Bio: Renee D. Jennings is a former publicist, celebrity journalist and 12 week reality show contestant representing Brooklyn on NBC Nonstop’s “The Great American Health Challenge.” Her first entrepreneurial endeavors began with her own online radio show, “Sarcasm With No Chaser,” followed by starting her own public relations company, R. Media Group. A native of Washington, D.C., Ms. Jennings moved to New York City at 19 years of age to pursue a career in the entertainment industry as a writer. Her dreams were short lived when her eagerness was met with continuous rejection. Having no place to stay and no job, Ms. Jennings faced homelessness, often sleeping in her car or riding the train all night and taking bird baths in gas station bathrooms. Yet her determination to succeed would allow her to do things like enroll herself into college at Medgar Evers in Brooklyn, NY and seek housing in a women’s shelter until she was sufficient enough to get her own place.
A resident of New York for the last 16 years, Ms. Jennings has been afforded the opportunity to interview countless celebrities that include: Russell Simmons, Queen Latifah, Bill Duke, DJ Spinderella, CeCe Winans and Usain Bolt. She has rubbed shoulders with hip-hop royalty such as Jay Z and Beyoncé and recently received a letter from President Barack Obama in response to her letter to the White House on his last State of the Union Address. Ms. Jennings has been featured on CNN, ABC News, the BBC and various other media outlets to discuss everything from hip-hop, size acceptance and tattoos. She landed her first acting debut in the short-film, SHOWTIME, produced by Green Brothers Films, which aired on B.E.T (Black Entertainment Television). A Hurricane Sandy survivor who lost everything in the storm in 2012 and her grandmother two weeks later, Ms. Jennings is no stranger to tribulations but with each blow she manages to come back stronger and triumphant.
Ms. Jennings currently resides in Brooklyn, NY and plans to release her first book and documentary in 2016.
Interview with Renee Jennings
Dhylles Davis: Who is Renee Jennings?
Renee Jennings: A woman of purpose guided by God who makes mistakes but finds ways to rise again. A woman who appreciates the gift of life along with the beauty in the darkest hours. I am a complicated melody that yearns to be the voice of those who may not have the courage to speak and a mother of creativity. Every day I am striving to love better, live abundantly and create a legacy to add to my ancestry and lineage. I am the woman who is taking all my broken pieces and making myself whole so that when I become a wife and a mother someday, I will be fully aware of what I can offer. I will be giving my child and husband my best self. Renee Jennings is a student in the class called life.
Dhylles: When did you realize you were born an accomplishment?
Renee: I’ve always believed that I was an accomplishment since I was about 12 years old. There was always this feeling that I could do anything I wanted to do. Over the years, sometimes I have allowed people and situations to silence that voice and deter me from my greatest potential but today I can look in the mirror with conviction and say that I am a born accomplishment because everything I wanted to do as a child I have done. My belief and tagline is, “The impossible is always possible.”
Dhylles: What comes to mind when you hear the word unconditional?
Renee: I think of God’s love and how it’s free flowing without stipulations. We all want someone to accept us whether it’s the friends and family of your mate or your own immediate circle. Most people will not love you just as you are and unconditionally. Yet God loves us all regardless of marital status, race, gender, economic class and despite the wrongs we may have done. The door to God is always open for anyone who wants to come through. God loves everyone even those who may not believe in him but he still believes in them. That’s mind blowing.
Dhylles: Describe your life journey in a sentence.
Renee: An unpredictable roller coaster that is balanced with highs and lows governed by grace and full of adventure.
Dhylles: What personal changes have you made within the past two years and why?
Renee: To allow myself to feel any emotion that comes my way in the actual moment. Have you ever noticed that if we start to cry, especially in front of people, we tend to hurry up and wipe our tears before they’re noticed or we do it in hiding? That’s a thing of the past for me. If I am angry, I am going to be angry. If I am moved to cry, I am going to cry. If I am happy, I am going to sing it everywhere. I no longer want to muffle how I am feeling to make the world around me comfortable. I am human. I have emotions and that is life. It’s raw and candid. The difference is I don’t stay in my feelings for long. I self-analyze to ask myself why I feel this way, especially if it’s something that upsets me. I have also tried to think of the other person’s point of view which is something I would never do but with maturity comes growth and I am growing everyday spiritually.
Dhylles: What does being vulnerable mean to you and is it a strength or weakness?
Renee: There is courage in vulnerability. It requires you to know who you are unequivocally and make peace with that. Once you are clear on that you can be fully transparent with people. I’m often criticized for sharing too much of my personal life. I know that when you do this you’re often subjected to scrutiny. It can be damaging and hurtful but I know my purpose here is far greater. If my life experiences can help or bless someone else so be it. It is one of my greatest strengths. When you know who you are you can be an open book and not be scared of what someone may think as they turn the page.
Dhylles: Amazing Renee!! Thanks so much for sharing. Truly honored!!
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