Embrace Ambition Summit 2022

“Every women’s success should be an inspiration to another. We’re strongest when we cheer each other on”- Serena Williams

Tuesday, June 14, 2022 at Jazz@Lincoln Center, I had the amazing opportunity to attend this years’ #EmbraceAmbition summit. The Embrace Ambition initiative addresses the double standard that exists around ambition, which is often seen as a compliment for men and a critique of women. It is a one-day event that’s focused on overcoming the negative attitudes about ambition in women and addressing other harmful stereotypes that impact gender, race, and sexuality. Visionary leaders in Hollywood, business, science, entrepreneurship, and youth movements take the stage along with performances meant to inspire and empower. You must apply for a chance to attend the summit with an online application and essay about your own experience with embracing ambition.

Tory Burch

This year’s theme is “Confronting stereotypes and creating new norms” We came together to receive a warm welcome from Tory Burch followed by Comedian/Filmmaker Negin Farsad. She talked about the era of 2020-2021, Covid and how we were all able to maintain some sanity. Her humor and candor was refreshing.

In one of the morning sessions, ABC News Senior National Affairs Correspondent, Deborah Roberts, interviewed Melissa Hanna, Founder and CEO of Mahmee, Sheila Marcelo, CEO and co-founder of Proof of Learn & Jasmine Jones Co-Founder and Ceo of Myya. The title of the session “Women Entrepreneurs Respond”

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 14: Deborah Roberts attends the 2022 Embrace Ambition Summit | Tory Burch Foundation at Jazz at Lincoln Center on June 14, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images)

Another session involved reclaiming our icons in history. Dolores Huerta, President and Founder of the Dolores Huerta Foundation was interviewed by Rosie Perez, Actor and Activist. Conversation centered around Unconscious Bias and Conscious Leadership, which was introduced by the President of the Tory Burch Foundation, Laurie Fabiano. Rosie Perez and Dolores Huerta talked about activism and the need for women to have a voice. It ended with all women standing together and repeating the mantra “WE have power” “FEMINIST power” and “Si Se Puede/Yes We Can!”. Ms. Huerta joked that when she met President Obama she told him that he stole her phrase and he admitted that he did! We gave ourselves a round of applause and enjoyed a performance from Author and Poet Ian Manuel. Mr. Manuel was sentenced to 26 years in prison and spent almost half in solitary confinement. He was interviewed by Jacqueline Woodson, Macarthur Fellow, Author and Founder, Baldwin For The Arts. He recited his poem My Time Will Come; it was emotional and heartfelt.

During the 3rd session, there was a panel about The Stigma of Mental Illness. Samantha Boardman, M.D. ,Positive psychologist and Professor, Weil Cornell Medical College and Michael A. Lindsay, PH.D., MSW, MPH, Executive Director, McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research New York University were interviewed by Perri Peltz, Journalist and Filmmaker. It was great to have the conversation about depression, mental disorders and ways we can be allies/assist others or learn how to advocate for self.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 14: (L-R) Samantha Boardman, M.D., Dr. Michael A. Lindsey and Perri Peltz speak onstage at the 2022 Embrace Ambition Summit, hosted by the Tory Burch Foundation at Jazz at Lincoln Center on June 14, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images)

Another highlight session was with Eva Chen, Vice President, Fashion Partnership at Instagram and Min Jin Lee, Novelist about Bias against Asian Americans. Both women discussed their personal experiences with the start of coronavirus and how the negative connotations with Asian Americans affected them and their families. Ms. Chen and Ms. Lee were able to share their viewpoints with some humor and reflect on how we can look forward to a future with diversity and respect.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 14: Eva Chen and Min Jin Lee attend the 2022 Embrace Ambition Summit, hosted by the Tory Burch Foundation at Jazz at Lincoln Center on June 14, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images)

I asked the young lady sitting next to me if she would join me for lunch and she accepted. We introduced ourselves and exchanged contact info. Rozella White is focused on “restoring hearts to wholeness so that all can thrive”, she is the #LoveBigCoach, a social impact entrepreneur and inspirational speaker/writer. She is also a public theologian, spiritual life and leadership coach. You can read more about Rozella @ http://www.rozellawhite.com I had a great time connecting with her!

Icon Billie Jean King and Tory Burch sat for a conversation about sports and equality. I have added the video below for you to enjoy.

After closing remarks, there was a musical performance by Flor de Toloache and a session solely for cocktails and shopping Tory Burch Foundation merch. Attendees have time to take photos, and network with other attendees. It was mandatory to be masked up at this event but I can say it didn’t stop the entertainment and discussions centered on empowerment/awareness. I encourage anyone that may be interested in attending, apply early!& be prepared for a full day of awesomeness! http://www.toryburchfoundation.org

“Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for ALL women”- Dr. Maya Angelou

Prepared – Jill Scott

I been reading my old journals
Checking to see where my head has been
And I been apologizing to some people
Some bridges I needed to mend
And I been eating more greens
Getting my body alkaline, oh
I’m gonna be super fine
And I been lettin’
Been lettin’ some old ideas go
I’m making room for my life to grow
I just wanna be prepared, yeah

I just wanna be, I just wanna be prepared
I just wanna be prepared
Getting myself ready
For what’s comin’ for me yeah yeah yeah
I am (I just wanna be, I just wanna be prepared)
I just wanna be prepared

Hear me now
I been getting recipes off the internet
Most times they be banging
I realized they’re only good when I put
My lil’ spices all up in rices
I’ve been
You know I’ve been enjoying people who love each other
Husband and wife
Sister and brother
Father and mother
I let the queen inside
I let her shine
I been listening to God more
I been doing my chores

I just wanna be, I just wanna be prepared
I’ve been gettin’ myself together
For what’s, for what’s comin’ to me yeah
I just wanna be prepared yeah yeah yeah yeah
(I just wanna be, I just wanna be prepared)
I just wanna be prepared

For when I see him at the end of the isle
With that true heart and that real smile
Intentions pure
A love that will endure
I just wanna be prepared
I, I’m gettin’ myself together
For what’s comin’ to me comin’ to me yeah
I just wanna be prepared hmm
I just wanna be prepared

I just wanna be, I just wanna be prepared
I just wanna be, I just wanna be prepared
I just wanna be, I just wanna be prepared

Embrace Ambition Summit 2022

The moment has arrived for The Tory Burch Foundation Embrace Ambition Summit taking place June 14, 2022 at the Rose Hall in Lincoln Center!

Apply to be selected to attend the in-person event by March 31, 2022 or enter your information for a free virtual ticket. The summit returns as a live and virtual experience -featuring conversations and performances from leaders in business, entertainment, science, social justice and sports.


Update: I have been selected to attend! So excited!

Good luck & hope to see you there!

International Women’s Day 2022

This year’s campaign theme— #BreaktheBias —spotlights the individual and collective biases against women that fuel gender inequality. 

I am patiently waiting for the next”Embrace   Ambition” Summit!  I had the amazing opportunity to join The Tory Burch Foundation for their Embrace Ambition Summit in 2020. I have added the link here so you can view the article. 


 If you are a blogger, small business owner, CEO, or still have a vision board with future goals, I strongly encourage you to head over to the website and join the mailing list for updates and exclusives: http://www.toryburchfoundation.org

A world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable and inclusive. A world where difference and value is celebrated. Together we can all forge women’s equality. To all the incredible women in the world, shine on, not just today but every day!

Kindness Always Comes Back

“Each one of us has lived through some devastation, some loneliness, some weather superstorm or spiritual superstorm, when we look at each other we must say, I understand. I understand how you feel because I have been there myself. We must support each other and empathize with each other because each of us is more alike than we are unalike.”- Dr. Maya Angelou

A Way Of Life

Queen, be a woman of integrity. Do the right thing, no matter where you are. Always do your best, even when no one is around to acknowledge it. Carry your brilliance wherever you go. Let everything you complete be of high quality. Take responsibility for your outcomes, instead of blaming others. Stand up for what you believe,even if you are standing alone. Be the first to apologize if you have done something wrong. As a woman of royal lineage, you are destined to be a great leader, and great leaders always take the high road. It may not be popular, easy, or convenient, but thats why we are extraordinary. It is time to make supreme excellence a way of life.

Excerpt from ” Unlocking The Queen Code”- Moseley Crawford

You Got This

I forgive myself and I release all the things that do not serve me now. One of the most difficult things to do in this lifetime for sure, especially considering how complex it can be to set apart things that may feel good but may not be good for you. Having your own voice will become a treasure for you once you realize that it is your right to speak and defend your thoughts. Im sure so many can remember the old saying that children should be seen and not heard. That saying has always rubbed me the wrong way as if no matter what is going on around us, if you are a certain age, it should be kept bottled up inside. Its OK to be you and to say how you feel. Knowing that others may not agree with you is just fine. If you can manage to get across a point in a respectful yet assertive manner, you may often be surprised that you gain more listeners. Having someone tell you they’ve never thought of it in the way you have expressed can be so valuable.

Im still working through “Unlocking The Queen Code” by Moseley Crawford. It is more like a personal workbook and at times, I had to put it down because it brought up intense emotions. I can’t stress enough how important it is to acknowledge any feelings as they come to the surface and process them, by yourself or with a licensed professional. One thing I am learning, even now, is that when you’re in a process of healing, you have to surround yourself with others that are optimistic and encouraging. “There’s hope. Are you a pauper or a superstar? So you act so you feel so you are”..one of my fave lyrics. It is truly based on your perception. You cannot go any further if you are stuck in repeating the same bad habits or behaviors. They feel comfortable but will cause more harm in the long run. Maybe no one has ever told you so, but in order to make progress, you have to be willing to listen to advice from those that you feel may live a successful life or somehow managing to go with the flow with hardly any drama. Seems impossible but it isn’t. I was recently given a book. It is called the W.R.A.P. and in it details instructions that many of us would call basic but very necessary in mental wellness. Simple acts of writing down a daily schedule can make all the difference. I really like how it breaks these tasks down so that you understand how to recognize when you’re having an off day or need to check in with someone else. Now I know you may think Oh ok I know when I’m not feeling good but what do you do about it? How do you handle it so that you can immediately change the course of events or feelings that have you down? We get so caught up in our lives that we have forgotten to truly take a moment to assess our wants and needs.

When you feel like you need to speak up about something that may be bothering you, go right ahead and do so. If you don’t feel like you can verbally express yourself at the moment, I would write it down. I am at a stage in my life where I voice my feelings and express my discomfort when need be. You should never feel ashamed to speak your mind. We , in our own unique ways, have so much to offer and we should never have to shrink ourselves for anyone to feel better. It takes time and a willingness to be uncomfortable in certain conversations but well worth the outcome.

Worthy – India Arie

I know exactly what you’re thinkin’
I’ve had those thoughts a million times
I can see the question that’s behind your eyes, oh
You’re searching for your peace of mind

Now listen up to this truth
You are me and I am you
Every one of us is worthy
Baby girl, worthy woman
Every one of us is worthy

I know your life, I felt your pain
I know your joys and your shames
Sometimes it feels like life walks over you, oh
Like you’re a penny on the ground

But either on the ground or in your purse
The smallest piece still holds its worth
Every one of us is worthy
Baby girl, worthy woman
Every one of us is worthy
Baby girl, worthy woman
Every one of us is worthy

Worthy of love
Worthy of life
Worthy of saying no when something don’t feel right
This is a song for you
For all the ups and downs that life will put you through, oh

Now listen up to this truth
You are me and I am you
Every one of us is worthy, yeah
Baby girl, worthy woman
Every one of us is worthy
Baby girl, worthy woman
Every one of us is worthy

Baby girl, worthy woman
(Every one of us is worthy)
Every one of us is worthy
Baby girl, worthy woman
(Every one of us is worthy)
Every one of us is worthy
Every one of us is worthy
Every one of us is worthy

Just One Of Those Days

The definition of melancholy: a feeling of pensive sadness usually without any cause. Ive been trying to shake off the blues for a few days now. I think I feel it more because I’ve been in the house since I’m not driving at the moment. I will be, soon. I will also register for the spring semester at Dutchess during the first week of November. So I’m just stuck in a transition I guess and feel blah. Also, I am fully vaccinated and with that I guess I thought I would have superpowers but nope not even a headache..lol. Lately so many negative thoughts have been coming up. And I’m thinking to myself ” what does this all mean? Why am I ruminating and beating up on myself for the past?” For the record, I have always been the glass is half full type of person. I find reasons to acknowledge the pain in others when they’re not on their best behavior because that’s what it comes down to. Most often, anger is just hurt. So often, its just a bad day for most and its understandable. I try to keep a gratitude journal and practice meditation but there are some days where it feels like nothing works and I am uninspired to say the least. I think what needs to be clarified is the fact that it is allright to have these type of days. Its natural and doesn’t take away from the person you are. Sometimes, we don’t feel like engaging in housework, or exercise. Later for that phone call or text. You don’t want to be bothered and you don’t want to announce it to anyone either. I get it.

I find peace in music. I have a genuine love for all genres so my playlist varies. I love old and new school artists and a close friend introduced me to a number of unknown artists that do not always get radio play and I have to admit, some of the best songs I’ve listened to. Its something about a song and lyric that speak to you and for you about any particular topic. Lianne La Havas has several songs I love. Here’s one I enjoy: Midnight but I recommend the entire album. Amazing that she has the same album done solo without any arrangements. Beautiful 😍

Many times, I find myself thinking about my life and how much progress I’ve made. I have come a long way but still have so much to improve upon. It’s one day at a time for anyone whose trying to succeed but lately with a global pandemic, it can feel overwhelming. I’ve never had a crowd around me or had a large group of friends. Even in high school, I remember having a “clique” that I ran with and I was just fine with that. I considered myself a “loner” in many ways. I found pleasure in reading novels rather than talking over the phone. There were times where I told jokes in order to take the attention off of me and make others feel more at ease. I guess I was afraid that if people got to know the real me, what I enjoyed in my spare time etc, I wouldn’t be “cool” or have as many friends. I loved to write as well. I kept a journal along with reading favorite novels. One of my favorite books was a series of books by Laura Ingalls Wilder called ” Little House On The Prairie”. As a young black girl from the south bronx, it would seem that I had nothing in common with Laura, but I could relate in many ways. Having two sisters and a brother as well as both parents in the household. I would become so immersed in the stories that I often missed my mom calling me for dinner. Another favorite of mine was Harriet The Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. I often saw myself in Harriet, going around observing everything and jotting it down it my notebook. I never had time to “feel’ loneliness or wonder why certain friends and I weren’t chatty anymore. I had my notebook and I’d create short stories or poems about any and everything. Books can be a great source for a mental getaway. Currently I’m reading a novel by Bernadine Evaristo ” Girl, Woman, Other” I think I will do another post about the novel soon. Barnes and Noble and even your local library may bring some comfort. Its worth a try.

As I went to take my 1 year old puppy Remy for a walk today I noticed that my Brown Sugar Box arrived. This subscription is awesome. Every month it’s a shipment of various products that celebrate sisterhood, empowerment and I also love opening gifts so its perfect for me lol. This month featured champagne flutes, a wine stopper, always a different t-shirt and other goodies. Head on over to http://www.izzyandliv.com and see all they have to offer

I need to mention Remington of course! We call him Remy and we love him. He’s full breed Pekingese and full of energy. Its true that pets can be a great source of comfort. To watch him grow from 3 months until now has been great.

I believe that you should do whatever makes you feel better in regards to your mental health as long as its not a detriment to yourself or anyone else. If this means lounging in bed all day so be it. Allow yourself to feel. We live in a society that likes to place blame and shame for having moments of doubt , anger, anxiety or even fear. The key is your response to these emotions and how you can process them in order to get a breakthrough. Sometimes the work requires a third party professional and thats fine. If you are at that step and realize this, you should feel a sense of progress because asking for help is a sign of bravery. We talk about self-care but so many of us don’t realize how simple it can be. Taking a moment to do something just for yourself can be a mood changer. It can be as quick as an affirmation to acknowledge that you are not feeling like yourself.

Statements such as : I choose me!

Everything I want is everything I should have!

I choose to do great things today!

I love the skin I’m in!

I will think in abundance not scarcity!

I find that the second I start to focus on an action that will bring me back to gratitude I start to feel better. And ready for the next day., even if not all together overjoyed but the best part is that I tried. You can do it too!