Fantasia Barrino, boy. I remember watching her win American Idol. I remember seeingLife Is Not a Fairy Tale: The Fantasia Barrino Story on Lifetime. I remember all of the news coverage she got for a very toxic relationship she was in back in the day, the accidental overdose that happened around the same time, and the first interview she did with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America after it. I also remember when major news outlets told us that she had gotten married to her husband of five years now (she actually eloped a year before they had a ceremony on a yacht), Kendall Taylor.
Wow. In many ways, it seems like Fantasia has lived at least five lifetimes even though she officially stepped onto the scene back in 2004. As I was watching her on her first time on The Breakfast Club interview yesterday, I must admit that a big smile came over my face when she said, "Excuse my language but I am f—kin' proud of myself for bouncing back." Fantasia, for doing more than just survive, but to come out thriving, I am too. You look beautiful, peaceful and full of clarity, self-awareness and joy. That's dope. It really is.
So even though I check for Fantasia, I must admit that her latest interview might've missed me if it wasn't for all of the, I'm gonna go with "mixed bag responses", that came from a particular portion of it; the part when she spoke about the importance of submission in marriage. I must say that if there is one word that seems to trigger a lot of women, it's that one. But before I attempt to unpack why that may be the case, let me share some of what she said, verbatim. Ready?
Fantasia’s Views on the “Roles” in Marriage
First, let me say that Fantasia's interview is a great example of why we need to make sure that we hear things in context. The reason why submission even came up is because she asked DJ Envy if he prays with his wife and he said that yes, he wakes her up every morning so that they can pray together (bookmark that; I'll be circling back to in in a bit). When Fantasia heard that, this was her response:
"I salute that. Because we need more of that, you know, what I mean? We need more men to stand up and lead the way. Most women are trying to be the leader; that's why you can't find a man. You can't be the leader in the house. Fall back and be the queen and let your man lead the way."
When DJ Envy basically replied that it's a challenge for some women because they don't see relationships like that; that they want to be in the lead role, Fantasia expounded.
"That's not how it's supposed to be. That's why we bump heads. I feel like it's a generational thing…it's a generation curse in how society [has] placed our men. And women have to stand up and be the mother and the father and the provider. So then, now you are so bad that you can't be told nothin'; that when the right man [comes], you lose him because [you're] tryin' to be the man."
When Angela Yee then asked if two people can be equal in a relationship (true submission isn't about a lack of equality, by the way. We'll come back to that in a bit too), Fantasia said "yes". Then this:
"At the end of the day, I'm the neck and my man's the head, so he can't make any moves without his wife. It all works together. But you can't be the head of the house. You got to let the man be the head of the house. But it's a generational thing. It's what we've been taught—stand up, be strong and a dude comes and everything about you is like a man."
When Angela Yee then said that it sometimes happens because women have no choice, Fantasia was ready for that too.
"You have to learn how to submit. You can still be a queen. A queen plays her part. The king needs his queen. It's certain things that he can't see that we see. The queen has to sit back and allow the king to be the king."
When Angela Yee then replied with "The Queen is the most valuable piece on the board," (a chess reference), Fantasia agreed with that as well. As she went on to explain that her man is a former-felon-turned-business owner who she knew for three weeks before making things official (they didn't have sex until after they got married; that should go on record too) and how, because she had always had to take care of everything, she was a "pop-off at the mouth" (which usually means it's hard to trust your partner; bookmark that as well), Fantasia said one more thing that stood out to me:
"It took a man like him to sit me down, look me in my eyes and talk to me like I was supposed to be talked to, and say, 'I'm here now. You don't have to do all of that. Pass it over to me and let me take care of that.'"
(For the cynics, "take care of all of that" does not mean Fantasia's finances; there's a prenup and he's the one who recommended that they get one.)
As I closed out the interview, I appreciated everything that she said. But when I read some folks' social media comments, a lot of people were, how do I put it? Pissed. It was like they felt Fantasia set us all the way back before The Little House on the Prairie Days. And while I know that I can't change anyone's mind, because again, submission seems to be something that so many women—single and married alike—give push back to, I wanted to offer up five points to at least help keep submission from being looked at as an unofficial cuss word for so many.
5 Things to Consider When It Comes to Submission in Marriage:
1. Submission Is a Spiritual Principle
Ask a Christian. Ask a Jew. Ask a Muslim. Submission in a marriage is a principle that's applied in all of these faiths. As far as Christianity goes, it comes directly from Scripture: "And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything. For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God's word." (Ephesians 5:21-25—NLT)
Much like folks will say, "He who is without sin, cast the first stone" will leave out that Christ also said, "Go and sin no more" (John 8:1-12), folks will hear about how a wife should submit to her husband (a wife, not a girlfriend to her boyfriend; some of y'all will catch that later), they overlook that, as the leader of the home, the husband has a big job to do.
To love a wife in the way that Christ loves us all? Yeah, that's a lot. To give up their life for their wife? That too is a lot. If you read all of Ephesians 5, you'll see that a husband is also to nourish and cherish his wife; to love her as himself. Wives are not told to do all of this; husbands are. When a wife is submitting to her husband, it's not just to his leadership—it's the standard of love that is set for her husband. By the Word of God itself.
If you're not a Bible-adherer, I can totally get why submission may seem ridiculous. But if you profess to be, it's hard to stake that claim without taking verses like the one I just shared (along with Colossians 3:18-19) into account.
2. Submission Isn’t a Lack of Power; It’s Directed Power
Fantasia's right. Because a lot of us didn't see our father be a good provider and protector and/or because a lot of our mothers had to do everything and/or because we've never seen a healthy marriage up close and personal for ourselves, some of us are inclined to think that submission is synonymous with abuse—or, at the very least, being taken for granted. That's not submission's fault. That needs to be put on the person who didn't honor and respect just how precious and sacred submission truly is.
I say that because think about how awesome you are as a woman. Think about all of the gifts, talents, insight, support and supernatural love you bring to the table. To choose to impart that into a man's life? That alone is an extremely powerful thing! It's basically saying what Beyoncé did in her song "Upgrade U":
You need a real woman in your life (that's a good look)
Taking care of home and still fly (that's a good look)
And I'mma help you build up your account (that's a good look)
Better yet a hood look, ladies, that's a good look
When you're in them big meetings for the mills (that's a good look)
You take me just to complement the deal (that's a good look)
And anything you cop I'll split the bill (that's a good look)
Better yet a hood look
(Believe me) ladies, that's a good look
You don't stop being you simply because you're being submissive. Submission is not a lack of power; it's a way of focusing it, centering it—streamlining it. You are choosing to yield the authority that you do have into the partnership called your marriage so that, as your husband provides and protects you, your power can make him a better person, just as his leadership nourishes, cherishes and further develops you in the process.
Any of y'all remember the Wonder Twins from back in the day? Remember how when their fists touched, they said, "Wonder Twin powers activate"? That's how I see leadership and submission in action. Two people using their strengths to lean into one another to make big stuff happen; the kind of stuff that quite possibly wouldn't happen any other way.
3. For Leadership to Work, Someone Needs to Submit
I'll be honest. I think a lot of women want to "buffet" submission. What I mean by that is they want to pick and choose when submission should apply or not. I can't tell you how many times I've heard the very same ladies who think submission is antiquated and unnecessary turn right around and say that asking a man out on a date or to marry them is utterly ridiculous because "that's the man's job". So, he can—and should—lead when you're dating, but not after saying "I do"? What's that all about?
A writer by the name of J.D. Greeer once said, "Spiritual headship is not license for men to do what they want to do. It is empowerment to do what they ought to do. But, wives, that means you don't only follow him when you agree with him or feel like he is making the right decision. That's not submission; that's agreement."
Here's the thing. Is marriage a partnership? Of course. Are men and women equal in value in the relationship? Also, yes. But being equal doesn't make two people identical. There are certain things that men bring to the table and certain things that we as women do. A lot of women desire a protector and provider. Well, guess what? That's what a leader does. Once you get married, what's the struggle for? Let him.
4. A Man Who Understands Submission Submits to Someone Too
Sometimes, I hear women say, "I submit to my husband as he submits to me." Yeah…that's not really how submission works. The point of submission is that someone has to lead in order for it to truly be effective. What I dig about what Fantasia said is, once she found a man who she felt was worthy of her gift of submission, there were things that she used to have to worry about that she no longer does. Yeah, some women are so busy thinking about—if not flat-out obsessing over—what submission requires that they don't see the benefits that come right along with it as well. If a man is a good leader, life is easier, not harder.
Besides, remember how I said that submission is a spiritual principle? Bishop TD Jakes once said something about submission that both men and women alike need to always keep in mind—"No woman wants to be in submission to a man who isn't in submission to God." Indeed. A man can only lead well if he is being led well. And the humility, spiritual maturity and surrender that it takes for a man to listen to a Higher Source is what makes him someone that his wife should have no problem submitting to.
I think that's why Fantasia got so excited when DJ Envy not only said that he prays for his wife, but he wakes her up, every morning, to do it. He's taking initiative to not only lead his home, but to show his wife that he submits to someone in the process as well.
5. Submission Is Nothing to Be Scared Of
At the end of the day, submission is all about trust. Do you trust someone enough to allow them to lead? If you're single and you're not sure, don't get married yet. If you're married and you don't, marriage counseling is something that I recommend.
One more thing. Just because a wife submits, that doesn't mean she doesn't have a voice or relevance in her marriage. Something else a good leader does is delegate. If the wife is better with the finances, she handles them. If she makes more money, he's not insecure in the least. When she brings perspectives to the table, he listens. A true husband-leader knows that he's only as good as his partner-wife. He is totally aware of how much he needs and relies on her. So he does.
So, when Fantasia said that a lot of us don't have a man because we don't want to submit, that didn't bother me in the least. I find true submission to be a dope concept. But I think it triggered a lot of others because submission isn't something that's explored as much as it should be.
At the end of the day, it sounded to me like she said, "If y'all want a man in your life, how about you let a man be one?" Shoot, Fantasia is a submitter and I've never seen her stronger. She's an independent artist now. She said she has more money in the bank than ever. She looks great. She really does seem healthy and whole.
A great reminder that submission can actually empower you, that is, if you choose the right man to lead. It's all about staying open and choosing wisely. It really is. Submit to God. He'll lead you to who can lead you; who truly deserves your gift of submission. He really will.
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
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Entrepreneur and community curator Chanise Robinson moved from her hometown of Seattle, Washington, to Los Angeles in 2015 for the life she’d always envisioned for herself.
From a young age, she knew her dreams were too big for the Emerald City so after a quick trip to southern California it was only a matter of time before she called it home. “I’ve always wanted to leave Seattle. There wasn’t enough culture for me, and having grown up there, I knew every Black person, whether it was from school or church,” says Robinson. Immediately after obtaining her Bachelor's degree from the University of Washington, it was then she decided it was time to make her move. “I exhausted all the options, opportunities, and resources I thought I could get from living there and knew I had to leave eventually.”
After graduating from her Alma Mater as a first-generation college student, she chose to continue her education, completing her master's degree at USC. After entering the corporate world, she noticed a lack of information sharing within the Black community, which led to a strong desire to gather community peers, leaders, and experts through sit-down panel discussions. “In corporate spaces, white people are talking and sharing ideas with each other behind closed doors, and I felt Black people didn't have that same network, so I created that space where I saw the gap.”
“In corporate spaces, white people are talking and sharing ideas with each other behind closed doors, and I felt Black people didn't have that same network, so I created that space where I saw the gap.”
Receiving a little motivation from a friend, Conversations with Chanise was created in 2018 with the goal of hosting professional events people could resonate with. “A lot of the time, industry panels can feel dry and disconnected from our culture and community, so I wanted to build that network myself, using it as a platform for others to find knowledge, information, and resources needed to navigate corporate spaces, tools that I didn’t have.”
Continuing to climb in her career, in 2020, Chanise landed a role as a recruiter for one of the fastest-growing tech companies in the world, Snapchat Inc. During her time at the company, she held multiple roles from Recruiter, Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion manager, to eventually landing on the Venture Capital Team, a position that was given because of her impressive community efforts outside of work.
During this time, Conversations with Chanise evolved into Out Of Office due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “In 2020, I changed the name because we were working remotely. Working from home for two years, if you weren't fortunate enough to work for your company prior to the pandemic, then you didn't know your co-workers, especially other Black co-workers.” With the pandemic creating an even bigger challenge to the lack of networking amongst diverse employees, what began as events became a community for Black and Latinx employees from across a number of tech companies to come together and meet fellow peers from across the industry.
It wasn't until 2022 that OOO hosted its first brunch for Black History Month. The invite-only event hosted sixty-five people tech employees, complete with a five-course meal. “Eight people from Amazon attended the event, and that was the first time they had ever met each other, they were all Black.”
Earlier this year, there was an inclination of a soon-to-come recession, which hit the tech world head-on, causing many Americans to be affected. In May of 2022, Chanise was laid off from Snapchat after three and a half years. “I didn’t take the layoff personally. You would think that after being at a company for three years, you would be sad, but since my entire team got laid off, including the people that brought me on, it was just business.”
With a few inside connections, her unemployment was short-lived after receiving two job offers within the following weeks of her being let go. “A former manager on the recruiting team is now the Director of Talent and Acquisition at DoorDash. She reached out about the Senior Program Manager role and encouraged me to apply. All you need is a referral.” She describes this carefree moment of her life as funemployment. “I had another offer from a VC firm, I was on funemployment. I blew my severance check going to Miami buying tables at popular nightclubs, I was having a great time.”
"I didn’t take the layoff personally. You would think that after being at a company for three years, you would be sad, but since my entire team got laid off, including the people that brought me on, it was just business."
With two offers on the table, she went with DoorDash in late September of 2023 as a Senior Program Manager. She was indeed feeling like that girl. Less than 30 days into her new role, she woke up to an unexpected text that sent waves of uncertainty and doubt. Three weeks and two days after starting her new role, Chanise was included in a company-wide layoff.
“A former co-worker from Snapchat was also working at DoorDash at the time and called me at 6:00 a.m. informing me she was included in a company-wide layoff. At that moment, I just knew I couldn’t have been laid off, I just got here,” Chanise recounts. Quickly opening her emails, she saw the dreaded subject line 'Your Employment at DoorDash.' “This time, I was pissed. I was upset and in shock.”
“The first day I was still in positive spirits, it wasn't until the next day I woke up and realized this was real, and I was scared.” With the economic uncertainty looming, there was a mix of emotions. “A lot of times we talk about recessions, and we know what happened in 2008, but I was a kid in high school. Now I’m an adult, and I’ve been laid off twice. I know it’s not the skillset, and I know it's not my work ethic, so now I’m scared.” The most obvious question she had on her mind was, “What am I going to do?”
Being in such a vulnerable space of fear and uncertainty can bring back traumas buried within our deepest childhood memories. “Not only am I only a first-generation college graduate, but I grew up in a single-parent household,” Chanise details. “My mom's ex-husband had a drug problem, and by the time I was nine years old, my mom filed for bankruptcy, leading to my family and I living in a homeless shelter for a year.”
After being laid off, the possibility of being homeless was a looming fear, but it was only because of past trauma. “My work ethic and drive comes from never wanting to put myself in a position that I was in as a child. When you’re a kid, you don't have control over what happens to you, but I made a pact with God that I would always do whatever it took moving forward, and I would never be disqualified on paper.”
"My work ethic and drive comes from never wanting to put myself in a position that I was in as a child... I made a pact with God that I would always do whatever it took moving forward, and I would never be disqualified on paper."
With what seemed to be back-to-back failures, there were many conversations with God that led her to realize life happens fast and it’s up to us how we deal with it. “I’m in a situation where I can't blame anyone for what I’m going through, I can't say it's anyone else's fault, it just happens to be life.” As scary as it was to be without a job once again, this was a wake-up call for the steadfast entrepreneur. “It’s taught me a lot about the recession. It's understanding that it has nothing to do with me personally. It gave me fuel to never work for just one company at a time. You should always have multiple streams of income, and most of those streams should be things you can control at all times.”
Chanise began to realize that maybe this was the time to take her dreams for Out Of Office to the next level. “OOO was always something that I wanted to do full time, but I don’t think I would have pushed myself to be as full-time as quickly. The summit would have never been something I envisioned for myself to happen this year if I wasn’t laid off.”
Not one to back down from an opportunity, Chanise began to use what she had curated so well within her time in Los Angeles, her community. “I was listening to Kirk Franklin on The Breakfast Club podcast, and his message was to win wounded. When you're trying to cross the finish line in a race, sometimes people get hurt and want to give up, but even if you’re limping, you still need to cross the finish line.”
Wounded, she was still on a mission to fulfill the desires of her heart regardless of her situation. “Before I was laid off from DoorDash, there was a woman on the Diversity and Inclusion team who reached out, informing me they would like me to run their Black employee resource group because of my experience and what I was doing with my Out Of Office events.” She continues, “We had a meeting set for Friday and I was laid off Wednesday, two days before the meeting. Reaching out via LinkedIn, [I] informed her that my role had been eliminated; however, I would like to schedule a call to talk about OOO and what we can do.”
“During the meeting, I spoke with her about my vision to do a cross-company employee resource group summit, and it just so happened the company had plans for one the following year for internal employees. They loved that my vision was much bigger, so they decided to give me the money and let me run it instead.” And just like that, a full circle moment. The company that laid her off after three weeks of employment was giving her $45,000 to become the first official sponsor of her biggest corporate summit to date.
This was the momentum she needed to propel her into her destiny. “Even though I was sad, faith without work is dead,” says Chanise. “A lot of times, people let life stop them from pursuing their dreams, and they just give up, and you never know what it could have been.”
"Faith without work is dead. A lot of times, people let life stop them from pursuing their dreams, and they just give up, and you never know what it could have been."
Once the idea of the Employee Research Summit was to become a reality, there was a lot more work to be done. While planning for the ERG Summit, OOO was to host an upcoming event, and while excited about what was in the works, Chanise states, “I remember telling God I really don’t want to do this. This was the first time I charged people to come to a happy hour, and that’s not normally something I would do. I didn’t know if it was worth it and wanted to cancel, but I didn't.”
After the event, she was approached by someone from Amazon’s Cross-Functional Strategic Marketing Team, who had consistently attended a number of OOO events. After a brief conversation, Chanise was informed of a sponsorship for professional development opportunities leading Amazon to become the second official sponsor, providing funds and a space to host her upcoming ERG summit. “At that moment, I knew God was telling me to 'keep going and I will provide all the resources.'”
"At that moment, I knew God was telling me to 'keep going and I will provide all the resources.'"
Fortunate to have really great friends, “I was in search of a keynote speaker, I reached out to Trell Thomas, founder of Black Excellence Brunch, who has a great relationship with Ms. Tina Knowles, among many other celebrity influencers. After discussing ideas and budget, he asked me who I’d like to speak at the event, and thinking it was a reach, I requested Ms. Tina.”
To Chanise’s surprise, Ms. Tina confirmed within a week. “She poured so much life into the audience with her message of not giving up or quitting no matter your age. Speaking to her felt like Sunday dinner, my spirit was full.” After a day full of corporate connections and panel discussions, as an added bonus, the summit wrapped up with an after-party performance by Eric Bellinger.
The Out Of Office ERG Summit was not just a moment to bridge the gap between culture and corporations but it was a culmination of hard work, faith, and determination. No matter what door closes, never be afraid of chasing your dreams. “Throughout this journey, I continued to pray. Lord, please send the resources and opportunities. Give me favor with people and help me do the work in which you have given me,” says Chanise. In the end, official sponsors for the summit included Amazon, Doordash, Snapchat, Google, YouTube, Jack Daniels, FIJI Water, and Bumble for Friends.
As far as going back to work full-time, Chanise shares, “I’ll pray and apply for jobs, but I'll keep working as an entrepreneur. My level of faith has been elevated. What started out as doubt turned into crazy faith.”
On words of encouragement, Chanise advises, “Just keep going, even when you're sad or don’t believe in yourself. Find one person to talk to that you know is going to push and elevate you, an accountability partner. Even if you don’t believe in God, find a faith partner. Find someone who believes and has the faith that you don't, to speak it over you, carrying the faith for you when you can’t.”
This year, Chanise learned that what God has for her is for her, and she’s the only person who can stand in her way. “I’m in my own way sometimes. There's also a difference between providing and sustaining. God will provide you with just enough, and He’ll give you the wisdom and the resources to stretch it long enough for it to last. That's different from asking God to provide.
"We underestimate our creativity. God never gives you a finished project but He gives you the creativity, ideas, and resources to be able to build, sustain, and provide for you. It’s being able to tap into that.”
For more of Chanise, follow her on Instagram @conversationswithchanise.
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