The I’mPOSSIBLE conversation debuts in NY for International Women’s Day 2014

Pic 2 the I'mPOSSIBLE conversation NY edition l-r Whitney Benta, Lola Adesioye, Estelle, Simone Bresi-Ando, Corynne Corbett, Gilda Squire & Angela Jackson

We did it! We took the POSSIBLE global! On March 6 in aid of 2014 International Women’s Day, I’mPOSSIBLE took the conversation to New York to celebrate the various life journeys of women of colour. Whitney-Gayle Benta SVP, REVOLT TV, Corynne Corbett of Beauty Biz Camp, Grammy award winner Estelle, founder of the Global Language Project Angela Jackson and PR maven Gilda Squire illuminated the house with their stories of success, pearls of wisdom with the honesty and openess of your favourite girlfriends.

 

Panellists speaking to a packed floor with standing room only to an audienced which was attentively listening, note taking and questioning from the heart gave a unique and impactful interaction that was felt on multiple levels.  The POSSIBLE was seeing themselves in all their various glory, it was a beautiful, inspiring connection and it changed lives.

Pic 15 the I'mPOSSIBLE conversation NY edition March 6, 2014 the panel

Speaking of the event, founder of I’mPOSSIBLE. Global CIC commented:

“To put an idea into action, one that was focussed on celebrating women of colour. Planting the seed in people’s minds to always be POSSIBLE to always want what they’ve been told they can’t have so they start living in a world that’s on their own terms gives me a type of joy that propels my own POSSIBILITIES into another strata.

New York has been a souce of inspiration for I’mPOSSIBLE and I have always gotten so much love from this city. It was right that the first international edition took place here and gave back the inspiration and love I always get. We made ‘her-story’ on March 6 and the global journey is just beginning. I’m excited at what we can do for women of colour worldwide. I’m humbled by the support and the universe opening up to me in ways to make this happen for so many.”

The event set social media on fire:

EstelleMichaela Angela Davis

 

Pic 5 the I'mPOSSIBLE conversation NY edition March 6, 2014 l-r Simone Bresi-Ando, founder I'mPOSSIBLE Global CIC and Melka Davis, AVP marketing, Mizani L'Oreal

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New York plays host to the first international edition of the I’mPOSSIBLE conversation

ImP convo NY edition March 6, 2014 INSTAGRAM

I’mPOSSIBLE’s first event of 2014, in aid of International Women’s Day, takes it to New York…the city where dreams are made ;-)

We’re taking things to the next level which is amplifying the positive noise around women of colour – globally. There’s no stopping the POSSIBLE once it’s focused, there is only things to gain.

Since 2011, I’mPOSSIBLE has been celebrating, saluting and highlighting the life journeys, successes and achievements of this special group. We’re connecting these experiences globally, to encourage a deeper, more profound network for the POSSIBLE to flourish.

Being supported by our global partners, Mizani, the event will take place in L’Oreal studios in Soho.  The partnership has gone from strength to strength enabling both brands to empower women of colour on their own terms.

The inaugural New York edition showcases these remarkable, accomplished women:

Whitney-Gayle Benta low resWhitney-Gayle Benta 

senior vice president of music and talent at the new, multi-platform television channel founded by Sean Combs – REVOLT TV.  Prior to joining REVOLT, Benta was a VP at MTV News, where she negotiated talent booking across a multiple platforms, including television (the Video Music Awards), digital (MTV’s RapFix Live) and mobile; co-conceptualized, the award-winning, MTV Diary documentary, “Jay-Z: Water For Life”.  Benta has also held marketing positions at Island Def Jam Records and Noontime Records and worked on album campaigns for artists such as Jay-Z, Ja Rule, DMX, Ashanti, Ludacris, LL Cool J, to name a few.  Benta’s efforts in music and media have been recognized through a series of awards and nominations, not limited to Billboard magazine’s Women in Music 2011, MTV Networks’ “Share The Vision” Award and the United Nations honoring her work as a part of “Jay-Z: Water For Life.”

The Harlem, New York native attended Spelman College and graduated with a B.A. in Entertainment Industries studies, an independent major in which she developed her own curriculum.

 

Coynne CorbettCorynne Corbett

is a Beauty, Lifestyle and Wellness expert and media professional who has focused her career on equipping women with the knowledge to enhance their lives both inside and out.  She is an experienced writer, editor and story packager who creates informative and compelling content across a variety of media platforms. In addition, she is an accomplished speaker who inspires others to live their best lives.

 

As the former Beauty Director at Essence Magazine, she served as both an editor and an advocate dedicated to the unique and diverse beauty needs of her readers.  Corbett began her magazine publishing career at Elle, where she worked her way up the ranks from editorial assistant to senior beauty, health and fitness editor.  Before joining Heart & Soul, Corbett was the editor-in-chief of Mode, a publication that radically changed the landscape of fashion magazines with its focus on real-sized women. Prior to this, Corbett held posts ranging from editor-in-chief, to senior editor at a range of publications including Real Simple.

In 2013, she launched Beauty BizCamp Inc., a non-profit created to exposes girls ages 12-18 to the career paths available within the beauty industry and equip those interested to take a seat at the table. Most of all, she wants to encourage girls to define beauty for themselves. Her other enterprise, The Beauty Swirl Inc. prepares multicultural professionals for success through workshops and events and also hosts consumer events for multicultural women.

 

 


Estelle Lo ResEstelle

Her climactic rise from local West London MC to Grammy Award-winning artist is the stuff of legends. Born the second of nine children, in a strict religious Senegalese/Grenadian family, Estelle learned early to escape life’s daily pressures through music. Growing up she was exposed to African and gospel music, as well as reggae and dub, all of which have played an integral role in developing her music today into a unique, original blend of sounds.

Estelle burst on the international scene with her second album Shine, the first record to be released under John Legend’s new Homeschool label, in partnership with Atlantic Records. Her hit single “American Boy,” in collaboration with rapper Kanye West, won a Grammy Award for Best Rap/Song Collaboration, in addition to being nominated for Song of the Year and many other awards worldwide.  Showing no signs of slowing down, Estelle recently launched her new independent label, taking full creative control of all her current and future music endeavors - her highly-anticipated fourth studio album is due this April.

Her luxury scarves collection ‘Scarves by Swaray’ and her new jewelry line in partnership with Lita Asscher of Royal Asscher Diamonds is an extension of Estelle’s upbringing and her notable style with the infusion of inspirations from her travels around the world.  In addition, Estelle continues to dedicate herself to a myriad of philanthropic organizations. Her charitable work includes her ’All of Me Foundation’, a fundraising body which supports mentoring and educational programs already in motion with the goal of educating, enlightening and expanding the horizons of young people.

 


Angela JacksonAngela Jackson 

an award winning social entrepreneur who established the Global Language Project (GLP) in 2009 which teaches US students proficiency in a foreign language to enable them to compete in a global workforce. GLP focuses specifically on elementary school children in underserved public schools, instilling that learning a second language can be one of the most lucrative assets they can attain.

Prior to founding GLP, Angela was the head of New Channels Marketing at Nokia, where she was responsible for managing the North American marketing for Nokia’s NSeries Brand as well as leading global teams in Asia and Europe. After living abroad in over 60 countries, Angela made the transition from corporate America to a social venture.

 


Gilda Squire low resGilda Squire

the owner of Squire Media Management Inc. established in 2008 which in its first five years of business, it implemented national publicity campaigns for leading brands such as Kenneth Cole Inc, TV One; Time Inc, Hearst Communications and Fox Searchlight to name a few.  The firm added a management division to the business with celebrated performing artists American Ballet Theatre soloist Misty Copeland and New York City Ballet principal dancer Sara Mearns.  Previously, Gilda was a Director of Publicity at HarperCollins Publishers where she was responsible for overseeing publicity and book tours for Amistad, the corporation’s imprint dedicated to publishing fiction and non-fiction works by and about people of African descent.

Gilda began her career at the age of 16 with the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a typist in the Richmond VA Field Office. After a special assignment in the Washington Metropolitan Field Office (WMFO), she decided to transfer to WMFO where she served as the administrative assistant to a Supervisory Special Agent of a top security team. With a desire to learn even more about the inner workings of government, Gilda went on to work for the director of the U.S. Congress’ Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), an elite congressional information agency dedicated to serving as a key resource for Congressional members and staff confronting technological issues in crafting public policy. During her time at OTA, Gilda both worked and pursued her undergraduate, full-time degree at George Mason University. After graduating cum laude with her B.A. in Communications, she moved to New York City where she was offered a job on Wall Street at the prestigious Goldman, Sachs & Co.  She began as an executive assistant in the investment banking division.  From there, she was offered a position in the firm’s Corporate Communications department, where she worked as a global brand marketing manager. In this position, Gilda had the tremendous opportunity to work with mid to senior-level managers throughout the firm worldwide on recruitment marketing campaigns.  Her most proud accomplishment was the research, development and implementation of the firm’s first diversity marketing program in the U.S.

After nearly six years at Goldman Sachs, Gilda decided it was time to return to her dream of working in entertainment public relations. She chose publishing because of her passion for books.  Her crown jewel during this period was developing and executing the campaign for ‘Bling’, the New York Times best-selling, debut novel by the late Erica Kennedy from Miramax Books.

 


Lola_Adesioye 2Lola Adesioye 

is a writer, broadcaster and singer/songwriter.  Lola’s opinion and commentary on UK, US and African society, politics and culture have appeared in a number of international publications including as a columnist for Forbes Africa, New Statesman, the Guardian, Economist, the Huffington Post, EbonyJet, CNN.com, TheGrio and TheRoot. Regular TV and radio commentary work includes Al Jazeera, Huffington Post Live, the BBC, CNN, BET, MSNBC, and the UK’s Channel 4. She has conducted interviews with international business people, politicians and entertainers and moderates and hosts panels for organizations such as The World Bank and The Congressional Black Caucus. Lola has been described as “one of Nigeria’s top 10 wordsmiths”, “an emerging face to watch” and “one of 11 sharp black commentators in America”.

Lola has a passion for the arts and entertainment and has also worked in the music industry as an industry executive, international event producer and is an up and coming singer/songwriter.
Now living between Boston and New York, Lola – who also holds a BA and MA in Social and Political Science from Cambridge University – brings a unique global perspective to all that she does. She has travelled extensively, and has lived in post-apartheid South Africa.

 

We’re making history.

We’re inspiring the POSSIBLE.

I’mPOSSIBLE founder joins the Guardian’s ‘women and social enterprises’ live Q&A – January 23, 2014 12 noon GMT

Guardian soc ent network logo

This Thursday (January 23) between 12 noon to 1:30pm, I’mPOSSIBLE’s founder, Simone Bresi-Ando will be joining the Guardian on their live Q&A on ‘Women and social enterprises’.  There is a pressing lack of diversity in social enterprise leadership and the Q&A will explore how can we encourage women both into the sector and into leadership positions as well as how we address this lack of sector diversity at a fundamental level and what can we learn from senior women in the sector.

 

SocEnt_network-header_940x85

 

The esteemed panel are:

 

Servane Mouazan – founder and director, Ogunte CIC
Servane runs Ogunte CIC, an award winning organisation that supports women – to make a positive impact on people and planet, through incubation, networking and leadership development. Alongside Ogunte, Servane provides executive coaching and advisory services in different countries, on social innovation, futures thinking and the gender lens.

 

Stephen Miller – senior researcher, UnLtd
Stephen is a Senior Researcher for UnLtd, the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs. He has a decade’s experience of research and policy in the Third sector. He recently co-authored a thinkpiece examining possible barriers to women accessing social finance. UnLtd also recently hosted a workshop on this subject at the Good Deals conference.

 

Karen McGregor – chief executive, Firstport
Karen is Chief Executive of Firstport and has over 10 years experience supporting social enterprise and third sector organisations. Karen is also on the board of Social Enterprise Scotland.

 

Alexa Roscoe – private sector advisor, CARE International UK
As a Private Sector Advisor with CARE, Alexa builds inclusive business models in the global food and beverage, garment, and finance industries which impact over 100,000 direct beneficiaries. Follow Alexa on Twitter @AlexaRoscoe.

 

Heledd Kendrick – founder and chief executive, Recruit for Spouses
Is the founder and chief executive of Recruit for Spouses. Heledd is a military wife and mother of two. Since the launch of the social enterprise in 2012 the RFS team have helped hundreds of military partners back into work and into the career of choice.

 

Jasmine Kubski – international sustainability projects manager,Change Agents UK
Jasmine manages Change Agents UK’s Women in Social and Environmental Enterprise (WiSEE) project. The WiSEE Project consists of a national network of women looking to start a social or environmental enterprise.

 

0198 Simone speakingSimone Bresi-Ando, founder

Tune in to the debate :-) http://bit.ly/1jjxNzl

Black Girls Rock! 2013 shines a light on I’mPOSSIBLE – watch BET, Tues Nov 5, 8pm

Black Girls Rock! 2013

It’s with the greatest pleasure to announce that this year’s screening of Black Girls Rock! on BET, Sky channel 187 tomorrow (Tuesday, November 5) at 8pm will be shining a spotlight on I’mPOSSIBLE and the women it celebrates.

One of the many sparks of inspiration for creating I’mPOSSIBLE came from Simone Bresi-Ando’s visit to the 2009 Black Girls Rock! ceremony in New York. It’s a deep honour for her passion project to be given a salute from Black Girls Rock! on the global BET platform.  This ensures the work of I’mPOSSIBLE, the role models and stories of these glorious women of colour are properly and globally celebrated for all to enjoy and be inspired by.

Commenting on the show, Simone Bresi-Ando, founder of I’mPOSSIBLE said:

“Seeing how far I’mPOSSIBLE has come since its inception in 2009 amazes me somewhat but I understand it’s rapid rise as it was a much needed platform.  One that was nurturing, positive and celebratory of women of colour in a global sense.  The fact that I’mPOSSIBLE is helping to connect the dots in women’s lives globally with a specific focus on the life journeys, successes and achievements of women of colour I couldn’t be more happier.  I’m really excited to see what else I can do with I’mPOSSIBLE…the POSSIBILITIES really are endless and so are my dreams. Thank you all for believing in me and ultimately, yourselves.”

Black Girls Rock! started life in 2006 as a foundation dedicated to the healthy development of young women of color, and the creation of a dialogue about the portrayal of women in the media. BGR! is a growing non- profit consisting of permanent mentors, guest speakers, DJ instructors, and an extensive board of founders and supporters. The organization was founded in by celebrity DJ Beverly Bond and is headquartered in Brooklyn, New York.  The Black Girls Rock! Awards are now featured on BET and feature celebrity performances and honors given to women who are inspirational and positive influences within the industry.

Make sure you support all the amazing women BGR! and I’mPOSSIBLE highlights by watching:

Black Girls Rock! 2013
BET
Sky Channel 187
Tuesday, November 5
8pm

Because the stories of women of colour are worth it!

I'mPOSSIBLE conversation autumn 2013 edition panellists: L-R Eliza Anyangwe (host), Shingai Shoniwa (Noisettes), Paulette Randall, Simone Bresi-Ando (founder), Tumi Soyinka, Donna McConnell & Carlene Firmin MBE pic 2

Our mission is blossoming so beautifully. By any means necessary. With no permission. Because, together we are strong.Ava DuVernay, August 2013

I couldn’t say it better any other way!

Last Wednesday (September 25), L’Oreal UK headquarters played host to the autumn edition of the trailblazing event series; the I’mPOSSIBLE conversation. The only UK event which puts the life stories and successes of women of colour on a platform to be celebrated and heard saw a full house of fans who wanted to be inspired and walk out taller.

Pioneering women of colour such as the youngest Black woman to receive and MBE; Carlene Firmin, Showbiz editor of the world’s largest news site, the Mail Online, Donna McConnell.  Paulette Randall responsible for British Black TV programmes such as the Real McCoy, Desmond’s and being the right hand woman to Danny Boyle as assistant director of the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics.  Noisettes front woman and Mizani UK brand ambassador; Shingai Shoniwa and Tumi Soyinka, senior product manager for Mizani UK graced the stage telling the full capacity audience their journey to being possible all helped by the Guardian’s Eliza Anyangwe as host.

The growth of the event series has been phenomenal in its short two-year existence with 2013 seeing the organisation host the events in places such as the Royal Festival Hall and House of Commons.  The appetite to hear a more diverse range of experiences from a group of women that often go overlooked is gaining momentum and helping to inspire a generation to find their possibilities on their own terms.

The I’mPOSSIBLE conversation returns on Weds, Sept 25 for the autumn edition at L’Oreal UK headquarters!

The I'mPOSSIBLE conversation, autumn edition - Sept 25, 2013

We’re back with another trailblazing line up of miraculous women of colour who define the POSSIBLE on their own terms.  Returning to the home of Mizani UK, L’Oreal’s UK headquarters in Hammersmith, Wednesday, September 25 will see the autumn edition of the I’mPOSSIBLE conversation take place starting at 7pm.

As the event series gets into its stride, the movement gains more and more traction with presenting role models that often get overlooked but are equally worthy for all the celebration their peers receive.  Tickets are on sale now for £25 with concessions for a group of four or more at £18 each.

Take a look at our panel:

Carlene Firmin MBE Carlene Firmin MBE

is Head of the MsUnderstood Partnership and Research Fellow at the University of Bedfordshire, supporting local areas to improve their response to peer-on-peer abuse and exploitation, and conducting a national assessment of provision for young people who perpetrate abuse in their relationships and peer groups. For two years Carlene was the Principal Policy Advisor to the Office of the Children’s Commissioner’s Inquiry into child sexual exploitation in gangs and groups, and continues to act as an advisor to them on sexual exploitation and gangs’ policy. Carlene writes a monthly column in Society Guardian, and has had a number of papers published in academic books and journals. Carlene was featured in Glamour Magazines 35 most powerful women under 35 in 2011, the Black Powerlist 2013, was awarded a London Peace Award in 2008, and in 2011 she was awarded an MBE for services to Women and Girls Issues in the News Years Honours list.

Carlene authored the Female Voice in Violence reports and for five years researched the impact of criminal gangs on women and girls, at the charity Race on the Agenda. Following this Carlene took up the post of Assistant Director of Policy and Research at children’s charity Barnardo’s with responsibility for youth justice and child sexual exploitation. In 2010 she founded ‘The GAG Project’ to train young women to influence policy on gangs and serious youth violence.

Carlene currently sits on a number of advisory groups including the Home Office Ending Gang Violence Expert Advisory Group and has spoken at over 250 national and international conferences including the Youth Justice Convention 2011 and 2012, the Women’s Aid National Conference 2012 and the 54th and 57th UN Conventions on the Status of Women in New York.

 

Donna McConnell pic 4 Donna McConnell

 Donna McConnell is the Showbusiness Editor of the hugely successful website Mail Online. She is responsible for newsgathering and managing all the showbiz news for the popular website and overseeing the output of a team of 16 journalists based in the UK and the US.

A former rapper with the group She Rockers, who gave us the British hip-hop classics Give It A Rest and On Stage before disbanding in 1992, Donna was born in London in 1969 to Jamaican parents. She returned to college as a mature student aged 25, and a mum, to study for an access course in media, before gaining a place in the competitive media degree course at Westminster University. She landed her first journalism job online as an editorial assistant at The Financial Times’ Ftyourmoney.com section. She also freelanced for Pride Magazine, The Sunday Mirror, The Evening Standard, The Times, and The Observer.

Donna arrived at the Daily Mail Online in 2005 as a freelancer, after studying at City University for a Postgraduate Diploma in Newspaper Journalism.  She was signed up as a showbiz journalist and was promoted to showbiz editor in 2009. She became a core member of the team responsible for turning around the website’s previously ailing fortunes.  In 2012, Mail Online overtook the New York Times as the world’s most-read newspaper website, and last month the website hit record traffic of 134million unique users.

Donna is a member of the judging panel for the Journalism Diversity Fund. Last year she was nominated onto the 2013 Power List – as one of Britain’s Most Influential Black People. Donna’s daughter Clarke, 19, will this year study for a degree in Television and Live Events at London College of Communication, the University of the Arts.

iversity of the Arts. 

Paulette Randall credit Sharron Wallace Paulette Randall

Paulette was the Associate Director for the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, and is the former Artistic Director of Talawa Theatre Company.

She is the foremost director of American playwright August Wilson’s plays in this country, having most recently directed Lenny Henry in FENCES in the West End, and has also directed his work at the Arena Stage in Washington DC.

Paulette has had an extensive theatre and TV career; among her theatre credits are TWELFTH NIGHT, MOON ON A RAINBOW SHAWL and CROSSINGS. Her TV credits include DESMOND’S (C4), THE REAL McCOY and THE CROUCHES (both BBC Comedy) and KERCHING! (CBBC).  Paulette is a Rose Bruford School of Speech and Drama alumna and is currently the Associate Director at the New Wolsey in Ipswich.

 

 

Shingai Shoniwa

 Shingai Shoniwa

is the lead vocalist and bassist of UK indie rock band Noisettes, who are perhaps best known for their hit single Don’t Upset The Rhythm (Go Baby Go).

Shingai, who is of Zimbabwean decent, was brought up in South London by her mum following her father’s death when she was 11. Originally wanting to be an actress, she tried her hand as a burlesque performer, learned circus skills and attended art school before finding her calling as a musician and joining famous talent hot house the BRIT School, where she formed Noisettes with guitarist Dan Smith and drummer Jamie Morrison.

Rolling Stone describe Shingai as “a living, breathing manifestation of the rock & roll spirit, with a voice that is equal parts Iggy Pop and Billie Holiday”. She is known for her flamboyant approach to dressing and is very much a presence on London’s fashion scene.

 

 

Tumi Soyinka  Tumi Soyinka

is a graduate of Creative Music Technology (University of Hull) and holds a Master’s Degree in Music Business Management from the University of Westminster.

Having undertaken further education to explore her curiosity and affinity with music production and business, she landed an internship at the world’s largest record company, Universal Music Group, London. Here, she worked her way into a marketing consultant role specifically created for her, followed by a permanent position within Universal’s Decca Records’ marketing division, where she was responsible for executing the album marketing campaigns and releases of a variety of classical and jazz artists – UK and internationally based, including Andrea Bocelli and Jamie Cullum.

Four years later, ‘Tumi was approached by global beauty giant L’Oréal and was soon offered the position to head their premium professional haircare brand, MIZANI – specialists in Afro-Caribbean and curly hair textures. In her role as MIZANI Senior Product Manager, she has developed strategic partnerships between beauty, music and fashion (MIZANI being the official hair sponsors of Africa Fashion Week London 2012 and 2013). Soyinka successfully transitioned from music to beauty and spearheaded the brand into notable growth in namely 3 key areas: turnover, mainstream press coverage and overall brand awareness with events like the I’mPOSSIBLE Conversation, of which MIZANI is a partner.

By fusing her music experience with her new love of ‘black beauty’, one of her career highlights to date is the recent signing of Shingai Shoniwa (lead singer of British pop/indie group the Noisettes) as MIZANI UK’s first-ever celebrity ambassador.

 

Eliza Anyangwe (host) Eliza Anyangwe (host)

Eliza Anyangwe was born in Cameroon, lives in Walworth (by way of 10 countries on 3 continents) and is editor of the Guardian’s Global Development Professionals Network.

After splitting her time between international development (working on sustainability in fashion supply chain) and the Guardian’s Katine project, in 2011, she joined the newspaper full-time.

Eliza is passionate about improving the narrative about Africa, open journalism, and starting conversations that change thinking – recently chairing a panel at Milan Desk Week for the World Bank.

 

 

Come be a part of uncovering stories form a group of women that often go unheard.

Inspiration, celebration, progression.

 

The I’mPOSSIBLE conversation, autumn 2013 edition
Wednesday, September 25
7pm – 10pm
Tickets: £25, group concessions available (events@i-am-possible.com)

L’Oreal UK HQ
255 Hammersmith Road
London W6 7RR

It’s a celebration! Two years and counting – the I’mPOSSIBLE conversation glitters

The Summer edition of the I’mPOSSIBLE conversation took place on June 6 and was the event’s second anniversary.  Hosted by inaugural panellist; Angela Ferreira who was joined by haute couture design supremo; Avis Charles, inspirational domestic violence survivor; Leanne Higgins. Grace Ononiwu OBE, chief prosecutor of the East of England, blogger and African feminist; Minna Salami and presenter June Sarpong.

 

Credit Benedetto Photography
L-R Leanne Higgins, June-Sarpong, Avis Charles, Tumi Soyinka from Mizani, founder (dress provided by Gisella Boutique), Angela Ferreira, Grace Ononiwu OBE and Minna Salami

The anniversary brought the sun out in London to packed room full of old and new fans and friends of I’mPOSSIBLE.  Cake, wine, networking and bonding were the order of the evening and inspiration was the theme.  It was hard not to walk out a bit taller.

Tumi Soyinka, senior product manager, L’Oreal MIZANI said:

“Two years down the line and yet another inspiring conversation has been had. MIZANI fully supports and powers the I’mPOSSIBLE conversation. Our ethos is aligned and our priorities are similar.  We seek to provide our own ways of elevating women across the country by aspiring to inspire. Whether through the premium professional hair care products and services we offer or through this very special platform driven by motivational women doing wonderful things.  All because they know their cause is worth overcoming and sharing with the world. I am eager to see what this movement will become in another two years. Here’s to more successes, stories and conversations.”

 

 

Abu Bundu-Kamara, global head of diversity, Pearson plc commented:

“Pearson, the world’s leading education company is incredibly proud to support the I’mPOSSIBLE conversation which recognises and celebrates the outstanding contributions and achievements of hundreds of remarkable women of colour who inspire others to believe they can succeed.  Many congratulations to Simone Bresi-Ando and the I’mPOSSIBLE team on celebrating such an important milestone.”

 

Founder of I’mPOSSIBLE. global CIC, Simone Bresi-Ando said: “There’s no better feeling than seeing your dream flourish in a way that touches so many people so positively.  When I started the I’mPOSSIBLE conversation I knew it was going to a game changer.  The event that sets the pace for making changes in your life inspired by role models we don’t get easy access to.  I’m proud that I’mPOSSIBLE has created such a nurturing platform for all to enjoy.  We’re only getting started.

 

2013 has already been a momentous year for the UK registered social enterprise.  On international women’s day, the I’mPOSSIBLE conversation took over the prestigious Royal Festival Hall and on the same day; the founder won a leadership award for her work on promoting the rights of women and girls globally.

 

 

What is the I’mPOSSIBLE conversation?

The I'mPOSSIBLE conversationMizani logo with L'Oreal on Black copy ARROW

The I’mPOSSIBLE. conversation’ is a series of intimate, quarterly events staged in central London that puts five women of colour, on a panel, to share their journeys on the theme of ‘how I became POSSIBLE’.

 

In June 2011, the I’mPOSSIBLE conversation was born, bringing to life the social enterprise’s secondary aim to change the lives of women of colour, by showing this group others like them and their routes to success.  ‘The I’mPOSSIBLE. conversation brings together a panel, focused on women of colour, from all walks of life, ages and backgrounds to share their stories in order to inspire the audience.  The event has been dubbed a mix between Oprah’s ‘Legend’s Luncheon‘ and popular TV show, ‘Inside the Actor’s Studio‘ with the panellists asked questions that are engineered to extract pearls of wisdom, observations and testimonies from their life journeys to help give the audience solutions, tips and affirmations to define success on their own terms.

 

ImP convo general 1

Open to all, the highly successful event series was invited to hold a very special 2013 International Women’s Day edition in the Royal Festival Hall.  On the 21st anniversary of ‘Take Our Daughters to Work’ day I’mPOSSIBLE in partnership with Diane Abbott MP’s ‘Black Women Mean Business’ took 100 London school girls to the House of Commons for a very special youth edition.

 

 

2 year anniversary! The I’mPOSSIBLE conversation returns for a summer edition in 2013!

Time is definitely flying and we’re having fun :-).  The I’mPOSSIBLE conversation is two years old in June and we’re returning with a trailblazingly hot panel of British women of colour who constantly define success on their own terms.

 

ImP convo June 2013 edition e-flyer

Returning back to the I’mPOSSIBLE conversation stage is Angela Ferreira, our inaugral panel member, as this edition’s host.  She will be talking to the following amazing ladies:

Avis Charles Avis Charles

 a graduate of the London School of Fashion and former apprentice at Susan Small, Haute Couture where clients included the British Royal Family and various global celebrities. Her career at Hardy Amies and Norman Hartnell secured her couture expertise, which has laid the foundation for her to work with many leading designers including Ossie Clark and Jean Muir.

In 1995, Avis founded Avis Charles Associates (ACA), a fashion consultancy that specialises in product development and technical expertise. Clients include Dame Vivienne Westwood and a new generation of designers; Jonathan Saunders, Christopher Kane and Victoria Beckham. In 2004 the company was invited to South Africa to develop an educational programme for design students in colleges and universities and a vocational programme for new and young designers entitled ‘Shaping the Future’.  Avis’ passion of fashion for development has led to the launch in 2013 of her own 2013 fashion and lifestyle brand KiVU, which actively supports the growth and development of women in developing countries.

 

Leanne Higgins 1 Leanne Higgins

is a qualified youth worker, co-founder of EMBF CIC (Empower and Motivate young people for a Brighter Future), founder of Deal with D.V. and a survivor of domestic violence from London.  Within EMBF CIC, Leanne set up her own project; Deal with D.V. which is aimed to empower young people to deal with relationship abuse/violence and Leanne uses her past personal experiences, skills and knowledge to help organisations and charities work together to help young victims get the support and help they need to move forward with their lives as a survivor.

Leanne wants to make a change to the way young people think about relationships, domestic violence and abuse whilst empowering and inspiring young victims to become young survivors.  Leanne was nominated for the Stephen Lawrence Women’s Awards 2013 and Women mentoring Women award 2013, for her dedication and support to, helping young people make informed decisions on their future, health and safety.

 

 

Grace Ononiwu DSC_0248 Grace Ononiwu

qualified as a Solicitor in 1990.  She originally joined a private firm of solicitors in High Wycombe practising criminal law but then joined the CPS as a Crown Prosecutor.  Grace has held a number of positions in the CPS, which led to her ultimate appointment as Northamptonshire CCP in April 2005, making her the first African Caribbean to be appointed to that position in the history of the CPS.

Grace has made a significant contribution to the CPS Equality and Diversity agenda and was Chair of the National Black Crown Prosecutors Association. Grace took up the post of the Chair of the Local Criminal Justice Board (LCJB) in Northamptonshire in June 2008.  In April 2009, Grace was appointed Legal Director for North Region, London and she is now Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor (DCCP) for the London Districts.  Grace took up her post as Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP) for the East of England Area in August 2012.

 

 

Minna Salami Minna Salami

is a writer, blogger and commentator. Her work focuses on African feminism, society and popular culture and as such, she’s written for various publications including The Guardian, Independent and Huffington Post. She is also a contributor to the Guardian Africa Network.

Minna is the editor of the award-winning blog ‘MsAfropolitan’, winner of the 2013 African Diaspora Award: ‘Outstanding Achievement in Media’, listed as one of Applause Africa’s ’40 African change-makers under 40 and also Nokia’s ’50 Remarkable Women’ and shortlisted as ‘Blogger of the Year’ in RED Magazine’s ’2012 Red’s Hot Women’ awards.

 

 

 

June Sarpong please credit Deborah Anderson June Sarpong MBE (photo credit: Deborah Anderson)

has enjoyed a 15-year career which has seen her become one of the most recognisable faces of British television, as well as being a media phenomenon in her generation that is equally comfortable interviewing politicians, celebrities and members of the public.  June has worked extensively with HRH Prince Charles for ten years as an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust, she also campaigns for ‘The One’ and ‘Product (RED)’. June was awarded an MBE in 2007 for her services to broadcasting and charity, making her, along with Princess Anne’s daughter; Zara Phillips, one of the youngest people to ever receive the award.

June is co-Founder of the WIE Network (Women: Inspiration & Enterprise) which first launched in New York in 2010. This acclaimed conference has featured leading speakers such as Sarah Brown, Melinda Gates, Arianna Huffington, Donna Karan, Queen Rania, Nancy Pelosi, Iman and many more.  June’s latest endeavour Row6.com is a multiplatform, anthropological project that aims to get the world talking through story telling. Inspired by the late great Joseph Campbell’s ‘The Hero with a Thousand Faces’, June and her team including acclaimed photographer; Robert Astley Sparke, traveled for three months collecting stories and images from all over the world.  June is currently based in NY but is soon moving back home to London.

 

Angela Ferreira

Angela Ferreira (host)

is a Media Consultant who has successfully worked across Television, Radio and print media and who is continuing to evolve as a broadcaster, writer and trainer.

After a career in TV in key roles including Executive Producer at BBC Television and Daytime Commissioner at Channel 4, Angela has also produced high profile event TV such as The MOBO Awards and The Isle of Wight Festival.  Angela is now utilising her television expertise to consult and advise charity and government departments as well as regularly reviewing the papers and speaking on current affairs, politics and media on radio and TV.  Angela also teaches at The National Film and Television School and is a mentor.

 

Hot on the heels of our historic youth edition at the House of Commons, the I’mPOSSIBLE conversation is going from strength to strength ensuring that the voices and life stories of women of colour get heard, respected and celebrated.  Come and be a part of this spectacular movement which will not only leave you inspired, but will also make you walk out taller :-).

The I’mPOSSIBLE conversation, summer edition and second anniversary
Thursday, June 6
6pm
Tickets: £25, concessions available
More info: events@i-am-possible.com or 07960 067 883

I’mPOSSIBLE takes 100 London school girls to the House of Commons to show them how POSSIBLE they are!

  

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Thursday, April 25 saw the first ever ImPOSSIBLE. conversation youth edition take place at the House of Commons in partnership with Diane Abbott MPs ‘Black Women Mean Business’ (BWMB) initiative on the 21st anniversary of ‘Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work®’ day. I’mPOSSIBLE brought 100 young ladies from a selection of London schools and youth projects to the House of Commons to hear the inspirational stories from the panel to help them define success on their own terms.

 

Credit Benedetto Photography

Credit Benedetto Photography

Schools and youth projects in attendance were Conisborough College and homeless shelter for girls aged 16 upwards, the Marsha Phoenix Memorial Trust both based within the Lewisham borough. The Tabernacle School based in Kensington and Chelsea, Virgo Fidelis Convent Senior School from Croydon and Langley Park School for Girls based in Bromley.  There were also, a variety of daughters from the members of BWMB present to take part in this historic event.

 

The young girls were engaged by the real life, heart-rendering stories from the panellists that depicted their journeys from childhood to adulthood and how they were able to reach their place of success all on their own terms. They were also asked to jot down what being POSSIBLE meant to them and the 10 most inspirational ones were read out by the girls to the audience with them taking a prize home for their efforts.

 

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Being the only official UK activity of the US based, Take Our Daughters and Sons To Work® day, well wishes were sent to the social enterprise from the White House by the Barack and Michelle Obama who are massive advocates of the day.

 

Good wishes from Barack and Michelle Obama

Founder of I’mPOSSIBLE. Global CIC, Simone Bresi-Ando said:

“The date, April 25, 2013 will forever be etched in our memories as a day we helped inspire 100 young ladies from London in the House of Commons to not only see the POSSIBILITIES of others like them.  But to also recognise the POSSIBILITIES of themselves and use that insight to reach their goals and fulfil their dreams.  The overwhelmingly positive feedback from the schools and girls themselves shows us that providing access to role models from similar backgrounds is essential in building a strong foundation for success. The support we received from Diane Abbott MP and the Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work foundation bolstered our work to new lofty heights where we received recognition from Barack and Michelle Obama!  It was a life defining event and I’m glad I’mPOSSIBLE was the energy that created this.”

 

The trailblazing social enterprise hopes to install the youth edition as an annual event where a wider selection of London Schools can take part.  The I’mPOSSIBLE conversation ties in closely with the social enterprise’s main aim of helping to change the lives of all women with a particular focus on women of colour by showing others like them and their routes to success.

 

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