The girls at the Girls United Summit 2022 showed up and showed out this year in Atlanta! From the slayful looks, insightful words, and full-blown support of one another the infectious energy took over the entire Atlanta Contemporary Arts Center. The Girls United Summit had major sponsors from The Coca-Cola Company®, SheaMoisture, Ford, and American Airlines.
With our OG host, Reginae Carter making her grand comeback to the GU stage, the vibes were at an all-time high. We highlighted and spotlighted the girls who do it all! Starting with our TikTok guru Ayana Taylor getting us hyped through her dance using Rihanna’s hit song “Pon de Replay.” Taylor brought the energy to wake everyone up and get prepared for our educational and transparent panels. There were also workshops like The Reel You: Embracing Authentic Content Creation with Donye Taylor sharing all her tips and tricks to successful content creation and Slay Your Life: Tips & Tricks From Slayology CEO Kaleah Slay in conversation with Girls United co-founder Rechelle Dennis.
In the beginning, we heard amazing conversations from amplifying Black women regarding the importance of reproductive rights and the importance of including more women of color in the aviation industry. During our progressive Mind Over Chatter mental health panel moderated by GU Associate editor, D’Shonda Brown spoke with Amber Dee about healing and mental health practices and also conducted breathing exercises during the session where guests could release any anxiety, frustration, or anger.
The theme “Forever The Blueprint” stuck harder this year as we saw the many faces behind the culture, such as Paige Audrey-Marie Hurd, Aoki Lee Simmons, Jessie Woo, and Alycia Pascual-Pena during their ‘I Am The Bar: Cultural Identity, Confidence & Hollywood’ Panel leaving everything on the floor when discussing the importance of representation and owning your culture. We also saw the true friendship between Dess Dior and Jayda Cheaves during the DND: Protecting Your Peace Through Black Girl Friendships panel co-moderated by Nandi Howard and Rechelle Dennis.
Attendees got an immersive experience and support creatives with tooth gems, nail art by Lyra Luxe Nails, and fresh cuts by TiffsTheBarber. The speed mentoring sessions brought out the upcoming heavy hitter professionals coming to meet various industry professionals like ESSENCE’s VP of Video and Branded Content Stephanie Dunivan and ESSENCE’s first-ever CMO Erika Bennett, Brandy Merriweather and Nikko Smith to inspire and connect with attendees. Summit goers also supported the local businesses at the GU Just For You Marketplace, including Brooklyn Tea, Stay Positive Inc, LaBlu Serenity, Lilac Reign, The Tsuri Company, Humans Before Handles, and Full Bloom By Lauren.
Seen Above: ATLANTA, GEORGIA – NOVEMBER 05: Actress Paige Hurd attends ESSENCE Girls United’s (GU) Summit at Atlanta Contemporary Arts Center on November 05, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)
With notable attendees such as Aliyah’s Interlude, Brittani Sade, TM Twins, and more, the Girls United Summit brought the best of the best. Attendees also enjoyed a musical performance by Rubi Rose and a gaming station hosted by Cxmmunity and teen girl gamer Queen Khamyra. Other guests and influencer attendees from all over included Zaira Nunez, Sierra Imari, Miss Blaze, Zuri Romeo, Chea Reeves, Keiva Cheney, Dee Clark, Azriela Folkes, Nani Goins, and Dazayah Walker.
Summit goers got to cool down and relax with the Coca-Cola Company® ‘s mocktail bar with spiritless drinks inspired by ESSENCE Studios series If Not For My Girls starring Paige Hurd, Ryan Destiny, and Justine Skye, and food provided by Slutty Vegan, Soul Truckin Good, and Cereal & Cream. Overall, Black girls all over were able to embody the #ForeverTheBlueprint mantra and will never forget this day in Atlanta after the impact of the Girls United Summit.
About Kenyatta: Kenyatta Victoria is an entertainment and culture reporter passionate about music, pop culture, and marginalized stories. She has bylines in publications such as Chicago Reader, INSIDER, Girls United, TransLash Media, and the Chicago Tribune.
Featured Photo: ATLANTA, GEORGIA – NOVEMBER 05: Reginae Carter speaks onstage during ESSENCE Girls United’s Summit at Atlanta Contemporary Arts Center on November 05, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)