About Chanté Griffin

Chanté Griffin Articles written 6

Chanté Griffin is a journalist and natural hair advocate whose work centers how race intersects with various aspects of culture. She’s an entertainment writer for Faithfully Magazine and a former contributor for The Root, The Washington Post and L.A. Parent. Chanté is a 2022-2023 Rosalynn Carter U.S. Fellow for mental health journalism, and her debut book, Loving Your Black Neighbor As Yourself, is forthcoming from WaterBrook / Penguin Random House in 2024.

Articles written by Chanté Griffin

Ga Kay, Justice

Workers’ comp attorney Geraldine Ly on empowerment and the cultural divide

“I need a kick-ass female attorney,” the woman said, “and I need somebody who understands I’m not lying.” It was 2008, and S. Graham (not her real name) was speaking to attorney Geraldine Ly at a Starbucks because Ly’s office in Santa Ana had a spiral staircase but no elevator. While working at IKEA, Graham broke her ankle, but even with a year of rest and rehab she was still on crutches, insisting the pain was too intense to even stand on unassisted. Her original attorney advised …

Faster, Harder, Stronger

Jeanne Gills honors her father in name, intellect and determination to uplift others

When Jeanne M. Gills was 5 years old, she scored so high on her IQ test that she was encouraged to skip kindergarten and first grade. “But the school was battling because they didn’t want to put me in the second grade at 5,” she says. Wanting to avoid additional conflict on that first day of school in New Orleans, Gills decided to join the first-grade class. To her surprise, her father showed up that morning, determined to make sure she joined the class she had tested into. “I was moved …

Universal Soldier

Elsa Ramo began her entertainment practice on the Universal back lot

Although Elsa Ramo started her entertainment law practice in a run-down trailer in the Universal Studios backlot at age 24—about as scrappy a beginning as you can imagine—she’d actually been wheeling and dealing for years by that point.  As a 16-year-old high school class president, she was tasked with organizing the annual carnival; she wound up with, she says, “the equivalent of a state fair” on the school lot—negotiating deals for roller coasters, a sumo wrestling dohyō, and a …

Full MacGyver

Lance Williams fought in the Cold War and the Gulf War, and was called into the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina 

Before Lance Williams wore pressed suits as an equity partner and criminal defense attorney at Minick Law in Gastonia, he wore an 80-pound backpack, camouflage fatigues, and was heavily armed as a combat engineer in the U.S. Army. Williams joined the army after graduating from high school. Trained as a demolition specialist, he was shipped abroad at the tail end of the Cold War in 1988. “I actually functioned as a border guard for a while on the East German border,” he says. “Germany …

Bourbon Legend

How Melinda Morris Zanoni helped bring an Ava Gardner signature drink line to life

When Melinda Morris Zanoni’s celebrity clients are dealing with a crazed stalker, a leak of unauthorized nude photos or a tweet-gone-bad, her advice to them is always the same: “Do not react emotionally on social media,” she says. “Be thoughtful, because you can’t put toothpaste back in the tube.” And the big one: Listen to your lawyer. “That one doesn’t always go down so easy,” she says. When Zanoni founded Apollo Sports & Entertainment Law Group a decade ago, she wanted …

Reclaiming Their Space

Three Black women attorneys on race, diversity and justice in Western New York

Immigration attorney Siana McLean was just trying to see her client in a detention facility on a weekend. “I had to see them because I had court on Monday,” she says. “The facility officer was asking, ‘Why are you here?’ And I’m showing him the hearing notice. He’s like, ‘Oh, you just made that up.’ I didn’t even get to meet with my client in the attorney room because that officer decided I was lying—I couldn’t have been the attorney.” As a Black woman attorney, …

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