Black Girls Rock hosted their annual Black Girls Lead Conference this summer in New York, NY. It is an international leadership conference for young, black women to “offer girls tools and resources to become leaders, innovate, and serve confidently”. With 65 girls present from the U.S.A., Ghana, South Africa, Canada, and the UK, we are excited to announce that one of our own pebbles attended the conference! Tamia Davis, Polished Pebbles mentee and current summer intern at ThoughtWorks, attended the four day leadership conference in New York. Big thank you to the Microsoft store in Oakbrook for fully funding Tamia Davis. She learned a lot about herself and greater society during those four days and has a lot to share with you!
How excited would you be if you got to participate in the Black Girls Rock Inc. Universal Conference–Black Girls Lead? Well let me tell you, it is exciting! I was among 65 girls accepted out of 500 applicants to come to New York and stay at Barnard college for their Black Girls Lead Conference. At first, I was scared because this was my first time traveling alone to a new place, especially one as big as New York. And not knowing anyone! All that fear went away when I stepped off the plane, I had a blast!
The conference was a panel of different successful woman who taught us how to love the skin we’re in. Through the challenges they faced in their lives, they didn’t let their skin tone stop them. The founder of Black Girls Rock! Beverly Bond is an amazing person and I had the honor to meet with her. I also met with other successful women, such as Ebony Rose and Glenda Smiley, Mikki Taylor, Michaela Angela Davis, Eva Marcille, Dutches, Angela Beyonce, recording artists Lil Mama and Rhapsody, spokesman Marc Lamont Hill, and many more. They gave us lessons on how to successfully live our everyday lives. We took a variety of lessons during the four days we were there. We took dance classes at Alvin Ailey studios with one of the dance instructors, we took a poetry class with Ms. Lyrispect, and even finance classes. In between each panel they strived to build each girls confidence by having us get on stage and telling us why we rock.
It was so much fun and I really enjoyed my time in New York! I built relationships with the counselors that were watching over us, as well as the girls that came together from all over the world! Many times Ms. Glenda and Ms. Beverly Bond would play around on the mic. They came up with raps and shared them with us. It was hilarious–they are really fun loving people. Ms. Beverly Bond gave me the nickname Law and Order because I often expressed my love for law. I also met people involved with the BET foundation, such as the president of media Louis Carr and powerhouse entertainment lawyer Lisa Davis. We were even challenged to complete a 40 day social media campaign with Tai Beauchamp putting up pictures or quotes uplifting black girls with the hashtag #BGRTaiChallenge the winner gets some mystery prize. Overall, my experience in New York at Black Girls Lead was truly amazing. I’ve built connections and relationships with successful, inspiring women. For every girl at the conference this was a dream. And I am so excited to thank Polished Pebbles, who was behind me every step of the way.