See Tianna on CNN's American Morning.
Hear Tianna on WHYY's Voices in the Family with Dan Gottlieb.
See Tianna's writing and photography featured by Media Voices for Children.
See Tianna featured in a Philadelphia Inquirer article about the launch of Sesame Street's new initiative to support low-income families in eating healthy.
At 34 with three children, Tianna is a wise and articulate chronicler of the lives of low income families. She is a keen observer of hard times. One of Tianna's favorite photos is a shot she took of her year-old twins in their stroller, eating cheese curls on a sunny day. “That picture,” she said, “represents happiness.” She wants her children to be lawyers, doctors, engineers.
“My children are my life,” Tianna said. “A lot of times I let my well-being go for them. But what good mother doesn’t?”
Tianna talks extensively about the way social programs work at cross-purposes: how, if you’re on public assistance but babysit for a friend for $40, you could jeopardize your entire welfare check. It’s all because of strange rules that don’t seem to take into account what it’s really like to live poor in Philadelphia.
It takes a toll. “I am tired,” she said. “And a lot of mothers out here are tired, too. Women out here live in unbearable conditions, and all of them are struggling. There’s so much violence. Our youth is lost. We need more programs for teens with babies, for the elderly who are afraid to go outside.
“We’re all hoping for a better house, a better neighborhood, a better life.”
Updated May 10, 2013
Click below to see a video Tianna recently recorded about the importance of federal assistance programs. The video was made for the Coalition on Human Needs.