19 Thought Provoking Gems Dropped at the Empowerher Conference

I was fortunate to attend the 21 ninety Empowerher17 conference brainchild of Morgan Debaun, Blavity CEO. The Empowerher 17 conference was a two-day, thought provoking, in your feelings about getting your ish together and a perfect place to connect to do just that. The conference was hosted by the oh so hilarious Gia Peppers. I walked away with a plethora of GEMS and I couldn't keep them to myself. Here is my personal recap of the #Empowerher17 Conference held in Chicago at Venue One on June 9th and 10th. 

Empowerher 2017 DAY ONE

opened with conversations centered around self-care, positivity and knowing your worth. All too often, as creatives and entrepreneurs, we tend to neglect the self-care because we are hustling for the next dime, doubt ourselves because we have shared our goals with the wrong people and have trouble communicating our worth.  Day one included a chat with Zim Ugochukwu of Travel Noire, as well as a young creators panel moderated by Ronnie Dickerson Stewart of DigitasLBi with panelist Nickecia Alder of Black Girl Fly Mag, Autumn Merritt of Sir & Madame and PR Girl Brienna LaCoste

Empowerher 2017 DAY TWO

Darian Symone Harvin, Nikisha Brunson, Alex Wolf

Darian Symone Harvin, Nikisha Brunson, Alex Wolf

was a conglomerate of conversations. The morning kicked off with a Women's Entrepreneurship and Small Business Challenge moderated by Darian Symone Harvin of the Seam with panelist Nikisha Brunson of Urban Bush Babes and Alex Wolf of Boss Babe Academy. Anyone in the audience with excuses on why they haven't started was shaken into reality after this panel. 

Black women in media, underrepresented, as we know but media panelist Kyra Kyles former Editor-in-Chief of Ebony and Lilly Workneh of HuffPost Black Voices gave us something to look forward to. 

Lena Waithe & Robin Thede

Lena Waithe & Robin Thede

Mid-day called for a wake-up and boy did we get one with the duo Lena Waithe and Robin Thede. The duo reminded us, you can get where you want to be. Whether you are in the room and no one looks like you, you don't have to be fake to succeed. 

Bari A. Williams gave a much-needed chat about protecting your creations. She reminds us to READ, READ, READ everything and if there are doubts have someone look over your contracts before you sign. 

Danielle Leslie

Danielle Leslie

The day wrapped with a goal session with Danielle Leslie. She told us to embrace our squareness and learn to communicate our CULTURE ADD.  

Morgan Debaun, Necole Kane

Morgan Debaun, Necole Kane

Follwed by a tear-jerking conversation with Necole Kane of Xo Necole on reinventing yourself. A super electric conversation with Luvvie Ajayi of Awesomely Luvvie and author of I am Judging You. The day wrapped with Erika Bennett of Allied Moxy, who admitted to being nervous but offered a super relaxed presentation and she has receipts. She has been instrumental in marketing movies such as Fences, Sing, Dear White People and Straight Outta Compton to name a few. Erika, mamma would be so proud of your presentation. 

So, I couldn't leave you hanging, here are 19 Gems from the Empowerher17 conference I plan to put into play: 


"You can't give if you don't have" - Nickecia Alder of Black Girl Fly Mag

"Positive energy attracts positive energy" - Autumn Merritt of Sir & Madame


"Don't wait for 10K, followers are not customers" - Alex Wolf 

"I want to live my life being myself" - Nikisha Brunson

"Be world class at what you do" - Nikisha Brunson

"Strategy is bae" - Alex Wolf

"Discipline is a strategy in itself to get you to the next level" - Alex Wolf

"Sit in Discomfort" - Alex Wolf


"Be about your money" - Lilly Workneh


"Do what feels right for your brand" - Lena Waithe

"There are no original ideas, it's about how you spin it to make it your own" - Robin Thede

"You don't have to have a ton of money, just have a ton of talent" - Lena Waithe


"If you are discussing the secret sauce to your business, always have company sign a none disclosure agreement" - Bari A. Williams

"It is smart to trademark anything to do with your brand" - Bari A. Williams


"Best end of interview questions, "What are you unsure of about my qualifications?" - Danielle Leslie

"Embrace your squareness" - Danielle Leslie

"Communicate you're a CULTURE ADD not a culture fit" - Danielle Leslie

"Culture Add (Adding Value)  vs Culture Fit (Fitting In)" - Danielle Leslie

"Your CULTURE ADD is your currency" - Danielle Leslie

Laci McKinney