The 2016 Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network [WEEN] awards was an evening of glamour, philanthropy, and social justice. I had the honor of attending this year’s Sixth Annual WEEN Awards on Tuesday [Nov.16] and it was ‘off the chain’ PLUMS!
The theme this of this year’s awards was #InSolidarity, and paid homage to community, racial and social justice leaders in their plight to eradicate injustice, violence and disparities in Black and Latino communities.
I caught with many of the presenters and honorees on the pink carpet and many of them echoed similar sentiments of the WEEN initiative with strong emphasis that Women Need To Empower Women!
The Pink carpet was filled with so many beautiful, intelligent, strong, powerfully poised women who are ‘doing the damn thang ‘ in every sector of the work industry.
WEEN, CEO Valeisha said it best in the opening ceremony:
” When We Started WEEN, We Affirm That We Will Not Judge Another, We Will Empower One Another And That’ s What We’re Doing Tonight, We’re Celebrating Women While They’re Still Alive. ”
This year’s honorees include:
Meagan Good (Actress) – Women’s Empowerment Award,
Ethiopia Habtemariam (President of Motown Records) – Music Maverick Award
Lil’ Kim (Entertainer) – WEEN Icon Award
Geneva Reed-Veal (Mother of Sandra Bland) – Social Justice Award
Yara Shahidi (Actress) – TV & Film Empowerment Award
Dia Simms (President of Sean Combs Wines & Spirits) – Corporate Leadership Award
Teyana Taylor (Actress & Singer) – Mission Award
Elaine Welteroth (Editor, Teen Vogue) – Editorial Excellence Award
I’ve included some pics of the evening along with interview excerpts from my red carpet interviews, and testimonial speeches given during the ceremony. WEENAwards16 was LIT.
” When I Did Fade That Was A Very Very Emotional Performance, It Wasn’t Just A A Bra And A Thong,… I Got Alot Off My Chest , I Had Too, They Wasn’t Putting My Music Out, And I Was Like They Gon See Some Way, Some How, I’m From Harlem I’m A Hustler “
” My Life Has Been A Journey, But It’s Not One That I Complain About, It’s One I Take Pride In Because I Fought So Hard With Every Single Thing That Came My Way, And I Don’t Believe It Was Just Me. It’s Me Meeting God Half Way And Putting In The Effort And Doing The Work”
” It’s Pretty Amazing And Surreal Being That I’m 16 And People Respect What I’m Doing, And To Be One Among A Great List Of Names That Are Being Honored Tonight Its Amazing Because I Look Up To These Women.
To Paraphrase James Baldwin, It Is When You’re Educated That You Begin To Look At The Society Around You That Is Educating You, So I Say To You All, Thank You For Educating Me “
” This Woman Is Someone I Call My Manager, My Publisher, And One Of My Truest Friends In Life. People Always Ask Me About This Queen, And What She’s Like, Because They’re So Intrigued By Her. And, One Of My Favorite Things To Say About Her Is She Is The First Person To Have A Dual Presidency Role In This Industry.
She Just Happened To Be African American, She Just Happen To Be A Woman, Woke, And A Christian. I Can Say Personally, That I Would Not Have A Career As A Songwriter, A Singer, If It Not Had Been For This Woman. “
” There Was Alot Of Times I Was Invited To Rooms Like This, And I Didn’t Feel Like I Deserve To Be Here Because Of The Platform I Had.
After Eight Years Of Running A Celebrity Gossip Site Where We Talked About More Scandals Than The Positives That They Were Doing, I Am Happy To Have A Platform That’s More Positive And Empowering To Young Women. ”
” Everything We Do Is About Telling Women Stories, Given Women Opportunities, Given Women Platforms, And That’s What WEEN Is All About.
So I’m Very Happy To Be Here Tonight To Support The Amazing Women That Are Being Honored And Celebrated Tonight . The One Thing I Want Women To Know Is That The Only Way We’re Going To Get ‘There’ Is Together ”
” This Year When I Became The Editor Of Teen Vogue, I Got To See The Impact That We Can Really Make When We Go Beyond Just Existing.
When We Lean In, When We Own Our Power, Our Positions, Our Voices, And We Unapologetically Take Up A Little Bit More Spaces In The Room. We’re Not Just Doing It Alone, We’re Doing It Together “
I think I speak for everyone in the room, when I say Ms. Geneva Reed delivered one the best speeches of the night. Ms.Reed testimony began with her anger with God after she’d learn about the death of her daughter, Sandra Bland. Ms.Reed; a devoted and faithful servant of the Lord for more than 30 years couldn’t fathom why she of all people, she’d been struck with such heartache in losing her only child.
Ms. Reed would later realize after joining the Mothers Movement For Justice that God had drafted her to a higher calling and purpose journey that now required her get up and MOVE!
” Stay Motivated, We Are Here For Each Other, And We’re Finally Apart Of A United Movement, Like You, I’m Sad Too, That This Is What It Took, But We’re Here Now. If You Say You Part Of The Movement , Then Move, Because This Is Not The Time To Be Asleep, “
Be Willing To Accept What God Has Allowed In Your Life. We Are Living In A World Where We Watch People Get Executed In Our Place 24/7 And We Say That’s Normal, And
We Allow People To Tell Us There’s No Indictment Over Here, Over There. You Do Not What GOD Is About To Do With This Administration, And You Do Not Know What He Is About To Do With This Nation.
#WEENAwards16 sponsors were CENTRIC, YouTube Music, Odyssey Media, CBS Entertainment Diversity, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and The TEKNIQUE Group, as well as supporting sponsors McDonald’s, CIROC, JetBlue Airways and Strategic Heights Media. PC credits: Walik Goshorn
Representing the entertainment industry, WEEN has taken a leadership role in the balanced portrayal of women and partners with like-minded organizations and individuals to provide educational programs targeting women. You can learn more about the co-founders, their work + more over at their site: weenonline.org.
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One Love PLUMS!