Taya Dunn Johnson

Baltimore, Maryland, United States

Once a New Yorker, always a Native New Yorker! Taya Dunn was born and raised there; however she has fallen in love with Baltimore since making it her home in 2012. In the blog world, she's known as an "OG - Original Gangster" because she's been blogging since 2003. Writing as MrsTDJ since 2006, “Write. Release. Breathe. Repeat.” is beyond a tag line for her blog – it’s a mantra Taya has adopted and shared with her readers. She’s a rebel who breaks blogger rule #1 – post on a regular schedule. Her readers don’t mind, as they ride the emotional waves while she navigates life as an expressive, vulnerable, humorous and audacious widowed mother of an autistic 1st grader. Upon the sudden death of her husband, Taya made bold decisions to no longer be afraid of her dreams and has set out to redefine her purpose while caring for her son.

She's a writer, blogger, speaker, workshop facilitator and panelist. Taya has been published in the anthology, “Listen To Your Mother: What She Said Then, What We’re Saying Now”, online at www.xoJane.com, and www.BlackAndMarriedWithKids.com, and contributed to articles on Buzzfeed and Everyday Parent. She is currently writing a memoir as well as a fiction novel.

Taya has turned her passion for writing and sharing her personal story into a mission to help others overcome adversity through storytelling. Beginning in 2014, she began facilitating storytelling workshops with nonprofit agencies in Maryland including the House of Ruth and HopeWorks of Howard County.

She was introduced to the Listen To Your Mother project when she was chosen as a cast member for the 2013 DC show. In 2014, Taya sought to bring the LTYM project to Baltimore, MD. Now in its second year, Taya serves as co-producer & co-director. As a reflection of the project and the tapestry of our communities, Taya was asked to join the LTYM National Team as the Diversity & Inclusion Outreach Consultant, a role she has embraced with her unique combination of humor, warmth and honesty.

Taya has been a speaker at conferences such as the Mom 2.0 Summit, and theFemWorking Conference. In the spring of 2015, she was selected as a “TruWoman of Courage”, a video series celebrating women who are resilient in the face of tragedy. In her community, Taya serves on the United Way of Maryland Women's Leadership Council and in various volunteer roles across the city of Baltimore.