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SUMMARY: SMAD alumna Mia Brabham ('16) is the author of "Note to Self," a collection of her personal thoughts and quotes. The book spawned a social media campaign, and a portion of the proceeds were donated to a Central Virginia nonprofit that empowers young women of color to implement social change in their communities.


By Khalil Garriott ('04)

Mia Brabham
Photograph by Jordan Jones

What began as a private journal is now a published book for Mia Brabham (’16), who majored in media arts and design. Note to Self, published June 20, is a 117-page collection of her personal thoughts and quotes. But it’s more than just her “little reminders about life, love, people, and that tiny voice inside.” Brabham is also using it as a platform to raise money and bring attention to current events.

A Note to Self social media campaign resulted in over $500 donated to Campaign Zero, a platform of research-based solutions to end police brutality in America. Additionally, all Amazon royalties during the first week of publication were donated to Girls For A Change, a Central Virginia nonprofit that empowers young women of color to implement social change in their communities. Readers can support positive change through their donations and purchases.

“Community is the single most powerful thing we can ever hope to be a part of,” Brabham said.

While at JMU, Brabham was the Spring 2016 Commencement student speaker, a Freshman Orientation Guide (FROG), a member of the Student Government Association and University Program Board, and worked in the Office of Career and Academic Planning. The quotes in her new book have been lived. They reflect her story.

“I asked myself: ‘What would happen if I believed in myself?’” Brabham wrote. “Something in me responded: ‘Everything.’”

Follow Brabham’s journey on YouTube (youtube.com/yourstrulymia), where the creator and writer has more than 2.6 million video views and 18,200 subscribers—and counting.

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Published: Monday, August 24, 2020

Last Updated: Saturday, September 5, 2020

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