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RECAP: INAUGURAL BGR!FEST AT THE KENNEDY CENTER | WASHINGTON, D.C.

Lana Adams March 11, 2019

The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. was filled with black girl magic as our fearless leader, DJ Beverly Bond brought her newest brainchild to Chocolate City! The inaugural three-day Black Girls Rock FEST was created to celebrate, empower, and elevate women and girls of color.

The weekend commenced with a celebration of International Women’s Day with a room full of melanated beauties up on their feet rockin’ to two of the most legendary DJ’s in the game.

WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 08: Founder of Black Girls Rock!, Dj Beverly Bond dj’s live onstage during Black Girls Rock! Fest Welcome Party at The Kennedy Center on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Brian Stukes/Getty Images)

Black Girls Rock™ Founder, and celebrity DJ Beverly Bond dug deep into the crates with her soul sister, MC Lyte to keep the party rockin’ at the BGR!Fest’s opening night celebration.

You could feel the black girl magic™ flowing through the room as women complimented each other on their beautifully slayed hair-do’s, or stylish stilettos.

Black girl affirmations of “Yasss Queen!” and “I see you, girl!” seemed to echo throughout the room all night long.

Although we were celebrating the ladies, the fellas came through funky fresh, dressed to impress, ready to party!  

The event was completely free to the public and featured a fun photobooth, two bars, and a huge dance floor to cut a rug on!

Hosted by D.C. native, and entertainment journalist, Gia Peppers, day two of the BGR!FEST was full of inspiration, encouragement, and knowledge from some of the brightest minds in tech and entertainment.

The first panel of the evening, “Girls Rock Tech, Leveling Up in Tech: Staking a Claim in the Future of Innovation,” featuring Dr. Knatokie Ford, Dr. Quincy Brown, Afua Bruce, and Dr. Jamika Burge was so empowering.

Dr. Burge talked about changing the narrative of black women in tech, and taking charge in the industry.

“I think the average person, when they think of us, wouldn’t think of a techie… and what I like to do, is shake up and disrupt people’s thoughts about what a techie is, but also about what you’re going to expect from me, because you don’t know me, and frankly, what I like to do is walk into a room with big hair and bright lipstick, because people don’t know what to expect,” Burge said.

DJ Beverly Bond and Dawn Davis, of 37iNK spoke candidly about the process behind creating and publishing Black Girls Rock!: Owning Our Magic. Rocking Our Truth.

Bond expressed her gratitude for the myriad of women who “said yes,” to her request to be featured in the book, and shared how much it meant to her to be able to interview some of her SHEroes, like Angela Davis.

The evening closed with the Black Girl Magic panel, moderated by Dawn Davis, featuring Michaela angela Davis, Tatyana Ali, Eunique Jones Gibson, Jazmine Sullivan, and DJ Beverly Bond.

Image activist, and writer, Michaela angela Davis shared her advice on how to stay grounded in the entertainment industry.

“Black women are my on-ramp into humanity, so don’t give up on your girls,” Davis said.

The BGR!FEST closed on Sunday night with the phenomenal ROCK LIKE A GIRL™ concert headlined by twelve-time Grammy®-nominee Jazmine Sullivan, with special performances by Rapsody, Mumu Fresh, Leela James, Elle Varner, Nonchalant, La Bela Dona, Leikeli47 and more.

Be sure to follow @blackgirlsrock on all social channels to stay updated on all upcoming announcements and events.  

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