Poet Taylor began her broadcasting career at Baltimore’s WERQ-92Q FM after she won a radio station contest aimed to expand their talent roster. The six-month internship morphed into her first radio position, co-hosting the “Afternoon Drive with Konan.” Now, some ten years later, Poet’s story continues to evolve, as the popular on-air personality hosts her own show, “Midday Shenanigans,” which airs on WPGC 95.5 FM.
Poet continues to “score” on the court of success, with her selection as Ambassador for the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) 2022 Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championship Tournament. The event returns to Maryland for the first time since 1952, and has had an annual economic impact of over $650 million during its 15-year run in Charlotte, NC. The highly-anticipated event takes places at Royal Farms Arena February 22-26, 2022.
“As the CIAA Ambassador, I am very excited,” said Poet. “The Tournament will have a huge impact in Baltimore and surrounding counties. It will impact the state of Maryland and the region. The revenue generated from this event will help local businesses that have struggled over the past couple of years. There are a lot of people coming in. With all that traffic, people will be spending money. That helps the city to evolve and grow. People from all walks of life are going to be a part of this phenomenal week of activity.”
In addition to the 22 games featured in this year’s Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championship Tournament, the CIAA will offer a week of celebratory affiliated events that appeal to a diverse demographic of alumni and fans. Tournament week will include annual staple events such as Fan Fest, High School Education Day, CIAA Career Expo, Super Saturday, The 6th Annual Samaritan’s Feet “Shoes of Hope” initiative, and The John B. McClendon Jr. CIAA Hall of Fame Breakfast.
The CIAA is also partnering with the city’s official sales and marketing arm Visit Baltimore, to create a series of town halls and symposiums to include a Tech Summit, Money Moves Financial Summit, CIAA Men’s & Women’s Student-Athlete Symposium, Mental Health Panel Discussion, and more.
“People can enjoy the games and the artists, but they can also learn about investing in Bitcoin, and also attend tech and wellness summits, sports clinics and other events,” said Poet. “There is such a multitude of wonderful things about the Tournament coming to Baltimore. I know what people hear about Baltimore and what people think about Baltimore. But just as a Black person in America, I will tell you that more often than not, that narrative rarely matches.”
“She added, “What is true of that space is that people are excited to take people to their favorite restaurants, and experience those restaurants with them. The Tournament provides an opportunity for people to visit Baltimore and learn what the city is really all about. The Tournament won’t come fast enough for me.”
The CIAA is the nation’s first African American athletic conference and the annual basketball tournament is one of the most highly attended basketball tournaments among all NCAA divisions. This year marks the first year that ESPN will broadcast all 22 games, exposing new audiences to both the CIAA and Baltimore.
“This is the first time that all 22 games are going to be on ESPN, which also makes the Tournament historic” said Poet. “To me, this Tournament is who I am at the core, and that’s giving back, lifting one another up, and loving on communities.”
Poet is also a featured Washington, DC Correspondent for “Dish Nation” on WTTG-Fox 5 and Fox 5 Plus for the “Syndicated Entertainment News Program”. She is also a motivational speaker and community liaison, championing for various causes. She said she seeks to bring awareness to teens and young adults in the Foster Care System, having personally gone through the DC and Maryland State Foster Care Systems before being adopted by a Baltimore family.
“I grew up in foster care and I am not supposed to be where I am,” said Poet. “I never imagined this, but I’m thankful to be a walking testimony to kids who might not think that they are going to make it because of the hand that they’ve been dealt. So to show them all the things that happens in the CIAA is great. It puts HBCUs and African Americans in collegiate sports in the spotlight, and illustrates that greatness is indeed possible.”
She added, “And when people come to Baltimore for this Tournament and experience, the shopping, the food, the people…the entire vibe, they are going to want to come back.”
For more information about CIAA Tournament Week visit www.theciaa.com and www.baltimoretimes-online.com.