Women like Michelle Obama, Oprah and most recently, Lupita Nyong’o, have given women of color hope that whatever dreams they have can be attained through preparation and hard work.
In addition to the inspiring women of color we read about, it is important for women to have real conversations and engage with other women. In the U.K., a woman named Simone Bresi-Ando realized the necessity and did something about it.
Bresi-Ando took women of different entrepreneurial backgrounds and held a forum with one purpose: uplifting women and creating a network of support for one another. The series “I’mPossible” was picked up by MIZANI, a styling and hair care line specifically made for women of color. MIZANI means “balance” in Swahili.
These I’mPossible forums sought to provide women with power and balance from having real conversations about triumphing over adversity. With the success of the U.K. series, Bresi-Ando and MIZANI took the leap of faith across the pond to New York, where they held the first I’mPossible conversation.
At the L’Oreal hair studio, a group of women listened to six women who overcame the “impossible,” empowered themselves (with help from others) and, by any measurement are now considered a success.
The panel included: Gayle Benta, SVP music and talent, Revolt TV; Lola Adesioye, writer, commentator, broadcaster; Estelle, Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter; Simone Bresi-Ando, founder, I’mPOSSIBLE; Corynne Corbett, beauty expert and founder, Beauty Biz Camp; Gilda Squire, owner, Squire Media Management; and Angela Jackson, founder, Global Language Project.
Each one of these women faced issues from glass ceilings to ageism, and each one fought against the seduction of ordinary and “easy.”
Estelle discussed the impact of social media bullying and colorism within the entertainment industry stating, “Those who don’t support you … get them out of your circle.” Estelle left the audience with the ultimate mantra of perseverance, “God didn’t bring me this far to fail.”
The event was a great way to kick off Women’s History Month.