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Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

The 9th Annual ESSENCE #BlackWomeninHollywood Awards Luncheon With Lincoln

February 26th, 2016 by Christen

As one of the entertainment industry’s preeminent ceremonies, leading up to the Academy Awards, ESSENCE and Lincoln honored African-American women who are pushing the limits, raising the bar and breaking through barriers in both film and television with the ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood award luncheon.


Lincoln Black Women In Hollywood


Honoree Debbie Allen, Chris Rock alongside Lincoln’s multicultural communications manager Raj Register and Michelle Eubanks from ESSENCE share a moment before the luncheon begins.



Lincoln Black Women In Hollywood


“Grey’s Anatomy” “Scandal” and “How To Get Away With Murder” producer Shonda Rhimes arrived in a daisy-inspired dress, with matching  golden-hued shoes to match.


Lincoln Black Women In Hollywood


Zendaya served on the scene and introducing honorees in a burgundy Thakoon silk dot robe and jumpsuit, pairing it with some white pumps.


Lincoln Black Women In Hollywood


Nicole Ari Parker and Boris Kodjoe posed and served up a hot dish of black love on the red carpet.


Held at the famed Beverly Wilshire Hotel – this year’s theme “The Power of our Presence” celebrated some of the most extraordinary African-American women in film and television.


Lincoln Black Women In Hollywood


Kelly Rowland stunned the red carpet in a beautiful blouse and buttery colored pants.


Lincoln Black Women In Hollywood


Erica Campbell styled beautifully in a scuba-styled ensemble.


Lincoln Black Women In Hollywood


Actress Garcelle Beauvais graced the red carpet and added to the celebration of black excellence above and beyond.


[Flashback Friday] 5th Annual Essence Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon Presented by Lincoln


Honorees included powerhouse actress Tracee Ellis Ross (Fierce & Fearless Award); multi-talented producer, director and actress Debbie Allen (Legend Award); and entertainment attorney Nina Shaw (Lincoln Power Award).


Lincoln Motor Company Hosts “Lincoln Luxe” Dinner Honoring Nina Shaw


Lincoln Black Women In Hollywood

Powerhouse Entertainment Attorney – Nina Shaw.

Lincoln And ESSENCE Honors Hollywood Powerhouse in Law – Nina Shaw [Video]

Lincoln Black Women In Hollywood

Chris Rock



The 2016 ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Awards will air Saturday, February 27 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on OWN.  Want to get behind the scenes looks at more celebs, fashion and fun?  Follow @DivasandDorks on Instagram and Snapchat to see some of my favorite moments.  Also get social with Lincoln and @EssenceMag and follow all the selfies, instavideos and more via #BlackWomenInHollywood today!

2016 Grammys: Intel Powers Lady Gaga’s Unbelievable David Bowie Tribute

February 16th, 2016 by Tech Staff

lady gaga


Lady Gaga wasn’t the only star on stage during the tribute to David Bowie at the Grammys on Monday night, there was another star powering the David Bowie experience – Intel. As the hashtag #INTELinMusic ahead of the medley of the late British music icon’s hits hinted, Intel enabled the projections and other digital pyrotechnics (including live CGI or animation for a liquid version of Bowie’s iconic Aladdin Sane thunderbolt, along with robotics and a hologram of the ever-changing Bowie). The wizardry helped Gaga channel her idol, who died last month at 69 from cancer.





Haus of Gaga, worked with Intel to create a futuristic show, including a hologram of Bowie himself and accompaniment from a piano with three robot arms. They also made “digital makeup” that tracks Gaga’s facial movements in order to project Bowie’s looks through the years onto her face in a single performance. The ring on her finger directed the LED wall behind her so she could direct the visuals live through the motions of her hands and wrists. A major concern for Gaga was making sure the performance felt seamless, so that viewers wouldn’t be taken out of the experience. For Bowie, technology “always existed as another instrument in his symphony,” without distracting anyone from pure wonder.



Intel has a two-year deal with the GRAMMYS and will create another tech showstopper at next year’s ceremony. Intel’s press release called the performance the “First of a Multiyear Partnership Designed to Showcase How Intel Technology Inside Enables Amazing Music Experiences Outside”. In collaboration with Intel technologists and Lady Gaga’s creative team, specialized hardware powered by Intel® Xeon®, Intel® Core™ and Pentium® processors provided the requisite high performance to choreograph the lighting, audio and projection systems in perfect harmony with Lady Gaga.


Watch the entire awe-inspiring GRAMMY tribute performance below:




What did you think about Lady Gaga’s performance?  What were your favorite GRAMMY moments of the night?  Share your #INTELinMusic thoughts below!

What Would Martha Stewart Do? Get Inspired And Meet Martha Stewart At Macy’s

January 19th, 2016 by Christen

There comes a time in a woman’s life where she becomes more excited about placement settings and home design aesthetics than shopping sprees and designer shoes.  I’ll admit, my latest obsessions have evolved from curating personal style to (dare I say it) designing intimate events with (and for) family and friends.  And if there’s one person you can depend on having inspiration for designing experiences you’ll love, it’s Martha Stewart.


From the kitchen to home life and even planning my future wedding, following Martha Stewart, has inspired me to step up my design game in every area of my life.  That’s why I’m so excited to meet the mother of style, the duchess of design – Martha Stewart at Macy’s.  Join Macy’s in welcoming Martha Stewart at a special signing of her new book “Martha Stewart Weddings, Ideas & Inspiration”. Learn tips for planning the big day, and with any Martha Stewart Wedding book purchase of $60, you’ll get a chance to meet her and have your book signed*!


Martha Stewart


Celebrating 20 years of the design debut of Martha Stewart Weddings in 1995, it has been the premier resource for couples looking to plan and personalize their big day. From the engagement to the day itself, every detail is covered. You can learn what goes into making a “Martha” wedding, which includes dreaming up a cohesive theme and color palette, as well as finding a dress and suit, registering for gifts, enjoying showers and bachelor(ette) parties, hiring vendors, choosing the flowers and cake, and orchestrating a sweet send-off for the evening.


Martha Stewart



This year has already proven to be a year of transition, from work, relationships and the fact that I’m moving into a new home has me in a design-frame-of-mind all day, everyday.  Whether you’re planning a wedding for yourself, a friend, client, or even looking for designer ideas for a new home, office or work space – this book is a must-have – and who better to get advice from than Martha Stewart?! I’ll see you Thursday, January 28th at Macy’s Herald Square (New York) at 6pm. For more information on this free event, find more details here.



Disclosure:  This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Time Inc Honors Women Who Spark In STEM And Tech At CES 2016 #CES2016

January 8th, 2016 by Christen

In it’s first-ever partnership with Intel, Time Inc.’s ESSENCE, PEOPLE and PEOPLE EN ESPAÑOL presented the inaugural “Women Who Spark” Awards honoring female trailblazers at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) on January 7, 2016.


Women Who Spark

Women Who Spark Awards Honorees Alba Colon, Dr. Telle Whitney, Shantell Martin and Kimberly Bryant

This powerful first-time collaboration—combining the forces of ESSENCE, PEOPLE and PEOPLE en ESPAÑOL—provides a diverse platform with broad reach to celebrate four extraordinary trailblazers from around the world, women whose work has broken gender barriers and inspired today’s high-tech evolution.

Held in the OMD Oasis, the CES Thought Leadership Center created by media agency OMD, at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, the invite-only event recognized notable female honorees for their outstanding achievements in technology: Alba Colon – Chevrolet Racing Program Manager, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Kimberly Bryant – CEO, Black Girls Code, Telle Whitney – CEO and President, Anita Borg Institute, and Shantell Martin – Visual Artist. United States Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith gave opening remarks for the event.


Women Who Spark

President of Intel Foundation and Director of Corporate Affairs for Intel Rosalind L. Hudnell



Women Who Spark

Honoree Shantell Martin speaks during the Women Who Spark Awards


Women Who Spark

U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan J. Smith speaks during the Women Who Spark Awards

“Innovative women have always been trailblazers in science and tech, but so often they are left out of history or are missing in our day-to-day media,” said United States Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith. “In order to fully realize our country’s potential, it’s critical to celebrate all of our innovation heroes. Congratulations to this year’s ‘Women Who Spark’ award winners and the organizers—ESSENCE, PEOPLE and PEOPLE en ESPAÑOL—who are working to bring this needed and rightful visibility.”

Looking for more breaking news, recap and more at CES 2016?  Visit all week long and even connect with us on TwitterFacebookYouTube and more today!  You don’t want to miss the action from the largest tech trade show in the world – it’s CES 2016!

Unforgettable Moments From My #FindNewRoads Cross Country Camaro Drive

November 10th, 2015 by Christen

It’s always been an experience I’ve wanted to scratch off my bucket list for some time now.  Who wouldn’t want to grab their best girlfriend and go on a cross-country road trip in an amazing car?



Over the course of several weeks, Chevrolet’s hosted media influencers and journalists on a drive throughout the 48 US contagious states.  Driving behind the wheel of the 2016 Chevy Camaro, we were encouraged to #FindNewRoads and discover points of innovation throughout the country.  We visited landmarks and discovered the roads less traveled during our drive from New Orleans, LA to Dallas, TX (with plenty of exhilarating & unforgettable moments to spare!)

Check out a few of my favorite moments from our cross country Camaro drive in search to #FindNewRoads below!


Crescent City Connection

If you’re familiar with the Denzel Washington flick “Deja Vu” chances are, you’ve seen the iconic twin cantilever bridges that carry U.S. Route 90 Business over the Mississippi River in New Orleans before. Formerly known as the Greater New Orleans Bridge (GNO) – it’s the widest and most heavily traveled bridge on the lower Mississippi; instrumental with the Hurricane Katrina evacuations in 2005.


2016 Camaro


The 2016 Chevrolet Camaro and the Crescent City Connection – two iconic symbols of mobility and strength all rolled into one #FindNewRoads moment.


2016 Camaro


Mardi Gras World

What’s the next best thing to visiting New Orleans during Mardi Gras?  Taking a trip to one of the happiest places on earth – Mardi Gras World. We were looking for a real, behind-the-scenes look at New Orleans Mardi Gras and boy did we find it!

2016 Camaro


At Mardi Gras World, guides take the mask off Mardi Gras with an all-access Mardi Gras tour, winding through the massive studio where these magnificent floats are built from the ground up. Guests learn about the history of this unique and festive tradition and go beyond its reputation to get a deeper understanding of the real Mardi Gras.


One monkey don’t stop no show:  The massive Mardi Gras World experience is a MUST during your next New Orleans visit.  Make sure you bring plenty of camera storage because there are plenty of picture perfect moments you’ll want to capture during your visit.

Bayou Dinning And Aligator Bites

After a 15-mile drive outside of New Orleans, we stumbled upon the beauty and bounty of the Restaurant des Familles. Nestled along the waterway home to alligators, turtles, egrets and other wildlife (Bayou des Familles) – we were in search of authentic Cajun and Creole bites and the Alligator Stuffed Mushrooms with Alligator Sauce Piquant more than delivered.



Good Eats:  We enjoyed the best of the best from the Restaurant de Familles including the grilled Shrimp & Grits with jalapeno-cheddar grits with scratch gravy, Caesar Salad and Catfish strips.

The Alligator Stuffed Mushrooms with Alligator Sauce Piquant was amazing – and the views of alligators just a few feet away were even better.


Swamp Tour Through Gator Country

I’ve never been in an airboat before, let alone on a tour through the swamps of the bayou.  So of course finding the road less traveled lead us to the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. Trained guides escorted us into the murky waters of Louisiana swamps where we came face to face with the beauty and beasts of nature.




Meet My BFF And Find New Roads In The New 2016 Chevrolet Camaro




Driving The 2016 Camaro

The 2016 Camaro more than handled the road, it commanded it.  Driving from New Orleans to Dallas  as a Camaro road warrior was beyond amazing.  As the most efficient and powerful Camaro SS ever it’s equipped with improved handling, performance, technology and kept heads turning throughout the entire drive.


2016 Camaro


2016 Camaro


Discover where the 2016 Camaro SS is headed next!  Keep up with all the spectacular sights and see how others #FindNewRoads by visiting

Hey Chicago! Kick Off The Holidays With Me At Macy’s Family Fun Day

November 4th, 2015 by Christen

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. 

Macy's Holiday

Tis the season for merry thoughts and holiday cheer at one of my favorite stores in one of my favorite cities ever – Chicago!  Join Macy’s for an afternoon of family fun with lots of activities for the holidays. Get creative at their crafts table where you can create holiday ornaments, color, and more. There’ll also be balloon twisting and more Macy’s holiday family day fun to enjoy!  Of course, this weekend is a great time to get the jump on your holiday shopping – why not submerge yourself in an abundance of sweet holiday cheer to fuel your shopping at Macy’s?


Who doesn’t love getting the jump on a good holiday tradition?  Join me at Macy’s (State Street) this Saturday, November 7th at 2pm for plenty of jolly holiday fun!


Macy's Holiday


111 N. State Street

Chicago, IL 60602


The holiday season is upon us! Tis the season for Rudolph’s red nose and cookies for Santa! What are some of your favorite family traditions for the holiday season? Do you watch Charlie Brown all cuddled up in the living room or decorate sugar cookies to give out to friends? Does the whole family wear matching clothes and go take pictures with Santa? This is the time to share your traditions and favorite aspects of the holiday season. For more information, visit

Walgreens And The National Urban League Wants To Empower Communities To Take Back Their Health

October 30th, 2015 by Christen

walgreens wellness tour


Walgreens and the National Urban League have joined together for the ninth year for The Walgreens Wellness Tour community outreach program dedicated to providing free preventative and early detection health services to at-risk communities. Over the last eight years, The Wellness Tour has administered more than 570,000 health tests valued at $12.8 million in communities throughout the United States.


walgreens wellness tour


Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to partner with Walgreens and The National Urban League for the Walgreens Wellness Tour throughout the tri-state area. As a huge champion of Walgreens health and wellness initiatives, I’m thrilled to help spread the word about The Walgreens Wellness Tour and share my experience during the latest stop in Jersey City, New Jersey.


walgreens wellness tour


Walgreens and the National Urban League want to empower individuals with the knowledge and resources for the prevention and early detection of today’s leading chronic diseases. Together Walgreens and the National Urban League are committed to providing urban and at-risk communities access to valuable health tests that deliver key insights and assist individuals in the pursuit of happier and healthier lives.

  walgreens wellness tour


Must Read:  I’ve Partnered With Walgreens & The National Urban League To Usher “The Walgreens Wellness Tour” To NYC!

  walgreens wellness tour


During my visit, my brother and I were able to get a quick check up measuring key health indicators including total cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure, body mass index, body composition, visceral fat, real body age and more. This quick and easy 20-minute testing and consultation concluded with a certified wellness technician to discuss results and tips for creating healthier living habits.


walgreens wellness tour


Discover more of what’s in store for The Walgreens Wellness Tour as it rolls to a city near you by visiting It’s your life, it’s your health and testing is absolutely free!


walgreens wellness tour


Disclosure:  This previous article has been sponsored in part by Walgreens and The National Urban League, however all thoughts and opinions shared are unbiased and based on my personal view. 

Join Me This Weekend At The Largest Women’s Empowerment Expo In NYC! #COS2015

October 15th, 2015 by Christen

circle of sisters


I have some very exciting news to share, I’ve been asked to grace the stage this weekend at the largest women’s empowerment expo in NYC.  That’s right, join me this weekend for the highly anticipated Circle of Sisters Expo at the Javits Convention Center!

Circle of Sisters is the largest expo for women of color in New York City. Hosted by WBLS, HOT 97 and WLIB, Circle of Sisters hosts a variety of panel discussions, seminars, inspirational services, R&B and gospel concerts, fashion show, plus over 200 vendors and small businesses selling unique items and services all weekend.


circle of sisters


Each year, participants can attend informative and empowering panel discussions led by authors, field experts, political figures and some of the biggest names in entertainment. In it’s fifteen years of operation, Circle of Sisters has welcomed names such as Rev. Al Sharpton, Nicole Ari Parker, Boris Kodjoe, Steve Harvey and the sounds of Faith Evans, Eric Benet, Fantasia, Tank, Jennifer Hudson and Gospel powerhouses to bring the message home like Smokie Norful, Karen Clark Sheard, Kiki Sheard, Vickie Winans, Tye Tribbett, Deitrick Haddon and more.


Join me Saturday, October 17th  (5:45pm) Main Stage

I’ll be talking biz, blogging and #ActLikeABlogger entrepreneurial tips!

circle of sisters



Circle of Sisters is back and promises to be bigger and better than ever before! Join us on October 17th and 18th at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City for Circle of Sisters 2015. Tickets are still available at – HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE! #COS2015


FINALLY, The Full Circle Moment That Says “You’ve Made It, Kid!”

September 21st, 2015 by Christen

As a blogger and entrepreneur, it’s so easy to get caught up in the glitz and glamour of popularity, celebrity and the ever changing definition of “success”.  Growing up in Southwest Detroit, I was definitely considered an “at risk” student enrolling at Michigan State University in 1998. As the eldest of seven children, the first of my generation to ever attend college and being a product of a one-parent household, you could imagine the amount of cards stacked against me becoming a college graduate – so you can imagine my surprise when I got the call to return to my alma mater 15 years later to share my journey.


Michigan State University


Spartan Innovations complements the work being done now by MSU Technologies, the university’s technology transfer office organized in 2007, and Business-CONNECT, created in 2009 as MSU’s portal for engagement with the business community. All three units are part of the MSU Innovation Center. The MSU Foundation, which serves as fiduciary and trustee for MSU’s charitable annuities, trusts, and gifts of property, provides major funding for the initiative.

(*Breaks out my vision board from 2012….) Working with Spartan Innovations and sharing my journey from a 1st generation college graduate to career media professional, entrepreneur and STEM advocate is a great opportunity that I’m truly honored to share. If there’s at least one student or entrepreneur empowered by my words then I know that I’ve done my job…and that expensive tuition bill was worth it! (LOL) [Get your tickets here.]

Join me for a full circle moment this Wednesday, September 23rd as I kick off the Innovate State Speaker Series and share my story of corporate ups, entrepreneurial downs and valuable lessons learned along the way.


Michigan State University

Wednesday, September 23rd 6pm – 8pm

Blogalicious 2015 With Toyota: Bloggers Building, Branding And Growing Together #BloggersGoPlaces15

September 18th, 2015 by Christen

Blogalicious 2015 BYOE15

Blogalicous 2015 in Baltimore, MD with Terrence of and Ty of


Did you miss one of the most insightful blogging conferences of the year?  The Blogalicious “Build Your Own Empire” Weekend 2015 was action-packed three days in Baltimore, Maryland.  Armed with a  3-day itinerary filled with the who’s who in the Blogosphere – Blogalicious “Build Your Own Empire” offered a weekend of learning, building and gathering resources to become better businesses as well as better bloggers.
As a sponsor for two years, Toyota recognizes multicultural bloggers as the voice of new media and partners with these social media influencers nationwide to build lasting relationships, promote the brand and help grow the multicultural blogging share of voice in the automotive space.


Upon the announcement of my participation as a speaker, I was also selected to serve as a Blogalicious 2015 Toyota Brand Ambassador. I’ve become very vocal about my passion to empower bloggers to think beyond “influencer status” and act as a brand.  So partnering with a brand like Toyota was a dream opportunity that pushed my Blogalicious experience to new heights.



Blogger Ambassador Badges


On Friday, September 11th  my “Billion Dollar Branding” panel co-hosted by Maya Elious, and Kailei Carr, empowered bloggers on the necessities needed to brand themselves for success.  Attendees learned about the importance of professional photos, personal branding statements and the art of cold calling, pitching and closing the sale.

[Blogging 101] Let’s Talk Billion Dollar Branding At Blogalicious


Blogalicious 2015


During my portion of the presentation, I made reference to some of television’s modern day heroines like Olivia Pope, Cookie Lyon, Mary Jane Paul and Analese Keating.  Each popular television character has different characteristics that are necessary when cold calling, pitching, handling objections or closing a sale.  It was the perfect opportunity to introduce proven “Act Like A Blogger, Think Like A Brand” sales techniques and actionable tips to an audience that’s ready to empower their brand at one of the most impactful blogging conferences of the year.


In addition to sharing selling tips on the “Billion Dollar Branding” panel on Friday, I had the illustrious pleasure of hosting Toyota “Help Desk” (office hours) where I assisted bloggers with one-on-one information, brainstorming and input on how to build, brand and monetize their blogs. During the “sold out” session, I spoke with bloggers of all skill-levels and industries to define areas of branding and improvements.  It was an opportunity to assist others, but it also helped me in so many ways too!


Blogalicious 2015


Brainstorming, problem solving and creating solutions has always been a part of the entrepreneur journey that I’ve enjoyed most.  So the opportunity to help so many others, while sharpening my skills and applying the same ideas to other areas of my brands was definitely a bonus!

From identifying revenue streams, creating partnership target lists, developing sales calendars and structuring weekly/monthly budget goals – we got to dig deep into the business of blogging.   There was so much sharing and building during the Toyota “Help Desk” that we extended the hours to accommodate and ensure that everyone walked away with a plan and action steps on how to “Act Like A Blogger, Think Like A Brand.” [Sign up for your FREE eSales Guide HERE]


Blogalicious 2015


As a veteran entrepreneur and experienced blogger, it’s easy to fall into a blogger conference rut.  But thanks to the A-List of speakers, activations and experiences that Blogalicious 2015 “Build Your Own Empire” cultivated in Baltimore, this was an amazing and re-energizing experience that I’ll never forget! Thanks Blogalicious and Toyota!


Blogalicious 2015


Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post by Toyota. All reviews and opinions expressed in this post are unbiased and based on my personal view. 



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