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Getting to Know DC’s Own Tsehaitua “Tubi” Retta

Tsehaitua |
Tsehaitua |
When Tsehaitu “Tubi” Retta was growing up in Columbia, MD, she had dreams of becoming the nation’s first Black female President. “People used to laugh at me and I would get so frustrated. In my head, I’d be like, okay, watch.
| by Jan F. Lee | Nov. 09 |

You’ll see,” she recalls-and we just might. Driven with a passion for policy and justice, this Fall Tubi (pronounced “Too-bee”) will be studying Law at the University of Maryland. She currently works for the NAACP’s National Director of the Youth and College Division. “Pretty much this whole summer I’ve been helping to plan the [NAACP] Annual Convention in New York.

It took place in July and it was an extremely historic convention because it was our 100th Anniversary and we had our nation’s first Black President speak at the convention. The event featured appearances by Dr. Cornell West, Terrance J, LeToya Luckett and Bobby Valentino, which I had the honor of hosting,” she said. Tubi also interns part-time at the Gardner Law Group, which is a premiere entertainment law firm representing many high profile clients. You can even find her handling table reservations at Policy on Tuesday nights. As if she doesn’t sound busy enough, Tubi mentors children and teens who aspire to attend law school as well.

So there you have it! Don’t forget you heard about Tubi first right here on SHY! When she’s giving the State of the Union address some years from now on your television screen, she’ll be very familiar to you and you’ll know why. 

SHY: Are you excited about law school?

Tubi: I am! I hear the first year is the worst, but I’m ready for it. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do so I’m excited.

Why do they say the first year is the worst?
Just because it’s so intense and overwhelming. I’ve heard if you can get through your first year of law school, you can get through anything.

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Is there anything you have to do to prepare?
Well, I’ve been doing a lot of traveling this summer, so this whole next month I’m taking time to wind down and mentally prepare. I just want to make sure I’m totally focused and in the right mindset.

Where have you been traveling?
I’ve been to Miami, New York and I just got back from L.A. I also went to Lake Havasu in Arizona.

How did you start working at the NAACP?
I’ve been involved with the NAACP since I was 16. I’ve always been really interested in civil rights and social justice issues. It’s definitely something I’m very passionate about. One of my mentors, Stefanie Brown, who serves as the Director of the National Youth & College Division, provided me with the opportunity to work under her and it’s been a wonderful experience. I currently serve as President for the NAACP’s Maryland State Youth & College Division, so I oversee all the youth and college chapters in the state. I was also recently elected to serve as a representative on the National Youth Work Committee to the NAACP’s National Board of Directors so I now represent youth members across Maryland, D.C., and Virginia.
 
Your family is from Ethiopia. Have you ever been?
I went 7 or 8 years ago, but I really want to go back again. It was absolutely beautiful. I was born and raised here, but my parents made sure I grew up learning about my Ethiopian culture and heritage. I can fluently speak Amharic, which is Ethiopia’s main language. Now I’m working on learning how to cook the food!
 
Did you visit family there?
Yea, I did. My family and I also took small planes to visit all the historical sites around the country.
 
Where do you like to shop?
All over the place. There are a few vintage stores in D.C. that I love. I like shopping on Melrose when I’m out in L.A., and New York of course.
 
Do you have any pets?
Yes, a cat.
What’s his name?
Tigger.

I love cats. I have a little kitty cat.

Do you?
Yea, nobody likes cats, though. All of my friends are always asking, “Why do you have a cat?” And I’m like, why not? They are so cute and chill!
 
I know! Thanks so much for speaking with me Tubi and stay “SHY!”
Follow Tubi on Twitter @Sunshine2B.

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