EveryStylishGirl’s Pan-African Weekend Recap | The Women’s Forum

by Janee Barbre

Pan-African Weekend, also known as PAW, is an event held annually celebrating black achievement and the transformation of the Pan-African global community. The individuals and ideas behind this transformation are highlighted and honored here, and it is truly a great experience for all. This year’s celebration took place last weekend, July 13th-16th in New York City, marking its 6th annual edition. PAW is designed to “empower, inform, and entertain.” This year’s lineup of speakers and honorees was jam-packed with heavy influencers, such as Serge Ibaka, Beverly Bond and Al Sharpton. Sounds like a treat, right? Four major events are held during this multi-day fest; The Women Forum, The IAAP Networking Mixer, The F.A.C.E. List Awards Gala, and The Closing Jazz Brunch. Of course we at EveryStylishGirl had to get in on The Women Forum!

Held Thursday July 13, 2017, The Women Forum kicked off this year’s festivities. It featured a wide range of speakers, from entrepreneurs to CEOs. Real Estate Developer Adenah Bayoh, Interim CEO Dana Reed, Fashion Designer Mimi Plange, Burberry CIO Fumbi Chima, and many more were all present. There were two panels, Fashion & Entertainment and Business & Tech, hosted where these ladies shared enough information to inspire every woman! Luckily, we captured some of that goodness for EveryStylishGirl, because you all deserve it.

The question, “What adjectives would you use to describe yourself?” was answered by both panels, and the responses couldn’t have been more perfect. From the Fashion & Entertainment Panel we got “fierce, black, original, and creative,” while “relentless, hungry, driven, and determined,” were words used by the ladies on the Business & Tech Panel. When asked when she know that what she was doing was not just a hobby, Entrepreneur & TV Personality Mushiya Tshikuka replied, “I wanted to help women love themselves. Hair was just a platform. I want to build women.”

Advice given on breaking through your career or industry from the Fashion & Entertainment Panel was to never compromise, follow your passion, work hard and smarter, but don’t miss the moments with family, friends, and personal wellness. The ladies also shared two viewpoints for business that we should all jot down. The first viewpoint expresses that if you want to make it global, do not limit your business by bringing in race. The second explains that we are always going to have our differences with each other, so if you want to be a black business do it. You can make headway if you just stop and smell the roses.

“Prosperity has to transcend into generations,” Lucy Quist, Airtel Ghana Managing Director. A lot came from the Business and Tech Panel, too. According to these women, developing your skills, knowing your business, having the right people on your team and being prepared to do the work are all key factors in breaking past the initial “new” business barrier and getting people to take you serious. Creating your own and getting yourself a feminist man also seem to be major components in securing success.

Events like PAW remind us of how far we’ve come and allows for victory and innovation to be celebrated. Described as a prestigious annual event, we can’t wait to see what’s in store for next year.

Atira Barber-Ellis