Join Share Learn: Empowering People With Knowledge

The Beginning…

Back in the 90’s I started hosting monthly bible studies in my home for the mothers with young children in my neighborhood. At the time, I had two young daughters under the age of five. It was an opportunity to meet other women in my new neighborhood and have adult engagement and conversation. I truly enjoyed the bonding experience with other mothers. The conversations expanded beyond our faith; we shared our hopes, dreams and desires in the small intimate setting of my living room.

Needless to say, the word got out to other women outside my neighborhood. Some of them decided they wanted to host similar monthly meetings in their community too. I began creating monthly lesson plans for us that were relevant and life applicable. The interest and participating women grew to the point where we were able to host our first retreat at a local conference center. All along I’m getting hands on experience with creating curriculums, facilitating discussions, and developing event planning skills.

God laid on my heart to make our community meeting groups official. I took the necessary steps and met the requirements to become a women’s organization. Over the years my organization has evolved and shifted focus, but my purpose to educate, encourage, and enlighten has always remained the same.

A small meeting of mothers in my living room many years ago was instrumental in who I have become today.

From Bible Studies to Digital Marketing…

In 2013, I launched my brand Accented Glory. Accented Glory is a handcrafted women’s fashion accessory brand. My specialty is natural hair accessory and Afrocentric jewelry designs. In the beginning, I had no knowledge of managing an e-commerce brand or digital marketing. But what I did know was that if I was going to have any level of success with my brand, I needed to learn about both fast. E-commerce and digital marketing is a world that’s constantly changing. With that being said; I’m always learning!

I also had friends who decided to pursue their passions after forty and weren’t too tech savvy either. So, I created a community for us where I basically share my experiences and lessons learned on my brand building journey. I share tips, advice, and resources that helps me manage my brand’s digital marketing. I also facilitate workshops for small business owners related to branding and marketing.

The online community that I manage is Digital Marketing On A Budget (DMOB). It’s a Facebook group that primarily consist of forty plus aged female entrepreneurs. We’re learning together how to navigate digital marketing and promoting our brands. In the group we have topic discussions and group challenges. I chronicle the steps I’m taking to market Accented Glory and invite my group members to join me and do the same. I show members how to utilize free and low cost marketing resources to promote their brands or organizations.

Empowering Others…

My organization is known as The Vine Events. My tag line is “Empowering People With Knowledge” and hashtag is #JoinShareLearn. Below is why and how this mindset shapes everything I do.

Join – Over the years I’ve learned how to bring people together, whether it’s in-person or online. I believe collective efforts are more effective when we’re invested in each other’s success.

Share – I believe everyone has something of value that they can bring to the table. I encourage group members and workshop participants to share. You never know who you may inspire or encourage.

Learn – No one knows it all and we can learn from each other. I’m a forever learner and open to new views and ideas. I also believe experience is the best teacher; which is why hands on active learning is a key component of my teaching methods.

Love What I Do…

I enjoy assisting others in reaching their fullest potential; it does my heart good. Would you like to be a part of my online community for entrepreneurs? I invite you to join us on Facebook! Click entrepreneurs online community to join.

Tonya – Visionary of The Vine Events

JOIN | SHARE | LEARN

No Color Barriers

We gave our Facebook fans an opportunity to share their experiences with shadeism. We selected two articles to post on our blog page. The first article, written by Brandy Hudson Morton, exposes that shadeism has no color barriers. It’s a great read and please leave a reply with your thoughts about her experiences.

The Vine Event Planning
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No Color Barriers

The urban dictionary defines shadeism as “to judge or be against a person because of their skin tone rather than their race”. A lot of people think of shadeism as an issue amongst people of color. I would challenge that thought and say that shadeism is a form of discrimination that exists in all races of all nations. A review of history will show that fair or pale skin has long been judged as the more beautiful or sought after pigmentation. However, my experience has not been quite the same in my own race. My whole life I have dealt with issues of racism, beginning as far back as I can remember learning to talk. While racism was always a form of shadeism in the fact that many people within my race viewed our race as somehow superior than others; my experiences solely with shadeism did not begin until I was in middle school. In middle school, it was like a reverse of history. The people of my own race, the people who looked most like me, suddenly wanted to be darker and spent a lot of money to get tan. I have always had a fair complexion, even compared to my family members. In fact when my children first started talking about skin color they both wanted to know why I was peach and everyone else was tan. In the seventh grade, I felt pressured to try to fry my skin to become tan as well. Red headed freckled girls do not tan well, in case you were wondering. I would burn, peel and be in pain only to try again. I even covered myself in baby oil and laid in the sun until I had sun poisoning and became sick. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized I would forever be pale. Even now, after so many years, people still tell me I need a tan.

My more serious experiences with shadeism though occurred when I had children. My children are of mixed race and even among mixed people; which we all are mixed people in one form or another, shadeism runs deep. My first child was dark. As she got older, she had trouble with her identity. People of color did not accept her because she was not dark enough. White people did not accept her because she was a person of color. I, as her mother, according to her, could not possibly understand because I wasn’t like her. Even today, she is divided because she felt she had to choose a side of the spectrum to relate more to, even though neither side accepts who she is. My son is lighter and most people assume he is white or Mexican, yet he still can’t be mine because he is not like me either. The three of us together are quite the spectrum or spectacle depending on who you ask. It is odd how different their skin tones are, yet even ten years apart, they ask the same questions about their friends and skin color. When my daughter was in first grade, she never before considered (at least not out loud) that she was different from her parents or her friends. I will never forget the day she came home crying because her favorite friend wasn’t allowed to play with her anymore because she was brown and her friend was not. My son was in the third grade. It was 12 years after my daughter’s first incident when he started asking me why his friends didn’t think I was his mother. I picked him up from school and one little boy told me I couldn’t be my son’s mother because my son was tan and I was not. Then there is always the story of how my children wanted to connect my freckles so I would be the same color as them. There are so many more stories, but I think you can see my point.

My prayer for us all is that not only will we realize that color and shade does not make a person any less valuable, but that we realize that no matter what our color or shade, we all have similar struggles. The sooner we stop judging each other and segregating ourselves, and start helping each other, the more freedom we will obtain. We may have different skin tones, but we don’t have different hearts. God called us to love one another, he didn’t say “love one another based on skin tones”.

Brandy Morton Hudson – Guest Blogger

Click here to join our Google+ Community, The Vine Events Chat Cafe, to see what others are saying about shadeism.

Join | Share | Learn

The Vine Events Chat Cafe

Shadeism Screening Dialogue

The Vine Events Chat CafeJoin us for dinner and a movie on Saturday, February 16th at 6:30pm in Salisbury, NC.  The Vine Events Chat Cafe will be hosting a screening dialogue of “Shadeism”.

“Shadeism” is a documentary short film that introduces the issue of shadeism (also known as colorism); discrimination based on skin tones among members of the same community. The documentary explores shadeism origins and its affects within various cultures around the globe.  It also introduces how we can foster collective and personal healing through dialogue and discussion.

The cost of this event is $10/person. To reserve your seat click on “Donate” button below. Directions to event location will be emailed to those who RSVP so, please enter your email address on PayPal payment page.  **Note: You don’t need a Paypal Account to make payment.**

We want to hear from you. Have you ever experienced shadeism? What contributes to this aspect within your community/culture? Please leave your reply below. Thanks

The Vine Event Planning
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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
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**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.**

RealTalk-Reality TV’s Impact on Women’s Image

Many of us are regular viewers of the various reality television shows such as House Wives, Basketball Wives and Hollywood Exes. As a viewer, have you ever considered the impact these shows have on the image of women? Is it strictly entertainment, or does reality TV have the power to shape and influence one’s perspective? These questions and many more were answered during RealTalk LIVE online discussion on August 21st.

Nicole Daniels, a licensed marriage and family therapist, was our event moderator and presented some intriguing information. She opened up the discussion with the question, “What impact do you think reality TV has on women’s image?” Most of the attendees stated that, for them, it was strictly entertainment and they had not truly considered it’s impact. However, everyone did agree that most of the women on the shows were catty and combative.

One participant stated that they felt the majority of the show’s viewers were forty plus women and at that age they should be secure in who they are and not be influenced by what they see on television. Daniels quickly pointed out that many of the networks that broadcast these shows are not targeting adults; they’re audience are tweens and teens, which are an impressionable segment.

Another attendee, who has teenage daughters, openly shared how she blocked one of the networks on her television. She began to notice a change in her children’s behavior and decided to sit down with them and discuss how young ladies and women should present themselves. She strongly agreed that reality television has the ability to shape one’s perspective. Daniels encouraged parents in attendance to closely monitor the images their children or seeing on television and to talk to them about it.

Our only male participant was very insightful and presented to the group another impact of reality television. He was concerned about how men were being portrayed as well. He stated that looking at Love and HipHop, someone may get the impression that most men are womanizers. He shared that the show is a good example of how men in a relationship will do what their partner allows; women need to have high standards and expectations.

Daniels closed the discussion by pointing out the fact that as viewers we have a responsibility. If we want to see more positive images on television, we need to view and support the shows that display those images.

The Vine Event Planning
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Nicole Daniels owns and operates Family First Psychotherapy Services LLC (FFPS) in White Plains, Maryland. For more information about FFPS and their services, visit their website at http://www.familyfirstpsych.com/.