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Rising Stars: Meet Sharifa “Akilah Trinay” Washington

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sharifa “Akilah Trinay” Washington.

Hi Akilah, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I am truly a unique soul. I was born and raised in Oakland, CA. I have a B.A. in Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations. I have10 years experience in radio, television and public relations. Additionally, I have a Masters in Education and am currently working as a high school Administrator. My greatest accomplishment is raising my beautiful daughter. I self-published Beyond the Hurt under my publishing company Revision Publishing LLC in 2016 and I am currently supporting new authors on their self-publishing journey. On June 1st, I released my first children’s picture book, Potty-Training Day, co-authored with my daughter Ziana Washington, available now wherever books are sold. Additionally, on July 12th, I released, Self-Publishing Made Simple, an online self-publishing course, which is open for enrollment.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Easy? Smooth? Absolutely not!

What many don’t know is…at the tender age of seventeen, I moved to Los Angeles to attend California State University, Los Angeles. I graduated with my BA in Communications in 2007 and decided to stay longer in Los Angeles. My goal was to find a job working in the entertainment industry. I briefly worked in radio, television (BET and TV One) doing more of the behind the scenes work and working in the marketing department. I even did some temp work at Innovative Artists, a talent agency in Santa Monica, CA. It was there I met one of the agents that introduced me to Shannon Barr, who was looking for an assistant.

Fast forward. LA became my permanent home after I purchased my first piece of property in 2012 in Inglewood, CA. At that time, I was teaching high school, very active in my church in South LA and enjoying life. In 2015, I met my then husband, and my life changed in ways I was not prepared for at the time. In early 2018, I became pregnant and had mostly a great pregnancy. Many external factors were unfavorable, but I knew my assignment was to deliver a healthy baby, even if I had to go through the process alone. Due to unforeseen health complications, I had to be induced two weeks early in order to prevent harm coming me or the baby. Once I delivered a beautiful healthy baby girl, the doctors spent the next few weeks determining what my condition was. They had to do a biopsy on my left lung to determine the identity of the mass. I was diagnosed with GPA, which is a form of vasculitis and what was supposed to be a very sacred and special time of bonding with my daughter, ended up being a back-and-forth rollercoaster ride, bouncing between my OBGYN, Pulmonologist, and Rheumatologist. Injections, lab work and various medications later, my condition was stabilized and will remain that way as long as I follow the doctor’s orders. Shortly after the diagnosis, my husband and I separated. Even though the marriage did not last, it taught me so much about myself which led to lots of self-reflection, self-love and healing.

With a newborn baby, I needed support. My parents agreed to help me during this very difficult time and I transitioned back to the Bay Area. Then the pandemic hit. Praise God, I made the move because who knew that COVID-19 would affect us all like it did. I spent seventeen years in Southern California, and at 34 years old, I was starting over. Northern and Southern California literally shaped the woman I am today. If anyone asks, I am still from Oakland, but Inglewood is a part of my forever home.

The pandemic encouraged me to get active and stop making excuses! Several opportunities moved virtual and what some experienced as a stumbling block was now a stepping stone in many ways.

I have experienced so much in the last five years that most don’t even know. Through it all, I have a legacy to leave for my little girl and I won’t let anything stop me from creating the best life for her to thrive in.

I have always had a plan for my life. Fortunately by God’s provision they did not quite go my way. The beauty is that every trial has made me stronger. Every setback has set me up for far greater!

I can’t stop, and I won’t stop. I use the lessons I have learned as tools to empower and educate other people. I am excited about what is in store for my future, for business, health, family and love.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I am an Educator, Author, Entrepreneur and Podcaster. I am the CEO of Revision Publishing LLC, an indie publishing consulting firm, dedicated to guiding and educating authors through the self-publishing process. Equipping aspiring authors with the knowledge and information necessary to get it right the first time! It is a sweet balance between personal creativity and knowledge building.

I have spent the majority of my adult career as an educator. I started teaching English in 2008 at Lawndale High School when I was only 22 years old. During this time, the educational field was in desperate need for teachers and I was hired as an intern with a program offered by Los Angeles County School District that would allow teachers to study, while teaching. Thirteen years later, I am still in education, working as a high school administrator.

I officially became an author in 2016 when I self-published my first novel, Beyond the Hurt, and reignited another passion and gift–writing!

Currently, I am working as a co-host on the Good News Radio Podcast “Dancehustle Radio”. I have been podcasting since 2013. Amid the pandemic, I joined Dance Hustle Radio as a permanent co-host and we broadcast live via Facebook and the Good News Radio App on Saturdays at 12 noon (PDT). Replays are also available on Spotify.

Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
Mentors are essential for ultimate success. To find one, and to become one. When I worked at TV One, Antoinette Brown Leon was my mentor AND she looked like me. Ironically, we were from the same hometown. I knew right away that she would be someone that I could learn from. I was a student and absorbed all I could. Likewise, when working in PR, Shannon Barr was a great mentor. Again, another woman who looked like me. She saw so much potential in me and gave things to me straight.

It is imperative to find a mentor in the field you are interested in pursuing because they can provide so much insight and advice. Don’t be afraid to follow your passion and reach out to people for support. Anything and everything you need is within reach. Speak the things you want manifested and you will notice that you and the right individuals will cross paths.

Contact Info:

  • Email:
  • Website:
  • Instagram: @AkilahTrinay or @Revisionpubllc
  • Facebook: Akilah Trinay
  • Twitter: @AkilahTrinay
  • Youtube: Revision Publishing LLC

Image Credits:

Charles Jones – MFB – My Father’s Business @mfbentertainment

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