Hey Blushing Ladies
Where did Thursday come from? I am super exhausted. I’m still recovering from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Conference in Washington DC and a super busy week at work.
It was such a wonderful and inspiring week. My only complaint is that I had to figure out which panel to attend. One great panel will be from 12-3p and another from 2:30-5p. So much wonderful information in one place. Here are some of my favorite highlights from the conference. If I wrote a review on everything, you’d be here forever, so I’ll just highlight a few things.
I was part of the Emerging Leaders group and this allowed me to meet many bright, smart, and driven people from many different areas and industries.
One of my favorite Emerging Leaders events was held Thursday. This was the Instant Apprentice Power Lunch. I love this lunch because you get to pick an “Emerging Leader” from an available list outside. Let me tell you, they have someone from every industry you can think of. Sports, Marketing, PR, Science, Education. Got a passion? They’ve got you covered. So once you find someone in the industry that reflects your passion, you grab a pre-packaged lunch (now this, I could’ve skipped. The sandwiches are never that great, but oh well) and you sit down with your leader. That person then tells you how they got to this point in their career and what drove them. Then you get to ask whatever your heart desires. You are at the table with about 7 others so it’s an intimate setting. I enjoy not only the leader, but the thoughts of the others at my table. You never know what you’ll learn from someone else.
I sat with Melissa Dawn Johnson. She was fabulous. She’s a dynamic speaker with a great story. She's written a book called Brand Me. She told us about how she stepped out of a successful career to follow her passion and it's paid off. She also helped to answer a question that's been burning in my head, but I haven't had the right person to ask. If you would like to change careers, but are in your 30's (out of intern age), how do you intern? Guess what, you shadow someone. The difference between interning and shadowing? Age and college credit. So if you have been wanting to change careers and have been wondering the same thing, do it!.
One great piece of information that i'll take away from our meeting, don't only look to become the right mentee. Make sure that you pair up with the right mentor.
One con to this lunch…Well, now, they say that there is never a stupid question. And there aren’t. I guess. But there are inappropriate places to ask them. We had a woman at our table that chose to use our time to ask about stalkers on facebook and delve into Ms. Johnsons salary information. Specific salary information. Who does that? But I guess if that’s what drives her….But either way, it was a great lunch. Ms Johnson is now a part of my vision board. I hope to meet up with her again in the future, whether it be through business or an internship, you never know.
Now most of my friends know that I’m not a big Iyanla Vanzant fan. I love that she’s successful and doing her own thing. I just don’t appreciate the over exaggeration and all the animation. You can say what you have to say in a regular tone. Just calm it down. Anyway, she headed up a panel at the conference called “Not for Sistas Only” with Representative Gwen Moore. The session it’self was pretty good and I can usually feel the info that Ms Vanzant gives out. But the delivery. Welllll. Do what you do Ms Vanzant. It’s just not for me.
I left that session to go to my 2nd favorite session of the conference (the lunch being my first). IMPACT hosted a Roundtable with Young Elected Officials and Policy Professionals. There were several wonderful people on the panel. There was Biz Scott, Jamal Simmons, Karen Richardson, Melvin Carter, Anton Gunn, Tishaura O. Jones, Maisha Leek, and Cornel Belcher. Whew. That was a lot of people. But Dynamic. Fabulous. Energetic. Thoughtful. Inspiring. Did I say Fabulous? And I must say, that Jamal isn’t too hard on the eyes. They spoke about what drove them to their perspective positions within government. It made me think about the fact that I am not making money off of what I love. I am making money off of what I fell into. That needs to change.
Some of my favorite quotes and thoughts from this panel:
“You can have the best idea. If you can’t communicate it, it never gets out”-Jamal Simmons
“A leaders job is to build power through others.”-Anton Gunn
In speaking of where to use your power politically. “Things that affect you are in city hall.”-Melvin Carter
“Never be too good to do anything.” Karen Richardson
There is one thing that I heard throughout a few sessions and that’s “Opportunity meets Preparation.” You need to always be prepared so that when a great opportunity presents itself, you’ll be ready.
And I have to say this. David Johns was the moderatorof aforementioned Roundtable. Let me tell you why he was a great moderator, when it was question and answer time, if you didn’t have a question, you might as well just sit in your seat. A lot of people used question and answer time in various sessions to become sub-panelist. They gave you their life story, their cause, and almost seemed to be in campaign or recruitment mode. This made the sessions way too long and we couldn’t hear the thoughts of the people that we came there to see. So kudos to you Mr. Johns.
I don’t even think that I have to tell you about the Presidents speech because, whether you loved it or hated it, I’m sure that you’ve heard it. If not, take a listen. Oh and by the way, I loved it.
Like I said before, I couldn’t possibly highlight everything, so if you missed it and want to see what was going on, you can search for #41stALC, #alc2011, and @YGB2011 in twitter. If you didn't make it this year, come next year and bring a friend. You'll love it.
Blushing Ladies, did you go to the conference this year? What did you think?