Last year, you may recall the stunning photo series celebrating the various hues of beautiful black women that made waves online and garnered major media coverage. That photo series was called The Colored Girl Project and it beautifully and unapologetically showcased black beauty in all its form.
Now, the founders of The Colored Girl are back with new ways to empower black women. They kicked off 2018 with a bang, creating a new women’s empowerment retreat last month called IMARA. Founders Tori Elizabeth and Victory Jones convened an intimate gathering of 80 women from across the globe, in a supportive, sisterly environment to learn from one another and grow, both personally and professionally.
The retreat, which was held in Morocco February 18-25th, at the stunning black-female-owned boutique hotel, Jnane Tamsna in Le Palmeraie section of Marrakech, featured an impressive line-up of influential and powerful women, all of whom are captains of their industries: Bozoma Saint John CBO of Uber; Koshie Mills, PR powerhouse; Terri Matthews, self-made millionaire & motivational speaker, and Lauren Wesley-Wilson, founder of ColorComm, were just a few of the speakers in attendance. They communed with other women of color from across the globe at the retreat, to share their stories, advice, and practical steps to living your best life, personally and professionally. All of which surrounded the theme of celebrating the art of community, excellence and empowerment.
The week-long experience was co-hosted by model/actress Karreuche Tran and featured partnerships with Veyep Sports and Uber, among other businesses. The grand finale gala was for the Global Migrants Project by the Global Diversity Foundation, which helps migrants and refugees facing inhumane conditions in Northern Africa. There was also a luncheon and the debut of African International Art Fair 1:54 at La Mamounia in Marrakech.
The schedule of events at IMARA included a variety of panels & discussions ranging from financial, travel and entrepreneurship, to why self-care and representation are truly essential. Each day offered a variety of enriching experiences, including in-depth Q&A sessions and satellites talks from various event speakers.
When discussing their vision for the IMARA retreat, founders Elizabeth and Jones went into great detail about how they wanted to empower black women through various ways and mediums:
“Our vision was to bring women together to share, connect, create lasting bonds, and be sources of inspiration, motivation and empowerment for each other. We wanted to create an opportunity for women (of color) to commune in a space that is built solely for the authentic sharing of energy, truths, experiences, and practical advice to embrace the art of living their best lives. We took it to Morocco, Jnane Tamsna specifically, for two reasons: One, Jnane Tamsna’s owner Meryanne Loum-Martin (our client) is the first person (and black woman) to own & open a boutique hotel in Morocco! We felt this was significant, especially since we were bringing a group of women of color together in a special place to be inspired!
Secondly, we decided to launch the event to coincide with the African debut of International Art Fair 1:54. An art fair that showcases African art, which until recently, had actually never even occurred in AFRICA! We saw a distinct parallel between the disconnection in the art world between black artists and black audiences (with the lack of awareness, representation & engagement), in spaces where black art is showcased. Which is a similar disconnect & lack of awareness, representation, amongst WOC in mainstream media, which is the reason we started our company. We wanted to connect different facets of the art of excellence & empowerment, as WOC with the story of these African artists in such a rich, historically significant and beautiful place, as Morocco.”
This is truly #BlackGirlMagic indeed! To keep up-to-date with The Colored Girl, be sure to check out their website linked above, as well as future news on the next IMARA retreat. You can also follow them on social media and online through Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.
Check out more on The Colored Girl here: