‘Black Girls Dream Conference’ In Atlanta Celebrates Intelligence, Innovation And Investment

The recent 2024 Black Girls Dream Conference was a resounding success. Presented by the Southern Black Girls and Women’s Consortium (Southern Black Girls), the sold-out event attracted some of the brightest young minds, all eager to be inspired and uplifted. 

The event was held at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis as excited attendees donned in vibrant pink shirts, filled the venue with their smiling faces and palpable enthusiasm.

The conference aimed to provide a safe space filled with love, fun, and sisterhood, offering an experience that inspires, empowers, and cultivates the dreams of Southern Black girls, gender-expansive youth, and Black women of all ages, and they did not fail to deliver. 

This year’s theme, “Afrofuturism: Intelligence, Innovation, Investment,” was designed to explore the expansiveness of the Black experience and facilitate deeper conversations and connections, guiding and building radical futures for Black girls and women.

“I almost can’t contain myself because what we are bringing this year is the ultimate definition of ‘Girl Power’ and truly represents every layer of our theme, ‘Afrofuturism: Intelligence, Innovation, Investment,’” Malikah Berry Rogers, Executive Director of Southern Black Girls. “Our greatest hope is that the women and girls will come ready to be inspired and leave with the confidence necessary to pursue their dreams.”

The two day event featured a series of dynamic, interactive workshops led by inspiring speakers. These workshops focused on a variety of impactful topics, including mental wellness, health, beauty, media, social justice, and financial literacy. Each session was meticulously curated to inspire and engage the next generation of Black girls, gender-expansive youth, and women to explore, dream, and take action.

A stand out session was the “We Got Now! The Power of S.T.E.A.M. to Build Radical Futures for Black Girls” panel, which saw the ballroom packed wall-to-wall with guests eager to hear from the next generation of voices shaping the future. This panel featured Laila Pruitt from Starz’s BMF, Naya Ellis, creator of Wingltt, Cruz Helena Valencia Moreno from Innovation Girls, and Gabby Goodwin of Gabby Bows. These young innovators shared their journeys and insights on harnessing the power of S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) to build impactful futures for Black girls. 

Another insightful panel was “Shifting the Narrative: Black Women in Media,” which I had the pleasure of speaking on. Moderated by Alexis Felder, Editorial Operations Manager at Bossip / iOne Digital, the panel included esteemed speakers such as Kathy Sapp, Executive Producer of ‘Portia’ at FOX Soul, Sytonnia “Toni” Moore, Morning Show Host at Kiss 104.1, Upscale Magazine’s Christina Bronner, who serves as the Digital Manager and Senior Contributor Michelle DeShields. 

Our discussion touched on our personal journeys in media and touched on a variety of topics in the industry. Spanning the barriers Black women may face as they elevate in their careers and the various forms of media available to explore, from radio and print to podcasting and social media. We emphasized the importance of work behind the camera as much as in front of it, highlighting the diverse opportunities available in the media landscape. 

The conference also featured a ‘Moving the Legacy Forward’ fireside chat with Dr. Bernice King, which provided profound insights and inspiration to conference attendees as well. 

The 2024 Black Girls Dream Conference truly embodied its mission, providing a nurturing environment that fostered dreams and ambitions. The event was a testament to the power of community, sisterhood, and the collective drive to shape a brighter future for Black girls and women. 

In essence, the conference was more than just an event; it was a movement, a celebration of Black excellence, and a call to action. It reminded everyone that the future is bright and full of possibilities, especially when we come together to support and uplift each other.

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