Delon Scott – Contributing Writer
Photos by Derrick Chambers
Since 2009, Chida Warren-Darby has served as the Managing Editor of The San Diego Voice & Viewpoint and in 2014 was named Co-Publisher, but after 8 years announced that she will be resigning on December 31st from her post. “Working in the family business has definitely been a labor of love. The community has been so supportive of all my efforts. I consider it an honor to have been entrusted with steering such a jewel.” Warren-Darby says that she was always taught that the family business was a ministry more than anything. “This newspaper has changed lives and healed hearts. It has shed light on dark places and unified communities. To me, that’s more than a business.”
While she never thought she’d leave the industry, Warren-Darby has shared that there were always other things she wanted to do. “For a while, I had a nonprofit organization that focused on mentoring girls and combating sex trafficking in our Black and Brown communities, but soon thereafter I became a single parent and a woman healing from an abusive marriage, so my priorities had to change.” Over the years Warren-Darby has dabbled in fashion design, photography, acting and has even become a published author. “Most people don’t know that I am a student at USD,” she laughs. “I’ve never had time to finish because I’ve been running the newspaper, but it’s definitely something I plan on doing in the next two years.”
Throughout the process, Warren-Darby says she knew at her core publishing would still find its way to the surface – no matter what profession she held. “I’m an NPR/KPBS buff. I love magazines and books. I simply love the art of storytelling, but I’ve discovered over the years that my favorite stories to tell are ones of tragedy turned to triumph.” With this understanding, Warren-Darby decided to create a digital platform in which she could tell them. “For the last few years, a magazine concept has been brewing in my spirit. The fullness of it came to me earlier this year, and I’ve been working on it ever since.” The magazine is called ‘Black &’. When asked what the concept behind the title is, Warren-Darby says “I want to show that we are more than Black people. We are Black and beautiful, Black and educated, Black and informed. We are just so much more.” This new venture focuses on the 22 to 44-year-old demographic. She says she’s excited to tap into what her generation is doing locally. “Though our numbers are small here, it doesn’t mean that we don’t have stories to tell,” Warren-Darby says she’s gained a lot of support thus far from people who have learned of her new venture. “It means so much to me that people are excited about the magazine. Many have asked how they could help, and I didn’t really have an answer for them. After a lot of thought, I decided to create a Kickstarter campaign that shares more on what I’m doing with the publication, the impact it will have on our community, and ways people can pitch in financially as ‘Founders’ to support it.” While it is a digital venture, Warren-Darby says she will print three issues into one, every quarter. “If I’ve learned nothing else from publishing a newspaper, I’ve learned that we like to see ourselves in print.”
When asked if she was nervous or scared about leaving the family business to step out on her own, she shared “Faith and fear can’t walk together. With any decision I make in my life these days, I’m sure to make it after much fasting and prayer. I’ve lived a life making decisions without asking God and suffered some consequences. Things that could’ve been easily prevented had I taken the time to stop and pray. The bible says in Philippians 4:6 ‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God,’ and this is what I live by.” She says she’ll miss being in the office with her father, Dr. John Warren, but that she’s looking forward to spending more time with him as her dad and not her boss. “I’ve spent years at ‘the office’. From elementary school to high school and college, I can’t begin to recall the countless hours I’ve spent at ‘the office’. When you have a business that serves the community, sometimes you serve so much that you don’t live your life. There’s always an event to attend, a baby to kiss, a hand to shake and a story to tell. I don’t mind it one bit, but raising my boys and making time for them is my main priority. Besides the news never sleeps.”
Even with all that’s been said, Warren-Darby believes she’s just getting started. “I have so many ideas and things that I’ll be bringing to the city of San Diego. This isn’t goodbye,” she laughs, “I know many people didn’t foresee this happening, but I’m just changing lanes a bit. Hanging up one coat, and putting on another. My parents have trained me well.”
In addition to publishing the magazine, she will yield her talents and skills to consulting through her company Rebecca & Company. You can follow Chida on social media @ChidaRebecca on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. She’s also available on LinkedIn. Visit www.blackandmagazine.com to learn more.