I’m Janel St. John and I am the visionary founder of The Conscious Voice Magazine – the first African American art & culture publication in the Midwest. Founded in Columbus, Ohio in 2006, we disrupted the media landscape for 5-years. Not only did I position the quarterly to become the regional ‘voice of diversity,’ I compelled luxury brands to speak directly to multicultural audiences, using my medium - many of them, for the very first time.
I founded The Conscious Voice brand in 2004 with a LIVE radio show and podcast on iWeb - Apple's first podcasting platform. My goal with both ventures was to produce intelligent media for African American audiences; first locally then nationwide.
I sought to fill a void in the current media aimed at Black audiences, which I thought to be narrow and overly focused on entertainment. I saw a huge opportunity to cover strictly art & culture while working as a reporter, arts & entertainment editor and interim managing editor at The Call & Post Newspaper.
So I designed The Conscious Voice to be everything that Black media was not. It was oversized and showy, opening to a massive 22 x 17 inches, and featured cutting-edge graphic design and articles on race, culture and design.
I pushed my way into all-white museum spaces to be a voice of exposure for artists of color, whose works were rarely featured in any media.
By focusing on overlooked artists of color, in time, The Conscious Voice would become a history-making publication!