Feature: Tracie Potts

Tracie Potts


Tracie Potts covers national and international news for News4. Her reports, focusing on politics as well as health and consumer issues, can generally be seen during News4’s morning newscasts.

Prior to moving to Washington in 2003, Tracie covered the west coast from NBC’s Los Angeles bureau. Her major assignments include the 2008 and 2004 Presidential Elections and inaugurations, the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympic Games, the 2008 and 2000 Democratic National Conventions, and the 1998 Super Bowl. She also provided live reports from a number of hurricanes, wildfires, tornados, plane crashes, trials, school shootings and protests.

During her tenure with NBC, Tracie has reported for Today, Weekend Today, MSNBC, and the weekend editions of Nightly News.

Prior to joining NBC in 1997, Tracie was a morning and noon anchor for WATE-TV6, the ABC affiliate in Knoxville, Tennessee and health reporter and anchor for WAFF-TV 48 in Huntsville, Alabama.

Tracie earned both a Bachelor and Masters degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. As a master’s candidate, she served as a Washington-based correspondent for WDAY-TV and radio in Fargo, North Dakota.

She has earned a number of local awards for her reporting and has been selected as a fellow by the Radio-Television News Directors Association (Michelle Clark fellowship), the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, and the University of Maryland-based Casey Journalism Center on Children and Families.

In addition to broadcasting, Tracie has a solid background in print journalism and education. She taught journalism and communications courses at Knoxville College and at Biola University in California. At Knoxville College, she resurrected and advised the student newspaper, assembling and training a staff of reporters to run a publication, which had been dormant for 20 years.

In 2000, Tracie served as editor-in-chief for the launch of a new regional magazine, “Influence of African Americans.” As an intern, she wrote for the Chicago Tribune, the Palm Beach (Fla.) Post, the Virginian-Pilot/Ledger-Star and the Atlanta Inquirer.

Tracie, her husband and their three children live in Maryland and are actively involved in church activities.




Feature: Rehema Ellis

Rehema Ellis


Rehema Ellis joined NBC NEWS in 1994 as a general assignment correspondent.  In 2010 she was named Education Correspondent and was an integral part of NBC’s first annual Education Nation summit that focused on the strengths and weaknesses of America’s education system. 

Her reports appear on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, Today, and MSNBC. She is also a digital journalist. Ellis shoots, blogs, writes for NBC on-line and she tweets.

Ellis was part of the NBC Emmy award-winning coverage of the plane crash in the Hudson River called, Miracle on the Hudson.  She also won an Emmy for her reporting on the 2008 Presidential Election of Barack Obama and his historic inauguration.

Ellis has been part of other headliner stories including the attacks on the World Trade Center.  She was the first person to identify the attack on the air as “Nine-Eleven”. She’s reported on Hurricane Katrina, the death of Michael of Jackson and the Haiti earthquake.

As a correspondent for NBC, Ellis traveled to Zaire to report on the mass killings that left an estimated one million people dead in Rwanda.  A few years later she spent a month in Greece covering the summer Olympics. Ellis began her broadcast career at KDKA Radio and TV in Pittsburgh.  Later, she worked in Boston at WHDH-TV as a reporter and weekend anchor.

She has distinguished herself as a lead correspondent and received numerous awards including local and national Emmys, Edward R. Murrow Awards, Associated Press awards and awards from the National Association of Black Journalists.  She’s also a recipient of an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Journalism.

Born in North Carolina, and raised in Boston, she graduated from Simmons College in Boston and Columbia Graduate School of Journalism in New York.

Ellis currently lives in New York City with her young son.




Feature: Donna Edwards

Donna Edwards

Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards represents Maryland’s 4th Congressional District, comprising portions of Prince George’s and Anne Arundel Counties.  She was sworn in after a special election to become a member of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 110th Congress in June 2008, becoming the first African American woman to represent Maryland in Congress.  She began her first full-term in the 111th Congress in 2009.

Congresswoman Edwards has enjoyed a diverse career as a nonprofit public interest advocate and in the private sector on NASA’s Spacelab project.  In 1994, as co-founder and executive director of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, she led the effort to pass the Violence Against Women Act that was signed into law by President Clinton.

Since being sworn in, Congresswoman Edwards has secured a number of legislative accomplishments to improve the lives of working families in her Congressional District and around the country. Her first act as a Member of Congress was to add Maryland to the Afterschool Suppers Program, ensuring access to nutritional suppers to afterschool and youth development programs in schools located in low-income areas. During the health care debate, Congresswoman Edwards secured a provision that holds insurance companies accountable for unjustifiable rate increases.

Congresswoman Edwards has introduced legislation to expand research and development, domestic manufacturing, and infrastructure spending to create jobs and grow our economy. She was also the first Member of the House to introduce and champion a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.

In the 113th Congress, Congresswoman Edwards serves:

On the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee where she sits on: The Subcommittee on Highways and Transit

  • The Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment
  • The Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management

On the Science, Space, and Technology Committee where she sits on:

  • The Subcommittee on Space – Ranking Member
  • The Subcommittee on Environment

As a member of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission.

Rep. Edwards completed undergraduate studies at Wake Forest University and received her Juris Doctor from the University of New Hampshire School of Law (formerly the Franklin Pierce Law Center). She is the proud mother of one son.


Feature: Shirley Chisholm

Shirley Chisholm

Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm was a woman who was known for her moral character and her relentless ability to stand up for her community and what she believed.  A child to immigrant parents, she learned from an early age the importance of an education and the value of hard work, both of which she applied to her political career and her accomplishments while serving as a Congresswoman.

Chisholm attended Brooklyn College where a blind political science professor, Louis Warsoff, encouraged Chisholm to consider politics based on her “quick mind and debating skills.”  She reminded him that she had a “double handicap” when it came to politics—she was black and a woman.  Chisholm joined the debate team and after African-American students were denied admittance to a social club at the college, she started her own club called Ipothia—In Pursuit of the Highest In All.

Shirley graduated with honors in 1946 and worked as a nursery school aide and teacher while she attended evening classes at Columbia University’s Teachers College.  She received her masters degree in early childhood education in 1951, and eventually became a consultant to the New York City Division of Day Care in 1960.

Chisholm joined a local Democratic club who worked to get rid of the white Democratic machine that held the power in her Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood.  The group challenged the white leaders on why the black neighborhoods were being ignored.  The leaders tried to quiet Chisholm by placing her on the board of directors and when she continued to speak out, they removed her from the post.  This was an early lesson for Chisholm that people in political power did not like to be questioned!

The group managed to elect a black man, Thomas R. Jones, to state assembly in 1962 and, when in 1964 he decided to run for a judgeship, the community replaced him with Chisholm.  She served in the state legislature until 1968 when she decided to run for a seat in the U.S. Congress.  The 12th Congressional District was created after the Westberry v. Sanders decision stated that election districts must be roughly equal in population.  Chisholm won the seat with the use of her “independent spirit” and her campaign slogan, “Unbought and Unbossed.”  Chisholm’s win made her the 1st African American woman in Congress.

Like Margaret Chase Smith, who had served in the Congress almost 30 years before her, Chisholm learned the politics of committees.  She had asked to be on the Education and Labor Committee, a natural selection for someone with a strong teaching background.  She not only did not get placed on this committee, but did not get placed on any of the committees that she had requested.  Instead they placed her on the Agriculture Committee, which was a rather odd choice for a city woman.  Chisholm did not sit back and be quiet about it; instead, this strong-willed woman stated her case to the Democratic caucus.  This eventually worked and they removed her from the Agriculture Committee and placed her on Veterans’ Affairs. While this had not been one of her original choices, she responded by saying, “There are a lot more veterans in my district than trees.”

It was during her 2nd term in the House that Chisholm ran for the US Presidency.  She became the 1st black woman to run for president, but this is not what she wanted people to focus on during her campaign.  The fact that her campaign was seen primarily as “symbolic” by many really hurt her.  She did not run on the mere base of being a “first,” but because she wanted to be seen as “a real, viable candidate.”

Her bid for the presidency was referred to as the “Chisholm Trail,” and she won a lot of support from students, women and minority groups.  She entered 11 primaries and campaigned in several states, particularly Florida, but with little money she was challenged.  Her campaign was “under-organized, under-financed and unprepared.” It was calculated that she raised and spent only $300,000 between July 1971 when she first thought of running, and July of 1972.

Overall, people in 14 states voted for Shirley Chisholm for president, in some fashion or the other.  After six months of campaigning, she had 28 delegates committed to vote for her at the Democratic Convention.  The 1972 Democratic Convention was in July in Miami, and it was the first major convention in which an African American woman was considered for the presidential nomination.  Although she did not win the nomination, she received 151 of the delegates’ votes.

Chisholm served a total of 14 years in the Congress and made numerous contributions before she made the decision to retire in 1982.  During her time in office she was one of the four founders of the National Women’s Political Caucus in 1971, was appointed to the “powerful” House Rules Committee in 1977 and introduced more than 50 pieces of legislation.  President William J. Clinton nominated Chisholm to be the U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica, but she declined due to ill health.

Chisholm went on to teach college and co-founded the National Political Congress of Black Women, which represented black women’s concerns.  When asked how she wanted to be remembered, Chisholm said, “When I die, I want to be remembered as a woman who lived in the 20th century and who dared to be a catalyst of change.  I don’t want to be remembered as the first black woman who went to Congress.  And I don’t even want to be remembered as the first woman who happened to be black to make the bid for the presidency. I want to be remembered as a woman who fought for change in the 20th century.  That’s what I want.”



Feature: Anna Tibaijuka

 Anna Tibaijuka



Mrs Anna Tibaijuka is Executive Director of UN-HABITAT. During her first two years in office, Mrs Tibaijuka oversaw major reforms that led the UN General Assembly to upgrade the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements to a fully-fledged UN programme.

Mrs Tibaijuka has spearheaded UN-HABITAT’s main objective of improving the lives of slum dwellers in line with the Millennium Development Goals. UN-HABITAT is responsible for leading the effort on Target 11 of those goals: improving the lives of 100 million slum dwellers by the year 2020.

Apart from her UN-HABITAT activities, Mrs Tibaijuka is dedicated to the role and rights of women in development. The founding Chairperson of the independent Tanzanian National Women’s Council (BAWATA), she is also the founding Chairperson of the Barbro Johansson Girls Education Trust dedicated to promoting high standards of education for girls in Africa.




Feature: Monique Imes




Monique Imes, professionally known as Mo’Nique, was born Dec. 11, 1967, in Woodlawn, Maryland. The actress got her start in comedy when her brother dared her to perform at a comedy club’s open mic night. In the late ’90s, she got her big break playing Nikki Parker on Moesha and its spinoff, The Parkers.

The comedian continued to act in several other films and television shows over the years in supporting roles. In 2007, she hosted VH1’s Flavor of Love Girls: Charm School, where she helped out-of-control reality contestants reshape their lives.

In Oct. 2009, she debuted The Mo’Nique Show on BET, making her the first African American woman to host her own late night show since 1993. Later that year, she drew enormous critical praise for her dramatic portrayal of an abusive mother in Precious, alongside newcomer Gabourey Sidibe, which won her an Oscar.

Mo’Nique has been married twice and has three sons. She and first husband, Mark Jackson, split in 2001. Mo’Nique is currently in an open marriage with Sidney Hicks, whom she wed in 2006.