Re-Cap: Rock Out With Me Panel – Chicago!
All clichés aside, April Daniels’ “Rock Out With Me” movement is one of the most authentic experiences available for women of all ages and we at JET cannot recommend it enough if it comes to your city.
The event series springs from the mind of the Tamar & Vince TV personality who has been working to improve the images of women, not only in reality TV, but in real life. The bubbly, warm Daniels thus created a signature empowerment campaign with stops in multiple cities bringing together ladies from various parts of life and business to dialogue about the state of womenhood.
The “Rock Out With Me” train made a stop in Chicago on June 12 and featured a panel of dynamic ladies dishing their truths – even bringing some to tears – and shedding light on the importance of ‘helping a sista’ out. Our own Kyra Kyles, Vice President and Head of Digital Editorial for JETmag.com and Ebony.com, moderated the wide-ranging discussion at University of Illinois Chicago campus leading a discussion of panelists including: singer Sparkle; Treiva Williams, executive TV producer of docu-series projects including “Love & Hip: Hollywood” and “Mary, Mary”; Cameka Smith, founder, BOSS Network; April Daniels; Tia Dantzler, celebrity make-up artist; Mielle Organics owner Monique Rodriguez; and Tarrah Cooper, Press Secretary for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Three major takeaways from the powerful, at times, emotional discussion:
1. Spread positive images and words. Though the cat-fighting, mean girl cliques, and relationship implosions on TV are detrimental to African American women in particular, there are ways to fight back. Panelists recommended congratulating your sisters on social media, supporting/promoting their businesses and/or initiatives, and paying compliments regularly as ways to help us win in reality, if not on reality TV.
2. Mentor one another. You don’t have to be rich, successful and have everything together to help another person. There’s always something you can lend to those coming up behind you. Make time to get into your community and be a helping hand to another girl or woman. And if you are blessed enough to open doors for yourself, leave them open for the next star to walk through.
3. Don’t down your own generation. Young ladies who stood up and spoke about the narcissism and/or complacency of their Millennial counterparts were gently and kindly admonished to see the best in their sisters and work harder to get them on board with positive movements.
Get a visual glimpse of the Rock Out With Me panel, produced by Wright Productions below!
*Photos: Totalli Vision – Tito Garcia