Mary J. Blige Shuts Down Atlanta For Her 2nd Annual "Strength of a Woman" Festival & Summit
Short N Sweet Ent
Photo Credit: "Getty Images" Mary J. Blige
Grammy Award-Winning singer, songwriter, producer, actress, and entrepreneur Mary J. Blige constantly shows the world why she is still the Queen.
This past Mother’s Day weekend, Blige and Pepsi presented the 2nd Annual Strength of a Woman Festival and Summit in Atlanta Georgia. The focus of the festival is to create a space to empower, educate, and elevate women from all around the world that come from different walks of life. This year, the festival had two heavy-hitting concerts that consisted of Busta Rhymes, Method Man, Jadakiss, Coco Jones, Summer Walker, Lauryn Hill, and the Queen of R&B herself Mary J. Blige. Attendees also had the opportunity to join in on events such as an evening with Robert Glaspher, a Gospel Brunch, “The Purpose Ball” with Saucy Santana, a comedy night with Mike Epps, and the “Strength of a Woman Summit” which was one of the greatest highlights of the entire festival.
The Strength of a Woman Summit took place on Saturday morning and to get a good seat you had to arrive early. As soon as the doors opened, women from New York City to Los Angeles poured into the venue smelling like Cocoa Butter Goddess and looking like they just stepped straight off a high fashion runway because it was giving everything black excellence and more. The summit consisted of Top-Tier Black-Owned businesses, exclusive giveaways, photo-ops, and panel discussions that targeted financial freedom, fashion, beauty, health, healing, the art of storytelling, and words of encouragement and inspiration.
The day started with the incredible host Shameca Morton and DJ Traci Stelle who had the audience on tilt and later would find out in a dance and sing off what the energy was like in Atlanta. There were pop-up shops by CVS, Giled by Omoro Omoighe, Mille Organics by Monique Rodriguez, Redefined Glam by Jennifer Lewis, Weight No More Inc by Toya Johnson-Rushing, and many more. If you came to learn how to maintain a perfect slay you got all the information you needed to get right from how to have healthier hair to a healthier lifestyle.
Photo Credit: imerickrobinson
As people walked around the room, there was an obvious celebration for musical icons that are making and taking up space in hip-hop. Award Winning journalist Gia Peppers and Power 105’s very own DJ Nyla Symone hosted and took over the “50 & Forever” by Rotation (Amazon Music) section and interviewed panelist that were dropping gems throughout the day. The most powerful part of seeing them take control of their interviews was the aspect of “representation”. Black Women Matter and most importantly, Black Women Voices Matter and women in the room walked by knowing that if Gia and Nyla can do it, then they too can do it.
After several walk-troughs and photo ops it was time for the action on the main stage, “the panel discussions”. The star-studded line-up included boss ladies such as Milan Harris, Jayda Cheaves, Misa Hylton, Yandy Smith, Mara Brock Akil, Marsai Martin, Lady London, Egypt Sherrod, Iyanla Vanzant, Ciara, and so many more. Each conversation got better and better and did not disappoint. Some powerful quotes were said that uplifted and inspired everyone to be the best versions of themselves.
Photo Credit: dreanicolephotography
“Don’t stop believing and growing in yourself and your dreams." Ciara “OAMskin (On a Mission)
“Building relationships is important, show up for people.” Yandy Smith YELLE SKINcare
“Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength." Monique Rodriguez Mielle Organics
Photo Credit: alstonmediagroup
The time finally came and the Queen walked out on the stage with the crowd singing word for word of Blige’s hit single Just Fine. The conversation, lead by Earn Your Leisure’s own Rashad Bilal and Troy Millings started with Blige’s journey in music, transitioning into a businesswoman, her relationship with friends and family, marriage/divorce, finances, and mentors in the industry that keep motivating to the woman that we see and love today. She started by explaining that the thought process of the festival and summit came from performing and watching the women in the audience and seeing how much her music has done for them. When asked about what it is like to see how much her music has changed lives all over the world Blige responded,
“Music is the soundtrack to millions of women’s lives and it feels good but it’s a responsibility that I don’t take lightly. Sometimes I don’t feel like I am doing anything because I am just falling and getting back up and I come out on the other side." Mary J. Blige
Photo Credit: alstonmediagroup
This statement is extremely powerful because when women are going through some of their worst experiences in life, they simply just don’t want to feel like they are going through it alone. We want to know that everything is going to be okay and that we will make it back. For years, Blige’s music has done that and much more, and the “Strength of a Woman Festival and Summit” is one of the experiences that will help us all feel celebrated. Blige left us by telling everyone that she will be back and this experience will be bigger and better and the whole vision is to love ourselves.
Written By: Shauntay Hallett
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