On Wednesday night, I battled the cold and CRAZY Uber prices to attend the fourth annual Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network (WEEN) Awards held at Helen Mills event space in Midtown.
WEEN is an organization committed to supporting, promoting and defending the balanced, positive portrayal of women in entertainment and society founded by Valeisha Butterfield Jones. Annually, the organization hosts the WEEN Academy — a 4-week* crash course that trains young women between the ages of 18-22 to be next-generation leaders in the entertainment business. Unfortunately for me, I learned about the academy a few months after my last eligible year, however I made sure to stay connected with the WEEN community by signing up for the WEEN Online listserv (which is open to women of all ages).
Though I couldn’t find a wingwoman for the night, I am beyond grateful that I worked up the nerve to attend on my own. As a former BET intern and media and entertainment enthusiast, I have been to plenty of networking events, but this was my first taste of an industry event — there was no velvet rope, it was truly an opportunity to mix and mingle with women who continue to pave the way in the industry, from musicians to top executives. Seven women were awarded for their commitment to empowerment and achievement in business and entertainment including MC Lyte, Angela Yee and Sevyn Streeter. In addition to the honorees in attendance, Yandy Smith, Bridget Kelly, Lil Mama and Mona Scott-Young, among several other stars, served as presenters.
I encourage any young women passionate about the industry to audition for next summer’s class and become a WEEN member today to learn about future events and opportunities.
Watch a video recap of the event below:
*I believe the 2015 WEEN Academy will be 6 weeks, still free of charge for participants.