THE UPN on the Scene at Bougie Brunch - August 2017
By Kareemah Muhammad
The UPN was on the scene Saturday at the Bougie Brunch in New York City. The event was hosted by the BB Group with over 100 women of color in attendance.
The Bougie Brunch is a networking event for women of color from diverse backgrounds and professions. Founded by close friends Ericka Hatfield, Shawanda Green, Joi Adams and Lyndsay Christian, the Bougie Brunch has nearly doubled in attendance since the first event in June.
“We have to fight so many battles every day and it’s so nice to be in a space where it’s positive and it’s encouraging,” said the CEO and “The Bougie Innovator,” Ericka Hatfield.
Bougie Brunch founders (l-r) Lyndsay Christian and Ericka Hatfield
Attendees were treated more like sisters than patrons. Each attendee was asked to stand and speak about their career or business goals. In that moment, some women would stand to share a contact that would benefit another attendee. In addition, some women were encouraged to “speak up” in a comforting way to acknowledge that their voice and dreams mattered.
Shawanda Green, Bougie Brunch COO stated when it comes to networking you should, “Take a chance, don’t be shy and ask for what you want.”
Bougie Brunch founders (l-r) Lyndsay Christian,
Shawanda Green and Ericka Hatfield
Not only did the Bougie Brunch provide a space for women to network, recruiters from Google, L’Oreal and Etsy were invited for attendees exploring new career opportunities.
Love Sujeiry, an event attendee who works in radio and has her own a blog site, felt compelled to hide aspects of her career from employers. After meeting with the Etsy recruiter, Sujeiry was encouraged to “embrace her story,” learning that the right opportunity will fit according to her skill set.
Desiree Lilly, a recruiter from L’Oreal was excited by the number of women who were interested in opportunities at L’Oreal. Yet, in some instances she found that attendees who had applied did not gain employment at L’Oreal. After discovering this Desiree stated, “At L’Oreal we pride ourselves on diversity. The next step is to make sure we’re at more events like this.”
Desiree Lilly speaking with a Bougie Brunch attendee
Ericka Hatfield came up with the Bougie Brunch idea while at a birthday brunch with some of her close friends. Originally from Texas, Hatfield spoke about moving to New York and having to meet new friends and build new relationships. Her hope is that the women attending the brunch found both “professional and personal contacts.”
Alyssa Buchanan, an event attendee did just that, mentioning that she “put [her] elevator pitch out there and made some connections.” In addition, Buchannan said the event was “very open and inviting” and that she made a personal connection with someone who works at the same non-profit that she is apart of.
Alyssa Buchanan, Bougie Brunch Attendee
The Bougie Brunch gets the stamp of approval for not only creating a fabulous brunch experience and space to flaunt all that #blackgirlmagic, it showcased an undeniable feeling of affirmation and concern for the dreams of black women who at many times hold their dreams within.
As Joi Adams, the Bougie Brunch CTO stated, “They take away sisterhood. They meet new people and they actually continue to connect with those people.”
To learn more about the Bougie Brunch and the BB Group please visit their website at thebougiebrunch.net
UPN New York Ambassador
Kareemah is a creative, foodie, and 90's R&B fanatic who resides in Brooklyn, NY. She loves all things that promote culture, beautym and being unaplogetically black. Follow her adventures on Instagram @msdocumentaree for event coverage and highlights in New York City.