Whether they were aware or not, I have had numerous female mentors, even if they were only mentors “in my head.” The very first person I considered a mentor, in a field I was remotely interested in, was Johnnie Walker, founder of National Association of Black Females and Executives in Entertainment (NABFEME) and former marketing and promotions executive at Def Jam Records.
I was very zealous about attending the events held by this organization because it put me in the same room with some, if not all, of the most prominent women in entertainment. Whether it was a networking reception, conference or panel, I made it a point to introduce myself to these women and would instantly daydream about them being my Fairy God Mentor, bringing me along for the ride and introducing me to those I would need know to assist in my career matriculation.
While attending a NABFEME conference in Chicago in the summer of 2005, I was nominated for Legal Counsel of the Year alongside some of the biggest, brightest and most accomplished African-American female attorneys in entertainment. I was just happy to be mentioned in the same breath as Lisa Bonner, Dedra Davis (another mentor and former boss), Heather Nelson-Beverly; so imagine my surprise when I actually won the award. “You mean to tell me I received this award over the woman who represents Lupe Fiasco? For real?! How did that happen?”
Lisa had an extremely successful practice in Los Angeles and moved to New York a couple of years after this conference took place. As soon as I got wind that she moved to New York, I invited her out to dinner just to get re-acquainted (because of course as a mentor in my head, we had spent tons of time together). We discussed our careers, new ventures, dating, bullsh*t, you name it. I was ecstatic to be in her presence, but could not muster up the courage to ask her outright to be my mentor. You want to know why? Well, let me tell you. It’s because (in my head) these women were tremendously busy and I did not want to bother them with my questions, concerns, crying, whining and soul searching.
Also On HelloBeautiful:
Celebs Tweet Their Thoughts About #JusticeForSandraBland
1. Jesse Williams
#SandraBland's treatment while attempting to travel freely on HER public roadways has been acknowledged as unlawful. She is already dead.
2. Taraji P. Henson
"SAY HER NAME #SandraBland"
3. Ava DuVernay
"'Why are you arresting me?' Because you know your rights. Because I can. Because no one'll believe you. #SandraBland"
4. Kim Kardashian
#WhatHappenedToSandraBland We need answers!!!! This is NOT ok! This is all shady! They need to own up to this & tell the truth!
5. Jussie Smollet
"A loss 4 words. #SandraBlandMatters #BlackLivesMatter 👈🏿tell me this should change once the nation shows that we do. "
6. Snoop Dogg
🙏🌹. Sandra. Rip. 🌹🌹
7. K. Michelle
R.I.P to this queen. This could've been any of us. My prayers go out to her family. #sandrabland https://instagram.com/p/5fvlO_AhCf/
8. Gabrielle Union
SAY HER NAME!!! #SandraBland #SandraBland #SandraBland #SayHerName
"We must get to the cause of #sandrabland death because this CANNOT happen again #deathorfreedom"
10. David Banner
"When will we fight back. A man's duty on earth is to protect women and children. Where are the gangsters? Preachers? We need you. Please."
11. Nicki Minaj
"Rest In Peace #SandraBland"
12. Talib Kweli
"We the people ask @LorettaLynch to investigate #SandraBland #KimberleeRandleKing RETWEET "
Signs. Signs. Signs all around us. The Message is Here. #SandraBland
14. Missy Elliot
"When I look at the #SandraBland traffic video it brings so many emotions😳😢😡😡😤!"
15. Jessie J
"God bless your soul Sandra | #sandrabland | Change needs to come |Justice needs to be served | Heart… https://instagram.com/p/5fV79mQ0aw/ "
16. Jackee Harry
"It's time y'all, it's time.." #SandraBland #BlackLivesMatter
"In memory of #SandraBland these things don't make no kinda sense "
18. Holly Robinson Peete
I really don't look forward to having ANOTHER difficult conversation w my kids tonight...but here we go again😧💔 #SandraBland #SayHerName 😢
19. Jeffrey White
Sadly, doesn't matter by whose hand she died. Unjustified arrested set the outcome in motion. The state murdered her. #JusticeForSandraBland
Sandra could have been your mother, sister, aunt, friend or if she wasn't killed the community outreach advisor A&M. #SandraBland
21. Joan Smalls
"My heart is broken. Sending my deepest condolence to her family and friends. May you find Strength, Peace and Justice. When will this stop? #EqualityForAll #RIP #Why #SayHerName
22. Gladys Knight
Sandra Bland.... #SayHerName #SandraBland
23. Cara Delevigne
Things need to change NOW #SANDRABLAND #Justice #Equality
24. Meek Mill
"Rip to that young lady that lost her life about a traffic stop! 🙏 ima make sure I pray for her and her family! 🙏😄😄😄"