( ENSPIRE COMMUNITY ) Black Women in Media: Celebrating the Pioneers 2017
In late March I went to an amazing event by Black Women in Media called “Celebrating the Pioneers.” I initially followed BWIM on social media as I was interested in their content because I felt it related to me and would encourage me professionally. I was able to see successful black women in all aspects of media and that made me feel like I was indeed on the right path. Celebrating the Pioneers is an awards ceremony which honors and recognizes women who are brilliantly utilizing their platforms and have undeniably represented Black women in the media industry. Be it Broadcasting, Journalism, Communications, and Print, BWIM plans to highlight women in all of those areas.
I walked in and immediately noticed at how powerful and intimate this event was glancing at all the beautiful faces in attendance. Everyone had a seat at a table, from media professionals who are vets or those who have just started and in between. The mistress of ceremonies for the evening was Lyndsay Christian (Media Personality & Producer) introduced founder Judith Jacques who created this platform of industry colleagues who share a common interest in advancing the causes and cementing a place for Black Women in Media. Honorees included:
- Sheryl Lee Ralph– Actress & History Making Broadway Performer
- Valeisha Butterfield-Jones– Head of Black Community Engagement for GOOGLE
- Deja Vu– Radio Personality for 107.5 WBLS | Author | Life-Coach
- Lauren Lake– Judge on Paternity Court TV & Centric TV’s “Queen Boss”
- Jasmine Crowe– Founder of Black Celebrity Giving
- Kela Walker– 5x Emmy Nominated TV Host & Producer
- Nneka Onuorah– Producer & Director
- Demetria Lucas D’Oyley– Media Personality | Author | Relationship Expert
- Lauren Maillian– Serial Entrepreneur | Co-Star of Oxygen’s “Quit Your Day Job”
Marie Antoinette “FREE” Wright– Media Personality | Producer | Philanthropist
- Stefanie Brown James– Founder of Brown Girls Lead | Strategist | Speaker
- Miko Branch– Co-Founder of Miss Jessie’s | Author
- Patrice Covington– Singer & Actress in The Color Purple
- Lucinda Cross– Media Personality | Motivational Speaker | Best-Selling Author
Nicole Johnson– Emmy Award-Winning Journalist
- Taylor Rooks– SportsNet New York Anchor & Reporter
Antoinette Clark– VP of Branded Entertainment & Media Innovation at CBS
- Quan Lateef Hill– Producer & FilmmakerAlison Desir– Founder of Harlem Run
All these women shared a personal story, experience, congratulated other honorees or just gave some advice on how to never give up on yourself. It was extremely motivating for myself because I felt as if those women were talking to me and I am most sure others in attendance would agree. They were all saying, “It’s ok baby girl, keep going but you better stay focused. There was just so much strength and energy in each speech. All of their perspectives came across somewhat of repetitive variations of bearing the fruits of your persistent labor. Does that make sense to anyone?
Moments that stood out included Mama Sheryl laying down her vocal arsenal that brought the soul out of every person in the room, Lauren Lake’s message of limitless living and Demetria explaining how Rick Ross’s new album made her feel as she was crossing that Miami bridge with the work! You could not help but laugh and appreciate her genuine honesty. People are drawn to her for being her as well as the other women honored that afternoon. All these women spoke of things they love and how they went hard at it to create a career. Singer/Actress Patrice Covington trademarked a contagiously positive message, “Don’t Be a Star Be A Galaxy.” These are the type of messages and examples necessary to motivate and encourage others. What was not normal or cliche to others did not stop any of them from achieving their goals. That message came in so many different stories and that is what made it so powerful.
I do want to thank the creator of Black Women in Media Judith. She is awesome and brave for wanting this type of experience to happen among black women. What made this event even more unforgettable was as I left I met Judith’s parents. They reminded me of mine. You can tell they were proud and they knew her journey would not be easy. That moment warmed my heart because that is what I am working towards now. I want to make a difference and be someone my parents can be proud of knowing it was all for something. Proud that I made a dream reality. I thank Judith for this event because it put myself and others in a great space. I was there to work but came away with so much more.
About Black Women In Media
Black Women In Media is a non-profit organization catered to the upliftment and empowerment of women in Media related fields. The organization focuses on bridging a gap between future media mavens as well as current pioneers and influencers. Through an online and social platform, as well as a series of events, BWIM hopes to honor those who have paved the way, recognize those who are dominating in their respective fields and create strong partnerships and relationships.