Lady Diva Honor

I Am … bMe ™

Friday, June 19, 2009

5:55am

Baltimore, MD

Lady Diva Honor

Here it is almost two weeks later and I am still speechless about the Lady Diva Honor that I received from the Lady Diva Corporation. It was the most amazing experience (second to the birth of my son) I have ever been a part of. I received my very 1st Award for being the Founder of JEWELS, Inc., on Saturday, June 6, 2009 at Howard University.

Ms. Shayna Yvonne Rudd personally invited me to be an honoree at the 1st Lady Diva Dinner. Upon her asking I was speechless and could hardly get the words, “Yes…of course…it would be my honor”, out of my mouth. But that was just the beginning…The excitement began with seeing my family, whom I had not seen since Mother’s Day and the start of my summer session at Howard University.

While my mother and brother were getting dressed I prepped my son in his tuxedo. Boy, oh boy…did he look handsome. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t rush everyone out of the house so that we could be a whole hour early. As we arrived onto the Howard University campus, a cluster of butterflies began to swarm in my stomach.The Lady Diva Dinner honored a number of phenomenal women - all accomplished, beautiful individuals who have served their community for years longer than I. Amongst those honored was the LEGENDARY Mrs. Dorothy Height.

I had the honor of being placed in the presence of a new Lady Diva mentee by the name of Miss Tyanne is a beautiful young lady whose interests are fashion and styling. This was wonderful! A friend of mine who is starting a non-profit geared towards styling women who are re-entering the work force was at the dinner and I was able to connect the two of them.The Dinner started with a brief ceremony in which all of the honorees held candles in their left hand and locked arms with their Lady Diva Mentees.

Towards the end of the poem, we handed the candle to our mentees as if to say, “now it is your turn to carry on this legacy”. At that moment, I almost cried. I was soooooooooo SUPER proud! It was amazing to be able to hand over the torch to a beautiful young sister of mine.

Now it was my time to deliver my speech, which I had practiced repeatedly that morning, in anticipation of this very moment. Instead of starting off by saying, “Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen…..”, I cried. I couldn’t believe that I was being honored for Jewels, Inc., an organization that I honestly can NOT say is mine, but God’s. I asked the audience, “Where is Shayna Rudd?” When I spotted her on the side of the ballroom working…I told my sister, “The Devil is A Liar!!!!” Because he is! At that moment, I realized that there had been soooo many people at Howard University (our peers) who did not want us to succeed.

When I first started Jewels, Inc., only two years ago…I had some of the worst opposition possible from people that I THOUGHT were my friends and supported me. Being at this meaningful dinner assured me that I have succeeded, in not only my passion, but also my purpose.I have been confused about many things in these past 5 years. But that night, I was PROUD! I hadn’t been this proud since my 2003 high school graduation, in which I delivered a speech that my daddy helped me edit.

That evening, in my cap and gown, I took a photo with my family and I just remember my daddy’s smile. It was a proud smile, the one that I know he was shinning down on me at that LADY DIVA moment. They say that as I was speaking, PJ started crawling over to the stage and my mother had to run after him. Even hearing that makes me proud because MY baby boy knows who his mama is and he too is PROUD of me.

By the conclusion of my speech, we had all laughed, cried and cheered. I was truly on cloud 9, exiting off of the stage to the song that carried me through my father’s death and my deep depression, Smokie Norful’s, “God Is Able”. I will continue to thank all who support Jewels, Inc. for your love is truly what motivates me.

Thank you to my mama, my baby boy, my brother, Cousin Cathy, Damico, Calvin and Rasheen for supporting me at this history made event.Always,I AM…bMe.

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