Are you in need of some major life inspiration from some thought-provoking women of color? Maybe you can find some in Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee, who stresses the untapped potential of girls around the world; author Luvvie Ajayi, who encourages women of color to speak their mind; and Joy Buolamwini, the MIT grad student fighting bias in machine algorithms.
Joy Buolamwini, Coder, Founder, The Algorithmic Justice League – “How I’m Fighting Bias In Algorithms”
Luvvie Ajayi, Author – “Get Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable”
Leymah Gbowee, Peace Activist, Nobel Peace Prize Winner – “Unlock the Intelligence, Passion, Greatness of Girls”
T. Morgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison, CEO and COO, GirlTrek – “When Black Women Walk, Things Change”
SARAH LEWIS |TED2014
Embrace the near win. Art historian Sarah Lewis asks us to consider the role of the almost-failure, the near win, in our own lives. In our pursuit of success and mastery, is it actually our near wins that push us forward?
DR MAGGIE ADERIN-POCOCK | TEDxHousesofParliament
The dawn of a new space era. Space scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock discusses the power of dreams and her ideas to democratise space travel and exploration.
MAHLET AFEWORK | TEDxPlaceDesNations
Ancient tradition / modern fashion. Mahlet Afework is a fashion designer based in Addis Ababa. She discusses how the combination of ancient designs, traditional skills and a modern approach to fashion and entrepreneurship can lift women out of poverty and bring African fashion into the limelight.
Media icon and global standard of success Oprah Winfrey takes brunch to a new level to celebrate the release of new book, “Wisdom Of Sundays: Life-Changing Insights from Super Soul Conversations. The star studded event took place at a private California home and guests enjoyed gospel music and good company.
MONTECITO, CA – OCTOBER 15: Actors Kerry Washington and Angela Bassett attend Oprah Winfrey’s Gospel Brunch celebrating her new book “Wisdom of Sundays” on October 15, 2017 in Montecito, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
The guest list included some of Hollywood’s elite including actress Angela Basset, musician Alicia Keys, rapper Common, director Ava Duvernay and actress Niecy Nash. Performances included gospel powerhouse Yolanda Adams, Erica Campbell, Bebe Winans and more. The positive spiritual ambiance provide the perfect setting for her new book about “awakening your spirit“.
“My prayer is that this book becomes a companion for you. That at any point in your own lifelong adventure, you’ll be able to open The Wisdom of Sundays and find—as I do in the cherished books on my bedside table—just the right words of comfort and clarity” says Oprah on her website.
Oprah also appeared on The Ellen Degeneres Show to discuss the motivation behind her new uplifiting book. “Wisdom On Sundays” lead by an inspriring introduction written by Oprah herself, compiles quotes from a variety of sources to help readers grow and develop throughout a lifelong and sprititual journey.
Kristina Jones just became the 14th ever African American female founder to raise $1 million or more for her startup.
She is the co-founder of Court Buddy, a legal tech startup that instantly matches consumers with vetted solo attorneys based on the client’s budget. In the US alone, millions of Americans go to court each year without proper representation due to finances and firms go without clients. Thru her app, she is bridging together the two problems in order to solve a greater good.
On average, African American women receive a mere 0.2% of overall venture capital dollars when it comes to entrepreneurship. The average dollar amount, which is $36,000, is compared to the average $1.3 million that is given to the typical white male founded startup company.
Together with her husband, James Jones, they were able to overcome the odds and provide hope to other African American entrepreneurs. In her interview with Forbes she stated:
“To be honest, I actually think being an African American woman worked to my advantage,” she told Forbes. “I think that being the cofounder of a sound, fast-growing business that has revenue and a growing number of users, and that I just happen to be African-American and a woman, helped. “
“As women, we tend to undersell our power and the success of our businesses, which can hurt us in situations where investing is involved,” she added. “For minority women, we need to understand that we do have a seat at the table and it’s about believing in ourselves and not letting a “no” stop us from moving forward.”
She also provided three pieces of advice for fellow female founder fundraising:
Get out of the building and make sure to meet as many founders as you can that have successfully fundraised. You should seek out their advice, and also ask for introductions. Investors love intros from founders that they have already invested in.
If you are currently fundraising, force yourself to reach out to many investors. For a successful raise, understand that it is a numbers game.
A lead investor changes everything. Make sure you get a lead investor that you believe in, who will fight for you, and who has relationships with other investors.
Born September 1st, 1996, Zendaya is a young talent with a bright future. Since she stepped onto the scene, Zendaya has not slowed down a bit. From the silver screen on Disney’s “Shake It Up” to the big screen in box office hits such as Spider-Man, Zendaya has proven herself as a multi-talented star with a voice that will be heard.
Zendaya is not only an actress, singer, designer and dancer, but she’s also simply a good human being, who uses her celebrity to spread positivity and inspiration to the many that follow her. Sure, she’s a 21-year old enjoying her life, but she never misses an opportunity to share messages of love and happiness. That’s something that can’t go unnoticed.
So with that being said, we’d like to celebrate Zendaya’s 21st birthday with 5 (of many) inspirational moments from the young star.
Hurricane Harvey Relief
Using her 21st birthday as a way to once again help society, Zendaya partners with Convoy of Hope to raise funds for the communities effected by Hurricane Harvey. The funds will be used to support families and provide to them emergency supplies during their time of need. Zendaya reminds her followers and fans that no donation is too big or too small. Zendaya’s efforts are supported by her peers. Star of “Dear White People” Logan Browning tweets her support for Zendaya’s selfless birthday campaign.
Zendaya accepted the award for “Choice Movie Actress” and used the opportunity to remind the young audience that they hold the power to change the world. She speaks powerfully, encouraging all young people to get educated, stay educated and to take life seriously.
For her 19th birthday in 2015, Zendaya lead a campaign to raise money for orphans in South Africa who are effected by AIDS. After a trip to the country visiting families who are effected by HIV and AIDS, Zendaya was most inspired by a family of brothers. The three brothers lost both parents to the virus. Zendaya’s campaign raised funds for them to be moved to a safe home. She was able to raise over $40,000 and provide the boys with better living conditions.
Shutting Down Prejudice Remarks with Style and Grace
Zendaya attended the 2015 Oscars wearing a gorgeous gown and faux locs. Her look was discussed on E!’s show Fashion Police and instead of praise, Zendaya was met with prejudicial comments from panel member Giuiliana Rancic. Rancic, who has apologized for her harmful words made claims that Zendaya smelled of patchouli oil or weed. Zendaya although young did not hesitate to “clap back” with a graceful reminder that black girls with natural hair do not deserve to be judged and profiled.
Standing Up Against Body Shaming
Internet trolls can be hurtful and Zendaya makes sure to put them in their place. On one occasion, a young woman was body shamed and Zendaya did not only uplift her beauty, she offered her a modeling contract. Zendaya used this opportunity to remind the world that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.
As she matures and continues into adulthood, Zendaya is on track to become a powerful voice in Hollywood for generations to come. Her inspirational words, standout style and desire to be impactful have created unforgettable moments of the young starlet’s blossoming career. Best part? She’s just getting started!
Last night was the airing of BET’s Black Girls Rock Awards and what an amazing night it was. With a room full of #BlackExcellence and #BlackGirlMagic, you could only expect a surplus of inspiration, excitement and encouragement.
As she was honored with the “Rockstar Celebrant” award, the beautiful and talented Solange Knowles made sure to give her dose of inspiration to the crowd as she aimed her speech to black girls and women, reminding them the importance of encouraging each other at all times.
Other honorees for the evening included Issa Rae, Yara Shahidi, Maxine Waters, Roberta Flack, Natalie and Derrica Wilson, and Suzanne Shank. For those who missed it, see Solange’s speech below.
Halima Aden is not only a gorgeous model, but she’s an important figure in the fashion world in 2017. The 19-year old, IMG-signed superstar was the first Somali-American model to compete in a Miss Minnesota USA pageant and was also the first to wear a burkini doing so.
She’s become a voice for young minority girls and boys who aspire to follow in her footsteps; at such a young age, Halima is breaking down barriers left and right giving thousands of people hope and motivation to be themselves.
The young model recently covered the front of Glamour Magazine and wrote an open letter explaining her love for fashion, how she got involved in the industry, her mindset of “being her own person,” what she hopes to do with her success and much more.
Read some excerpts below and visit Glamour for the full thing.
On her origins and changing the stereotype: “I’m Somali, but I was born in a Kenyan refugee camp, and we came to America when I was seven…Muslims make up only about one percent of America, so it’s a very small group and there are plenty of stereotypes about us—we’re not often portrayed as people doing good things. I want to change that. I want everyone to live to their full potential without having to fear someone will try to knock them down or discriminate against them.”
Overcoming fears: “I wanted to challenge certain people’s ideas of Muslims, especially around standards of beauty. I wish I could say I was calm backstage, but being the first hijab-wearing Miss Minnesota contestant was nerve-racking. How were Somalians going to react? I didn’t want to let anybody down. But then I thought: It’s Miss Minnesota. I am a Minnesotan. I know I qualify—I shouldn’t limit myself.”
Advice to women and young girls: “I want to show people there’s not just one way of being Muslim. Mostly I want to show all women: You don’t have to conform to one standard of beauty. And to all the other Muslim girls: If you’re into something and you don’t see other Muslim people doing it, that’s your job.”
Our very own Karen Civil is a mogul in every sense of the word. From working with the music industry’s biggest stars, to the entertainment world’s biggest brands, there isn’t much Civil hasn’t accomplished in her illustrious career.
Today, Karen covers the front of Bombshell By Bleu and provides an intriguing cover story about her career and her accomplishments. Deemed “the queen of influence” by the publication, Karen speaks on what it took to achieve success and being inspired by others. “It’s just the generation of great women around us. Were continuing to excel and push through,” Civil says.
For the cover story, we also saw quotes from the likes of Lil Wayne, Omar Johnson (Beats by Dre) and more, speaking on Civil’s drive.
Lil Wayne on working with Karen:
“I’m grateful to work with Karen throughout the years in my career. Whether we are helping each other build empires or initiatives, such as the Live Civil Christmas campaign, which allowed me to help give back to the Haitian community.”
Omar Johnson on Civil’s social presence:
“She possesses incredible savvy and can single-handedly help make any brand relevant,” says Omar Johnson, CMO of Beats by Dre. “Time and time again, I’ve watched her move mountains to create social media moments in culture and there’s no sign of her slowing down.”
We encourage everyone to take a moment out to read the entire cover story over at Bombshell By Bleu. We’re sure you’ll find some inspiration.
It was 15 years ago today when the world lost iconic singer Aaliyah in a tragic plane crash.
The fallen star was already a success story prior to her passing, but she was destined for so much more than she got to experience. Luckily for us, the legendary artist left us with much to be thankful for through her music, but more so her words and wisdom.
Not only was Aaliyah inspiring to the music industry and those hoping to become artists themselves, she also motivated and empowered women everywhere. Realistically, if you were listening to her music or her interviews at any point, inspiration was delivered.
While there was likely so much more the world could’ve learned from Aaliyah, we’re thankful that she gave us as many gems as she did while she was here.
To honor the beautiful singer on the 15th anniversary of her death, we wanted to highlight 15 of her most inspiring quotes in an effort to keep her name alive and her wisdom present.
See our list on the pages below and be sure to add your favorites in the comment section. Rest in Peace Aaliyah.
“I stay true to myself and my style, and I am always pushing myself to be aware of that and be original.”
“I know that people think I’m sexy and I am looked at as that. It is cool with me. It’s wonderful to have sexy appeal. If you embrace it, it can be a very beautiful thing.”
I want people to remember me as a full on entertainer and a good person.
Curating a World: Sermonic Words From a Young Woman is the latest piece to speak on social justice issues in the nation.
Rev. Guidry used the publication to bring attention to the experiences of women and injustice. The author, who Ebony called “one of her generation’s most powerful female faith leaders,” could no longer take the constant “violence of black bodies.” That is what motivated the 15 sermon book. As well as, the messages fashioned to build empowerment for women.
“We are living in a time where the discussion of these topics are crucial for overall survival. Fruitful dialogue is an imperative part of the process of creating change, particularly if it leads to the transformative work and ministry.”
All information for Rev. Neichelle Guidry’s novel can be found here.
California’s Jalen Bailey made headlines for starting his very own bakery just to raise money for his home.
Young Jalen decided to take matters into his own hands to create a better life for he and his mother, Sharhonda Mahan. The 8-year-old entrepreneur took up baking goods to sell in his Fresno neighborhood to buy a house that they “can be happy in.”
Sharhonda admitted to KFSN, “It was a little overwhelming because it was something that I couldn’t do for him.”
While Jalen’s “go get ’em” attitude impressed his mother, it also grabbed the attention of local business professionals. One, in particular, who donated a used oven just so Jalen will have the proper resources to continue his baking business venture.
Rio’s Summer Olympics welcomes Ibtihaj Muhammad to change history while wearing a hijab.
Muslim women have been wearing the sacred wrap as an important part of their culture. Now, Ibtihaj will be rocking it during her fencing performance. The New Jersey native originally took interest in the sport at 13 years-old so she could remain fully covered as part of her faith and respect to her family, while being physically active. Fast forward to today and she has conquered goals from being the face of her clothing line of “modest fashion,” Louella, to has visiting the White House to discuss Muslim issues with President Barack Obama.
Congratulations, Ibtihaj Muhammad! Continue to be an inspiration to young ladies everywhere and good luck in Rio.
Black excellence continues to shine through young Isaiah Cooper, who’s broken the mold in aviation.
The Compton, California teen is the youngest black pilot to fly across the continental U.S. by himself. Ironically, it was “hanging with the wrong crowd” that made him realize that was not the life he wanted to live and decided to take his education at Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum more seriously.
He wisely stated on his Go Fund Me page, “My main goal is to become a productive young man with a future in aviation, and not a statistic.”
Isaiah covered 8,000 miles of travel in 13 days starting July 5th. Regardless of unpredictable, dangerous weather and an emergency landing in Wyoming, the pilot persevered. Once he landed safely at Compton Woodley Airport eleven days later, Isaiah already started to gear up for his next goal: Travel around the world at 18.