What a weekend for black women in Chicago…One, the weather has been super warm here, but most importantly, this was the weekend of the State Farm sponsored Black Women’s Expo, held at the McCormick Center. The Black Women’s Expo is a huge exposition set up to create an environment to empower and inspire black women, while also showcasing entrepreneurs throughout the city.
Within the expo, a variety of seminars are put on to create a more intimate space for the women to come together and discuss common goals, and even talk with industry professionals. This year, A.J. Linton put on the “It Girl” panel comprised of young, women entrepreneurs in their mid- twenties. I was able to catch up with one of the panelists, Ticara Davis, music journalist and creator of Vita 10/17.
Tell me about the It Girl panel.
The It Girl panel discussion was created by A.J. Linton. The purpose of the “It Girl” Panel Discussion was to inspire young women to pursue their careers in whatever field [of their choice]. It Girl is more than just a catchy phrase, it’s about women who possess the qualities that makes her shine more than her competition. She’s an intellectual, a mentor, or friend. The panel consisted of some amazing women who are doing great things in Chicago.
What was discussed during the panel.
We discussed what struggles each of us have faced trying to make it in our respected careers. We also gave insight on what we do and how we made the decision to even work in that field or study that field. We had an open floor discussion and got asked some great questions from the attendees.
I am a Music Journalist. I am still developing my company Vita 10|17, which is an online publication that focuses on the music and the music business. What made me stand out on the panel is [the fact that I am currently] in college pursuing my Masters Degree in Journalism, which is completely different than Music Business Management. I discussed what made me study journalism outside of the music industry.
How do you think women benefited from the panel.
I think women benefited from the panel, because there was a group of young women sharing their success stories and shedding positive light on making it in a tough city like Chicago. If you want to do it, you can, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. After the panel we met and networked with each other as well as the people who attended the panel. Overall, it was a great way to gain some insight into the industry and have that first step of networking with a professional.
What kind of Industry women were you surrounded by.
The people on the panel ranged from makeup artists, hairstylists, managers, event coordinators, and more. It was great to hear all 17 of the women speak on their success and I actually got a chance to meet people who could help me pursue my dreams.