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La Toya Hankins is a native of North Carolina and currently resides in Raleigh, NC. A graduate of East Carolina University, she earned her Bachelor of Arts in journalism with a minor in political science. During her college career, she became a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority and later served as second vice president for one of the largest graduate chapters in North Carolina.
After working as a regional reporter and features editor in the Charlotte metro area for seven years, she entered the world of banking. Presently employed with the State of North Carolina, she divides her time between being a proud pet parent of an 8-year-old terrier named Neo and volunteering in the community.
Currently serving as the co-chair of Shades of Pride, organizer of the annual Triangle Black Pride, Hankins is an active supporter of LGBT issues and addressing health disparities that affect her community. Her literary influences and loves include Zora Neale Hurston, Walter Mosley, Anne Rice, and Pearl Cleage. Her motto, borrowed from Hurston, is “I do not weep at the world, I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.”