Home · News

These Black Women Trailblazers Bridge Media And Politics For The Dope Black Girls Brunch

The fifth anniversary of Dope Black Girls Brunch honored Black women in politics, the media, and other rising stars during the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference weekend.
These Black Women Trailblazers Bridge Media And Politics For The Dope Black Girls Brunch
Stephen Jones

In 2018, Nykidra “Nyki” Robinson conceived of the idea for a brunch to celebrate Black women. Five years later, this has transformed into an annual event, the Dope Black Girls Brunch curated by her organization Black Girls Vote and Color Vision, founded by Mia Davis. Together, these two dynamic Black women have become trailblazers in both the political and media space, overcoming the obstacles of being underrepresented in their respective fields.

After being one of the few people of color in the room during her career in television marketing, Davis was bothered that she wasn’t able to help others get their foot in the door to get hired. She wanted to do something about it. This prompted Davis to start having dinner with other Black colleagues in media, and ultimately, Color Vision was born with a goal of helping “women of color go from desire to achievement when it comes to their careers.”

After the 2008 election, Robinson realized the impact that Black women possess in elections, and was inspired to take further action. She asked herself, who’s talking about young Black women voters and how we can channel our votes into policy? How can we take that and demand resources for our vote because so many people are dependent on us?

Black Girls Vote launched in 2015 at Western High School in Maryland, the oldest all-Black, public high school in the country. It has been on the ground since, helping to engage and empower people in the voting process to impact policies at large.

Davis and Robinson have been friends since 2016, and after speaking with the two of them, you can clearly see the deep bonds of their friendship, evidenced during their interactions with each other during our conversation. When asked about how they met and became friends, Robinson jokingly started off, “this girl she used to stalk me…she just wanted to be my friend, so I was like, ‘I’ll be your friend.’”

After they both burst out laughing, Davis chimed in on a more sentimental note, “We’ve been connected since my husband said ‘you should meet this wonderful Black girl who’s getting the vote out.’” Robinson echoed similar sentiments. “Just seeing the work she’s doing, I invited her to be on the panel with the host committee for the first Dope Black Girls Brunch, and we’ve been connected since.”

In culmination with this year’s fifth anniversary of Dope Black Girls Brunch on August 28, 2022, ESSENCE sat down with Robinson and Davis over Zoom to discuss what it means to be dope, the various initiatives of their organizations, and their passion for uplifting Black women.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

ESSENCE: Can you tell me what being a dope Black girl is all about?

Robinson: Being a dope Black girl is knowing that sometimes you have to rest. You just have to be okay with it and unapologetic about who you are, and what you need for you in your season. That’s what we’re here for.

Davis: To reiterate Nyki, it’s showing up as your full self, unapologetically. This is me, this is who I am, being proud of it, and just being that person and that community for other women like yourself.

Robinson: I’ll also add that a dope Black girl knows that you have a purpose, and that no one can take that away from you. It’s about being proud of who you are, and more importantly, being proud and excited about the woman that you are becoming.

ESSENCE: How did you come up with the idea for the brunch?

Robinson: Honestly, it was an idea that I had to support another Black woman who was up for reelection at the time. So, before it was anything, I just wanted to give all these dope Black women around her a chance to support and uplift her. We had an amazing host committee of some of the dopest Black girls in the DMV area in the spring of 2018, and later on, Mia (one of those dope Black girls on the host committee) and I were conversing, and she said, “how about we continue the Dope Black Girls Brunch and hold it in DC for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation,” and I thought that was a great idea!

ESSENCE: Insecure touched on Molly and Issa having a low moment in their friendship. How do you handle those valleys and wrestle through the difficult moments while still remaining good friends and colleagues?

Davis: Having a mutual respect for one another, because especially when you’re planning something with hundreds of people, it’s extremely stressful. But at the end of the day, you just always have to have respect for one another, and I think that will get you through anything, if you remember that.

Robinson: I agree, and knowing that our intentions are in the right place, even though sometimes we might not get along, but thinking, “what’s your intention?” Sometimes it takes tough conversations. It may take a mediator and someone who’s sitting me down, saying “Chill out, okay,” and having someone else that you can go to and talk to hear you out, asking “am I tripping here?” Then hearing from their perspective, and I’ve had to apologize sometimes.

Davis: Same, same, and I want to reiterate that, but looking back from where we started to now, I’m just so proud of us for the fact that we kept going, especially now that we have done this both being moms now. That makes me go “Wow, I’m so proud of us!”

These Black Women Trailblazers Bridge Media And Politics For The Dope Black Girls Brunch
Nykidra “Nyki” Robinson and Mia Davis | Photography by Stephen Jones

ESSENCE: Let’s talk about the strong Black woman archetype. How do you handle that burden of being a Black woman in today’s society, in terms of balancing family and a personal life with work and business?

Davis: I’m laying those burdens down. I am not trying to be superwoman. I’m not trying to do it all, and I’m embracing help. You need help. You need a village. You need support. Going back generations, if you look at our ancestors and the civil rights movement, there was always community there to help. So I felt like it’s really important that as Black women, we stop trying to have this narrative that we have to do it all, and we have to carry everyone. That’s why we’ve created communities like this. Even the sisterhood that Nyki and I have been able to build is because she said “you know what, let’s make it even better and let me collaborate with another wonderful Black women’s organization,” and I think that speaks to why it’s important to have community and help as a Black woman, instead of trying to do it all yourself.

ESSENCE: Congratulations on five years! What do you see in the next five for Dope Black Girls Brunch?

Robinson: We’re looking forward to expanding, and next year our goal is to be at Essence Festival in New Orleans, or bring the brunch there. We’re also excited about giving scholarships to young Black women at these brunches.

Davis: I think there’s a space to do something internationally eventually. So just keeping it going, and so it’s exciting! Also having more corporations to partner with us, who want  to invest in us.