The 2017 W.E.A.L.T.H. Experience women’s retreat is coming, and MC Lyte and her sister circle of friends are ready to inspire, encourage and empower women just in time for the new year. The W.E.A.L.T.H. Experience, which is an acronym for Womanhood, Expansion, Assets, Leadership, Transformation and Health, is a three-day women’s retreat focused on connecting likeminded business partners and friends, reflecting on goals and renewing one’s spirit through a host of general sessions, workshops and themed events that will teach women how to master their personal, business and financial objectives. Overall, their goal is to have women leave feeling reunited, rejuvenated and rich with life changing strategies and information.
Rolling out caught up with MC Lyte to discuss her upcoming celebrity headlined retreat.See what she had to say below.
You’re bringing back the W.E.A.L.T.H. Experience next year and it’s taking place Jan. 5-8 in South Beach, Miami. Tell us more about that.
With the W.E.A.L.T.H. Experience, you know that’s Womanhood, Expansion, Assets, Leadership, Transformation and Health, so we have a host of beautiful people, and knowledgeable people coming to talk about what is it that can help empower women as they go forth and become these amazing leaders in their own communities, their families, and such. And so we have breakout sessions, general sessions that address all of those topics. Also, for the first time we opened up the retreat to Floridian residents where they can come on a day pass. So, if you live in the area you can still participate without having to stay at the hotel and all of that. So, we wanted to make sure that people are aware that they can get day passes to come and really be a part of something that’s going to be incredibly special. Last year, I can tell you, we had so many testimonies, from January 2016, and how things have just moved in people’s lives. You know all you have to do is change your mind. Because, of course you know, with the leadership of God, anything is possible.
The retreat headlines the likes of Faith Evans, Kelly Price, Nicci Gilbert, Lynn Richardson which is the co-founder of Hip Hop Sisters as well, Erica Campbell, the list goes on and on and on! That’s a pretty amazing lineup. What can one gain from all of these amazingly powerful women?
Well, you know, amazingly enough this is just the front line. This is our celebrity line up that are not only coming to speak and give of their experiences but also to learn, as will everyone else that comes to the conference. We have about two dozen speakers and the topics will be from here to there in terms of wellness, and topics that will address finances to spirituality to health – what it is that we are doing to our bodies on the daily, or what we can do to assure us of a long life of wellness. But, we also have Michele Thorton, which she is the head of television sales over at Centric television, we have Lori Jones Gibbs, who a dynamic speaker in the finance area. We have Robi Reed, who’s VP over talent at BET who’s coming to share her story. I think all of the women in general are there to talk about their plights, and how it is that they’ve etched out a space in this world, in their communities and how it is that they lead their families. We have so many speakers, the Wright sisters, Denise Wiggins, Dr. Vicky Johnson, and the list goes on…Coco from SWV will be there as well speaking, we have panels, breakout sessions, we have general sessions. I can tell you, just attending last year, even as a celebrity I got so much take-away from it, and a plan. Really, this is unlike any other thing that happens. Any other symposium or gathering that happens, because when you leave there, you have a plan of action on what to do for what it is you’re looking to accomplish for 2017.
Ok awesome! So, this is the second year you are hosting this retreat?
Well it’s actually been going on for many years without me. The president of Hip Hop Sisters did this exact conference for many years. I think maybe seven or eight years prior to Hip Hop Sisters, and once we co-founded Hip Hop Sisters, we decided this was something we wanted to bring to the masses. And so, this is our second year with the W.E.A.L.T.H. Experience and with Hip Hop Sisters.
And the timing is so apropos as it’s at the beginning of the year, people are doing their New Year’s resolutions and this is the perfect time to set your plan for the coming year – and then make sure you have a sister circle to implement that plan. So, I think it’s awesome. Now, other than a master plan that people are going to walk away with, what is the overall takeaway that you want women to get from this experience?
Oh goodness, well you know that would be easy to say, but, I want them in charge. I want them in charge of their lives in knowing that there’s no aspect of their life that they can’t govern. Or that they should leave to chance. They should be very purposeful with it. And I think that’s why the plan matters, because we’re just not sitting around and talking. Although some of that happens, but there’s actually a umm great amount of focus put on what are the steps that you’re going to take when you walk away. Many people want to change their lives but don’t know how. Many people want to change their money – “You know, what I do with this money? I’m in debt. I don’t know how to get out of it.” Well, there are going to be plans put in place and of you simply follow them, you’ll be able to make a significant change in your life. So, I’m just wishing that these women would leave, and have a change on their hearts and minds and be able to implement what it is that they’ve learned at the W.E.A.L.T.H. Experience.
You mentioned you and the Hip Hop Sisters Foundation has been bringing this to the masses for two years. Tell us who the Hip Hop Sisters are, what’s the foundation about, what’s your mission, and who does it comprise of?
The foundation itself is co-found by myself, Dr. Lynn Richardson, and Dr. Felicia Shaw. And so, we sat down and discussed what it was we wanted to do and that was to make a difference in the lives of children and women. And so, within 4-5 months we had 501c3 status. Our signature initiative is #EducateOurMen, whereby we give away scholarships to young men attending HBCUs and Dillard University is where our partnership lies right now. We have about five students there in the school, which we are extremely proud of. Prior to that initiative, we sent four women to college at Wisconsin Madison and I believe the first cohort about to graduate come June which is really exciting that’s it’s been four years. But we also have a mentoring arm to what it is that we do. We’ve partnered with Honey Shine, which is Tracy and Alonzo Mourning’s foundation in Miami that’s been going for 15 years. We’ve opened up two chapters of that exact program here in South Central, Los Angeles. And then, you know, surprisingly enough what seems to be the largest aspect of our organization is our financial literacy component – which we have been all over the nation, even in South Africa with Women, Wealth and Relationships. There is we talk about money, relationships and how to the two work and how your destiny is in your hands when it comes to both. What will you put into it, to get out of it what it is that you desire? So, there you have it: we have education, mentorship, and financial literacy.
Great. So how can our readers find out more information about your foundation?
Oh, www.HipHopSisters.org. And when you visit, if you like giving, go ahead and give. We’ll accept a monthly giving of 10 bucks, and that’s all that’s necessary to help us change the trajectory of African American men.
I love it, I love it. Where can we find more information on the W.E.A.L.T.H. Experience?
Social media? What about social media?
Also, W.E.A.L.T.H. Experience on Facebook and then on Instagram and Facebook, we have Hip Hop Sisters.
Thank you! Is there anything else you would like our readers to know?
Just thank you for the years of support and hopefully I get a chance to meet a few of you down at the W.E.A.L.T.H. Experience. It will be worth your time, effort and money.
Photo Gallery Courtesy: MC Lyte