Today at LBI, we are celebrating 1 year of being alive, as part of a new digital ecosystem that connects women & femme forward people globally. In our first year, we launched our digital platform, a new gathering place for thought leaders, industry disruptors and business activists called The Backstage Pass.
I am thrilled to announce we are also cheering on our next digital baby to join the family that drops TODAY, at the end of this blog entry!!
If you’ve read any of my previous articles here on the Boss Blog you’ll notice I really want you to know about where I’ve come from and why I am building The Backstage Pass to be truly inclusive and feel like home, like Grandma’s house. Everyone has a different version of home but often Grandma’s house is safe, has some Big Mama energy & her own fair rules.
And inclusivity matters a lot to me and it has since I’ve learned out to love at inception. Not only is inclusivity one of our core values but it is this month’s theme on the BsP. So I wanted to write this reflective, 1 year in the making post from the lens of seeing how inclusive I have really been as a leader, as a marketer, as a writer, an activist, a friend and a human; a short retrospective to see how I’ve done and where I can improve.
And, whilst this entry will certainly touch on my WHY of starting an ecosystem like LBI, I really want you, dear reader, to know HOW we have been accomplishing our big, inclusive vision to build the most important place on the internet for women thought leaders, industry disruptors & business activists.
In 2020, I was devastated. Not fully by Covid, though I did get in my feels deeply about it briefly. I quickly realized that our world, the planet, was making a cry for help; more like a scream really, asking the citizens of this world to have better respect for our health, our resources and ultimately, our people; and at very grave costs of many, many lives. And that cry was amplified and broadcast globally by such groundswell movements like BLM. Rest in power dear George Floyd.
And prior to that moment, we saw such other moments of global uprising with the movements like #metoo, Fair Fight, Transgender Law Center and The National LGBTQ Task Force because 2020 was certinaly not made in a vaccum.
There are many groups both online and off who have been calling for a system upgrade for many, many years. Not only because of lack of inclusivity but also for years and years of systemic injustices & oppression.
As a woman in business who also sees herself as an industry disruptor, I am very grateful for these movements, their leaders & endless dedication to a just equitable world. I activate alongside them as frequently as I am able. And, I still think we can do better to mobilize and organize these various groups with incredible missions TOGETHER. Can we have an inclusive, connective thread to draw these movements together, a network that unites those various missions into one central HUB?? Kind of like the way FB was started with an aim to connect people globally, but instead of being built on a premise informed by dudes slutshaming women in the dorm room, ( fact check, it’s true!)
We are building this safe space where we can amplify both groups & individuals who want to see a more equitable world come to fruition. We are laying the foundation with empathy & kindness, access & inclusivity, collaboration & connection.
In these foundational years, we are focusing on bringing together any human who identifies as a woman, from any and all backgrounds, skin tones, hair styles, income levels, all fields, and all walks of life because when more women have more access to, to resources & tools that are generative instead of extractive, to a community of like minded, humanist leaders, we will see the needle of progress be shifted.
When I sought out to start the BsP, there was not a safe place online where women could honestly and without criticism engage in empowering, equalizing and fundamentally different ways of using social media and I wanted to change that. So how exactly are we doing that?? I’m so glad you asked!!
In the last year since we launched The Backstage Pass, we have held many events, both virtual and in person. We met Backstage before and after our events to organize & mobilize our meetups!
We met in Asheville, North Carolina to connect inside the Asheville Masonic Temple, a space historically not the most welcoming of women as guests, particularly darker skinned women. There we reached across the aisle to talk about funding, access to more monies for business development, education and other financial tools for women & underrepresented groups.
We had great support from local groups also seeking to see a more diverse populace thrive. The NC SBTDC, Mountain Biz Works and local women leaders & business women held down the panel conversations whilst attendees shared their access to tools & resources in our meet & greet.
We hosted conversation about what it means to really lean into other women’s lived experiences in Miami, Florida at the Melanated Beauty Spa with Maghan Morin & Quadeera Teart . We shared lunch, snapped headshots and made great connections to amazing women doing amazing things!
We indulged in a handful of awesome online events including a gorgeous collaboration of poetry & self care co hosted with Chioma Ossai . We got inspired in deep talks about owning your financial worth in relationships with Hilda Zamora Esq & Dr. Jackie Black.
We activated and connected over 40 women running for office in various roles of leadership from every corner of the United States. Women running for seats in the state Senate, House and for City Council, School Board and a variety of NGO leaders all crossed paths in an online forum. I was honored to co produce with the amazing Berhenda Williams, Jenn Buck, Abi Green .
We connected women in our audience to leaders like Demetra Presley , Brianna Westbrook , Tamara Johnson Shealey with organizations sendings reps from Planned Parenthood & Super Majority . All this civic engagement was supported with sweet sounds of healing songs by Natalia Clavier and breath work by Davlyn Hill; all made technically possible with support from Rach Green.
So we’ve made some friends, we hope we’ve influenced some people but more importantly we hope to keep doing so!! The work around equity is not light and needs community to progress. This is no small task and we are here for it ! The BsP is the uniting HUB on the internet that brings thought leaders, industry disruptors and business activists together, in one safe digital space where we can organize and mobilize for that most equitable world.
And as we have connected to women at a global scale talking about hot topics like Money, Sex & Politics as they pertain to our various lived expereinces & how we can build equity and activate these convos outside the Backstage Pass platform, we are excited to bring our second channel live from the LBI Network.
Our Money, Sex & Polotics Podcast will be our second channel in the LBI Network that connects women globally to one another and to more tools & resources to build that equity. Through conversation on the pod about these 3 hot topics, Money, Sex & Politics, we will stream to even more incredible thought leaders, industry disruptors and business activitists just like YOU.
And if you haven’t yet RSVP’d to the big 1 year celebration DIGITAL DANCE PARTY… WHAT ARRRRE YOU WAITING FOR??
See you there!