Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday's Fabulous Flicks

Richard N. Bettie, Princess Keisha Omilana, & Paul Wilmat

Larry Dias, Andrea Hoffman, & Bernard Jackson III
LaToya Henry, Reginald Van Lee, & Jocelyn Taylor
Henry Watkins & Andrea Hoffman
Jennifer Hickman-Piverger & Jacques-Phillippe Piverger with their children Jacques-Maxime & Soleil

Diversity Affluence hosted a fabulous Hamptons Award Brunch on August 22nd to honor individuals for outstanding contributions in the arts, aid assistance to the needy, and childhood development and education. The event was presented by presented by Jaguar and was held at Dockers Waterside Restaurant & Marina in the hamlet of East Quogue located in Southhampton, NY. Voss provided water refreshment for all the attendees.

Dwayne Ashley (CEO of Global Operations, Success for Kids); Jacques-Philippe Piverger (Founder and Chairman of The Global Syndicate and Director of PineBridge Investments); and Reginald Van Lee (Senior Vice President of Booz Allen Hamilton) were this year’s honorees.

Many thanks to Andrea and Margot for all of the information and great photos!

You ladies are absolutely fantastic!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday's Fabulous Flick

Town & County Magazine Events Editor Alexis Clark, Liz Peek, and Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) Board of Trustees Member Judith Byrd (right) are featured this week. The lovely ladies were attending the annual luncheon of The Couture Council of the Museum of FIT. This event is one of many that kicks off Fashion Week in New York City.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Being "Busy" - A Status Symbol?

I imagine the title of this posting hit some of you like a ton of bricks - because you’re one of the guilty.

Let’s tell the truth, shall we? You get a rush from being “busy.” It makes you feels that you are playing an incredibly important role in the world. You are validated by having a calendar bursting with appointments, social functions, and family related activities. If your mobile phone stays quiet too long, you’ll jingle someone so that you can find more activities, events, and function to fill up your time.

Now do I know you so well? It’s because I am a recovering “busy-aholic.”

In my twenties, I loved zooming around until it literally made me sick. I traveled extensively for my job in those olden days and never gave myself any downtime. What free time I had, I packed it up with various board and community advisory committee meetings, club obligations, church events, et cetera, et nauseum.

I relished being “busy” no differently that the many status symbols I acquired over the years.

Then one day (while lying on the therapist couch actually) I had the epiphany that I was a busy-ness addict. The addiction was rooted in my own insecurities and a desire to prove that I was a worthwide person. As I dug deeper into the key drivers of my behavior, I realized years of being dismissed, overlooked, and disrespected in the two most important areas of my life (the workplace and my romantic relationship) had taken its toll. I was unhappy in both areas and I compensated for it by keeping “busy.” I believed if I stayed still and quiet too long the mask would crack, forcing me to deal with crumbed pieces of the lie I was living. Being “busy” was a sweet fear based diversion in which I sought solace.

It wasn’t long after this revelation that God removed both of those energy vampires from my life. With the stressful job and the drama king gone, it became easy to delicately remove myself from the scores of boards, committees, and stuff that kept me busy for busy-ness’ sake. I learned the art of staying no and sought more equity in all of my relationships.

Consequently, work-life balance for me became more simplistic and less of a struggle. I became more at peace – almost zen-like in my approach to life and living.

I still keep a very active lifestyle (as regular blog readers know) but I do not forsake taking care of myself while focusing on what matters most in my world.

Until recently, I only shared my story with a few select friends because; honestly many of us are on the hamster wheel cycle of running ourselves ragged. Some of it is for good reasons but a lot of it is not. “Society” tells us that we should keep “busy” because after all, important people are “busy” right? But “society” never discusses the possible negative ramifications being “busy” can have on our health and well-being.

This Forbes online article affirms that busy-ness addiction is real and strategies on how to address it. What we need to understand is that being “busy” as a personal branding statement is unhealthy. It’s time to recalibrate our thinking.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Documentary Highlights The Story of Black Children in Prep Schools

While the surfing the web last week, I literally stumbled on The Prep School Negro - that promotes a documentary film about Black children in predominately White prep schools. The film's director (Andre Robert Lee) attended the Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia.

The film is screening around the country currently. For those of you with children in predominately White prep schools, this film may encourage them to open up more about their experiences trying to balance "two worlds."

Check the website frequently for screening locations and dates.

Friday's Fabulous Flick

This week’s flick features Vanessa Jacquemin attending the Louis Vuitton sponsored party benefiting the Princess Grace Foundation USA. The foundation is dedicated to assisting emerging talent in the arts, by providing scholarships, fellowships, and apprenticeships.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Boss Lady: Desiree Rogers is CEO of Johnson Publishing Company

Former White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers is the new CEO of the Johnson Publishing Company. This information has been confirmed by Amy Dubois Barnett (EIC of Ebony Magazine).

Congrats to her! Here's to making Johnson Publishing Company viable again!

Let's pop champagne!


"Blood Phones" Powered By Conflict Minerals

I received some…ur…interesting emails about yesterday’s post on conflict diamonds. Some of you really dug your heels into the ground, shouting proclamations that you will NEVER buy diamonds EVER!

Ok, that’s cool and I totally respect where you’re coming from. But before the more (ahem) righteous among us begin condemning all those who like sparkly jewels (including yours truly) I think you should have some more information about other conflict materials.

Conflict diamonds are among one of several natural elements causing war and bloodshed in various regions of Africa. So while, yes some of us can completely forsake the purchasing of diamonds, how many of us are ready to toss our mobile phones too?

Earlier this year, GlobalPost did a great story on conflict minerals with a focus on coltan – which is used to power most smartphones and hand held video games. What was uncovered is that people in the Congo are dying in astounding numbers while the major electronic companies reap the benefits.

And, what’s odd and heartrending is that many of us are unknowingly sowing seeds of destruction in the Congo with our voracious appetite for the latest and hottest smartphones and video games. A recent Pew Internet study provides evidence that people of color (African Americans and Latino Americans specifically) use smartphones at a higher rate than White Americans.

Both the United States and the United Kingdom have begun efforts to force disclosure from the twenty-one largest electronics companies and; ask them to cease using conflict minerals in their devices. In fact, President Obama signed a provision in the recent Financial Reform Bill that includes a measure to eliminate the illicit trade of four minerals that are used in consumer electronics.

Are you horrified now? I’m so sure that you are. You were probably unaware of the damaging impact of the conflict mineral driven product that you Facebook, Tweet, and text with each day.

There is something you can do. RAISE Hope for Congo is a non-profit organization dedicated to stopping violence against women and the mineral driven exploitation of the Congo. Sign their e-letter to the twenty-one largest electronics companies demanding that they do not power their equipment on conflict minerals and; ask your friends to do the same.

Also, write to the company that created your smartphone and request their policy on sourcing conflict-free minerals. Research in Motion, Inc. (the creators of the Blackberry) can expect to hear from me today.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Learning About Conflict Diamonds

When Fab Fiancé began to broach the idea of getting engaged, I had one major request.

And, it had absolutely nothing to do with cut, clarity, color, or carat size.

I asked him to please make sure that he purchases “conflict free diamonds.” While I love diamonds, I would not be comfortable wearing one if I believe someone lost their life or limbs (literally) for it.

He did the research and located a jeweler who by all accounts appears committed to not sell diamonds that were procured through war or bloodshed. In fact, we were pleased to discover that many of the major US jewelry stores and retail chains have signed an agreement to not broker jewels from war ravished parts of the world.

So as we watch and wait for news of the possible legal woes for Supermodel Naomi Campbell who may have received a gift of alleged “conflict” or “blood” diamonds, you may want to learn more about consumers’ rights and responsibilities when purchasing diamonds.

The World Diamond Council has a great website (Diamond where you can learn more about conflict diamonds and; the steps taken by world governments to stop the trade of conflict diamonds.

Let's work to become more educated about blingy-ness and where the bling originates.