If you don’t build your own dream someone else will hire you to build theirs. -Tony Gaskins Jr.
As I stood in a room full of beautiful, powerful, and eager to learn women yesterday afternoon and read the above quote, I couldn’t help but be affected by the overwhelming energy that was flowing throughout. This quote seemed to sum up our purpose for gathering during yesterday’s My Sister’s Keeper Expo, hosted by Tina Brown Productions in San Francisco yesterday. Unbeknownst to us all, we would be taken on an emotional rollercoaster, asked to self-reflect, dream big, and “boss-up.!”
The morning began with an energizing yoga warm-up led by our host, Nikki Thomas, who emphasized the importance of recharging and refueling our bodies, minds, and spirits. She kept the good vibes flowing throughout the event. Tenina “Suga-T” Stevens, our first Keynote Speaker, shared with us her journey to reinventing herself to become a savvy businesswoman with multiple streams of income and diverse business interests. The theme of her message was about creating our own fragrance in life; our own “perfume”. She closed out her segment with a beautiful performance of her new song “Butterfly” and left us feeling motivated.
Becky A Davis, self-proclaimed Bosspreneur, kept it all the way real with us with her powerful message of “bossing-up.” She touched on the harsh reality that we as women don’t always ask for what we deserve. Her dynamic personality got us fired up as she shared with us her 4 steps to becoming a Bosspreneur. After a fabulous lunch, we returned for an emotional second half of the event, lead by the Stratechic herself, Michele Thorton, who is also a native of Oakland, CA. She touched on the fact that we as women need to take time for ourselves. She challenged us to take back our time as women and eliminate those people or activities that haven’t earned our time. She also advised us to carefully select our circle to ensure that nothing is holding us back from reaching our success goals; and to know what people think of you!
Teneshia Jackson Warner later took the stage to share with us a message about stretching towards our dreams. She walked us through an emotional story of a girl named Ordinary, on a journey to follow her dream to becoming extraordinary. She made us laugh, cry and stand on our feet with her throat-punching message that sometimes the people closest to you are the ones who will try to block you from achieving your dream. She entertained us with her personal story, which included her borderline stalking Russell Simmons for a life-changing opportunity to work for him. She challenged us to write down our dreams, make it plain, and get started on finding a way to accomplish them.
Wealth Expert, Lynne Richardson served us with a reality check regarding our relationship as women of color with our finances. She stressed the importance of setting a budget, and making sure material things don’t define us so that we can live the lives we were meant to live. She had us all rethinking the way we spend and invest.
We were blessed to hear from two incredible panels of dynamic women including : Dr. Rosche, Briana Moore, Meko White, Frances Nevarez, Vallori Thomas, Traci Collins, and Tee Marie Hanible who shared with us their experiences as entrepreneurs creating businesses in diverse fields, and overcoming life obstacles. Closing out the afternoon, Keynote Speaker, MC Lyte blessed us with one of her incredible flows on the mic, before jumping into her message about preparing ourselves for success. Her message of doing the work to get where you want to go and creating opportunities for yourself when no one else will, resonated throughout the room. She brought the message of what had been communicated to us throughout the day, full circle.
Before we said our good-byes we were treated to yet another incredible experience; spoken word by local Bay Area artist, Bri Blue, who reminded us that we are amazing! I cannot wait for the second installment of My Sistser’s Keeper! Thank you Tina Brown Productions and Prudential for investing in our community!