BWIM: Panel & Awards Ceremony Recap



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On March 29th, 2014 Black Women In Media held its inaugural Panel & Awards Ceremony at Le Skyroom located in the French Alliance Institute Francaise in NYC. Black Women In Media, an organization catered to creating a platform in celebrating Black women in all facets of the media realm, boldly and successfully created a thought-provoking, eye-opening, and enlightening experience this past Saturday.

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The event began with a networking portion sponsored by Birthday Cake Wines, Sweets by Alize, & Trust In Us Catering.The who’s who of black women in media joined BWIM and engaged in building beneficial and sustaining relationships. As guests enjoyed neo soul classics, built beneficial relationships, as our caterers passed Hors D’ouevres and wine.


Our Mistresses of Ceremony, Africa Miranda of Bravo’s The New Atlanta, and host of Uptown Magazine’s Uptown Unplugged: Uptown Studios, Ashlei Stevens began the event in high spirits by greeting guests and welcoming them to their inaugural panel and awards ceremony created by BWIM. Shortly after, they introduced the CEO & Founder Judith Jacques. A young woman who has many other powerful entities under her brand such as Black Culinary Expo, Black Celebration Awards, and BLACK STREET to name a few. Judith quickly greeted her guests and gave a short overview as to why she decided to create Black Women In Media among her other brands, stating,





“I would hear others murmur about the imperfections within our community while idly watching.  Although I never stated those exact words, but the thoughts did come across my mind. I had to ask myself– What am I doing to change my community for the better?”

Hence, the creation of the powerful organization which is receiving much and deserved attention today, BWIM.


Following her greetings, the event delved right into the first panel, Mass Communications which entailed moderator Africa Miranda, MSNBC Political Commentator Esther Armah, NULYP President Brandi Richard, Fixer & Co-Founder of 135th Street Agency Shante Bacon, and Ashlei Stevens. The discussion for the panel included perfecting ones craft, building your network and how Shante Bacon so eloquently put it,


“Your contacts can turn into currency”.DSC_4324


The next panel presented was the Beauty/Health & Wellness Panel. The panelist included moderator Africa Miranda, OWN’s Love In the City Co-Star Bershan Shaw, Emmy Award Winning Makeup Artist Julia Jovone, Creator of the First Full Figured Fitness Phenomenon Anowa Adjah, Health & Sustainable Living Expert Yoli Ouiya, and Stylist & Style Blogger Joy Adaeze. Each woman provided healthy and proper alternatives to attaining the best you possible while living a healthier lifestyle.

In between panels, BWIM awarded each participating panelist including the mistresses of ceremony. Each received a note worthy introduction and were presented with an engraved crystal award.


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The event went into an intermission sponsored by MYX Moscato, entitled: MYX & Mingle. “VIP” ticket holders had the opportunity to mingle and converse with honorees, panelists and other phenomenal and elite women who joined BWIM on Saturday. During the intermission, guests enjoyed once again Hors D’ouevres prepared by Trust In Us Catering, chocolate covered strawberries by Sweets by Alize, and drinks by Myx Moscato, and Birthday Cake Wines.

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During the MYX & Mingle portion, the beautiful and talented ESNAVI gave a breathtaking and phenomenal performance for our guests. Right after the performance, the Mistresses of Ceremony encourages all guests to find their seats as the panels continue.

The next panel to go up was the Pioneer Panel with moderator Africa Miranda, MSNBC commentator Esther Armah, legendary Journalist Flo Anthony, New York 1 News Anchor Cheryl Wills, & OWN’s Love In the City Co-Star Bershan Shaw held a dynamic discussion at staying relevant, not overlooking up and coming entrepreneurs, and the meaning and sacrifice of being one. Cheryl Wills stated,





“Never overlook up and coming entrepreneurs” and “The same bridge that brought you up can bring you down.”


Flo Anthony also stated, “Entrepreneur= Entre-Poor-Neur” the real meaning to entrepreneurship; its struggle to attain a desired level of success.


Finally, the last panel TV & Lifestyle with moderator Ashlei Stevens, Bravo’s Blood Sweat & Heels Geneva S. Thomas, CBS Survivor Runner Up Sabrina Thompson, Bravo’s The New Atlanta Africa Miranda, 7x’s Essence Magazine Bestseller Tiphani Montgomery, and Lifestyle Expert Neffi Walker. This panel contained a heated debate as to whether women who are public figures should represent all Black women. Guests, and panelists/honorees, all participated in the topic of Black women, their responsibility to represent Black women as a whole, and their current lifestyle.

Throughout the entirety of the event, audience members as well as viewers from home viewing via Live-Stream; powered by WorldCast Inc., asked the panelist and honorees a series of questions. In return, each panelist provided a wealth of information in response to each question.

To conclude, Founder, Judith Jacques gave her final remarks, thanked everyone who participated and encouraged them to look forward to future events. BWIM accomplished putting together a dynamic and rewarding experience for their guests and all of its participants. Everyone walked away feeling encouraged, enlightened, and eager to venture off to their new projects. It is safe to say that Black Women In Media is rapidly becoming the source of new inspiration to all Black women!

Celebrity Painter & 3D Artist S. Whittaker debuted some of her pieces including pieces from her new line: DSC_3785WOMAN at the Black Women In Media panel & Awards Ceremony.  The pieces were absolutely breathtaking. Other partners and sponsors included NABJ, NULYP, Dynamic Endeavors, Wild Spirit Hair Products, & Doris New York Hair Products.

Photos courtesy of Kissing Lions Public Relations



For the most part, entrepreneurs earnestly believe that it takes teamwork to make the dream work. However, there are far too many ‘Superpreneurs’ out there still wearing the gleaming ‘S’ stretched across their chest. However, when the cape comes off, many will admit that they are frustrated, stifled, exhausted, and zapped in strength. Dr. Nadia Brown is the CEO and Founder of Doyenne Leadership Institute LLC based out of Phoenix, AZ, an institute designed to help entrepreneurs build profitable, sustainable businesses through training, coaching and strategic planning. According to Dr. Nadia, there comes a time to realize the necessity and value of a team concept.

[Related: Danyel Smith Talks Content, Life, and Creativity at #HerAgendaLive]

“One of the things that I have my clients to do is to reference their big dream or vision. Then I ask them that if I told them that I wanted to build an amazing skyscraper and that my plan was to build it alone, what would they say? They all say the same thing, that I would be crazy and that it was impossible. “ Dr. Nadia reminds them that their big vision for their business is synonymous to a skyscraper, and attempting to fulfill a big vision alone is a daunting task at best. “One of the biggest mistakes that I see small business owners make is they take far too long to get the help they need to build the business they desire.”

BlackEnterprise.com caught up with Dr. Nadia to ask her expect advice on top strategies entrepreneurs can employ immediately to build an effective dream team.

Understand That Asking For Help Is Not A Sign Of Weakness. Business owners have to be okay with the fact that they cannot do it alone. I do not know where the idea came from that we have to do it all ourselves as a badge of honor or something, but when you look at companies such as Apple, Inc. there are thousands of people that work to make it a successful business. While I understand not every small business owner aspires to grow that large, it takes the right mindset to understand that it is okay to have people on your team.

Identify What Skill Sets You Need Before You Need Them. It is dangerous to hire when you’re desperate. Trust me, I’ve been there. Take the time to identify what skill sets you need now and what you will need in the future. Then as you continue to grow, bring on the needed resources to take your business to the next level. This is an important part of your revenue growth strategy. It’s important to understand that the team that gets the company to $100,000 is not the same team that will get the company to $1 million and beyond.

Don’t Rush The Process, But Hire Carefully. I heard this saying: ‘be slow to hire and quick to fire’ during my years in corporate and it just stuck with me ever since. It is important to take your time during the hiring process, to not only hire for attitude, character and skill, but also to hire a person that fits your company’s culture. This is a piece that is often overlooked during the hiring process and can come back later to haunt you. Once a person is on the team, it’s a lot harder to get them off if things don’t work out.

Surround Yourself With People Smarter Than You. It’s important that you learn to check your ego at the door. If you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room. You must identify your areas of strength and then hire those who are gifted in the areas where you are not. One thing I’ve learned is leadership will expose your insecurities.

Learn How To Let Go And Delegate. Once the person is on the team, you have to let things go. This is a lot easier said than done. However, it’s important that you learn to assign tasks to new team members and trust them to get it done. Clearly communicate your expectations, deadlines, and make yourself available to answer questions. It’s a process to get the communication piece down, but understand that most disagreements in the workplace are due to miscommunication.

Give New Team Members The Space And Grace To Make Mistakes. Your new team members will make mistakes. It’s part of the process. I have to remind my clients that they didn’t always get it right and neither will those on your team. If you create an environment where mistakes are handled properly, then you will have fewer incidents of team members who are afraid of taking a risk and/or who try to cover up mistakes when they are made. This is important for the continued growth and innovation of your business.

Fire Yourself As You Grow. Yep, that’s right. Understand that as a small business owner, growing and developing your dream team won’t happen overnight. There may be some hats that you have to wear for a while and that’s okay. However, keep in mind that as you continue to grow your business your goal is to fire yourself from the daily operations of your business and take your rightful place as CEO aka Chief Decision Maker.




Dr. Nadia Brown’s Advice on Building a Successful Dream Team


Stephanie Ready Becomes First Full-Time Female NBA Analyst


FOX Sports Southeast has announced that Stephanie Ready will be moving from sideline reporter for the Charlotte Hornets to game analyst, alongside Dell Curry and Eric Collins. While other women, including Ann Meyers and Nancy Lieberman, have served as occasional analysts for the NBA, Ready will be the league’s first full-time female analyst.

“I am thrilled – I’m over the moon with excitement,” she tells NBA.com. “When I was a coach and considered getting into television, this was the job that I wanted. This was the reason that I got into sports broadcasting, because I wanted to be a game analyst.”

[Related: Dwyane Wade Talks Brand Innovation and Product Development]

Ready grew up in the suburbs of Maryland and attended Coppin State University in Baltimore, where she played on the women’s basketball team and later helped with recruiting and coaching for the men’s team. Afterwards, she moved to the NBA Development League and worked as an assistant coach for the Greenville Groove in South Carolina, until the team folded.

After doing a bit of broadcasting and sending her tapes to ESPN, Ready received a call to broadcast for women’s sports. That work led her to eventually get into men’s sports and link with Bob Johnson’s new team in Charlotte, to do local reporting there. Working as a sideline reporter and host of Hornets Live, this will be Ready’s 12th season with Charlotte, except this time she will have a full-time seat at the analyst booth.

“Even though I’ve done it all these years – some college games and some NBA games on a fill-in basis – this will be the first time I get to focus primarily on the job that I love the most in television. I couldn’t be more excited,” she said.




Groups Offer Black & Latina Women $1,000 To Become Angel Investors


Pipeline Fellowship, an angel investing bootcamp for women, has enlisted BeVisible and Black MBA Women as recruitment ambassadors for African American and Latina women. Both organizations will provide $1,000 scholarships to African American and Latina women who sign on to Pipeline Fellowship’s angel investing bootcamp.“We simply have to do a better job in supporting black women leaders by taking an active role in their development,” notes Daria Burke, founder of Black MBA Women.

[Related: Angel Investing Bootcamp Heading To Five Cities]

BeVisible is a social media platform that connects Latina Millennials to Latina thought leaders and career professionals throughout the country. For BeVisible Co-Founder Andrea Guendelman, “Relationships and access to capital are the biggest roadblocks for Latina entrepreneurs. However, it doesn’t have to stay this way. And, one way to make sure it doesn’t is to train Latinas to become investors.”

Since the launch of Pipeline Fellowship in April 2011, the percentage of women angel investors in the United States has grown from 12% to 26%, according to the Center for Venture Research. However, the percentage of minority angels in the U.S. has inched from 4% to 8%.

When it comes to women of color angels, the numbers are even lower. Additionally, the percentage of women of color entrepreneurs pitching to and securing funding from angel investors in the United States is less than 24% and 16%, respectively.

And yet, the number of businesses owned by minority women has increased from 1 in 6 in 1997 to 1 in 3 in 2015, per the 2015 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report commissioned by American Express OPEN. While non-minority (term used in report) women-owned firms grew 40% over the eighteen-year time period, black women-owned firms grew 322% and Latina-owned firms grew 224% in the same time period.

“We need to bet on black women and Latinas. There are enough white guys investing in other white guys–let’s get more of us investing in more of us,” remarks Natalia Oberti Noguera, founder & CEO of Pipeline Fellowship.

“As an LGBTQ Latina entrepreneur,” adds Oberti Noguera, “I’m committed to engaging underrepresented voices and am thrilled to be collaborating with BeVisible and Black MBA Women to activate more black women and Latina angels.”




An Internship’s Other Purpose

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Internships serve many purposes: to expose you to potential careers, to give you work experience, to help you build professional skills, for network purposed, and to help you decide exactly what you want to do … right?

[RELATED: Tips for Landing a Last-Minute Internship]

Well, internships also serve another purpose—to show you what you don’t want to do. There is a difference between hating your internship and dreading coming to work, and simply realizing this is not the type of work you want to do for the rest of your life. My only advice for those who are offered a job they can’t stand is to be thankful for the opportunity, graciously rescind the offer, and be proactive in securing opportunities that better suit you.

Realizing early on that the internship’s requirements and assignments do not align with your goals and passions is beneficial. Understand that most internships will involve busy work and menial tasks, but it is up to the intern to be ambitious in acquiring meaningful work. When you are given assignments with substance and still aren’t stimulated, that internship may not best suit your potential. This realization helps you ‘X’ out what you are not interested in. Again, this is beneficial. Unless you are the person who’s set on what you want to do, there are so many options.

If you want to go into business, there is entrepreneurialism, marketing, management consulting, trade, and law. Internships you don’t connect with can help you narrow down your potential career path. For example, an internship at a medium-sized, somewhat well-known company may have you working on a little bit of everything: marketing, management consulting, and communications. But you’ve discovered that you’re most engaged when working on marketing assignments. Wonderful! You are finding your passion and showing your supervisor and the other executives that this is an area where you blossom, and this is why they need your marketing skills to propel the company.

It is imperative to still fulfill the requirements of the whole internship, but allow yourself the opportunity to share ideas with your supervisor. There’s nothing worse than having an intern that does not do what is expected of them. If you are working in the editorial department with a current degree track in advertising, take it upon yourself to construct an advertising project of new ideas and ways the company can excel in advertising. Remember, even if you are not fond of the internship, that should be all the more reason to create something you do like that will also help the company.

Also, go to a meeting you think you have no interest in. (It could become interesting!) Talk to people, research something, ask your supervisor about other work/internship opportunities. They might just know someone with your same interests. This will disguise your dispassion for your current work, and the higher-ups will notice you and appreciate your thought process and ability.

Overall, the best way to avoid an internship that doesn’t fully engage you is to be proactive in searching for internship that does. Every media major’s dream is to intern with Viacom, or Goldman Sachs if you’re a business major. But these programs are highly competitive so having a solid Plan B is critical. After all, an internship is meant to give you a taste of a particular career, to teach you things about yourself and help you make smart career decisions. Knowing that you aren’t very happy where you are opens your mind to other careers you might be better suited for.






When Starting a Business, Think Innovation Over Imitation


Mimicking a pre-existing business model is tempting. After all, there’s proof of its success within numbers, it’s been tested over time, and the reviews are already written. However, more often than not, successful businesses flourish when they lead with innovation and a need-based mindset.

[Related: Jembere Eyewear Designer Talks Becoming an Entrepreneur and the Importance of Giving]

Entrepreneur Myleik Teele, founder and CEO of CurlBox; a curated hair product subscription service for women with natural hair, entered the world of small business, young, passionate and ready to solve a beauty issue facing African American women.

If you’re not familiar, Teele has a background in PR, where she experienced some of her first big breaks, having worked with reputable clients like Linkin Park, Travis Barker, and Prince. She went on to create Curlbox after identifying a gap in the haircare industry. With so many natural hair products on the market, how would women decide which ones? Well, Teele took it upon herself to not only answer that question, but to change the way black women experienced natural haircare all together.

“What the subscription box service did was give us a lot more access,” said Teele. “Why it worked well for me, is that black women hadn’t been able to experience products in this way.”

The 36-year-old CEO believes in going into business ready to “innovate not imitate”. When asked about the subscription box business model used for Curlbox and how entrepreneurs may incorporate this model today, Teele says she wouldn’t recommend it. Though the method is proven, it is not necessarily innovative.

“I would say don’t [use the subscription box model]. It’s not new, that’s the thing”, said Teele. “I feel like there’s  something that someone will come up with that will change the way we experience things,” she added.

In her monthly, and sometimes weekly podcast, titled MyTaughtYou, Teele advises budding entrepreneurs to approach business with a fresh perspective– challenging listeners to ask themselves, “Is there a need for what I’m offering or creating?”

She also shares her business journey, life lessons, and offers career advice to women of color in the workplace. During the episodes, she often reiterates the importance of goal setting, maintaining consistency and warns entrepreneurs that when beginning a  business venture they won’t always feel prepared, but that’s no excuse to wait.

“You won’t be ready,” said Teele in her How to Go to the Next Level Podcast. “You’re not going to feel ready. You’re likely [to be] ready when [the idea]starts tap dancing on your mind and you can’t stop thinking about it. You’re ready. Do it anyway.”

Click here to check out her MyTaughtYou podcast.



5 Fall Events Women Won’t Want to Miss


The summer is almost over, but the fun doesn’t stop here. Get ready to update your autumn agenda with these must-attend events, geared towards women’s empowerment. Check out the list below, save the date and prep for exclusive fun this fall.

[Related: Close Out the Summer with G&T]

Activate Conference – #Activate2k15Con takes place September 18-20 in Atlanta, Ga and carries the theme: Building the Empire while focusing on Family. The conference is hosted by author, speaker, and founder of the brand Activate Your Life Today, Lucinda Cross.  Registration cost for the event ranges from $125 to $2150.

BE TechConneXt Summit – Black Enterprise will be launching their inaugural tech summit this year in Silicon Valley, October 12-13. This one-of-a-kind summit will be a hot spot for female techies, entrepreneurs, and educators to gather and engage. Attendees can expect to chat with thought leaders, discover new resources, and make meaningful connections.

Circle of Sisters Expo – According to the organization, Circle of Sisters is the largest expo for women of color in New York City. The two-day event is filled with celebrity appearances, panel discussions, seminars, inspirational services and music. The cost for the expo is pretty low; totaling $40 for the weekend, if you purchase tickets in advance. The event is scheduled for October 17 and 18.

We are Legendary Weekend – This four-day women’s empowerment event is hosted by, This is Her Way founder Sherry Williams. The fab weekend in Washington, D.C. will include an award dinner honoring Comedy Writer and Buzzfeed Star Quinta Brunson, Miss Jessie’s Founder Miko Branch, an all-male panel discussion, a workout day, and a Sunday community service initiative. The dates for the event are October 16-18.

Bella Kinks Natural Hair Expo – Located at the Grapevine Convention Center in Grapevine, TX, Bella Kinks is bringing women together to talk all things natural hair, life and more. The October 24-25 weekend will include workshops, dynamic speakers, and access to premier natural hair products from your favorite vendors. Check it out.



Misty Copeland To Debut on Broadway


Misty Copeland will have her Broadway debut Aug. 25 in the musical On the Town. This follows  her historical accomplishment, back  in June, of becoming the first African American woman ever promoted to principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre, one of the world’s most prestigious companies.

[Related: ‘Un-Tamed: Hair Body Attitude’ Celebrates Black Womanhood]

According to USA Today, in On the Town, which traces the romantic adventures of three sailors on 24-hour leave in the Big Apple during World War II, Copeland inherits a role first introduced on Broadway in 1944 by Sono Osato, whose father was Japanese.

This role is unique for the prima ballerina as it requires her to sing,”which I’ve never done,” she admits to USA Today but in true “on pointe” fashion, Copeland seems to welcome the challenge.

“It’s all going to be a bit of a shock,” she tells USA Today. “But it’s going to make me more confident, knowing I did something I thought I never could or would do.”

Copeland’s perseverance has been paramount in her success from the beginning as she didn’t begin studying ballet until she was 13-years-old. She’s also had to overcome battles of racism in the non-diverse discipline of dance, and rise above body shaming when, at 5’2 and 100lbs, she was advised to lose weight.

You can read more about Misty Copeland’s prep for Broadway at USA Today.