Marta C. Youngblood is a writer, social and educational entrepreneur who lives to engineer solutions to all kinds of problems. Based in Hot Springs, Arkansas, Marta is dedicated to helping people plug into their passions and channeling their energies to make the world a better place. Marta conceived the idea for theWRITEaddiction after witnessing many of her Facebook friends pouring some pretty profound thoughts out via their wall posts but kept complaining that they didn’t have time to write or blog on their own on a regular basis. So she had an AHA moment, lets start a group blog and give everyone one day a week to write whatever is on their mind. Almost a year later we have TONS of amazing writing as a result of our experiment. Several of us are even looking to connect with literary agents to help us move some of this writing into the print publishing sector so if you know someone who knows someone, don’t hesitate to point them our way!
Scroll Volume 1 (NaNoWriMo 2016 Challenge)
The world has changed. The collapse of the world’s financial markets has resulted in the poor being stripped of their names and assigned numbers. Here Human 314 finds herself a strange player in a technology driven-global plot that will determine the very future of humanity’s survival or extinction.
Choirs of Heaven
Do fallen angels get second chances? This is a series of short stories about love and loss and redemption that will make you see angels in a whole new light.
This is a preview of a story that recognizes the realities of Alzheimer’s and how it impacts not only the individual but the entire family unit. This fiction work is inspired by the very real way that Alzheimer’s has and continues to impact my family and the lives of many others around the world.
Devon Wright and Claudia Sutherland and their three children chase the opportunity of a lifetime leaving their family and friends in Atlanta, Georgia, for the small community of Crawfordsville, Indiana. They quickly begin to learn that trading big city lights for clear blue skies might not be as simple as they first thought.
A little blog I ran in my spare time while serving as the Director of STEM Education Outreach for the State of Arkansas.
All About Marta: Profile of a Woman Who Works for the Fun of It
Marta Collier Youngblood was born in Savannah, GA, but moved with her family to Coralville, IA (just next door to Iowa City) when her mother was accepted to a doctoral program in education at the University of Iowa in 1988. The culture shock of leaving the very insulated environment of “Black Savannah” and moving to Iowa which at the time boasted about a 1% African American population statewide was something that would shape the rest of her life.
“To suddenly look up and not see anyone who ‘looked like me’ and not hear anyone who ‘talked like me’ was jarring. People openly starred at my pigtails and questioned my blood kinship to my brother who had a skin tone several shades lighter than mine and could ‘pass for white’ as the old folks used to say,” said Marta. “I remember one particularly horrific experience where a group of girls teamed up to find out whether or not I had a tail. Apparently, they’d heard from someone’s parent that black kids had tales. So these girls waited until I went to the bathroom and climbed up on the toilet in the next stall so they could peak over and look at my tail. I was mortified.”
Instead of shrinking away from the experiences of growing up as a minority, Marta was fired up to better understand what makes people behave in those weird and outlandish ways. At a very young age she began reading Ralph Ellison and W.E.B. DuBois, Langston Hughes, Beverly Daniel Tatum, Malcolm X, Booker T. Washington, Marcus Garvey, Frederick Douglass, John Howard Griffin and many other sociological perspectives on race and ethnicity. Then Marta started writing to make sense of her analyses via school assignments, letters, diaries, news articles, any media that she could get her hands on she turned to explore this human equation.
Her path led her to Tougaloo College, the Cradle of the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi in 1998.
“I had no blood family connection to Mississippi at all. I didn’t grow up dreaming of going to Tougaloo College, and some would say I wasn’t supposed to go to Tougaloo,” Marta said. “I always saw myself at someplace like Swarthmore or UC Berkeley. Then I attended a summer program called Super Scholar EXCEL at Xavier University in New Orleans in the summer of 1997 instead of Arkansas Governor’s School. This was my first real personal exposure to Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs). There was something about being on the campus with other African Americans who thought and dreamed big like I did that made me feel like I was…home. That experience really opened my eyes.” She made up her mind that she was going to Xavier, but Drs. Eddie (’73) and Maxine Jones (’72) who both worked at University of Arkansas in Fayetteville at the time encouraged her to consider their alma mater, Tougaloo College, where their two daughters Chilesa (’99) and Coletta (’00) were enrolled.
“Tougaloo was JUST getting on the world wide web as it was known at the time. Chilesa and Coletta were such role models for me that I was tempted but I’d made my mind up that it was Xavier for me, until I made a visit to Tougaloo that spring break. It was cold for Mississippi and rainy but when my feet touched the ground, something happened and I connected to the spirit of that special place,” she said smiling at the memory.” There was only one problem, even though she applied well in advance of the deadlines, her high school graduation day was rapidly approaching and she still had not been accepted to Tougaloo or heard anything back from the school. “I’d already turned Xavier down, so I went ahead and enrolled at University of Arkansas and signed up for summer classes. On the day of graduation just before I headed to the ceremony, a letter came in the mail from Tougaloo along with a free pair of stockings in the mail. I remember throwing the unopened letter on the couch, opening the stockings and putting them on and heading off to my graduation.” It wasn’t until after the family celebration was over that she returned home and decided to open the letter expecting that she had been rejected that she saw the acceptance letter and a full Presidential Scholarship offer from Tougaloo.
Marta graduated from Tougaloo with a Bachelor of Arts in English with an Emphasis in Journalism and went on to complete a M.A. in Sociology from The Ohio State University. After receiving her master’s, she began working in Development Information Services with the University of Arkansas Campaign for the 21st Century team. During that time, she also served in the Tougaloo College National Alumni Association (TCNAA) in several capacities building the first online alumni community via Yahoo Groups and aggressively researching and recruited young alumni into the membership base. She also assisted in several fundraising efforts via several class reunions and the largest reunion of the Gamma Omicron Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, to date resulting in the gathering of 200 alumna and a cash donation in honor of L. Zenobia Coleman. Marta served as the Corresponding Secretary for TCNAA one term and became a life member of TCNAA in 2007.
At work, Marta branched out into other areas of university operations and gained experience in workforce development, program coordination/management and grants administration with the Human Resource Development Student Center, National Center for Reliable Electric Power Transmission, National Science Foundation – GRAPES Research Center before accepting a position with the State of Arkansas as the Education Outreach Director for the Arkansas Science & Technology Authority in 2011 assigned to the Arkansas ASSET Initiative, a National Science Foundation (NSF) EPSCoR project.
In 2012, Marta was named a Powerful Woman of Arkansas by AY Magazine and appointed to the advisory boards of the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts, the Arkansas Space Grant Consortium and in 2013 she was elected Chair of the National NSF EPSCoR EOD Leadership Council. In 2015, Marta was promoted to Director of Business Development for Arkansas Manufacturing Solutions, a National Institute for Standards and Technology MEP federal-state partnership program that helps manufacturers grow revenue and jobs, increase productivity, improve quality, and add to the bottom line.
Never one to be idle, Marta is the founder and Editor in Chief for TheWriteAddiction Daily Blog (https://thewriteaddiction.wordpress.com) and a Research and Policy Analyst with Youngblood & Associates, LLC. Marta also launched a joint venture with her mother, Dr. Marta D. Collier in 2015, Marta Collier Educational Systems and Services, LLC which specializes in training and curriculum development solutions that are culturally-competent both nationally and internationally. “Too many of our students and teachers are forced to use materials that are not reflective of the diverse world in which we live. Learning has also become something that people dread on both sides of the desk. We are working to change that, one training at a time.”