In a year where black women are dominating in fields such as politics, entertainment, technology, beauty, and more, this year’s Atlanta Black Women Expo celebrated and applauded influential black women who are actively defying stereotypes and shattering society’s glass ceiling.
“Black women matter!” was a declaration that spread like wildfire across social media to affirm the hundreds of black woman in attendance at the expo, hosted Aug. 10-12 at the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park.
The three-day expo provided a fresh platform for some of Atlanta’s elite socialites and businesswomen, including Married to Medicine’s Dr. Heavenly and Quad Webb-Lunceford, and Living Single’s Kim Fields.
The Black Women’s Expo was founded in 1994 by Merry Green, the owner and proprietor of MGPG Events Inc., a Chicago-based communications firm that services both local and national clients in event planning production, and public relations.
Originally hosted in Chicago, the expo now hosts satellite expos in Atlanta and Dallas. This year’s expo was the second hosted in Atlanta.
“Our vision was to create a forum in Chicago for women to discuss and explore solutions to the issues they confront in their daily lives and to celebrate their aspirations and achievements in an event designed for women by women,” Green said.
“It has grown into a weekend that empowers, enlightens and uplifts African American women and their families with informative seminars and panel discussions presented by notable local and national speakers and lecturers, educational exhibits and corporate displays, and rousing entertainment.”
Attendees, including CEOs, entertainers, entrepreneurs, students, and young adults, were able to immerse themselves in a number of seminars and workshops, like one focused on entrepreneurship led by Leia Avery, CEO of Just Play Entertainment and Ardre Orie, CEO of 13th and Joan.
During each session, women discussed the hidden truths behind entrepreneurship and adversity entrepreneurs face daily.
Each person was able to walk away with information and resources needed to enhance and grow their businesses.
Mahisha Dellinger, entrepreneur, author and the star of OWN’s Mind Your Business with Mahisha, offered one lucky entrepreneur/attendee a chance at having Dellinger dissect the ins and outs of the attendee’s struggling clothing boutique on the main stage.
During the session, Dellinger gave the audience invaluable jewels of advice that most entrepreneurs tend to neglect.
“Create a vision board. The only way to execute your vision for your personal life and business is to see it clearly,” she offered. “Creating a vision board will allow you to stay focused.”
The anticipation throughout the convention seems to build as patrons waited anxiously to meet one of Hollywood’s biggest stars and expo keynote speaker, Regina King.
From her debut as a child actress on the hit TV sitcom, “227,” to her recent endeavors into directing, King said her career was proof that anything is possible.
In a candid conversation CBS46 anchor Sharon Reed, King discussed her claim to fame and the truth about the unfair treatment of black women in entertainment.
King also delved into the importance of sisterhood in Hollywood. What women were able to take from King is this, no matter what field you are in, you can not make it alone.
“Sisterhood is the backbone that allows you to keep going and pushing forward,” she said.
This year’s entertainment headliner was none other than R&B heartthrob, Ginuwine.
The veteran crooner serenaded women with a medley of his greatest hits, including “Differences” and “Pony.”