For the fourth year in a row, GU Summit will serve as a safe space for young Black women, girls, and gender-expansive youth to come together and fellowship. Join us for another day filled with panels, networking, activations, and more.
As Zillennials continue to use their voices, Girls United’s new theme, “Era Of Disruption,” will become a pulse for spearheading this generation’s path, ideas, and trends. By celebrating all aspects of the Black experience, those in their “Era of Disruption” are breaking the mold.
Aaliyah HaqqChief Operating Officer, The Academy for Advancing Excellence
Aleali MayFashion Designer
Aliyah's InterludeDigital Creator
Alphonso DavidPresident & CEO, Global Black Economic Forum
Anifa MvuembaFounder, CEO, Designer & Creative Director of Hanifa
BarolineChairwoman & Founder of Great Day Records Founder of Be Heard Management
Brandra RingoEVP / Co-Head of A&R - Quality Control Music
Caroline A. WangaPresident & CEO, ESSENCE Ventures
Chelsea Spencer-SmithExecutive Coach, The Academy for Advancing Excellence
CleotrvppvDJ & Curator
Denise Stephanie HewittPhotographer & Strategist
Ebonie WardCEO, Chairwoman, Founder – 11th & Co.
Haley JonesProfessional Women’s Basketball Player, Broadcaster & Owner
Jodie WoodsEntrepreneur & Influencer
Jordyn WoodsEntrepreneur & Influencer
JSimmoneMedia Specialist & On-Air Personality
Kamarie BrownEducation Advocate, McDonalds Change Leader
Kenyatta VictoriaGirls United Lead Writer
Mariah The ScientistR&B Singer & Songwriter
Marley DiasAuthor, Activist, & Producer
Muni LongGrammy Winning Singer & Songwriter
Nandi HowardContent Director, ESSENCE
Pretty VeeMedia Personality, Comedian & Actress
Rachel Jackson (Host)Artist Partnerships Manager @YouTube
Shawna Peezy SpearsVP, Brand Marketing Venice Music
Sophia DennisGirls United, Co-Founder
Yung BBQComedian & Content Creator
Check back in later for more panelist updates.
GU Office Hours
Aaliyah HaqqChief Operating Officer, The Academy for Advancing Excellence
Aiyana IshmaelAssociate Editor, Teen Vogue
Alicia ScottCEO & Founder, Range Beauty
Chelsea Spencer-SmithExecutive Coach, The Academy for Advancing Excellence
Dr. JessDentist, Entrepreneur, Wellness Curator, Content Creator
Torianna BreauxFounder & CEO of Tordrobes LLC
Aaliyah Alicia ThompsonAutism Advocate & Entrepreneur, Aaliyah Beauty Bar, McDonalds Change Leader
Aiyisha T. ObafemiPartner, CXO Whitley Agency
Aleali MayFashion Designer
Anifa MvuembaFounder, CEO, Designer & Creative Director of Hanifa
Aubrey MalsenHead of DE&I Communications and Engagement, NA, L’Oréal Groupe
Brandy Star MerriweatherFounder & CEO of BStarPR
Candii WoodsonDirector of Media Strategy - Cricket Wireless
Caroline A. WangaPresident & CEO, ESSENCE Ventures
Christi MasonChief Marketing Officer, Slutty Vegan Inc.
Crystal EllisonSpeed Mentor Facilitator
Dametria KinsleyGlobal Marketing Vice President - Cantue
Danielle WrightEssence GU Content Editor
Dr. JessDentist, Entrepreneur, Wellness Curator, Content Creator
Erica CulpepperGeneral Manager, IT Cosmetics
Karmarie BrownEducation Advocate, McDonalds Change Leader
Kelly LeeDirector of Community Impact, Atlanta Dream WNBA
Kemia BridgewaterMentor & Co-Founder, First Generation Gems, McDonalds Change Leader
Keyla Cabret-LewisVP, DEI & Talent Development- Aflac
Kiara LaneCommunications Director - Coca Cola
Lisa PriceFounder, Carol’s Daughter
Olivia LinsonDirector, Platform Sustainability - Aflac
Shante PaigeExecutive Producer & Transformational Speaker
Shawna SpearsVP, Brand Marketing Venice Music
Terika FasakinGroup Brand Director for Simply & Kids Juice - Coca Cola Portfolio
Speed Mentors - Bios
For Aaliyah Alicia Thompson autism is her diagnosis, but it certainly doesn’t define her. With the loving support of family and a fierce determination to be an example for others with an autism diagnosis, Thompson has forged a path that she hopes will inspire. In 2022, the then 21-year-old opened her own beauty bar in Stockbridge, GA, just outside of Atlanta, defying misconceptions about what’s possible for anyone with a neurodivergent diagnosis.
Social Handle: @aaliyahbeautybar__nail_school
BioCreative innovator, results-oriented marketing and branding strategist, Aiyisha T. Obafemi is a C-Suite Executive with more than 33 years of expertise creating impactful marketing and branding solutions for high-profile clients across the music, entertainment and business sectors.
Aleali May is an internationally regarded designer. The queen of sneakers got her start in styling and modeling while working under Chicago’s RSVP gallery owned by Virgil Abloh & Don C. Setting a historic precedent as the first woman to ever design and release a unisex sneaker in 2017 under Nike’s Jordan brand. May, then helped to launch Jordan Womens which lead her to be the first woman to collaborate on Jordan brand apparel. She has seven iterations of Jordan sneakers to date, including six global releases. This later. opened the door to collabs like Mattel’s Barbie, Clarks Originals and more. When it comes to her designs, May aspires to elevate the conversation around sports and style. Using her personal style and designs as a bridge between streetwear and highend,mentioning that “both are luxuries.” With a keen eye for creating trends, providing high quality products, and intentional storytelling, here work centers on dismantling outdated gender norms in fashion and expanding the margins for women of color.
Anifa Mvuemba is a multi-talented force in the fashion world, undertaking the role of CEO, Founder, and Creative Director for her renowned brand. With an unwavering commitment to pushing boundaries and challenging the status quo, she continues to revolutionize the industry. Anifa's exceptional leadership and creative prowess have paved the way for a new era of fashion, where inclusivity and self-expression reign supreme.
Tik Tok: @itsanifam
Aubrey Maslen serves as the Head of DE&I (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) Communications & Engagement for L’Oréal NA, the largest subsidiary of L’Oréal Groupe, the world’s leading beauty company. In this role, Aubrey is responsible for leading the organization’s consumer strategy, focused on building brand understanding and awareness to facilitate authentic and sustainable engagement with historically untapped communities. Additionally, Aubrey oversees the company’s external DE&I marketing and communication efforts, guiding marketers on integrating DE&I elements across the company’s portfolio of 36 brands and the strategies they employ to connect with consumers. Internally, Aubrey leads the company’s DE&I communication initiatives, aiming to inform, inspire, and engage all 13,000 employees across multiple sites and locations. To foster a culture of inclusion and belonging, Aubrey oversees the company’s DE&I Lead strategy, embedding DE&I practitioners throughout all aspects of L’Oréal’s corporate structure.
Before joining L’Oréal, Aubrey held a leadership role with Accenture, managing a cross-functional team of management consultants to optimize business processes and strategies. Prior to his time in management consulting, Aubrey spent several years at the Federal Reserve Board, where he led branding, policy, and communication efforts for U.S. currency.
Aubrey earned his Master of Science in Media & Communications from The London School of Economics. His published research, titled "White for White: An Exploration of Gay Racism on the World's Most Popular Platform for Gay and Bisexual Men," utilizes a unique semiotic and discursive analysis model to examine computer-mediated communication and self-representation concerning race and sexual orientation in online spaces. He also holds a B.A. in Political Science from American University. In his leisure time, Aubrey enjoys live music, traveling, and spending time with his community.
Brandy Star Merriweather, known as @TheGenZPublicist and founder of @BStarPR, is a 25-year-old entrepreneur and a prominent GenZ business leader. While pursuing her degree in International Business and ESports, she has established herself as a top-tier professional by spearheading publicity campaigns for tech startups, digital creators, and brands such as TikTok Star Queen Keke, Ms JackyOh, Marquay Collins, Queen Khamyra, ESSENCE Girl’s United, Rap Snacks, Fanbase, Hallmark Mahogany, Microsoft and more. BStarPR is an innovative PR firm with a mission to amplify the new, now, and next. She maximizes GenZ voices and achievements, specializing in enhancing client branding, cultivating authentic relationships, and curating unique experiences. Recognized as a Forbes 30 Under 30 Atlanta Honoree, 25 Under 25, and featured in publications like RollingOut, Essence and Black Enterprise, Brandy's advocacy for HBCUs and BIPOC creators has earned her a well-deserved place among the top PR professionals in the industry according to Business Insider.
Instagram: @TheGenZPublicist @MsHBCU
Candii Woodson comes with over 18 years of marketing and paid media experience. Her career spans offline and digital media with a specialty in performance driven marketing, brand, and multicultural strategies. She has worked across several large brands such as Verizon Wireless, Dunkin Donuts, Rite Aid, and Southeast Toyota. Candii is currently the Director of Media Strategy at AT&T leading up paid media for AT&T Prepaid & Cricket Wireless. At AT&T, she has helped to spear-head the charge towards an integrated marketing approach, and expanding diversity media.
Outside of marketing, Candii is a mental health & wellness advocate and coach. She’s the founder of Misspacklight, a women’s mental health & wellness community, and podcaster of Misspacklight In Color podcast that amplifies the soul stories of black women.
In her spare time, she enjoys travel, food, anything Pinterest, and being a mother to her 10-year-old daughter. She’s a newlywed that enjoys hiking with her husband.
Caroline A. Wanga is the President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Essence Ventures – a portfolio of brands that aims to activate a boundary-less and frictionless global Black economic ecosystem. Acknowledged by Fast Company as a “Brands That Matter” 2023 Honoree, Essence Ventures brands include ESSENCE, the number one media, technology and commerce company dedicated to Black women and communities; Afropunk, the multi-medium platform that uplifts and unleashes Black expression and individuality now and in the future; BeautyCon, the experiential and content focused platform that aims to transcend the aesthetic of attraction and enable an individualized empowered existence and experience on what beauty is; and Essence Studios, a production studio and original content hub focused on authentic Black story-telling, story-making, story-sharing, and story-doing.
Caroline joined Essence Ventures as Chief Growth Officer in 2020 from the Target Corporation, where she served as Chief Culture, Diversity and Inclusion Officer. She began her 15-year Target career in supply chain, serving in a variety of transformational leadership roles, including modernizing Supply Chain, Business Intelligence, and Digital and Strategy capabilities. Prior to Target, she held several roles in the non-profit sector. A self-proclaimed cultural architect with a passion for constructing, deconstructing and reconstructing organizational culture, she champions and inspires authenticity and thrives in innovative environments. With a background in corporate and community leadership, her career expands over several disciplines and capabilities including youth development, grant-writing, community organizing, supply chain, human resources, equity, culture and media.
Caroline has worked her way up from entry-level positions to the highest of senior leadership roles and is passionate about modeling what she teaches. Her “real-talk” delivery, witty thought leadership and unmitigated perspective on authenticity as a differentiator for individuals and organizations, make her a highly sought-after keynote speaker, equity strategist, thought leader, and community influencer. She unapologetically believes that who each person is, is non-negotiable and is often quoted saying, “Who you are is who you are. If you cannot be who you are where you are, you change where you are not who you are.” In 2020 she co-founded WangaWoman LLC., whose mission is to “Democratize Authenticity.”
Among other accolades, Wanga has been awarded the “Anthem Award” for Business Leader of The Year – Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the Steve and Majorie Harvey Foundation “Helping Hands” Award, and the For(bes) The Culture AfroFuture Award. She has two honorary doctorate degrees from her alma mater Texas College and Dillard University, respectively. She has been previously named Top Executive in Corporate Diversity by Black Enterprise and recognized by Savoy as one of the Most Powerful Women in Corporate America. She is a member of the Executive Leadership Council (ELC,) the American Airlines Community Council, and the McDonalds MultiCultural Marketing Advisory Council. She is a former member of the Talladega College Board of Trustees, previously served on the Intersectionality, Culture, and Diversity Advisory Board for Twitter and served as co-chair of the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) Diversity & Inclusion Initiative. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Texas College, a Historically Black College/ University (HBCU,) is a Kenyan citizen, and her life’s greatest accomplishment is her daughter, Cadence.
Crystal Ellison is the Production Manager and Brand Ambassador for the Atlanta Region events for the professional organization, Black in HR. She has five years of HR experience ranging from Talent Acquisition to HR Law. Crystal is originally from Richmond, VA, and currently resides in Atlanta, GA. She is passionate about educating the community about career elevation and self-improvement
A marketing professional with over two decades of experience, Dametria Kinsley is a visionary, activator and connector who sees things differently.
Her background includes international marketing, product development and brand management having successfully launched products and high-impact initiatives that have resulted in increased sales and growth for leading beauty companies. With an entrepreneurial spirit and unwavering passion for beauty, Kinsley brings a unique perspective to any brand she touches.
Serving as the Global Marketing Vice President at PDC Brands, she leads the overall go to market strategy for the Cantu Brand globally. In her tenure, she has launched multimillion dollar SKUs in both the U.S. and high-volume global markets.
Prior to PDC Brands, Kinsley served as the Senior Sales and Global Marketing Manager at Astral Brands, a health and beauty company where she lead global growth for the cosmetics division. Previous sales and marketing roles include Newell Brands, Advanced Beauty Inc. and HBO.
Hailing from rural Oklahoma, Kinsley is a University of Tennessee alumna who also holds a Master of Business Administration from Emory University. An avid traveler, lover of the arts, she currently resides in Marietta, GA with her husband, 16 year old nephew, 5-year-old son and 3 year old daughter.
Danielle Wright serves as the Content Editor at ESSENCE Girls United, where she leads the entire vertical of social and editorial. In 2019 she interned with legacy publication ESSENCE Magazine and graduated from Texas State University in 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism. Before landing at her new home at ESSENCE GU, the Houston native worked at Houstonia Magazine as a Style Writer.
Dr. Jess is a general and cosmetic dentist, entrepreneur, wellness curator, and content creator from Atlanta, Ga. She is passionate about providing high-level conservative cosmetic dentistry. Proficient in designing smile makeovers in cosmetic field, general dentistry, as well as orthodontic treatment. Dr. Jessica Davis aims to deliver the highest quality general and facial aesthetics dental services. Dr. Jessica Davis earned her Doctorate of Dental Medicine, DMD, degree from The Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University and has completed numerous general and has completed advanced courses in facial esthetics , Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction including Neurotoxin (Botox) and Dermal Fillers. She also obtained a masters in Biomedical Sciences. She partnered up with her colleague Dr. Q to form Art of Aesthetics Dental Studio located in Brookhaven, Ga. The art of Her love for wellness doesn’t stop with dentistry, Dr. Jess also owns a Pilates studio. She wanted to create a space that focuses on wellness outside of the mouth. The studio is a dream oasis in the center of Buckhead. Her studio offers an array of different group and private classes from introductory level reformer workouts to challenging/HIIT workouts. The studio is also one of the only pilates studios in Atlanta offering Cadillac reformer classes.
Erica Culpepper has built her career on four key pillars of success: performance, purpose, passion, and a spirited personality. She is the strategic mind behind some of the fastest-growing and most innovative beauty brands in the world. As General Manager of IT Cosmetics (L’Oreal’s #2 luxury make up brand in the US), she builds and scales a portfolio of problem solving, skin-loving makeup and skincare products that provide real results, empowering all who use it to feel their most confident.
While in college, Erica read a profile on a senior female beauty executive, and it inspired a career that has now spanned over 20 years, and taken her to the helm of some of the most powerful and iconic beauty brands in the world. Erica is a proud 19 year veteran of L’Oreal USA, and has spent her tenure in increasing leadership positions, managing businesses across mega brands such as L’Oreal Paris, Maybelline New York, and Garnier, as well as legacy beauty brands such as Thayers Natural Remedies and Dark & Lovely. Prior to L’Oreal, she was with Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products Division, leading the company’s entry into anti-aging with RoC Skincare, and managing the adult skincare initiatives on Johnson’s Baby.
Throughout her career, Erica has driven strategic initiatives across multiple functions including marketing, sales, business development, and organizational readiness/change management. In addition to successful product launches and brand campaigns, she also led the acquisition and integration of Carol’s Daughter, bringing the natural hair pioneer into the L’Oreal family, and helping to expand L’Oreal’s leadership within the multi-cultural market. One of Erica’s proudest accomplishments was being at the helm of a powerful portfolio that helps to shape, define, and foster a more inclusive beauty movement that honors the creativity and individuality of multi-cultural beauty, across skin tones, hair textures, body types, and lifestyles. Erica is an inclusive leader dedicated to building cultures of belonging – both in and out of the office. She believes in empowering others by helping them celebrate and advocate for their own definition of beauty, and serves as a mentor to rising leaders within the industry.
She is highly recognized across the beauty industry for her achievements. The recipient of numerous recognitions for leadership excellence, Erica was awarded the prestigious Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) Achiever Award, Elite 100 Woman Leader by Diversity Woman’s Magazine and an Ulta Beauty MUSE 100, amongst many others. She serves on the Board of Governors for CEW, Advisory Board for L'Oréal Women of Color Think Tank and former Board of Directors for BUILD NYC.
Erica is a sought-after keynote speaker, thought leader, and panelist who has presented at numerous conferences and symposiums. When not managing her business, she enjoys quality time with her family.
Kelly Lee is the Director of Community Impact for the Atlanta Dream-WNBA, where she creates and executes impactful community initiatives that strengthen the Dream’s commitment to and impact in Atlanta. Passionate about serving under-resourced and historically disenfranchised youth, Kelly began her career as an educator and received the honor of being the 2019 District of Columbia Teacher of the Year, and most recently worked in Global Social Responsibility at McKinsey & Company.
Kiara Lane has a steadfast passion for helping organizations uncover the transformative power of creativity, innovation, and compelling storytelling. As the communications director for The McDonald’s Division at The Coca-Cola Company, Kiara is responsible for delivering consistent, compelling narratives that showcase the powerful partnership between Coca-Cola and McDonald's while fostering deeper relationships with key stakeholders.
In addition to her primary role, serves as Lead of The Coca-Cola Company's Black Employee Network, where she champions the empowerment of Black associates and consumers across the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.
Before ascending to her current roles, Kiara honed her skills in change management and internal communications for Coca-Cola's shared services function. Notably, she provided strategic counsel to the Chief Information & Integrated Services Officer while engaging more than 2,500 employees across the globe. Prior to joining Coca-Cola in 2015, Kiara gained invaluable experience in marketing, public relations, and stakeholder communications through her work at various organizations.
Kiara is a devoted advocate for her community. She proudly supports a range of nonprofits focused on diverse communities, such as LEAD Atlanta, Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, ColorComm, Urban League of Greater Atlanta and Georgetown Alumni Club of Metro Atlanta.
Kiara holds a bachelor's degree in mass communication from Virginia Commonwealth University and a master's degree in corporate communications and public relations from Georgetown University. She is currently pursuing an MBA at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.
In her personal life, Kiara finds solace in reading, spending quality time with family, and traveling. Based in Atlanta with her husband and dog, Kiara's drive for personal growth, leadership, and making a positive impact in the world defines both her professional and personal life.
Karmarie Brown is a Los Angeles native and student at Spelman College with a passion for ensuring education works for all communities and all students. Kamarie’s commitment to amplifying student voices in her community led to her election, at 17, to the student seat on the Los Angeles County School board, the second largest school district in the nation. As the first Black woman in the student seat, during her tenure, Kamarie authored resolutions-which passed unanimously-that impacted mental health, maternity support, and relied funding. Currently, she’s at work developing a non-profit to help bridge the equity gap in education.
Social Handle: @iamkamariebrown
Kemia Bridgewater is a Detroit native and Hampton University student knows first-hand that being a first gen college student is tough. Fueled by her own struggles, Kemia jumped at the chance to support others, co-founding the non-profit First Generation Gems (FGG). The org is designed to support college students of color with mentorships as well as material aid, so they can stay on the yard and on track.
Social Handle: @miamyason
Keyla Cabret-Lewis is vice president of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) at Aflac Incorporated. She is responsible for fostering, advancing and implementing Aflac’s DE&I and Talent Development company-wide initiatives.
In this role, Cabret-Lewis develops diversity and inclusion awareness opportunities for all employees and stakeholders, supporting departmental initiatives and providing consultative services to all division leaders to support creating a diverse and inclusive workplace.
She began her Aflac career as a junior in high school and member of the “Future Business Executive” program in 1995. After college graduation, she joined Aflac’s Human Resources department as a corporate recruiter in 2001. She has held leadership positions of increasing responsibility in many HR departments, including Talent Acquisition, University Relations and HR Business Partners.
Cabret-Lewis has received industry recognitions including the Diversity Woman’s Power 100 and Insider’s DEI Trailblazers lists in 2023. She also serves as a board member of the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the TAG Bridge Builders. Additionally, she is an alumna of the Leadership Georgia Program 2022.
Cabret-Lewis holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in public administration from Columbus State University.
Lisa Price’s journey begins like that of many entrepreneurs—with curiosity and determination
mixed with moments of panic and a resounding belief that products that were made with love and
delivered on their promise would find their following. It was a company born of Price’s love for fragrance and a passion for scent alchemy that formed the foundation of her high-performing products. More than a quarter of a century later, even amid massive industry disruption, new company leadership, and acquisition by L’Oréal, Carol’s Daughter continues to thrive and remain relevant in an industry where brands come and go as quickly as trends change.
Carol’s Daughter began in Price’s Brooklyn kitchen. With a career in TV production, mixing up fragrances, perfume sprays, and creams served as a creative outlet. It wasn’t long before Price began dabbling in aromatherapeutic oils, educating herself on their healing properties. In 1993, Price, with the gentle nudge from her mother Carol, began to sell her products. With $100 in cash and a cramped kitchen, she crafted a collection that would become the foundation of a beauty empire. Selling her homespun concoctions at flea markets, and later out of her living room, favorable word-of-mouth began to spread for early iterations of Almond Cookie, Hair Milk, and Black Vanilla Hair Smoothie—all of which retain their cult status today. “To name my company, I listed everything I was, and wanted to be, and realized the most special thing that I am, is Lisa, Carol’s daughter.”
Over the next few years, word spread, with celebrities like Jada Pinkett-Smith, Erykah Badu, Rosie Perez, and Halle Berry becoming loyal customers.Joining the L’Oréal family in November 2014, Carol's Daughter widened its extensive footprint, selling its hair, body, and skincare solutions nationwide at key retailers. During the Obama administration, Price was appointed to the National Women’s Business Council, an independent source of advice and policy recommendations to the President, Congress, and the U.S. Small Business Administration, on economic issues that face female business owners.Price was featured in the film She Did That (2019) and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the National Black MBA Association's Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2000), the Working Woman Magazine’s Entrepreneurial Excellence Award (2001), and a Cosmetic Executive Women Achiever Award (2010). She is also the author of “Success Never Smelled So Sweet,” a memoir that chronicles her transformation from a young Black woman deep in debt to president of a paradigm-changing business. Price is also a member of the Board of Directors for First Watch Restaurants (July 2020.) In April 2021, Price and Carol’s Daughter partnered with the world-renown doula Latham Thomas andher foundation, The Mama Glow Foundation to launch Love Delivered, an initiative focused on raising awareness of the Black Maternal Health Crisis in the United States and the importance of advocates and doulas at the times when Black birthing people and babies are most vulnerable---before, during and after birth. Love Delivered will work over the next 3 years, to positively impact the lives of Black birthing people and babies by raising awareness about Black Maternal Health amongst 100 Million people and directly engaging 10,000 people to be advocates. Price and her husband, Gordon, have three children and still live in Brooklyn. When she can find the time, Price enjoys going to the beach, reading, crocheting, knitting, and watching movies.
Olivia Linson is Director of Platform Operation at Aflac. She is an innovated thought leader with 20+ years of experience in the insurance industry. In her current role, she supports technology delivery and provides tech support to end users. Throughout her career, she has demonstrated success in establishing and transforming business operations and service standards, developing revenue-generating strategies, and planning as well as executing effective control measurements to reduce running costs of business operations. She has a stellar record of directing change management processes, defining robust policies and procedures, and mobilizing teams to positively impact business results and support large-scale transformations. Articulate and refined communicator; thriving in deadline-intensive environment, performing under pressure, and meeting deadlines with team building, problem-solving, and time management abilities. Prior to join corporate America, she proudly served in the US Army.
She is an alumni of The Leaders Edge “A Leadership Experience for Black Women”, a member of the Association of Professional Women and board member of Alabama Statement Missionary Baptist Convention and PHYRE (People Helping Youth Reach Excellence). She is also a member of the Aflac TEACH program, where she provides mentorship to employees.
Shante Paige is an Executive Producer and Transformational Speaker. Charismatic, ambitious and hard working are synonymous with Shanté Paige. Since graduating from Howard University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Management and minor in Pre-Law, Shanté Paige has been an active member of the entertainment industry and a member of the P.G.A. Her experience encompasses a wide range of music and entertainment accomplishments. As Acting Senior Vice-President of A&R for the Universal/Motown Records Group, she was responsible for controlling multi-million dollar budgets. Additionally, she was Executive Producer and handled the production of Hip Hop and R&B headliners such as 702, Dave Hollister, KEM, Chico Debarge, India Arie, Erykah Badu, Cash Money Millionaires, The Temptations, and Joe. During her tenure at Motown, these artists collectively sold more than 65 million albums worldwide, putting Motown in the black after a decade of losses. Although quite an accomplishment, Shanté's climb up the music ladder started during her college days, where she promoted some of the biggest celebrity-driven events and managed an R&B group, Quattro, who boasted heartthrob actor, Michael Ealy, as a member. In addition, a female group with a young Egypt Sherrod of HGTV’s Married to Real estate.
Upon graduating, Shanté moved to New York City where she continued building a name for herself cofounding an urban lifestyle marketing company Net2 and hosting celebrity-studded events. In addition, helped launch Noontime Music, a production company, which to-date has had many number one hits by artists such as Aaliyah, Usher, Toni Braxton, Ginuwine, Mariah Carey, Cash Money, Mary J. Blige, Joe, Ciara, Destiny's Child and a host of others. Shanté's steady stream of accomplishments caught the attention of Kedar Massenburg, CEO of Kedar Entertainment and President of Universal/Motown Records Group. Kedar hired her as Director of A&R for Kedar Entertainment and during her six-year tenure she would eventually take on the title of Acting Senior Vice President of A&R for the Universal/Motown Records Group. Shanté eventually left Universal/Motown to start her own consulting firm specializing in an array of clients from music to media and sports entertainment. Paige has consulted for clients such as Noontime Music (producers Bryan Michael-Cox and Jazzy Pha) and Mauldin Brand Agency (Scream Tour, Bow Wow and Wyclef Jean). Shanté was awarded the 2010 Census Campaign where she produced webisodes featuring Ludacris to promote census participation with the inclusion of celebrities like Patti Labelle, Lance Armstrong, Kimora Lee Simmons and Russell Simmons with NUVO sparkling vodka.To add to her long list of accomplishments, Shanté transitioned to TV and film producing several projects for TNT, Peachtree TV, TBS, BET, NBC, Centric, Aspire, MyATL, WXIA, UMC, NBA TV, Revolt, MGM, TVONE, ESPN, VH-1, UMC, WETv and Fuse. Currently Shante’ has created and sold several shows to networks and has several shows in development. She has added John Maxwell certified transformational speaker, spiritual coach and diversity inclusion facilitator to her list of talents. In her spare time, Shante' likes to speak to youth organizations. She is committed to helping the next generation and empowers young.
Instagram: @shantepaige @shesamovementmediagroup
Throughout her career, Shawna Spears has worn many hats: artist manager, creative services, marketer, and A&R, culminating in her current role as an executive with a 10+ year track record. But above all, Shawna carries a more fluid title: Storyteller. In March of 2023, Shawna joined Venice Music as Vice President of Brand Marketing. Her focus centers on showing independent artists how they could utilize the platform for access to top-tier strategy, advice, and distribution.
Instagram : @shawnapeezy
LinkedIn : https://www.linkedin.com/in/shawna-spears/
Twitter : shawna_peezy
Terika is a results-oriented leader, marketer, and brand builder with a passion for deeply understanding the consumer. Her superpowers include: building team culture, setting strategic vision, making data-driven decisions, and moving ideas into action.
Terika Fasakin is currently the Group Brand Director for Simply & Kids Juice Portfolio at The Coca-Cola Company where she leads a team focused on driving growth through new strategies, campaigns, and product launches.
Terika brings a diverse background in brand management, consumer products, technology, and entertainment. Prior to her current role she led Sprite and prior to Coca-Cola, she led equity development and long-term growth strategies across several brands at Amazon Music, Frito-Lay, and Kraft Foods.
Terika holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina A&T State University and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Insightful discussions around topics relevant to Millennials and Gen Zers
Rapid fire networking with professionals and influencers
Beauty Village, Tech fun and Wellness
Intimate conversations with an expert focusing on a specific topic
Come shop a mix of your current and future favorite brands, while supporting rising Black businesses across various spaces. Plus be the first to preview their latest products
GU Summit: Era of Disruption is brought to you by Essence Girls United. It is a safe space for young Black women, girls, and gender-expansive youth to come together and fellowship about topics and issues that are impacting us the most from wellness to fashion to culture and more.
Girls United will take place at PC&E Soundstage in Atlanta, GA which is located at 2235 Defoor Hills Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30318
Prohibited Items include:
- Alcoholic Beverages
- Animals (except service animals)
- Backpacks, Bags or Purses larger than 10 x 10 x 16
- Balls, Frisbees, or other projectiles
- Bicycles, scooters, skateboards or skates
- Firearms, knives, no weapons of any kind, or other items considered dangerous by security or law enforcement personnel (ex: pepper spray, tasers, stun guns, brass knuckles, handcuffs, etc.)
- Fireworks or other incendiary or flammable devices
- Food and Beverages (except those sold by event vendors)
- Glass bottles or containers
- Ice chests and coolers of any size
- Drugs, drug paraphernalia, or illegal substances
- Laser Lights/ Pointers
- Smoking or the use of E-cigarettes, sticks or poles
- Unauthorized literature or promotional giveaways, soliciting, or unlicensed vending of any kind. Any items deemed unsafe or a potential annoyance to staff or guests
Unauthorized professional filming or professional photography is prohibited during the event.
Girls United Summit is free to the public. Registration is required but does not guarantee admission to the event. Space is limited, and registrants will be admitted on a first come, first served basis. There will be no re-entry.
GU Summit: Era of Disruption is open to attendees of all ages. We will be diving into mature topics. Individuals younger than 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. A valid ID is required for entry.
No outside food or drinks are allowed into the Girls United Summit venue.
Dressing for GU Summit: Era of Disruption should be fun! Keep in mind, the event space is both indoor and outdoor. Please dress to ensure your comfort.
Rideshare or the use of public transportation is recommended. The Marta Arts Center Station is approximately one mile from the venue. If you decide to drive to the venue, limited parking is available.
Check back here soon for announcements.