Name: Vania Andre
City: New York
Superpower: My emotional intelligence.
I love my job because I’m helping shape how my community will be remembered in the years to come. We’re documenting the Haitian community’s successes, the challenges the Diaspora faces, and how Haitians all over the world are growing and building lives for themselves outside of Haiti.
My dream is to build a publishing empire that highlights the voices and stories of Black Diaspora communities all over the world. Wherever there are descendants of Africans, whether it be Haitians on Hispaniola, Garifunas in Belize, or Afro-Latinos in Mexico, I want to be able to help these communities tell their stories and share it with a larger audience.
I made it this far in my career because I’m passionate about my work and I said yes to opportunities regardless if I felt prepared for them or not. Being resourceful is also another major component to my success. I’ve always had to do more with less, and that forced me to step out of my comfort zone to learn what I need to while on the job and to make sure the outcome is what I envisioned. It’s not about knowing everything, but instead knowing where to go for the answer.
My honest thoughts on balancing a love life and career are that it’s very difficult. You have to be with someone who not only gets it, but truly supports your career and appreciates your vision and where you want to go. In the past, I’ve been made to feel as though my ambition was an annoyance or was a ploy for me to meet men. I think the most important thing is to be up front from the beginning about the type of woman you are, what your partner can expect from you, and then watch to see if their actions line up with their words. Often, people say they are understanding and accepting of your lifestyle because they want to be with you, but in time their actions show that they truly aren’t. It’s important to identify those red flags early on to save both of you time.
The last time I felt like giving up on my dreams was never. I know this is for me and that I’m on the right path. My upbringing, tragedies, successes, disappointments, and opportunities have all come full circle to put me in the position I am in today. I have faith that everything that happens will continue to direct me down the path I’m supposed to be on.
The last time I cried was about a few months ago. I was reflecting on a past relationship that ended abruptly. I realized how much I didn’t deserve how I had been treated and how the ending of the relationship had nothing to do with me, but everything to do with the other person. It was liberating to see it wasn’t me, but also a bit sad because of how powerless I felt I was in the situation.
I get through my darkest moments by surrounding myself with people I love and by digging deeper into work and myself.
The last time I looked in the mirror for self reflection & self evaluation was a few days ago. I’m proud of who I am and what I’ve been able to accomplish. It motivates me to keep going and gives me assurance that I’m exactly where I should be.
Self-love is important because no one will love you more than you love yourself. Everything is temporary and uncertain and at the end of the day, all you will have in the end is yourself and God.
Three things no one knows about me I’m very sensitive, I think a lot about mortality and my purpose in life. Also, I’m obsessed with religion and faith and understanding what people believe in and why.
My three most memorable career moments were moderating a panel during a United Nations forum in Azerbaijan, calling out Donald Trump for his offensive and hypocritical comments about Haiti on MSNBC, and becoming publisher of Haitian Times. The founder, Garry Pierre-Pierre, is someone I respect tremendously, and it was an amazing feeling to know that someone like him trusts me and believes I’m capable in moving his work forward.
I feel INTRIGUED about the pressure women feel nowadays to look “perfect” on social media because you can only keep up appearances for so long. I’m curious why as a society we put so much emphasis on looking perfect, when we know its fake. Who are we really trying to fool and for what reasons?
The best advice I ever received came from Garry Pierre-Pierre and it was “this isn’t a race; it’s a marathon.”
My future goals are to replicate what we’re doing with Haitian Times with other niche communities and build a publishing empire that will live long past I do.
People with good vibes can find me at @vaniaandre_ on Twitter and Instagram