African American History Begins In Africa

Continent of AfricaWe are excited about February! We will be hosting a screening dialogue of the film “Prince Among Slaves” in honor of Black History Month. This documentary reveals the fact that African American History does not begin with slavery; African American History begins in Africa. The film is based on a true story about a Prince from West Africa named Abdul Rahman Sori, who was captured and sold to English slavers.

Our awareness campaign this month on our social media sites will highlight African History. We will dispel the myth that African slaves were uneducated and uncultured people. The United States was built and sustain by a people who possessed skills and knowledge that they acquired in Africa, not through slave owners.  Our campaign will affirm that African History is the foundation of African American History.

We invite you to join us on this journey as we learn about the African roots and legacy of a great people who forever changed America.


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Our specialty is informative events such as, Q&A parties, screening dialogues, interpersonal workshops, and community forums. We offer both face-to-face and online event designs. Contact us today for a “free” consultation for your next meeting/event.

Moving Forward – “Don’t Believe The Hype”

Legacy MonthThanks to everyone who attended our community dialogue “Don’t Believe The Hype”. Media outlets use propaganda to influence how and where we spend our money. Our facilitators, Anthony Smith, Tatia Seward, and Desere Cross, encouraged us to be media literate and consider source of information and purpose. They also emphasized the importance of financial literacy which is an understanding of money; how to make, manage, and invest it. In moving our community forward, it was emphasized that we must start using our buying power to sow back into our community. We learned that as consumers we are job creators and was encouraged to sow our dollars into local small businesses and organizations.

We also reviewed a citizen driven job creation model by a community similar to our own. The citizens of this model came together, sat down, and determined what made their community unique and what resources they already had to build on.  Collectively we considered the same things and came up with ideas of how we can network together to create jobs within our community as well.

Our first community dialogue of 2014 was a catalyst for a citizen driven community development plan. We identified one another’s gifts and talents and how we could utilize them in developing a strategy for our community. We chose not to believe the “hype” and to move forward.

Anthony Smith is the Pastor of Mission House located in Salisbury, NC.
Tatia Seward is a local Community Organizer in Salisbury, NC.
Desere’ Cross is a Journalism/Communications Major at UNC-CH


The Vine Event Planning
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Our specialty is informative events such as, Q&A parties, screening dialogues, interpersonal workshops, and community forums. We offer both face-to-face and online event designs. Contact us today for a “free” consultation for your next meeting/event.

RealTalk – Moving Forward Community Forum

TVEPLogo1-originalsize (2)“This event was very insightful; to hear people care about and discuss racial profiling makes me feel better about the situation [George Zimmerman verdict]” – Tim Gallon, recent AL Brown High School graduate and attendant at “Moving Forward – Community Forum”

On Sunday, July 28, 2013, more than 25 guests gathered for The Vine Event’s “Moving Forward- Community Forum” hosted at Westridge Place Clubhouse in Salisbury, NC. In light of the recent shootings that occurred in Clancy Hill Apartments nearby (click here to read more), The Vine’s discussion about NC Law, civic engagement, and community involvement could not have come at a better time. The purpose of the forum was to openly discuss the George Zimmerman verdict and how we can move forward as a community. Guest facilitators included Kristen Thompson Esq. of The Thompson Law Office, PLLC, Anthony Smith of Rowan Concerned Citizens, and Mercedes Harrington of Everything Under The Sun PR.

NC Law

Thompson contributed a legal point of view to the discussion by comparing North Carolina’s Castle Doctrine to Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law. According to Thompson, the two laws are very similar; both allow you to use force (even fatal) to prevent unlawful happenings in a private place (ie. home, car, or workplace). The only difference is the Stand Your Ground Law applies to anywhere you are lawfully, not just private places. After explaining the Castle Doctrine, Thompson opened the floor for discussion about the NC law and invited guests to ask questions pertaining to Zimmerman’s trial and verdict. These questions ranged from inquiry about jury selection, to what the prosecutor could have done differently to successfully convict Zimmerman of a crime.

Civic Engagement

Smith spoke to the group about the importance of voting to ensure laws like the Castle Doctrine don’t turn into another Stand Your Ground Law. According to Smith, only 14 percent of Rowan county citizens voted in the 2011 Municipal Election. So what is the solution to this staggering low voter turnout? Smith said citizenship engagement through citizenship education. His main message to the group was to never get comfortable; a healthy democracy depends on citizens being awake and paying attention to the issues around them. “In order for democracy to be healthy, you need a diverse group of voices represented,” said Smith. “When you have a small group of people making decisions on behalf of everyone else, this is when things fall off.”

Community Involvement

Harrington talked about how as a community we can be active and engaged. She said educating our children is a key to bringing about change. Several guests shared personal anecdotes about how they used the Trayvon Martin tragedy to teach their children important lessons about race. Harrington also said you can get involved with making a difference by letting your voice be heard. One way you can do this is by writing a blog, speaking out in an open forum, or getting involved with your local community.

The dialogue concluded with a final thought shared by Keesha Reynolds, an event guest, “My skin is my hoodie and I can’t take that off.” This statement emphasizes that there’s still a need for racial reconciliation in America. The Vine Events believes reconcilement starts with open and honest dialogue…
For people to be able to sit down together and have a conversation, that’s the power of love. – Jada Pinkett Smith

Desere’ Cross
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Journalism and Communication Studies Major
Class of 2014

Three Lessons Learned

Business People Thumbs UpWow, another year is coming to an end! We would like to thank all our fans and followers for your support and making this year a success.  We have great things planned for 2013 and we’re looking forward to sharing them with you in the months to come.

Looking back over 2012, we just wanted to share “Three Lessons Learned” during our first full year in business.

1. Build A Community-Within our first full year in business, we learned the importance of community and have built a rapport with our fans, followers, and discussion participants.  The majority of our RealTalk discussion topics and features we added to our social network pages were suggested by our fans/followers.  All their suggestions enabled more interaction and intriguing dialogue within The Vine Events’ family.

2. Embrace Technology-Our team is truly thankful for the tools technology offers. HootSuite became our best friend during our first full year in business. We also connected with some wonderful people around the globe we probably would have never meet if it wasn’t for the wide reach technology offers.  Our connections with other small businesses through social networks was also very beneficial. They offered great advice and encouragement that facilitated our entrepreneur journey.

3. Building A Business Is A Process-The reality that building a business is a process set in early. Our team’s marketing and advertising skills was put to the test during our full first year. Our mindset going in was that we will learn from our mistakes and keep it moving. We didn’t allow pass failures to keep us from trying new and different tactics/techniques. We received much encouragement from other small business owners that was instrumental in keeping us pressing forward and for that we say thanks.

We hope you found our “Three Lessons Learned” to be helpful and encouraging.  We want to hear from you. What lessons have you learned during 2012? Please leave a reply in the comment box. Thanks.

The Vine Event Planning

Our specialty is informative events such as, Q&A parties, screening dialogues, interpersonal workshops, and community forums.  We offer both face-to-face and online event designs.  Contact us today for a “free” consultation for your next meeting/event.

RealTalk – My Sister’s Keeper

Thanks to everyone who attended RealTalk – “My Sister’s Keeper” Dinner Chat! The combination of great dialogue and delicious food created a memorable evening.

Many of you who did not attend have personally shared your views with us on this topic. You all expressed the importance of having this conversation and how it’s a start to healing broken relationships among women. However when given an opportunity to share your perspective on our discussion boards, many of you hid in the shadows and remained silent.

As we ponder your choice not to share the wisdom you profoundly shared privately, we asked ourselves why you chose to hide in the shadows? The situation reminds us of a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr – Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Ladies, in order to improve our relations with each other we must come out of the shadows. We must be willing to  address “root issues” that hinder our relations. Light, which is wisdom, is what drives out darkness. Love is what drives out hate for self and others.

We believe that open and honest dialogue is a portal to change.  We encourage you to let your light shine and openly have this discussion with your girlfriends.  They need to hear your wisdom and your story of struggle and triumph.  Let the healing begin and  let’s propel sisterhood forward!

The Vine Event Planning

**If you or your organization would like to host an event on this topic, we have an event design just for you! We offer both online and face to face event designs. Contact us today to schedule a “free” event consultation.**

Discussion Board: RealTalk-“My Sister’s Keeper”

Today, The Vine Events is hosting a RealTalk discussion titled “My Sister’s Keeper”. This discussion topic was recommended by one of our Facebook Fans after viewing Iyanla: Fix My Life episode featuring the Six Brown Chicks Blog Group. Today we plan to discuss the “root issues” that prevent some women from getting along with other women. We understand that what often manifest physically and emotionally are only the branches on the tree. To truly move forward in sisterhood we must honestly and openly deal with the “root”.

We also want to hear from you. Leave a reply below and let us know your thoughts on this topic. What do you believe are some root issues that hinder women from getting along with each other?

The Vine Event Planning

Link to Iyanla: Fix My Life Episode –

RealTalk – I Am Not My Hair or Am I?

This past Sunday, The Vine Event Planning, hosted another intriguing RealTalk discussion titled “I Am Not My Hair or Am I?”.  The discussion highlighted the Gabby Douglas Twitter incident and Hampton University’s MBA program ban on dreadlocks and cornrows.

During the 2012 Summer Olympics, gymnast Gabby Douglas, was criticized on Twitter about her hair. Numerous people complained about how Gabby’s hair was styled. Our discussion participants unanimously agreed that the tweets were trivial and the focus should have been on her spectacular performances. When asked if they we’re surprised by the negative responses on Twitter, all in attendance were not. Some participants shared their own personal experience with similar incidents whether it was themselves or others. Our guest got a better understanding of why it is difficult for female athletes to maintain “perfect” hair with continuous performance and sweating.  “Most of the people complaining probably have no athletic background what so ever. True athletes are focused on the task at hand like Gabby was; her hair was not a priority,” said Michael Cross.

Recently, Hampton University has been in the news for banning dreadlocks and cornrows for male students in their MBA program. Even though, the majority felt like it was discriminatory toward the male students, they understood why the university implemented the ban. One of our guest suggested that acceptable “corporate look” should be taught by the university but, not imposed. Another guest quickly retorted the suggestion with the fact that the success of program is measured by the number of graduates who gain employment. The likelihood of a graduate with dreadlocks and cornrows getting a corporate position is slim; certain positions don’t allow facial hair, piercings, tattoos, etc. “College is a microscopic environment.  Hampton is preparing their students for the real world outside of campus,” said Willette Johnson.

Self-discrimination was also a topic of discussion since the majority of the people who found fault with Gabby’s hair were African American women and Hampton University is an HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). Everyone believed that self-discrimination was a factor in the Gabby Douglas incident; exposing insecurities that some black women have about “kinky” hair.  “Some of us [black women] have bought into the notion that straighter is better; if my hair will not lay down then something is wrong with me,” explained Johnson. Our guest agreed that Hampton’s ban was not necessarily self-discrimination but, more of a preparation for work environment in Corporate America.

We encouraged our guest not to end the discussion at the event but, to continue the dialogue with family, friends, and associates. They were instructed to share insights from our discussion and expand the knowledge of others. Most importantly, we asked them to also look within themselves and identify any insecurity they may have. In identifying and confronting these insecurities, personal growth is sure to follow.

The Vine Event Planning