The year before 2020 was a time of spoil for us all. We didn’t know that travel would be the one thing most of us couldn’t take advantage of or that our health would be compromised due to a global pandemic. But as I look back, there were plenty of creative blessings that allowed me to experience new places and meet other creative entrepreneurs in the process. I look back now on them to see how truly grateful I am and hopefully this short post can help motivate others to keep seeking out valuable experiences that help improve your creative lives and force you to maximize decisions for your futures.
EXPERIENCE #1: Brocolli City Festival & Conference – Washington, D.C. (April 2019)
Through a local grant, I had the opportunity to go back to “chocolate city” for Broccoli Fest – an independent Black-owned conference & festival that focuses on building relationships with changemakers in social justice, creative entrepreneurship, and environmental stewardship. While the festival is focused more on entertainment, the conference for me was the most rewarding because I got to connect with other folks who care about the same things I do! But here’s the official mission of this annual meet-up that attracts hundreds to the nation’s capital: “Broccoli City is redefining cool by mobilizing & educating urban millennials on how to create a better world. Through our programs we are creating pathways to higher standards of sustainable living, environmental education, economic opportunity, and access to high quality food and shelter.” – That’s dope right?
Well anyway, what I also love about travel besides connecting with other learners and doers is the opportunity to explore. I took the metro train for each day of the conference, went to the newest exhibit at the National African American History Museum (Smithsonian) and then met up with a childhood friend towards the end of the trip and we got to experience a rare performance of Childish Gambino, the cherry on top if you ask me! During the conference I also witnessed at least 10 sessions with some powerful conversations on topics like:
- “Increasing Food Access, Affordability, Sustainability and Security” – Panel with Felicia Jones & Lauren Biel
- “Building Impactful Communities in a Digital Age” – Panel with Victoria Fortune, Dr. Wes Bellamy & Conference founder Daryl Perkins.
- “Minorities and the Pursuit of Wellness” – One-on-one chat with Founder of Pretty Girl Sweat, Aeshia DeVore Branch & Desiree Natalia (Barnes)
- “Navigating the Challenges of Reentry” – an intimate panel from the perspective of Black men featuring Wallace “Wallo267” Peeples and Karega Bailey; *three other panelists, but these two hit a homerun on the conversation and it went to another level honestly – so deep I forgot to take a picture, had to be there!
Of course I went to more than those listed but the topics really fueled me for the next chapter of my life in finding ways to merge my creativity with social activism and community organizing.
Below are a few more highlights thru photos but if you want to hear my personal vlog head to my IG story page here and check it out: #BroccoliCity – To sum it up, wanted to share that one of the things I truly love about the Black people of D.C. is that many of them still care about their community and are culturally conscious and motivated enough to put action behind their words.