I survived my first panel last week! Last Thursday I participated in a CMJ Week panel entitled “Take Back The Music: Challenging Hip-Hop Stereotypes.” My purpose was to come from a journalist’s perspective about the images of female rappers and the stereotypes they constantly face. Rah Digga was supposed to represent for the female rappers but she didn’t make it. Luckily, Patty Dukes, another dope femcee, was there so I was able to engage in my part of the conversation. We chatted about transcending images of the thug, the sex pot, the mafia princes, etc. Other panelists included Victor from Das Racist, Willy Freeman from BabyGrande Records, Marisa Aveling from CMJ and Crafty Lady from Bust Magazine. Everyone brought dope perspectives!
I’ve done public speaking before but never on a panel. It’s one thing when you’re speaking to youth about what you do but being on a panel can be more nerve racking. However, I conquered my nerves, got up there and just did it! I’m always worried about sounding slow or rambling but my mother came to see me and she approved. I know she would tell the truth. Over all, it was a good day.
Fast forward to Saturday. I participated in Girls Leadership Day, and annual event held by Girls Inc NYC. The purpose of GLD was to bring women from various professional backgrounds together with young women and girls who may need guidance or insight into certain career choices. My girl Kela Walker (from NYC TV) invited me and I’m so glad she did. I think I needed that day more than the teenage girls did.
Not only did I meet some wonderful young women and professional women, but I was inspired. It’s ironic that my purpose there was to be an inspiration, but seeing the girls and talking to them made me remember being their ages and wanting to do what I do now. I have a lot of days lately where I don’t like this path I’m on and desperately want to change but at least I’ve accomplished some goals that my younger self thought would never happen so for that, I am thankful. I hope to do more stuff like Girls Leadership Day.