Pass the Mic: Making History Now

Feb 22, 2023

Welcome to the Pass the Mic. We’re giving powerful women in the industry the opportunity to make the world their mentee. These rockstars are joining us to share their stories and sage advice with up-and-coming women.

The looks of boardrooms and org charts are changing—and we’re here for it! For nearly three years, we’ve been bringing women in leadership to the forefront with Pass the Mic. These female leaders are making history now, paving the way for diversity and inclusion at the table and in the C-suite. And they’re using their voices to educate and motivate women who are coming into their own. 

In honor of Black History Month, we’re highlighting snackable advice and insight from some of the amazing women of color who participated in Pass the Mic in the last year. 

Allow yourself to be dynamic.

Latraviette D. Smith-Wilson, Pass the Mic

“Life is so dynamic. Allow yourself to be dynamic—test and learn things, understand what it is that you like and you don't. And again, just because you have a dream at one point in your life doesn't mean that that's the dream that you're going to have throughout your life. And give yourself that grace and that flexibility to know and understand that. You know what, this worked for me then, this doesn't now. And it's the art of the pivot. Understanding how you can continue to take your skill set, transfer it to other industries, or businesses, or disciplines, and simply say, ‘I will make whatever it is in my life work in the way that I want it to in the time that I want it to.’” – Latraviette D. Smith-Wilson, Chief Marketing & Equity Officer from Horizon Media

Latraviette is changing the DE&I world by ensuring it's a business imperative, showing up in all aspects of the company. She was named as one of Forbes’ “Black Women Leaders to Follow” and awarded the Café Mocha “Celebrating Women: Powerhouse Award” and Black Enterprise’s “Next Generation: Women of Power.” 

Just be yourself.

Lukeisha Paul – Pass the Mic

"There is only one person that you can be—no one else. Just be yourself. All of your unique lived experiences, those trials and tribulations, and everything that you've been through was a lesson to help strengthen you for that next stage or level that you're going to be at." – Lukeisha Paul, Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion U.S. at GroupM

Lukiesha is working to evolve diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. Though her passion for equality and fairness, she found opportunities to expand the diversity efforts within her organization. Check more great advice from Lukeisha here.

Find your true passion.

Mabel Frías – Pass the Mic

"Listen to yourself, meditate, honor yourself. And at the end of the day, everyone owes themselves to find their true passion, to live their wildest dreams. But, you know, there's no pressure if your dream is different from mine. Your dream should be very unique to you because, at the end of the day, when you're in alignment with yourself, that's where the magic happens." – Mabel Frías, Co-Founder and CEO of Luna Magic

Mabel runs Luna Magic with her sister at her side, combining their passions for beauty and lifestyle to create a vibrant brand that celebrates their multicultural heritage. Get more fantastic advice from Mable here.

Do what you love.

Charlene Holmes – Pass the Mic

“So, the way I find time is I choose based off of what speaks to my soul, my heart, and who I am as an individual. And then it just doesn't feel like work. It feels like I'm doing what I love. So, I'm happy to get up and do that.” – Charlene Holmes, Founder and CEO of Imana Borena, Inc

Charlene is a diversity, equity, and inclusion expert, offering comprehensive training to organizations seeking transformational learning. She is a DEI practitioner with over a decade of experience. Watch the full interview here.

Build your brand. 

Carryl Pierre-Drews – Pass the Mic

“Something that kind of grew in my time, too, is sort of being able to build your brand and creating that voice and meaning for yourself. So, I would say making sure you're using the time, whether it is doing a podcast or going on LinkedIn—becoming a thought leader in your space and having a defined point of view about things.” – Carryl Pierre-Drews, EVP & Chief Marketing Officer from IAB

Carryl is responsible for providing executive leadership and management of the IAB marketing and communications organization and activities to forward the IAB’s position as a digital, marketing, and media industry thought leader and agenda-setter. Her superpower is growing start-ups and new divisions within digital and traditional media. You can hear more from her here.

Find a different room.

Jasmin Foster – Pass the Mic

“I had to find a table where my loud voice, my opinions, and my thoughts were actually appreciated. And so, when someone tells you that you can't do something, I always tell people, go find a different room to be where you're actually valued and you’re appreciated.” – Jasmin Foster, CEO & Founder of Be Rooted

Jasmin is the CEO & Founder of Be Rooted, the first black-owned stationery in large retail stores. She was named one of Time Magazine’s 2022 Most Influential Companies. Get more sage advice from Jasmin here.

Don’t count yourself out.

Traci Dinkins – Pass the Mic

“If there is a position where you can do the majority of the things, you can quickly learn all of the things. So, don't ever count yourself out. And the second really amazing quote that has actually stuck with me is: go where you celebrate is not tolerated.” – Traci Dinkins, President, Head of Media, North America from Essence Global

Traci is the first to serve in her role, and she has 20+ years of experience as a media executive. She works to connect with women, spotlighting other women as an avid mentor. Learn more about—and from—Traci here.

Don’t be afraid.

Maria Weaver – Pass the Mic

“Don't be afraid to take risks. Don't be afraid to use your voice. Don't be afraid to speak up, whether it be for yourself or if you see something happening to someone else. Don't be afraid. Being brave as you grow is probably the most important thing you can do.” – Maria Weaver, President of WMX at Warner Music Group

Maria strives to build culture and drive and value engagement. She has received the National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications Award of Excellence, the Council of Urban Professionals Catalyst Award, and multiple honors from The Telly Awards and the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing.

If you try, you succeed.

Amelia Moore – Pass the Mic

“I think the easiest way to overcome fear of failure is just understand that nothing beats a failure but a try. If you tried it, you succeed because there's something that you're going to learn from that, not only about yourself, but about that experience. And so, when you go to do it again, you already have a point of reference.” – Amelia Moore, author, actor, TV host, producer, and journalist

Amelia is the author of SheEO Vs CEO as well as an actor, TV host, producer, and journalist—basically an all-around badass entrepreneur. You can gain more fearless wisdom from Amelia here

Ask for what you need.

LaToya Christian – Pass the Mic

“You'll never have what you don't have the courage to ask for. And I think for me, just sometimes being a woman and then also cultural nuances, sometimes you have a little bit of fear, I guess sometimes just putting yourself out there and really saying, 'This is what I need, this is what I would like.'” – LaToya Christian, Managing Partner, Executive Director Inclusive Strategy & Innovation from GroupM

LaToya specializes in creating and implementing high-impact brand strategies and campaigns as she leads client relationships across entertainment, technology, and retail categories. Hear more from Latoya here.

Find your network.

Tai Wiggins – Pass the Mic

“The first thing, and the most important thing, was finding my network and my support. I think I assumed I need to figure everything out on my own, which isn't how we're designed. Like we're designed to live in community with other people and get that support. So, once I accepted that, that was super helpful.” – Tai Wiggins, financial educator and founder of Debts Down, Assets Up

Tai combines passion, empathy, and humor to help people take control of their money and achieve their financial dreams. She’s been featured on Pix 11 and The Today Show and has coached hundreds of clients. Watch and learn from Tai here

You are your best networking tool.

Jordan Cobb – Pass the Mic

"Your best networking tool is being yourself. Bring all of the warmth and joy and passion that you have for the stories that you want to tell into every conversation, no matter brief or how long. Anyone can be a collaborator. You never know where you're going to find it.” – Jordan Cobb, Lead Writer & Director, No Such Thing Productions.

Jordan is a NYC-based actress and writer. She has been featured in an impressive mix of podcasts, including Marsfall (Erin Donner), We Fix Space Junk (Princess Flora), 1994 (Carrie Bird), Mythos (Gracie Hart), and L I M B O (Rani).

Think about the narrative.

Marissa Nance – Pass the Mic

“So, as you go through life, begin to think about the narrative that you're sharing with someone, because that's the impression you're making. What is the narrative? What do you want them to walk away with? What do you want them to do when you leave the room? You can control that—it's not witchcraft. Maybe a little bit, but it really is: it's that narrative, that beginning, middle, and end.” – Marissa Nance, Founder and CEO from Native Tongue Communications

Marissa’s company is a first-to-market minority and women certified media agency, working through the lens of diversity to strengthen their media, marketing, and content solutions. In her past work, she successfully generated innovative and original revenue streams.

Be deeply flawed and beautifully human. 

Precious L. Williams – Pass the Mic

“It wasn't until I went through the darkest times of my life that I was able to become vulnerable and show people that the perfect they see online, the perfect they see everywhere else, isn’t real. And it's okay to be flawed. I'm deeply flawed and beautifully human. And that's what I see in everyone else.” – Precious L. Williams, CEO of Perfect Pitches By Precious, LLC

Precious is the Killer Pitch Master—a 13-time national elevator pitch champion and bestselling author four times over. She has appeared on ABC's "Shark Tank" and CNN and was featured in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Black Enterprise magazine, and she slayed two TEDx Talks. Watch the interview for more inspiring words here.

Turn pain into triumph.

Phoenix Jackson – Pass the Mic

“I tell people we have to turn our pain into triumph, some kind of way. We have to as we keep betting on ourselves, as we keep evolving. I don't think we go through things just for ourselves, especially if you have a voice and you have a position of power to assist someone else. Maybe you went through something so terrible to assist the next group of women.” – Phoenix Jackson, Founder of Phoenix Affect

Phoenix is the founder of a 16-year-old global public relations, communications, and business development firm. She is an award-winning impact entrepreneur, life guide, investor, and author. Watch her amazing interview here.

Representation matters.

Kimberly Wilson – Pass the Mic

“So for me it was about: A. it's never too late, B. you got to take these risks, and, probably the most important, is that representation matters. I saw myself, so that meant that I was something that I could attain.” – Kimberly Wilson, Senior Vice President, Brand and Consumer Marketing for SXM Media

Kimberly has 20+ years of experience in the marketing and media space. Prior to joining SXM Media, she was at Disney for 16 years. She sees Pass the Mic as a platform for people who may not have a voice. You can hear some of Kimberly’s amazing stories here.

Make room for others.

Carmen Brown – Pass the Mic

“I think one of the best pieces of advice or something that was said to me is that there is always room for all of us to sit and eat at the table. So, I really try to make it my priority to make sure that when I ever whenever I have a seat, I make room for others.” – Carmen Brown, Director, Media Investment, Meta

Carmen negotiates deals with major media companies, on behalf of Meta, for their portfolio of apps. Tune in for Carmen's incredible insights on how the industry has evolved over her past 20 years in media. 

Our library of Pass the Mic content is growing, and there is so much more to come—like a podcast where you’ll hear many of the amazing full interviews from these awe-inspiring women. Stay tuned!

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