last Jedi is a perfect Christmas Day movie pick for your family outing!) Even if you aren’t a Star Wars super fan, you’ll enjoy the surprising twists, epic fight scenes and familiar faces in the new movie!  Plus there are so many applicable themes of hope and perseverance that’ll easily inspire your next vision board party or carry you into 2018 with a vengeance.  This immersive Nissan experience was a great way to end 2017 on a high note and I can’t wait to see what the Nissan x Star Wars partnership brings for years to come.   For more information on the 2018 Nissan family of vehicles and Star Wars partnership visit Get social by checking out @NissanUSA and the hashtag #NissanAndTheLastJedi online or stop by your local Nissan dealership for some Star Wars ‘See the Unseen’ augmented reality experience of your own!    

Jabs Gym x Under Armour – The Perfect Fitness Match!

November 10th, 2017 by Christen   Under Armour and Jabs Gym kicked off a partnership unlike anything Detroit has ever seen. Together, both superstar brands launched a series of events which includes cardio kickboxing fitness, live DJ; free give-a-ways, Under Armour/Jabs Gym discounts and more!   Jabs Gym Under Armour   Jabs gym is the premier fitness features group fitness classes and personal training for all fitness levels. Recently, Jabs Gym owner/Middleweight fighter Willie Fortune, (aka Fortune 500 (22-2), shared his vision for the Jabs Gym brand. Jabs Gym Under Armour   “I make life champions before ring champions because we have a fight every day in our life,” said Fortune who has taken on the calling to prepare members for a fight in their life, where he mentally, physically and emotionally trains participants for any battle they are currently fighting outside of the gym.  “It is with great pleasure to partner with the Under Armour brand. Detroiters embody an underdog spirit, and that comes in both style and fitness. Like Under Armour, we both share an aesthetic for special design including murals by local artists depicting athletes like Muhammad Ali. We are eager to show our clients what the New Detroit has to offer."   Jabs Gym Under Armour   During the electric fitness experience, guests learned the basics in boxing fundamentals from jabs to uppercut punches as well as participated in a vigorous abdominal workout.   jabs gym   Keep an eye out for the next level of fitness with style from Jabs Gym and Under Armour soon.  For more information on Jabs Gym and even get a taste of what score a free fitness class, visit    

Black Girls Code Celebrates Launch of Detroit Chapter With Huge Help From GM

September 18th, 2017 by Christen GM BGC Detroit   In an effort to further strengthen the mission of introducing young women of color to code and stem education, Black Girls Code has announced a partnership with General Motors, which includes a hefty $255,000 donation to launch a chapter in Detroit.   GM Black Girls Code   GM says it’s teaming up with Black Girls Code partly because of the work its doing around electric and self-driving cars, and how much technical genius is going to be required of younger generations. “It’s one of the reasons that it’s our mission to help build the next generation of STEM leaders, with an emphasis on expanding opportunities to women and other underrepresented groups,” GM CEO Mary Barra said in a statement.  
GM BGC Detroit2

General Motors volunteers help 2nd - 6th grade students at Detroit International Academy.

  To celebrate GM and Black Girls Code hosted a series of hands-on and engaging activities at Detroit International Academy for Women(DIA), a Detroit Public Schools Community District school, and TechTown. According to the Detroit Regional Chamber, Detroit outpaces the nation in information technology job growth and is expected to continue the pace through 2025. This partnership, announced alongside four other computer science partnerships in June, aims to increase interest in STEM career fields for girls of color. Women of color are traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields, especially in technology. Only 3 percent of African-American women and less than 1 percent of Latinas receive degrees in computer science.  
GM BGC Detroit1

General Motors Executive Vice President Global Manufacturing Alicia Boler Davis.

Black Girls Code CEO Kimberly Bryant shares "Although we've hosted workshops in the area off and on since 2012, we are thrilled to officially launch a Black Girls CODE chapter in Detroit with the support of GM and other corporate and community partners like Comcast and Wayne State University. Our regular programming, launching this fall, will lay a foundation to fully engage girls of color in Detroit and is designed to inspire them to continue their paths as future STEM professionals."  
GM BGC Detroit3

GM - Black Girls Code launching young minds and a chapter in Detroit.

  For more information about BGC student workshops, events and how to get involved, visit

Team BMWi x Harman/Kardon: Driving The Sound Of The Future

July 19th, 2017 by Christen Team BMWi x Harman/Kardon paired up for a history-making partnership highlighting sustainable mobility and the sound of the future during the first ever FiA Formula E NYC ePrix in Brooklyn.   Harman Sound of the Future     The Harman/Kardon partnership with BMWi sponsors the MS Amlin Andretti Race Team in the global racing event. While NYC has hosted a variant of race-related auto events in the past, this weekend was the first time that a Formula E race has come to the Big Apple. Well-known globally for premium sound experience and a sophisticated aesthetic, Harman Kardon perfectly matched the BMWi and FiA Formula E appealing flair of sights and sounds from NYC’s Brooklyn Terminal.   Harman Sound of the Future   During this weekend’s exclusive NYC ePrix experience, I got the chance to go behind the scenes from the MS Amlin Andretti Race Team and get a closer look at the technology and sound behind Formula E racing. I learned the lengths drivers and their teams go through to vigorously prepare their engine, tires and more for the race.   Harman Sound of the Future   Race Day During race day, I got the chance to experience the BMWi x Harman/Kardon partnership in perfect harmony with speed and sound. There’s nothing quite like a race track hot lap, but when you’re in a BMWi8, it becomes a next level experience.   BMWI   We reached speeds up to 110+ MPH and it was exhilarating! Pair uncompromised speed and style with a superior sound system and you realize why the BMWi x Harman/Kardon team was a match made in heaven. harman/kardon doesn’t just create amazing in-home and headphone audio products, it’s driving the sound of the future in the automotive industry with sustainable audio products. To support the move towards a greener, more sustainable future, it’s developed audio components that are more energy efficient and consume less power, all while giving the listener incredible sound.   BMWI DRIVE   The Harman/Kardon is an audio experience you have to hear to believe and luckily they're closer to you than you think.  Check out to discover more behind the brand that's changing the way we listen and driving the sound of the future, today.

Nissan Celebrates Black Star Power At The 2017 BET Awards! #NissanDiversity

July 5th, 2017 by Christen As the fastest growing automotive brand in the US, and a huge brand for African-American women drivers, it's only right that Nissan partnered with Black Entertainment Television (BET) for it's annual BET Awards weekend in Los Angeles.  For the fourth consecutive year, Nissan served as the official automotive sponsor of the 2017 BET Awards and the BET Experience at L.A. LIVE (June 22nd - 25th).   BETX   The BET Experience is a four-day multicultural music and entertainment festival. Highlights of the event included seminars, celebrity guest appearances and live music. On Saturday afternoon, BETX guests got the chance to stop by the Nissan Dome to meet legendary rapper MC LYTE, and actress and social celebrity Jurnee Bell.   NISSAN BET AWARDS   Fans will also snapped photos and got to check out the latest line up of Nissan vehicles including the Rogue Sport and the Midnight Edition Altima and Maxima.   NISSAN BET AWARDS   Nissan BET Awards

[2017 BET Awards Bound]

(L-R) Jocelyn Allen - The Allen Lewis Agency, Journalists Jawn Murray and Flo Anthony.

  One of the biggest stars gracing the BET Awards red carpet was Nissan's 2017 Rogue Sport, and 2017 GT-R where celebrities posed for media photos and highlight their red carpet style!   Yvette Nicole Brown Nissan BET Awards

Yvette Nicole Brown and the 2017 Nissan GT-R at the 2017 BET Awards red carpet.

    The 2017 BET AWARDS was hosted by comedian and actress Leslie Jones, of “Saturday Night Live” fame, in her first major award show hosting role.  The night kicked off with an electrifying performance from Bruno Mars, and featured the highly-anticipated reunion performance of 90s R&B group, Xscape, as members Kandi Burruss and Tameka “Tiny” Cottle showed that they still have it.  Original boy band superstars, New Edition, took home the Lifetime Achievement Award, and were honored with a showstopping tribute performance from the full cast of BET’s smash biopic “The New Edition Story” that brought the crowd to its feet.   In a special surprise taped message, former First Lady Michelle Obama introduced this year’s Humanitarian Award to Chance the Rapper, who has raised over two million dollars for public schools in his hometown of Chicago. Additional highlights included performances from Chris Brown, Migos, DJ Khaled, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar and Future; as well as appearances by Queen Latifah, Jamie Foxx, Issa Rae, Yara Shahidi, Solange Knowles, Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs, and Jada Pinkett Smith.  For a list of winners, performances and must-see moments visit   Nissan BET Awards   What were your favorite moments of the 2017 BET Awards powered by Nissan?  TWEET me @DivasandDorks #NissanDiversity 🙂  

Ultra Luxe Comfort And Style With Dream Hollywood x Lincoln Black Label

April 19th, 2017 by Christen What happens when a chic hotelier partners with the pinnacle of modern automotive design - a dreamy match made in heaven!   Dream Hotel Hollywood Lincoln
Stepping in behind the scenes lace t-shirt, jeans and hardhat required. (Snapchat spectacles not included.)
Los Angeles has been abuzz awaiting the opening of its newest travel destination and now  The Dream Hollywood is here.  Boasting beautiful palatial rooms, state of the art rooftop swimming area and restaurants - what could make a chic hotel stay even better? Access to a luxe fleet of Lincoln Black Label cars and SUVs to ensure your transport in style!   Dream Hotel Hollywood Lincoln
Perched pretty in Victoria Beckham and my favorite stilettos with the 2018 Lincoln Navigator Black Label.
The all-new Lincoln Continental, the new Lincoln MKZ and the Lincoln Navigator will be available to hotel guests for limited ground transportation during their stay.  If you're a current Lincoln owner and Lincoln Black Label member, you'll receive exclusive privileges including an exclusive rate, exclusive dining reservations at Beauty & Essex or TAO and 24/7 access to a Dream Hollywood concierge.   Dream Hotel Hollywood Lincoln   Last week, The Dream Hotel Hollywood and Lincoln invited me out for an exclusive look at the property including the Lincoln-themed guest rooms (that come equipped with vintage record players & records for in-home entertainment), TAO and Beauty & Essex restaurant.  The new Dream Hollywood, located in the heart of Hollywood on the buzzing corner of Selma Ave. and N. Cahuenga Blvd is slated to open in May.  From room construction blueprints to a wine safari featuring zebras and giraffes, check out a few exclusive moments behind the #DreamscapeLA experience below.   Dream Hollywood Lincoln     For more on the exclusive Dream Hollywood x Lincoln Black Label collaboration, discover the #DreamscapeLA experience on Twitter and Instagram.  Get a look behind the Lincoln Black Label design at and  Stay connected and book your next Hollywood getaway today with Dream Hollywood at
Disclosure:  The following content has been sponsored in part by The Dream Hotel Hollywood and Lincoln Motor Company, however, all experiences and accounts shared below are my own.

Going Rogue At SXSW With The All New 2017 Nissan Rogue

March 17th, 2017 by Christen This year's SXSW hosted a smorgasbord of electric panelists, special events and screenings during the 10-day Interactive, Music and Film festival.  Thanks to my amazing friends at Nissan - I rode in style and got up close and personal with everything SXSW and the city of Austin had to offer.  Check out a few of my favorite moments from SXSW 2017 with Nissan below.   FullSizeRender 100   On the road to SXSW in the ultra cool Nissan Rogue and stumbled into the coolest outdoor graffiti gallery on the west coast, the Hope Outdoor Gallery.  This educational project is managed by the non-profit HOPE Events and was of?cially launched in March 2011 with the help of contemporary artist Shepard Fairey. It is the only paint park of its kind in the USA and was developed to provide muralists, street artists, arts education classes and community groups the opportunity to display large scale art pieces driven by inspirational, positive & educational messaging.   FullSizeRender 101   Of course I couldn't experience SXSW without finding my way to the throne...the Game Of Thrones - throne, that is.  For the past several years, HBO has hosted cool experiences celebrating their most popular shows and this year was no different. HBO: The Escape, an activation that turned the famous sets of Veep, Silicon Valley and Game of Thrones into intricate escape rooms.   IMG_8748   Upon entering each room, participants are given a set of clues and tasked with teaming together and solving the puzzle to “escape” that space in five minutes. The Game of Thrones room was a dingy, cold, snowy space inside Castle Black that’s eerily similar to being stuck in a dungeon in Westeros. After successfully solving the puzzle and escaping the room, I got the chance to claim my throne!   IMG_8719   Armed with great colleagues in the social and tech space, my squad (Zondra of and Raul of Latin World Ent.) and I took to the streets for SXSW seminars and events at the Austin Convention Center.  From keynote speakers like Van Jones, Mark Cuban and even former Vice President Joe Biden to the open start up village featuring the great work of my alma matter - Michigan State University, SXSW convention center was the place to see, explore and connect with purveyors of technology, music and film.   IMG_8656

Nissan, autonomous driving and the internet of things

Nissan is a pioneer of the electric vehicle movement, having introduced the world's first mass-market electric car, the Nissan LEAF, in 2010. Today, there are more than 275,000 Nissan EVs on the road globally with 102,000 of these vehicles in United States alone. Nissan is heavily focused on preparing for “LEAF-to-Home” commercialization in the U.S., similar to what is available on the market in Japan today. In 2012, Nissan introduced this system in Japan, allowing drivers to supply a house with the energy stored in a Nissan LEAF battery. By charging the vehicle at night when electricity is cheaper and powering a household during the day, the system assists in alleviating power consumption during peak periods when demand is highest and most expensive. It can also be used as a backup power supply for blackouts and emergencies. Today about 4,000 households in Japan are utilizing their EVs to manage home energy use, and hundreds of EVs are powering buildings in Japan and Europe. As a demonstration at SXSW, a production LEAF was utilized for a somewhat different task – powering smoothie machines to provide yummy refreshments at the event.   For more on our #NissanSXSW adventure, follow #NissanDiversity on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and get details on the 2017 Nissan Rogue at    

Jabs Gym Celebrates 4 Years Of Dominating Detroit Fitness!      

February 27th, 2017 by Christen   In celebration of it’s 4-Year Anniversary, Jabs Gym partied the best way they knew how – with a fitness party! Dozens of boxing enthusiasts and fitness newbies laced up their sneakers/boxing gloves and piled inside of Jabs Gym (Birmingham) for an intense sample of kickboxing and conditioning inside (and outside) the ring.   Jabs Gym Anniversary   Led by Jabs Gym co-owner and professional boxer Willie Fortune, fitness fans began the 90-minute experience with cardio-kickboxing basics plus the fundamentals behind classes like Circuit boxing and BOYO throughout the evening.  What’s BOYO – you ask?  BOYO is a group fitness class that combines elements of Boxing and Yoga specifically developed and exclusively taught at Jabs Gym.   Jabs Gym Bootcamp

Get A Jumpstart On New Year Fitness (That’ll Change Your Life!) With Jabs Gym

  It didn’t take long before my girlfriends and I were wrapped and ready to go, punching and kicking our way to our summer body goals.  (It was hard work, but at least we looked cute in our fitness gear! LOL) The kickboxing classes are tons of fun and open to all fitness levels (it may take a few classes to memorize the combination punches and kicks, but it’s all worth it in the end.) If you’ve ever considered boxing – Jabs is it! And if you’ve ever wanted to experience a gym with friendly, knowledgeable staff filled with powerful classes – grab your gym bag make your way to Jabs Gym today!   Jabs Gym Bootcamp Want stylish fitness gear? Find a few favorite tops, yoga pants, sports bras and accessories on Amazon.   Established in 2013 as a state of the art intimate fitness and group training facility to make boxing training accessible to the everyday person, Jabs Gym has is the perfect gym to take your fitness goals to the next level.  Equipped with a full-sized boxing ring, ample personal training space, free weights, weight machines, cardio equipment, and more, it's the perfect facility to get fit, while having fun.  If you've ever wanted to try a new fitness regimen learn more about Jabs Gym and sign up for your FREE fitness class today at   Jabs Gym Bootcamp  



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