I’m excited to share my experience covering the 2018 Black Women In Media (BWIM) Conference and Awards on behalf of BAUCE Magazine, in which BAUCE was a partner, and was held in New York City at Microsoft in Times Square on March 28th and 29th.
BWIM encompasses the true power of Black Girl Magic. For two days women across media and entertainment from BET HER’s Michele Thornton Ghee, to Love & Hip Hop NY’s Yandy Smith, shared professional and personal stories, spread industry knowledge through panels, workshops and speaking engagements, networked, sold and promoted products and services, and were officially recognized for their accomplishments in media, entertainment, and entrepreneurship.
Though I’d have loved to attend every panel and workshop offered, there were too many – often held simultaneously, to make it to each one, let alone describe all I did attend (view the full list of 2018 panelists and speakers). However, I’ve compiled a rundown of some the top BWIM-featured women, nuggets of their insider tips, a handful of awesome women-owned businesses to support, BWIM shining moments, and where to find them all online.
Dr. Stacie NC Grant, Empowerment Specialist and Event Strategist, provided BWIM’s opening conference remarks. Dr. Grant empowers individuals to create behavioral shifts in their productivity, enabling them to identify and purge distractions in their lives to help them take immediate action on their goals and dreams.
In her remarks, Dr. Grant asked the women in the room to “imagine the person we are going to be in 10-15 years, and whom we’re holding the space for in the future… There’s going to be a young woman who hears about what you’ve done or created…what is it you want them to say?”
Judith Jacques (Twitter & IG: @judithjacques), CEO & Founder of BWIM and BLACK STREET, addressed and thanked conference goers and award show attendees alike. BWIM was conceived by the need for black female representation in media, and works to inspire women in our community – recognizing those breaking past barriers and prejudices to dominate their respective fields.
“I wanted to show future generations, as well as my peers and ground-breakers that we notice you, and we know that you have contributed much more than the media is portraying to outside communities,” said Jacques in a sit-down interview with Ashlei Stevens (Twitter & IG: @ashlei_stevens), Media Relations Director and award-winning media professional.
Jacques shared her professional and personal journey including raising her two children (12 and 2 years old), in addition to obstacles that shaped her success – enduring a battle with cancer (she is now in remission).
“We have to be very careful with how we judge each other, and how we treat other people because you can define for them who they are. I start believing that what so and so believes I am – that’s what I become. So if I speak life into you, you have life, power, you’re beautiful, you grow. But if I speak death into you, then you dwindle and die,” said Jacques.
Michele Thornton Ghee (Twitter and IG: @stratechic) is currently SVP of Media Sales for BET HER (formerly Centric TV) as well as an author of multiple books (Read Stratechic: Life and Career winning strategies for women!), dropped multiple professional gems as a BWIM Communications panelist and awards honoree. Thornton Ghee described her come up in the corporate and entertainment business, as well as being prepared, and having a thick skin to keep from giving up in the face of denial and adversity.
“When I didn’t get promoted I didn’t get mad – I got busy… I decided to understand what the (company’s) mission statement was,” said Thornton Ghee.
Christine Michel-Carter (Twitter & IG: @cmichelcarter) is an award-winning global marketing strategist, and thought leader for marketing to millennials, mothers and black consumers. Michel-Carter regularly contributes to Forbes, and has been profiled by The New York Times, Ebony and Women’s Health, as well as partnered with brands such as AARP, ALDI, Chicco, Goodwill, 23andMe, OtterBox and others.
Michel-Carter has also formed strategic alliances for organizations with the following
companies and brands: Amazon (Whole Foods), IKEA, KIND Snacks, Popchips, Procter & Gamble (CoverGirl), Red Bull, Starbucks, The Coca-Cola Company (Honest Tea) and Under Armour.
TV & Production:
Cathleen Trigg-Jones (Twitter & IG: @CathleenTrigg), Emmy Award Winning Journalist, Executive Producer and Actress, founded and executive produced Catscape Productions and the docu-series We Are The Joneses (Season 1 aired on Centric – now BET HER).
(Topic: Professional Mentorship) “I always wished I could have a mentor, I grew up in a really small town – Dover, Delaware… In my mind I was a big fish in this little fish tank… I did meet what I call Angels along the way, who believed in me, saw what I was doing, and maybe just made an introduction (to a news director etc.)… They might have said ‘I want to make a phone call for you’ – a lot of times it was a white man, said Trigg-Jones.”
Dulcé Sloan (Twitter & IG: @dulcesloan) is a comedian and actress, as well as the newest Correspondent on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. Sloan made her late-night debut last year on Late with Conan O’Brien and her daytime debut as a “Comedian You Should Know” on the Steve Harvey Show. Sloan can be seen on Greatest Ever and Comedy Knock Out on truTV.
(Topic: Professional Mentorship) “At a certain point you grow out of a mentor. You can’t hold on to this person for dear life… The mentor I had, who brought me into stand up (and covered my comedy classes), mentored me from 2009 to 2013 – then it got to the point where he said ‘you don’t need me anymore,’” said Sloan.
Digital & Tech Workshop:
Angel Rich (Twitter: @BlkTechMatters), is the CEO of Wealthy Life and was deemed “The next Steve Jobs” by Forbes Magazine for her financial literacy EdTech Games, specifically the wildly successful “CreditStacker App,” available for free in 60 countries and 21 languages on Google Play and IOS.
CreditStacker was named the “Best financial literacy product in the country,” by the White House, Department of Education, and JP Morgan Chase, as well as the “Top 10 App in the world,” by Google. In the past month Rich was featured in interviews on The Breakfast Club radio morning show, and in Essence Magazine (April, 2018’s hard copy addition). Rich also participated in the BWIM Tech & Apps Panel.
“A lot of times women hesitate to tell their ideas – as soon as I say it somebody’s going to come and take it from me. But that’s something that actually gets us in trouble. Almost every investor and top mentor that I have, I met at random. If I had not genuinely shared my idea and thought, I would never have got the investment or made the relationship,” said Rich. “And I have had stuff stolen from me, but my approach is just be bigger, better, stronger.”
Vendors: I received stellar services or sampled delicious hors d’oeuvres from companies below:
- How does your company represent “Black Girl Magic?”
- What is your favorite product or service you recommend to your clients and why?”
- “Belleisrty has partnered with BWIM for 3 years – partaking in such a movement is still an eye opener for me. I had a blast providing my services at the BWIM conference in the Beauty Lounge. Everyone had a different request and or look idea to be executed. It was pleasing interacting, networking, vibing and taking in all the nuggets that were given. Everyone left satisfied and that’s what really matters to me,” said Stephanie of Belleistry
- “We created ANOZ with the girl who loves the relaxing vibes of the Caribbean but can’t always get there in mind. At our spa or at her home, our spa services and body oils are personally designed with her in mind, so she can feel her best and let her Black Girl Magic shine,” said Jae Richards of ANOZ.
- “We’ve just launched our Rose Blossom & Mango Body Oil and it’s flying off the shelf – our online customers reordered already! Using [these products] during a massage is super relaxing. But even if you can’t get to us in New York, self care and self love is #1, rub it on yourself!”
- “LIFT N LASH not only represents Black Girl Magic by having an African American owner, but we spread love to all colors, and everyone is welcome. BWIM gives younger women hope to strive and reach their dreams and Lift N Lash guarantees to have you feeling your best in every beautiful way possible,” said Chang.
- “My favorite product is the Nova Lash Platinum Glue – Its 4-6 week retention gives you not only your money’s worth for these amazing lashes, but longevity requiring less lash maintenance. We loose 3-5 lashes everyday naturally, so early shedding may happen to most women – though everyone is different. As for services, I recommend our Classic/Volume lash set perfect for bombshell lashes.”
K Squared Nail Paint (Twitter: @K2NailPaint & IG: @K2nailpaint) founded in 2014 by two friends, Kimberly Barker and Karen Nurse is a handmade, is a custom blended, 10-Free, and cruelty free nail polish company based in Brooklyn, New York (I received a mini mani with this product and purchased a periwinkle colored bottle because I loved it so much!).
- “K Squared Nail Paint defines the magic and beauty of Black Girl Magic being a Black-Female owned nail polish line that’s handmade in Brooklyn, which creates an array of bold, rich, trendy, and edgy colors to represent individual magic that a Black Girl possesses,” said Barker – co-owner of K Squared Nail Paint.
- “My favorite product to recommend is my Paint Remover which is an organic nail polish remover that is hydrating and moisturizing for your nails and cuticles. It’s a healthier alternative to using acetone and won’t strip your nails.”
UP SPA (IG: @theupspa) is your next step towards self-preservation, the “Full Body Experience” is what we provide. We have treatments created and specialized to your needs. Our relaxing regiment will set the tone and change your opinion on first class service (I received a relaxing facial that left my skin feeling moisturized, supple and fresh)!
- How does your company represent “Black Girl Magic?”
- 2. What is your favorite menu item or service you recommend to your clients and why?
- “I created Nikki Lukes Treats at a time when I hungered to be a young black female entrepreneur. It took a while for people to catch on and believe this was my own creation – or even support me. Once I started doing major events such as BWIM, Love & Hip Hop NY Reunion shows, plus a co-sign from the Breakfast Club, things really took off. I’m always supportive of my peers and that’s the perfect example of Black Girl Magic, to me,” said Lukes
- “All my treats give you the same value. I recommend you try all flavors. There’s white, milk, and dark chocolate – but the wonderful thing about each is you can taste one full shot of your favorite drink in every bite. I also want to take the time to acknowledge such amazing outlets like BAUCE Magazine, who allow our Black Girl Magic to shine.”
- “Chef RoyalTee is not only a play on my name (Tianna, friends call me Tee) but a constant reminder to myself and other black women that we are indeed Royalty! While I use my love of food and culinary skills to bring people together, it is that message of Black Girl Magic that I truly want my company to be remembered for,” said Chef RoyalTee.
- “While I’m extremely flexible and specialize in a variety of cuisines, my favorite events to cater are cocktail parties and social events. At these gatherings attendees have freedom to network and mingle while I find joy in creating beautiful displays and providing several hors d’oeuvres to be enjoyed. It’s not only about cooking great food, but creating an entire experience for lasting relationships that captivate the eye and taste buds!”