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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.

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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,

 

 

 

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“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,

 

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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,

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“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.

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Feature: Ingrid Silva

Ingrid Silva

Ingrid Silva began her formal ballet training at the age of 8 at Dançando Para Não Dançar, the Deborah Colker school and Escola de Dança Maria Olenewa. She has also apprenticed with Company Grupo Corpo in Brazil. After entering the Univercidade da Cidade College, she decided to follow her passion and traveled to New York in 2007. That summer, she attended the Dance Theatre of Harlem Summer Intensive Program, and afterwards joined the school’s Professional Training Program. She became a member of the Dance Theatre of Harlem Ensemble in 2008. Ms. Silva has also performed with Armitage Gone! Dance performing GAGA-Gaku at the Joyce Theater in 2011.

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Feature: Michaela DePrince

Michaela DePrince

Michaela DePrince was born in war-torn Sierra Leone during the decade long civil war that took place there.  After rebels killed her father, and her mother died, her uncle left her at an orphanage.  There she was taunted and abused by the women who cared for the children because she had a skin condition called vitiligo, which made her appear spotted.  While there Michaela found a magazine stuck to the orphanage gate.  On its cover was a photograph of a beautiful ballerina en pointe.  Once she saw this, Michaela became determined to be just like that ballerina.

Soon after the discovery of the ballerina, Michaela was adopted by an American family that encouraged her to pursue her passion for ballet.  There she became the eighth of their eleven children, nine of whom were adopted. While attending the Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia and the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at the American Ballet Theatre, Michaela worked hard to develop her skills so that she could overcome stereotypes of conventional beauty and racial barriers in the world of ballet.

After she was featured in the ballet documentary, First Position, Michaela debuted professionally as a guest principal at the Joburg Ballet in South Africa.  Afterwards she danced with the Dance Theatre of Harlem professional company for one year before joining the Dutch National Junior Company as a second-year member and apprentice to the main company.  Despite the fact that she misses her family in the United States, Michaela will be returning to the Dutch National Ballet’s main company for the 2014-2015 ballet season.

Besides dancing, Michaela loves reaching out to disadvantaged young people, with whom she shares her message of hard work, perseverance, hope, and striving for a dream.  In 2013 Michaela collaborated with her mother to write her memoirs, which will be released in the fall of 2014 in the United States of America and other countries worldwide.

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the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards Red Carpet

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Feature: Ebony Williams

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Ebony Williams comes from Boston, Massachusetts, where she trained with the Boston Ballet from age eight through high school. She also attended the Roxbury Center for the Performing Arts. She is a May 2005 graduate of the Boston Conservatory with a Bachelor of Fine Arts.

Williams has been a dancer for Cedarlake Contemporary Ballet, a ten year old company that has risen to the top in the eyes of the dance world, for eight seasons. The Company along with Ebony were featured in the movie Adjustment Bureau starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt in 2009. She has performed works by such choreographers as Jacopo Godani, Ohad Naharin, Hofesh Schecter, Donald Byrd, Luis Fuente and many more.

Being a versatile dancer has given her the opportunity to also work in the commercial world with artists such as Rihanna, Fergie, Ciara (Love, Sex, Magic, featuring Justin Timberlake) and Beyonce. As one of the dancers in the 2009 MTV video of the year “Single Ladies,” Williams also performed with Beyonce on her promo tour, the American Music Awards, the Today Show and Saturday Night Live and last in Beyonce’s ( Countdown video).

You can also see her on television shows such as 30 Rock, America’s got talent and SNL! If you want to read more on Ebony Williams she is also featured on the covers of Dance Magazine, Dance Spirit and nominated as top 25 dancers to watch in Pointe Magazine.

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Feature: Ashley Murphy

Ashley Murphy

Ashley Murphy began her dance training at age 3. She was enrolled in the pre-professional division at Carol Anglin Dance Center from 1993-2002, where she became a member of Louisiana Dance Theatre, an Honor Company of Regional Dance America. She has also performed for Shreveport Opera and Moscow State Ballet as well as in the premiere of William Joyce’s The Leaf Men and The Brave Good Bugs. She represented LDT in the Regional Dance America performance at the International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi and attended summer programs at New York’s Joffrey Ballet School and The Ailey School. In 2002, Ms. Murphy went on to train and perform with Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Dancing Through Barriers® Ensemble. The following year, she was accepted into the DTH Company and toured with them throughout the United States and to foreign countries that included Great Britain, Germany, Italy and Greece. Ms. Murphy has also taught for the DTH Pre-Professional Residency at the Kennedy Center. White House special, appearing on BET’s 106 & Park and the game show Jeopardy, and representing the U.S. in a cultural exchange program in Kingston, Jamaica. In 2011, she was chosen for a new work by Christopher L. Huggins that was commissioned for Dancers Responding to AIDS

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