Atlanta was a MOVIE as usual LOL I know I’ve procrastinated on this recap but better late than never. Summit 21 was absolutely amazing yet again, I left the conference feeling empowered and inspired ready to take on the world.
In case you’ve been living under a rock and have no clue what Summit 21 is here’s a quick summary:
Summit21 is a 2 day conference, hosted by 21Ninety, centered around women empowerment, leadership, and entrepreneurship. Three words to describe the summit would be BLACK GIRL MAGIC. This year alone the conference brought together over 3000 beautiful and powerful black women from around the world to assist them in helping them thrive in all areas of their lives. From fireside chats, panels, to workshops Summit 21 aims to provide you with the total package. Not to mention every guest gets to go on her own little personal shopping spree in Chateau21, which if I must admit is one of my favorite parts. They allow you to walk through and pick 5-7 items for FREE. That’s right guys FREE!!! The shop contains a variety of natural hair products from larger and smaller brands, this year they even featured lingerie as well. They had everything from organic applesauce to candles. I was in HEAVEN.
Day One of the conference is usually my favorite because it’s always filled with so much excitement of what’s to come, of what black girl magic you’ll be submerged into, and of what gems of knowledge and wisdom you’ll pick up along the way. The very first workshop I attended that day was “The Power of an Idea from Concept to Completion.” In this masterclass with Malliha Ahmad we learned not only to create a love story with our idea but to manifest a vision of what this idea means for us and our true intentions.
I also attended a fireside chat with Alex Wolfe, “The Creatives Guide to Building a Loyal Audience.” I don’t know if you’ve ever met her or heard her speak but this is my third time hearing her speak, once at another conference and last year at Summit 21. She exudes such confidence that it’s almost contagious. You can’t help but to want to dig deep down and embrace the REAL you when sharing the same space with her. She encourages us to be our true selves by engaging the audience in a discussion of, “Who are you at 3am?” What are you OK with sharing? What are your boundaries? What would you like to receive in return? She emphasized the need for you to discover the story behind your business idea and how you found your purpose. I absolutely LOVED every minute of this fireside chat and I must say I can’t wait to buy her book!
Day 2 this year was definitely my FAVORITE. The day literally began with a fireside chat with thee Maxine Waters. For those of you who don’t know, Maxine Waters is a member of the Democratic Party and is currently in her 15th term in the house, serving since 1991. She is such a powerful woman, you can feel it in the way she walks and talks. Just the general way she carries herself screams POWERFUL BLACK WOMAN. Talk about starting the day off with a bang! Maxine encouraged us to take the time to get to know each candidate for the upcoming election and then make it our business to ask them who have they hired to specifically help them deal with the constituency that directly involves US and specifically OUR age group of 18-30 or 18-25. This is important because if they don’t have anyone on their campaign for this specific reason then as a candidate they simply aren’t talking to us. Maxine continues on to say that even if they don’t have anyone on their team for this purpose IF they actually hear you they could possibly feel like you’re absolutely right and this could lead to them personally asking you to help them fulfill this need on their campaign. More importantly you just gave your age group a voice. She also encouraged us to get directly involved. Be prepared to work on a candidate's campaign if need be. The entire fireside chat was simply amazing. I walked away from this conversation feeling confident and powerful. Feeling like I mattered and knowing that if we stand together as one we’re stronger.
If you think that’s crazy you won’t believe who they ended the day with. MRS. TINA KNOWLES-LAWSON. I could’ve probably listened to her talk all day LOL. She’s very relatabe and listening to her talk you can’t help but to feel like you’re talking to your own mom. Not to mention this is the closest I’ll ever get to Beyonce LOL She proceeded to walk us through her daily routine and emphasized the importance of starting each day giving thanks and just being grateful for all that you and your family and friends are blessed with.
My second celebrity encounter happened earlier that day when I had the pleasure of meeting DeWanda Wise from She’s Gotta Have it! I was literally thanking god I made it a point to get to lunch early that day! By the time I got there the line was super short to meet and take pictures with her. I was literally doing a happy dance in my mind LOL She is so down to earth and even more GORGEOUS in person. You immediately feel at ease in her presence like you’re simply hanging out with one of your homegirls.
If you’ve never been to a Summit 21 conference I highly recommend you go! You’ll walk away from the experience feeling inspired and ready to take on the world.