Things We Love: Picks from Carlotta Penn

Carlotta Penn
Carlotta Penn and daughter, Jember

Educator, writer and self-proclaimed daydreamer Dr. Carlotta Penn recently founded Daydreamers Press, a multicultural education company focused on children's book publishing and diversity programming. Her first book, “Dream a Rainbow,” inspires kids to live a life of adventure. She wrote the book in dedication to her Rainbow Baby, Jember Dove. In addition to books and daydreams, here are some other things she loves.

Watching my baby become a real girl

A first-time mom, I finally have the privilege of witnessing the miraculous process of creating a human and watching her one-of-a-kind personality and soul emerge. Jember Dove is fun-loving, adventurous, smart, self-possessed and adorable! All of the learning that babies and toddlers take on early in life is incredible, and their ease of finding and sharing joy is infectious. Being a part of her life reminds me how special and precious each one of our lives is.

Black History Month

Black history is American history every day of the year, but it is still important to highlight and celebrate the achievements of black people in the United States — and to advocate for equity and justice for the black community and all people. Across social and traditional media, and live at events across Columbus, black art, activism, brilliance and innovation are on display, and I love it!

The self-care movement

Audre Lorde said, “Caring for myself is not a self-indulgence, it is self-preservation,” and I totally agree. I'm encouraged by the many women in Columbus who I know personally, or through friends, who curate opportunities to love and enjoy ourselves. Some things I do to treat myself include: enjoying soy cafe-au-laits from Upper Cup Coffee, watching on-demand TV, hanging out with my husband eating Ethiopian food or pizza, and texting or Facetiming with my favorite people.

Living in the King-Lincoln District

This historically black community is buzzing with compassionate and creative people, and I am lucky to know many of them. Family, friends and associates in this area make vegan foods, music, jewelry, skincare products, books and art. And they organize events that promote arts, community and social justice. There's inspiration all around! Plus, OTE, Downtown, and the highway are easily accessible, and there are plenty of cafes, restaurants, and shops to walk to. I'm definitely looking forward to the spring.

Chocolate and wine

When we were younger, my sister and I did not identify with or buy into the stereotype of women loving chocolate and wine. We just rolled our eyes. And then, one day, we realized … we love chocolate and wine! Now, I'm not saying this is true for all women, but I'm nine-months pregnant and I eat chocolate regularly, and all I can think about is that first delicious glass of red wine I'm going to inhale within 24 hours of delivery!