Genoa Barrow is one of two Chocolate Siztas co-founders. She is dedicated to Chocolate Siztas’ mission of providing opportunities to the full figured community.
Barrow also has a demanding "day job" as Senior Staff Writer for the Sacramento Observer Newspaper, one of the country’s most recognized Black-owned newspapers. She also acts as Assignment Editor and Calendar of Events Editor.
Barrow's byline has also appeared in Parent’s Monthly magazine, SacCulturalhub.com, Louisiana Weekly, the Drum Voices Revue, and Uwearitwell.net, a Web site she created to address the needs and concerns of plus-sized people of color.
Barrow is also the founder of We Read!, a community collaborative working to empower parents and caregivers to create an environment in which reading comprehension is considered to be vital to young people’s development as well as their own.
This award-winning journalist came to The Observer in 1999 after studying journalism at San Jose State University. There she served as executive editor of the Spartan Daily, the college newspaper.
Prior to that she was also editor-in-chief of the award-winning newspaper at Contra Costa College (San Pablo, Calif.), The Advocate. Barrow led the paper to rank among the nation’s top 10 college publications. She also served as student president of the Journalism Association of Community Colleges.
Her writing and design skills have come in handy with Chocolate Siztas as she designs all of CS’ event programs and newsletters.
In March 2005, Barrow was honored by the International Association for Women of Color Day for "Caring and Responsive Journalism With Integrity." Her efforts have also gained her recognition from the Associated Collegiate Press, the Bay Area Black Journalists Association, and the Call to Action Project.
Genoa is a native of Oakland, Calif. and lived in nearby Richmond for 12 years. She has one beautiful daughter, Syrai.
...And Tandrea Madison
Tandrea Madison is half of the Chocolate Siztas dynamic duo. A strong belief that "big" and "beautiful" are not mutually exclusive terms, she’s determined to change society’s view of what "full figured" and "plus-sized" mean.
n the past, Tandrea has written for the well-known Sacramento Observer, the Contra Costa Times and for San Jose State University’s Spartan Daily—another award-winning publication with a distinguished history. While on the Daily staff, Tandrea worked hard to give a voice to SJSU’s minority population—particularly African American students.
Majoring in Journalism and minoring in Criminal Justice, she received her Bachelor of Science in May 2006. Tandrea was also a member of Mu Alpha Gamma (MAG), an organization within the SJSU Journalism department. Currently, she is pursuing a Master's degree in Counseling.
Tandrea’s knack for "making friends everywhere" has been an asset to Chocolate Siztas, contributing to promotions and marketing of the business and events. Her creativity has also served CS well, as she creates most of the promotional and marketing materials.
March 2012 also saw the release of her first book, "The Miles Family: An Introduction", a fictional story that introduces readers to a very real family dealing with some very real issues. It's a story about all of us.
A Bay Area native, Tandrea grew up in East Palo Alto and San Jose. Though she has no children, she’s now married and "mommy" to a terrier/chihuahua mix, Hutch, and pint-sized chocolate chihuahua, Gizmo.
~Chocolate Siztas History~
There are so many adjectives for a full-figured woman, including Rubenesque, plus-sized, Big Beautiful Woman (BBW), big, curvaceous, thick, chubby, chunky—the list goes on and on. The stigma for these women is the same, however, no matter how it’s described: a big woman isn’t considered attractive.
The Chocolate Siztas consists of two such women: Genoa Barrow and Tandrea Madison. The relationship began as a professional one, both of them writers for The Sacramento Observer. Soon, the common ground between them became obvious. Both women were intelligent, creative, ambitious, full-figured, divalicious, beautiful and chocolate.
Discussion about size acceptance became a common one and both women realized there was a public unmet need—that a portion of the Sacramento community was being disserviced—and who better to tackle that than them? As members of the full-figured community and as journalists, they had unique perspectives into the problem and the resources and knowledge to make changes. Hence, Chocolate Siztas was born.
The aim of the organization is to provide the full-figured community with activities and venues designed for them and their admirers. The idea began with simply wanting to unite full-figured Sacramentans and provide them with a quarterly venue to meet one another, removing the usual societal pressures and judgments—size acceptance would not be an issue at the events.
What began as simple has since grown considerably. CS has ideas for much more for the full-figured including Skate Nights, Bowling Nights, Full-Figured Cruises, Gospel Brunches, Movie Nights—for singles and families, Poetry Slams, Step Shows, Dance Competitions and more.
Chocolate Siztas intends to show society that size has nothing to do with beauty, style, grace or heart.
Our mission is to provide programs and services for the full figured community of the Greater Sacramento region.
To unite and strengthen local plus sized individuals with the goal of
debunking long held myths about who we are and what we're capable of.
To highlight the achievements and accomplishments of full figured
individuals in various aspects of leadership.
To acknowledge companies who have made it their business to reach out to the full figured community both in employment and in providing services without discrimination.
To provide the full figured community with a quarterly venue to meet one
another, removing the usual societal pressures and judgements.
To strengthen our full figured youth, by encouraging and empowering them, supporting and guiding them, uplifting and building them.
To provide quality programs and events worthy of those we serve.
To develop a cadre of individuals and groups focused on action and
To take the focus off of weight and focus on overall wellness.