On Thursday, July 17th Melanie Martin, Associate Beauty and Style Editor for EBONY.com, shared her life story in front of a packed audience for the second Sincerely Chosen show. And boy, did she give us the “tea” about live with limited sugar coating and plenty of bitter truths!
Melanie, a native of Largo, Maryland, has local ties to Philadelphia by way of Temple University where she earned a B.A. in Communications. In the “tell-it-like-it-is” manner that she’s so known and loved for, Martin relayed her battles with colorism and racism in life, and how she fought to advance professionally as a result of it. She delved into the death of her father and revealed how “out of it” she was in life after his passing; she managed to find herself again thereafter and emerge from the tumultuous time a stronger and wiser woman. Throughout it all Martin has worked diligently for the advancement of women, celebration of beauty and continues to dedicate her life to empowering females of all ages.
The audience, mainly comprised of women, enjoyed the opportunity to network among themselves and with Mel. DJ G33k provided the perfect soundtrack to a night full of inspiration and motivation while East Eden Vegan Catering and Aliyah Seven Wine kept the conversations flowing. Melanie has always been in love with beauty, style, and female empowerment which was manifested early in her college career as the host of her own radio show, Fabulously Focused. Her devotion to female empowerment continues to be seen and felt as the written voice behind Beautifully Brown. Beautifully Brown is a weekly EBONY.com column that serves as a hub where black women of all hues are celebrated and beauty is adored from the brown girl’s perspective.
Thank you so much, Mel, for coming and sharing your journey!
On August 21st, attendees will meet Ameen Akbar, Director of Student Life at YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School. YouthBuild is a comprehensive school that provides out-of-school youth in Philadelphia a chance to earn their high school diploma while learning valuable job skills in the fields of building trades, healthcare and technology preparing them for post secondary success.
Ameen is an instrumental figure in the development of an outstanding culture and climate at YouthBuild Philadelphia and has recently taken over the challenge of service programming through YouthBuild’s AmeriCorps program. He is credited with redefining his previous position–largely through the implementation of a new restorative practices approach within the discipline process. He possesses a deep passion for the education of urban youth and in his position at YouthBuild he has had the honor of serving as a role model for a countless number of young adults–especially young men–who have been marginalized by the education system.
In addition to his work with YouthBuild Philadelphia, he facilitates “From Boys To Men”, a unique out-of-school time leadership, life-skills and self-esteem enhancement program for adolescent males at Universal Companies. He also serves as Vice President of the Young Legends Basketball Program in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia.
Ameen will be interviewed about his personal journey as a Philly native; manhood; public education with special focus on the drop-out population; his position with Kenneth Gamble’s, Universal Companies; violence among young black men especially; the importance of mentoring in our city; the role of Islamic faith in his life; and his thoughts on a plethora of hot topics.
The July show was completely sold out–standing room only! Don’t be caught standing! Tickets are currently available online for $10 at www.SincerelyChosenPhilly.Com as well as at the venue the day of for $15. Online ticket sales end on August 20th, 2014.