By Dymond Alexis
Inspired isn’t even the word to describe how I felt after the ‘She Is’ Panel at the BET Experience – I felt fulfilled, nurtured and prepared to take on the word.
The ‘She Is’ Panel moderated by entrepreneur and creator of Sprinkle of Jesus and CURL BIBLE Dana Chanel set the tone as she walked on the runway showcasing her online beauty supply store CURL BIBLE and telling the audience to simply get ready to receive nothing but knowledge to help us succeed. She said “We’re here to be entertained but, I don’t want you to leave without being educated,” before she introduced the panel filled with powerful, strong, women of color.
The panel included actress and producer Meagan Good, social media guru Shavone Charles, actress and owner of Mint Swim Draya Michele, host Stephanie Ike and personality and journalist Raquel Harper. These ladies all paved the way for themselves, utilizing the tools they were given and expanded on opportunities surrounding them.
As the moderator, Dana Chanel asked each ladies questions that pertained to their career and which point did they change their path, realizing their true purpose. We all know Meagan Good for her roles in films such as Think Like a Man, Waist Deep, Eve’s Bayou and more but, most aren’t aware of her impact on the film industry for people of color. Good discussed why she decided to become a producer stating she wanted to give “girls that look like her an opportunity.” Good has played a major role in opening the doors for others including actress and singer, Ryan Destiny – whom she helped get her first role.
Next Dana Chanel asked tech guru Shavone Charles how she would encourage someone wishing to enter the corporate world, or simply flourishing in general. Charles stated you should have a game plan and stand “In your truth and being intentional with who you are.” Another point that I loved from Charles is how her parents were entrepreneurs and they instilled those tools she needed to succeed in her field. Dana Chanel said this as well but, it’s hard for someone to thrive without the necessities that they need.
Next, Draya Michele talked about how she always had dreams to produce her own lingerie or swimsuit line, later deciding to go with Mint Swim. She felt like she couldn’t do what she wanted in Reading, Pennsylvania and received a major opportunity shortly after which pushed her to move to Los Angeles. Draya took the opportunity to be on Basketball Wives despite her situation, she used her first check to invest in Mint Swim and she’s tripled her investment many times. After Draya spoke, we all learned that sometimes you have to be uncomfortable in the position you’re in to get to the next level destined for you. Campus Pastor and Host of ‘The Same Room,’ Stephanie Ike talked about how she thrives in her career, keeping faith.
“You’re working in purpose when you make room for someone else to thrive,” said Ike.
I related to all of the ladies and received so much from each one but, Raquel Harper was my favorite. We’re both mothers and if I had to define my “job” it would be closer to Raquel. We see Raquel all the time giving us the real tea on TMZ and she’s became a household name in entertainment – even getting her own BET series ‘Raq Rants,’ where we seen many celebrities including Kanye West and more. She said her driving force is her two children. She knows that they need food, they have to go to college in the future and if she’s not working crazy hours how will they get what they need? Being a mother is such a fulfilling deed; imagine accomplishing your dreams while making your children proud – it’s such a blessing. Draya spoke on Raquel before the panel was over telling the audience how hard Raquel’s job is – she’s the voice of the people.
I took everything in during the panel, after the ladies finished talking I thought about myself, my brand and what type of impact do I want to leave on people. Prior to hearing the ladies on the ‘She Is’ panel I was in a confused place with myself and my brand, debating what I want to do with it – where do I see myself in a few years and what’s something else I can get involved with. It’s a rough time when you don’t have all the tools you need but, with ladies like Dana, Shavone, Draya, Meagan, Stephanie and Raquel – we can receive more knowledge than we ever thought.