Thanks to the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Viola Davis, Brenda Lee and Ava DuVernay, so many more doors have been opened for women of color. And while we need to celebrate them, it’s important to give props to the next generation of Black women walking in their footsteps.
Therefore, to uplift this new crop of women, on March 2 BET Networks’ Leading Women Defined Summit in Miami hosted the Millennials Rising panel, celebrating the next generation of female bosses. Moderated by award-winning journalist and television personality Nadira Hira, the group consisted of Pauline Malcolm, Vice President, Sales, Maker Studios, singer Justine Skye and social media guru Maya Washington a.k.a. Shameless Maya.
These four inspirational young women talked about a range of issues, including how young Black women are changing the way we look at business, branding oneself and how influential this demographic is in the media and political landscape. Hira stressed that this conversation around young women of color is so exciting because it almost never happens.
“We were having really insightful and really honest, authentic conversations about a demographic that is more important than it’s ever been,” she said.
And hearing these young women’s voices was also important for the older women in the room, says Jonelle Procope, CEO of the famed Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York.
“I’m trying to figure out how to reach that market and I found it amazing because they totally speak a different language and there is a different way you have to approach them to engage them and I thought that was extremely helpful,” she said.
And it’s this type of “influencing up” between younger and older women of color that we need more of, Skye stressed. “I feel like older generations are hungry to see what millennials are talking about. Now we have our own opinions, our own views and we are creating our own futures,” she says.
In the end, for Washington to be present around all of these women, regardless of age, was an incredibly empowering experience. “It’s inspiring…I have not been around this amount of women of color that are powerful and successful, really out there owning who they are and what they do,” she exclaimed.
For complete coverage of Leading Women Defined 2016, visit centrictv.com.
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