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NBWA Women's Empwerment Summit: The Evolution of Women in Business

Gabrielle Union-Wade in a searing two piece, wide legged pants suit. Her pose... Flawless

Feburary 18, 2019 – Saturday, The NBWA hosted its annual empowerment ceremony during #NBA All-Star Weekend at The Foundation For The Carolinas.

NBWA put on a stellar bruncheon for its second year of commitment. Jarret Affairs, the  collaborative custodians of the event reveled guest by the echelon, bringing over 100 patrons as well as local vendors for the occasion. 

It was a regal affair enriched by celebrities like Gabriel Union-Wade (Actress and Philanthropist), Gail King, La La Anthony (Actress, Producer, New York Times Best Selling Author), CleRenda McGRady (Best Selling Author, Life Coach, Inspirational), Shannon Allen (Grown and a Busy Mom on The Go), Ayesha Curry (Chef and restaurateur), 

Sandra L. Richardson (Managing Director of Morgan Stanley and Head of Global Sports & Entertainment Segment Sales & Engagement Group in Wealth Management), and hosted by Mia Wright (President), Cookie Johnson (Vice President and Director), Tomi Rose (Vice President and Director) Traci Wilson-Mourning (Director), Renee Taplin-Jones (Secretary and Director), as well as Angela Jones (Treasure and Director); Moderated by Capri Champion (ESPN Sports News Anchor) and Baron Davis (two-time NBA All-Star and record-holder). Evolution of Women in Business honorees: Debra Lee (Chief Executive Officer of BET), Valdosta Butterfield Jones, Courtney Ajinca, and Chasity Melvin. Distinct acknowledgements went to Stacey D. Stewart (March of Dimes) as well as Carolina innovator, Janine Davis (Founder of Girl Talk). Special appearances by Jada Pinkett-Smith.

Guest arrived by the fashionable masses, and even in its exclusivity, The NBWA Empowerment Brunch reigned to be absolute, emitting nothing but QUEEN vibes on the wet and whirlwind of a day. It was one of the most inspiring points of All-Star Weekend. If you missed it, you skipped one heck of a presentation.

“I feel like the most impactful part of the event that I want to address is a lot of women isn’t comfortable in their own skin. Especially, us, black women,” says Cari Champion. “We feel like people don’t love us and see us for who we are. We feel neglected, we feel not loved, and that’s not true. We are so wonderful and so beautiful in so many ways. With this being black history month, I think it’s applicable that we look at every one of us in all our different styles, colors, and love, and embrace it. I hope that throughout the event, we see all these amazing women, and we celebrate everything they bring to the table. We don’t compete, but we celebrate. I’m a big believer—One the things I say is, ‘Hold the door open.’ If I didn’t have somebody who I looked up to, I wouldn’t know that this would be possible for me; so, hopefully, today, everybody will feel that in this room. There are already so many amazing women here today, it’s crazy.”

While the missive seemed to be the same throughout the afternoon, it wasn’t until the panel discussions, hosted by Baron Davis and Capri Champion, that women reverberated their thoughts and feelings on a more thoughtful and personal level. In fact, Ayesha Curry talked about the difficulties she faced as a basketball wife, mother; moreover, an entrepreneur, and how the picture perfect persona is really a discord, and furthest from the truth as far as her life is concerned.

“Part of empowerment that we want to address,” says Gabriel Union “It goes beyond business. If we can’t meet face to face on the same level playing field and eye to eye and be honest without the snapchat filter, the Instagram filter and the filters that we put on our lives, we can't all come up," she continued to speak about the difficulties that women face with each other. The attendees gasped with resounding assertions of enduring the same exact things in their lives or line of work. The dispatch shrieked the same message, #UNITY and Leveling up together—Activating a sisterhood that fled the scene after the civil rights movement and long before the evolution. Those were some of the things that were tackled during the 2 hour segment.

Last year’s event offered panel discussions from Gayle King, Ayesha Curry, Adrienne Bosh and Cookie Johnson, which was a little different than this year’s extravaganza. Many weighed in whether the convo surrounded business, being a good wife, friend, or mother, it still concentrated on the moral of harmony and sisterhood regardless of social standing, creed or skin color.

Courtney Ajinca

Debra Lee 

Gabriel Union-Wade

Valeisha Butterfield Jones

Left to right: Traci Wilson-Mourning Cookie Johnson, Mia Wright, and Debra Lee

Traci Wilson-Mourning

Kelly Davis

Gail King

La La Anthony

Additional Clips from the panel discussion:

Special thanks to Brand U Script PR and The 518 Group for the plug! Definitely an event to remember.

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