black girl magic

United State of Women 2018 Summit

USOW 2018

On May 5th & 6th, 2018 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, more than 5,000 women gathered for the 2nd Annual 2018 United State of Women Summit.  The energy in the building was beyond excitement as GenXers to Baby Boomers and beyond, these ladies were 'lit' with anticipation of what was to come.  The line-up of speakers were impeccable and included Forever First Lady Michelle Obama, Tracee Ellis Ross, Senator Kamala Harris, #MeToo Founder Tarana Burke, Olympic Medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad, Activist and Actor Yara Shahidi, Comedian/Inscure AMANDA SEALES and many many more.

This is the first summit I've ever attended where I witnessed in true form a genuine love, passion, solidarity, interest and trust between women whose only agenda was to lift up the person to the right, left, in front or behind them.  The conversations were not just in passing, but rather women took time to look one another in their eyes and listen, respond and celebrate.  That's rare!

In 2016, the feminist organization United State of Women staged its first summit in Washington, D.C.  Held in partnership with the White House Council on Women and Girls and featuring Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey.  Again at that time the summit brought together 5,000 women, girls and allies to discuss issues ranging from entrepreneurship to violence against women.  This summit happens every other year and I can hardly wait for #USOW2020.

Here are just a few takeaway statements that resonate with me to this day:

"If our vote wasn't important, people would not be trying to take it away from us. If our voices didn't matter, you would be trying to silence people like us.  The systems are not broken, but rather they were designed to do exactly what they are doing."  Brittany Packnett

"Be gentle with yourself and take care of yourself.  The work will always be here to be done." Tanara Burke, #MeToo

"Women know how to speak truth and they've had to do it for a long time." #ElectionsMatter.  Senator Kamala Harris

And go!

Uber Celebrates Bozoma Saint John

Bozoma Saint John.jpg

Bozoma Saint John is one of the most sought after brand marketing influencers in the tech industry by far.  From Apple to now Uber's Chief Brands Officer, when Saint John speaks people are definitely all ears.  One will never miss Saint John's beauty and style because no matter where you see her, regardless of the occasion, she is giving a 'I'm in here' presence without words.

It was no surprise that Saint John was a part of the stellar line-up of speakers at the Black Enterprise Magazine Tech ConneXt 2017.  Her interview schooled many and for others they were drawn into her enchanting and engaging conversation.  Saint John shared a few comments about her new role at Uber, but of them all, this one statement was refreshing and at the same time a bit hard to swallow.  "It was the first time in my entire career when I walked in the door {Uber} where I was celebrated", said Saint John.  When we look back on Saint John's past endeavors including Apple, we are excited, proud and feel just a bit more powerful that while Saint John was in these various roles, she still thrived knowing the celebration of her being present was not where maybe it should have been. Still I Rise and that she did.  Black Girl Magic at its best!  #blackgirlmagic

Another profound moment during the interview was Saint John's around performance interviews - "I've never had a good review.  There was always something negative on my reviews".  What?  For many it's assumed that given Saint John's remarkable career as a music industry influencer, she ranked very high when it came to job performance reviews, hence her high demand in the tech industry.  Not the case at all.  This is inspiring news for thriving and aspiring career enthusiasts, don't get hung up on thinking because you're doing a great job at your company, that when it's review time that you will see nothing but 'exceeding expectations' marks through and through.  Let's just say, that if according to the powers that be you need improvement in some areas, embrace that opportunity to continue to refine your skills and talents.  Let perfection be a journey, not a destination.

And go!