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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.

Photos courtesy of Kissing Lions Public Relations

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Feature: Tiffany Haddish

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Tiffany Haddish credits her social worker for her success as a comedian/actress. Growing up in foster care in South Central Los Angeles, it was her excessive talking and imaginary friends that prompted her increasingly flustered social worker to steer her into stand up comedy by enrolling her into the Laugh Factory Comedy Camp for children. Haddish has been making people laugh ever since appearing on HBO’s Def Comedy Jam, Bill Bellamy’s Who’s Got Jokes? for TV One, and also on Comedy Central’s Reality Bites.

Not only is she a comedian, she has proven to be a versatile actress appearing in such diverse projects as the film comedy Meet the Spartans and the Lifetime drama Racing for Time, where she played a lead role opposite Charles S. Dutton. Currently, she is appearing opposite Ice Cube in The Janky Promoters. Haddish’s comedy has taken her all over the world. She recently returned from performing on the USO Comedy Tour in Japan for United States troops. She has performed all over Southern California at various comedy clubs and local venues. She also performs in a comedy show called Chuckles Not Knuckles, a program she developed for inner city high school students that promotes nonviolence.

Haddish sees herself as sexy as Halle Berry, as funny as Jim Carrey, raw like Richard Pryor with the comedic timing of Lucille Ball, smooth like Eddie Murphy, Jewish as Whoopi Goldberg, and hopes to someday have money like Oprah.

 

 

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Halle Berry Launches New Scandale Lingerie Line

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Actress/entrepreneur, Halle Berry, is laying down a pretty solid foundation for a well- deserved empire. The A-list celebrity recently entered into a new fashion venture, when she launched Scandale Paris last year, a lingerie line sold at Target stores. With diverse revenue streams flowing in, this woman of power proves she’s all about business.

[Related: Decoded: Multifaceted Power Moves of Halle Berry]

According to AOL.com, Berry stumbled upon Scandale Paris during a trip to France. “Founded more than 80 years ago, the brand was struggling because the undergarments were too expensive”, she told AOL. She reached out to her business partner, Erik Ryd, and they bought the company. In October of 2014, Scandale’s $7 panties and $18 bras began selling at Target and in France, they’re sold at the department store Carrefour.

Strategic, entrepreneurial moves by big screen starlets have become the new normal. Not only does small business ownership allow them to cash in on their famous brands, it also leaves room for family time.

“Having a business like this, I can do more work at home, be with my family,” Berry, who serves as co-owner and creative director of Scandale Paris, explained to AOL . “I have two little kids now. I can’t travel around the world and do a movie like I used to.”

Actress and mom, Nicole Ari Parker, also crossed over into small business back in 2009, when she offered ladies the opportunity tosave their dowith her stylish gym wrap headband; and fashionista Sofia Vergara brought her fans affordable fashion with her clothing and accessory line, Sofia, featured in Kmart stores.

“It’s way more lucrative than making one movie a year,” said Jo Piazza, author of Celebrity, Inc.: How Famous People Make Money, to AOL.”

In the behind-the-scenes video, the Academy-Award winning actress shares the story of her partnership with Scandale, and says the delicate intimates are tailored with “femininity and beauty” in mind, at a price that all women can afford.

“I was drawn to Scandale because of its French heritage and gorgeous lingerie,” Berry said via the brand’s website. “The products are designed to support a woman’s desire to look beautiful, as well as her essential need to feel confident and comfortable in her body.”

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Gabourey Sidibe Inks Memoir Deal

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Gabourey Sidibe,“Precious” star and “Empire” actress, has agreed to pen a memoir that will be published in 2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, according to CBS News.

“I’ve been writing since I was a child, and have always had so many stories to tell that are too long, shady, and impolite to share in interviews,” Sidibe said in a release.”

CBS reports that Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Senior Executive Editor, Deanne Urmy, added, “Moving from Bed-Stuy, to Senegal to Cannes, as Gabby has done in a still-short lifetime, has helped produce a fierce, wise way of being in the world, impossible not to admire. ‘Funny’ doesn’t begin to capture just how irreverent and complex Gabby’s stories are,” said Urmy in a statement.

Sidibe, 32, has also appeared on the last two seasons of “American Horror Story,” and the TV series “The Big C.”

 

 

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Feature: Luenell

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Luenell is a force of nature. This talented comedienne, actress and singer, was born in Tollette, Arkansas, a town whose population barely registers with the U.S. census. At the tender age of 10, she caught the acting bug after seeing the plays South Pacific and Ain’t S’posed to Die a Natural Death. She enrolled in theatre classes at the grade school level and continued to study through college and cut her teeth at the Oakland Ensemble Theatre.

In March of 1995, Luenell’s mom passed away and one month later  she discovered she was pregnant. Some months later, a beautiful daughter Da’Nelle was born and she is the joy of her life, her “miracle child” as Luenell puts it.

Not long after this however, Luenell got a rude awakening. Luenell was sentenced to 365 days in jail for a series of indiscretions taken while working at a bank months earlier. It played out like an episode of Lil’ Kim on Court TV. She eventually served just over 4 months.

These days, Luenell’s life is on track. Her star continues to rise due to her appearances in television, film and music videos.  Best know for her breakthrough role as the “hooker with the heart of gold” in the blockbuster comedy of 2006 “Borat” – Luenell is recognized by both mainstream AND urban sectors of the population. Her two-year tour and DVD appearances in “Katt Williams American Hustle” have created an almost cult-like following.

Luenell had an amazing 2012 with appearances in three #1 feature films – “Think Like A Man” with Arielle Kebell and Meagan Good, 3D animated hit “Hotel Transylvania” with Adam Sandler, and “Taken 2″ with Liam Neeson. She also starred in the hilarious comedy “That’s My Boy” with Adam Sandler and Leighton Meester.

Luenell hasn’t been short on television appearances either with recent episodes of “The Middle” and “Always Sunny In Philadelphia,” as well as stand-up appearances on “Snoop Dog’s Bad Girls of Comedy” on SHOWTIME and “Stand-up In Stilettos” on the TV Guide Network.

Luenell is living her dream.  With such an intriguing past, one would wonder how can she be so funny, but it’s just that…life.  Her reputation as a comic superstar continues to flourish, “…comedy demolition machine” (EURweb report) “a sidesplitting high wired act without a net…” (Scoop LA), “…comedy to die for.” (Metro LA)  “…one of the top 25 funniest people in LA (Los Angeles Magazine) and the accolades continue to roll.

 

 

 

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Danielle Brooks to Star in Broadway’s The Color Purple

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As many are anticipating the upcoming new season of Orange is The New Black, Danielle Brooks fans will be elated to know that the star has landed a new role in Broadway’s The Color Purple.

According to Variety, Brooks will play the role of Sofia, which was portrayed by Oprah Winfrey in the film. Winfrey will serve as the producer this time around, as she did in 2005 when the production first hit Broadway. Brooks, who is known for her role as Tastee on OITNB, will make her Broadway debut alongside Jennifer Hudson, who was cast as Shug Avery, and British actress, Cynthia Erivo, who was cast as Celie.

Brooks, who’s been making major strides as an actress since starring on OITNB, is soon to be featured in the upcoming animated Angry Birds movie. And though she doesn’t have much professional musical experience, she tells Variety she’s been singing all her life. “I grew up singing in church as a little girl,” she revealed. The actress expects to film the fourth season of Orange is the New Black while appearing in The Color Purple, which starts performances in November.

For more information about Brooks’ appearance in The Color Purple, visit Variety.

 

 

 

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