Walking into Summit21 felt like walking into what Black Girl Magic dreams are made of. As I rode up the elevator, anxious for what Day 2 of the Summit had to offer; sisters I didn’t even know greeted me with smiles and salutations. Once on the main floor, I was overwhelmed with all the vibes! Flowy skirts swayed while women strutted with their girlfriends, afros bounced and ponytails swung as people laughed and moved around, skin glowed as women smiled for the flashing cameras. I had to ask myself if this was real. No matter how long I live in a city like Atlanta, I don’t take space like this for granted. Spaces that allow for us to be unashamedly black and free. It was a beautiful site.
So not only is my heart full, but so is my stomach because breakfast with vegan options was bomb. As I head toward the Leadership Stage, I’m in awe of how beautifully designed everything was. The perfect setup for who is about to grace the stage. Morgan DeBaun walked the stage with confidence in a very very cute dress, and welcomed to the stage everyone’s favorite Auntie, Maxine Waters! Not sure when it was deemed okay to stan a Congresswoman, but that’s just what the audience did. Waters was welcomed with applause and phones out ready to capture what she had to say. And I must say she delivered on our expectations. Not only was she graceful, but she was direct. She left us with guidance on how to view this current section season but a call to action to make sure we get up and are participants in politics. Her words were just as captivating as you expect. Viral comments like “Reclaiming my time!” is just a piece of all the wise words and encouragement she had to offer. Here are a few of my favorites:
The facts are: she not only wanted us to be great, but to challenge every Democratic candidate that is running. Its important to vote based on candidates positions, not just how they look. We must rally together to get our current president out of office, or as she said it, “When the primary is over it’s going to be one of those Democrats. And we’re going to all support that one Democrat, because we gotta get rid of Trump!” Which was met with laughs and thunderous applause. She also let us know she hip to the social media game saying things like, “One of my last tweets was”. And encouraging us to like and retweet her so that the message gets out there! Waters truly had the right words to invigorate a group of 18-30 years old to get out there and get moving!
Now that we’ve been inspired to change the world, it’s time to head to the next session. Since I’m an emerging photographer and started my own business this year I decided to get my side hustle on with Nicaila Matthews Okome. Okome is the creator and host of Side Hustle Pro podcast. And if I could describe her talk in one world, it would be relatable. I felt like she knew exactly what I was going through as I try to manage my full time job and photography business. Okome left us with an activity to do with our friends to help narrow down our side hustle.
Lunch time was a ball! I mean me and my friends danced and danced to our hearts content as the DJ played all the jams. We even practiced the Before I Let Go Challenge. Not only was the expo hall a dance floor, but the best marketplace you can imagine. There was black art, a bookstore, vendors, and the most anticipated Chateau21. Chateau21 is an experience that allows every attendee to enter and pick 5-7 full sized, free goodies. They have clothes hair products, skin products, vegan cookies, and so much more. I snagged a tie-dye tee and some needed beauty products specifically one of Beauty Counters most popular products.
It was time for the session everyone was waiting for. The mother to the generations two favorite singers. The women who captivated social media with her corny jokes. The women who embodies dedication and resilience. Ms. Tina Knowles-Lawson!! Of course everyone welcomed her with the biggest standing ovation. Once we settled down got down into how she managed create a strong work ethic in herself and her family. We dived into why she collects art and more. It was amazing to get into the mind of a powerhouse like her! After the conversation the entire audience performed the Before I Let Go Challenge for her! Talk about lucky for us. And that was it. The gathering of some of the most bomb women came to a close. This conference lives up to the hype every year. If you’re thinking about going, early bird tickets are already on sale for next year and there stop in LA! I would recommend you get your tickets now, and meet me there!