Roc Girls to Know: Meet Tianna Mañón of Open Mic

Photography by Jacalyn Meyvis of Jacalyn Meyvis Photography

Tell us your name, age and what you do.
I am Tianna Mañón, age 24. I am the editor-in-chief of Open Mic Rochester, reporter at WXXI and freelance journalist.

Give us a little of your history.
I grew up in Rochester, city born and bred. I graduated from School Without Walls, which I like to shout out every chance I get. From there, I went to RIT, to double major in journalism and political science. Four years and a dozen or so internships later, I graduated summa and delivered the commencement speech at graduation. It’s been a wild ride but I say all this because I think a lot of times we don’t think people from the city can excel. I love helping dispel people’s ideas about city kids.  

I think a lot of times we don’t think people from the city can excel. I love helping dispel people’s ideas about city kids.
— Tianna Mañón,

Tell us more about Open Mic and what you do there.
Open Mic is a Rochester based online black publication. I manage the site, send out assignments to our growing staff and when I can, I dig into my own content. I studied political science at RIT so I love to check out complex stories and make them approachable for the layperson. My stories tend to be long but that’s because I’m serious about context and ensuring that people walk away with a true understanding of what the story discusses.

What are your favorite things about Rochester?
The food, definitely. I’m also a big fan of the art scene and culture here. There are murals splashed all over all buildings and it's very meaningful to the people that live here. When I lived in DC Imissed that. While they had public art and stuff, it just didn’t compare. There is amazing talent here and I think sometimes we sleep on that.
Also, I live in Marketview Heights—undoubtedly the Public Market is one of the best parts of Rochester.