This past weekend I attended the NU YOU Empowerment Brunch. The event was a collaboration between Cyn Santana, reoccurring cast member on the reality show Love and Hip Hop New York and local marketing agency, Socially Loud.
Held at the Epic Hotel in Downtown Miami, NU YOU drew in young professionals from various walks of life. These entrepreneurs, business professionals, entertainment industry types, and creative types came together for a day filled with empowering messages, entertainment, good food, shopping and more.
The event opened with a networking lounge with sweet treats and mimosas served. In the foyer, attendees took advantage of photo ops along the red carpet and gold chevron pattern backdrop with fun props. A slew of vendors lined the room, providing and highlighting products and services like, art, jewelry, clothing, makeup and more.
Brunch commenced with sounds by DJ Mili Beats and was followed by live performances by singers, spoken word artists and dancers from N.O.L.A., Nest of Living Arts from Miramar, FL. The entertainers did a great job of getting the audience fired up for the panel discussion that would follow, particularly the cover of R. Kelly’s World’s Greatest, which brought the crowd to their feet.
The panel, which was was moderated by Johanne Wilson (President/Partner, Cool Creative, Inc.) featured Cyn Santana and included local influencers such as Shyann Malone (Anchor, ABC Local 10 News), Monica Reyes (Partner, RKE Law Group), John Owens, III ( Partner, K&L Gates, LLP), Brittany Gath (Life Coach & Clinical Family Therapy), David Mcdermott (Owner/Broker, H&M Realty Group), and Michael Hall (Founder, Digital Grass). The overall theme of the discussion was empowerment. What does it mean? How do we become empowered and how to deal with the obstacles that keep you from becoming empowered.
There were two ideas/statements that stood out to me overall. The first came from Monica Reyes, a former victim of domestic violence as she urged the audience to stop using what she called “victim language”. The point being, you put yourself in a position to lose if you keep viewing yourself as a victim versus the victor. The next idea came from Michael Hall in reference to entrepreneurship: “What makes you authentic? Monetize that and that’s your business.”
Following the panel discussion Felisha Monet and Supa Cindy, radio personalities from local radio station, 99 Jamz briefly delivered some inspiring words to the audience sharing some personal stories including Supa Cindy’s battle with Lupus along with career setbacks and comebacks. They invited up Latosia Colton, of the super-popular eatery, Finga Licking who also shared her inspiring personal story of starting with zero business knowledge and learning several tough business lessons the hard way but persevering in the end.
Cyn Santana closed out the brunch with a fashion show presentation featuring items from her new fashion line, NU. The line, which includes options for the plus size woman, primarily featured pieces in neutral tones. The style of the collection was characteristic of the twenty-something set, dominated by figure-hugging fits with ruching and bare midriffs.
Overall, it was a lovely event. Organizers did a wonderful job of pulling all of the elements together. Inspiring messages, good food, good company, fashion, and libations flowed. What more could a girl ask for? The brunch was billed as a “first annual” so I’m looking forward to seeing how this event progresses in the future. As for this year, job well done. See below for more photos from the day's events.