What’s better than a room filled with trailblazing Black women making notable impacts in communities worldwide?
On Friday, October 25, 2019, ESSENCE and Pepsi collaborated to recognize three extraordinary Hampton University women under their new campaign, “She Got Now.” Hosted by Black Girl Podcast’s Gia Peppers and ESSENCE Girls United co-founder Rechelle Dennis, the “She Got Now” ceremonial dinner began with a warm welcome from Hampton University President, Dr. William R. Harvey.
Pepsi Co. South Division President, Derek Lewis, expressed his personal connections to Hampton University as well. “This is personal for me,” Lewis said.” I’ve got roots here, I’m an alum here, I’m a trustee here, I’m a donor here, I met my wife here…This is me. I am Hampton.”
Current Hampton University student Teyoni Scrivner was the first to be honored. Scrivner is a young business owner who has had aspirations of being an entrepreneur since middle school. She is currently pursuing a degree in business administration and last month, she launched the fashion brand, OrganiKSugar.
“You don’t have to have a business degree or an MBA to be where you want to be in life. You can be everything you want to be right now,” Scrivner said.
The evening’s second honoree, Ashley N. Company, was recognized as a travel expert and the visionary behind Jelani Girls Inc. and Jelani Women. An alumna of Hampton University’s class of 2008, Company has visited 95 countries and now aims to help Black women visit nine countries in Africa.
“I’m so grateful for Essence because you all are the epitome of Black women and sisterhood. This means everything,” Company said. “I’m grateful for Hampton University for showing me how to let my life do the singing.””
Fox 5 DC’s Allison Seymour received the final recognition of the evening. Seymour received her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism at Hampton, and is now the anchor for the Emmy Award-winning Fox morning show. Seymour dedicated her achievement to her tenure at Hampton.
“When [I was] here, [I] got the confidence to dream.,” she said. “I’m so proud to say that I spent those formative years on this sacred ground at [my] Home by the Sea.”
“She Got Now” focuses on highlighting women who attend or have graduated from Historically Black Colleges and Universities and are making significant strides in the modern world.
Echoing the sentiments of the leadership from the other HBCUs aligned with the “She Got Now” program, Lewis emphasized that the partnership behind the initiative is more than just a one-night celebration.
“This is going to lead to internships, opportunities to create more community impact, to really put women in HBCUs in a really special place where they belong,” Lewis said. “This will be bigger than you think.”
As ESSENCE and Pepsi prepare for what’s to come next, Black women around the globe continue to challenge, redefine, and embody what it really means to have “Now.”