Getting To Know Juanita Washington; BreakThru Magazine’s Editor In Chief

Getting To Know Juanita Washington; BreakThru Magazine’s Editor In Chief

You first met Che in Rochester works for actor Che Holloway, an impromptu interview and amble through the Neighborhood of the Arts.

An aspiring and successful actor, Che is deeply immersed in the Rochester cultural scene. So much so, we’ve named him Che of The Town!

Exclusively for Talker, Che has solicited and is conducting interviews from about 60 Rochestarians working in a diversity of creative fields.

For the full series, see Che of The Town: Interviews

Che has featured many members of the local media including radio personality Scott “Fitz” Fitzgerald, radio personality Chris Konya, creators of The Rochestariat, Stefanie and Jason Schwingle, journalist Hélène Biandudi Hofer, journalist Jennifer Johnson, journalist Nikki Rudd journalist Norma Holland, journalist Alexis Arnold, journalist Ginny Ryan, meteorologist Scott Hetsko and producer Sajad Hoffman-Hussain .

Today Che adds Juanita Washington to the list.


Getting To Know Juanita Washington; BreakThru Magazine’s Editor In Chief


Photos courtesy of Juanita Washington

Tell us a little about yourself, where your from, grew up, what H.S./College you attended etc.

I grew up in Rochester, NY. I graduated from Benjamin Franklin High School Bio Science program. I was initially on track to be a psychiatrist when I realized I would need to study medicine. I quickly discovered my passion for the communication industry. I look back at my time at Franklin H.S. and smile. I had the pleasure to be part of a dynamic, talented and successful class. I went on and graduated from Virginia State University where I not only discovered myself but also tapped into my ambition and drive.

What inspired you to work with BreakThru Magazine? Can you give us a little background on BreakThru Magazine? Early experiences worth sharing?

After working several years in the news industry, I had the opportunity to witness the challenges of trying to tell positive stories. Breaking news always takes precedence and you are only allotted a certain amount of time to get everything in the show.  I also noticed there were outlets where positive stories and images were being shared but it was harder to find platforms focused on women of color. So in September 2011, I launched BreakThru Magazine which is geared towards women of color. BreakThru serves as a platform to not only share those images but also create opportunities for various entrepreneurs and others in the entertainment industry to showcase and develop their skill set. BreakThru is a quarterly publication and can be found at all Wegmans locations in Rochester and Buffalo amongst other stores.

Talk about a time where you have faced adversity/conflict and have triumphed.

I believe adversity and conflict are a part of life and your growing process. The success of your journey depends on how you respond. You can’t go through life looking for ways to escape either of those challenges. I’ve discovered two things are extremely important when dealing with obstacles. The first, you have to know who you are. This is important because when you know the power you have you are not rattled by every little problem, you have the ability to remain stable. This also allows you to use wisdom and calmly confront any issue because the desired outcome should always be results.  The second, know your worth because that will help you determine if you need to respond or walk away.

What do you believe sets you apart from other magazines?FB_IMG_1496188525681

BreakThru is a God idea. It’s expected to not only uplift, motivate and empower the reader but to do the same for the team and any business partner. This is a platform for the community to be encouraged by the examples of people featured in the magazine. The goal is to also share our appreciation for the people being featured to let them know their hard work does not go unnoticed. This is a goal I am extremely passionate about, I have walked away from deals and business partners I believe do not embody that mission.

FB_IMG_1483397665160Do you have other interests or hobbies?

I believe balance is key. My interest and hobbies are centered around my faith, family and community involvement, and with 5 boys and a husband a lot of my time is focused on being a mom. However, I love to try new adventures, travel, and watch reality television (no judgment zone).

Any projects you have out or currently working on?

Yes, I am currently working on a few different projects including the BreakThru Gala which will be held September 29, 2017 in the High Falls District. This is a black tie scholarship fundraiser event where we honor influential people throughout our community and have a great time.

Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?FB_IMG_1496188518334

I know it sounds a bit unusual but I don’t particularly make plans in that nature. I am extremely prayerful, so whatever I’m lead to do next I like for that to be an organic process.

What advice can you give to aspiring individuals interested in working in publication?

We are constantly looking at ways to enhance and retool what we are doing. So, if you have an idea or would like an opportunity to pitch your idea we are always open to providing as much direction as possible. You can reach out to our email [email protected] or inbox our Facebook page.

How can we follow along in your journey? Social media?

We are on Facebook, Twitter and instagram.


With Rachel on “Broad, CASTED” and beyond


About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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