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As profiled in the Miami Times, the Nyah Project, in collaboration with Breakthrough Miami, hosted an intimate young women’s summit titled #LemonadeWithGWade, as part of its Life Leadership Talks Series. 

Nyah Project Founder Leigh-Ann Buchanan’s recap of the session as published by the Miami Times follows

“Renowned actress and producer, Gabrielle Union Wade, May 6 convened an intimate Miami youth women’s summit, #LemonadeWithGWade, during which she shared life, leadership and inspirational advice to group of young women of color from the International Human Factor Youth Leadership Program (IHFYLP) and Breakthrough Miami.

Kaela Makins, a 2015 IHFYLP Fellow, Breakthrough Miami Scholar, and junior at Carrollton School for the Sacred Heart, reflects:

Empowering Black women is a slow, but rising theme in today’s society. It is comforting to continuously witness more and more influential African-American women impart knowledge and advice to the younger women of our generation. Listening to Union Wade speak of her service to communities, both locally and internationally, and her successful acting platform, motivated me and the other young women in the room to demonstrate resilience in the face of everyday adversities, including discrimination and societal pressures.

She warned us: “Fear of not fitting in will cause you to be silent. When it’s your voice that should be used to educate.”

Discussing topics of self-confidence, personal financial security, body image and women’s success through a male-dominated society allowed us to explore these issues on a personal level and discuss shared experiences that we, Ms. Union included, encounter on a daily basis. This cogent and hard-hitting discussion of the “ideal” 21st century woman role allowed us to collectively find ways to rise above the increasing challenges that young Black women face, thrive in our individual success -- be it academically or otherwise-- and most importantly, learn to elevate each other to be the best women that we can possibly be. As a well-travelled individual, Ms. Union cautioned, “it’s better to admit your ignorance in order to show the potential for learning the correct way, rather than being ignorant and severely insulting someone.” I could relate to her international experiences; I continuously reminded myself to remain humble and accepting of the culture and people of Costa Rica during the 2015 IHFYLP trip there.

Ahlia Dunn, a 2014 IHFYLP fellow, Breakthrough Miami who will attend Mount Holyoke University this fall on full tuition scholarship, adds: “I am so appreciative of Gabrielle Union and the fact that she took the time to reach out to thriving girls of color in our community and help us learn and grow together. It is not often that we, as young people, have an opportunity to meet women we consider our role models who actually live up or exceed society’s expectations. Never has someone spoken to me so briefly but changed my outlook on aspects of my life so thoroughly. She is a woman of color who continues to amaze with her work in the community and her accomplishments. She helped me to realize certain aspect of youth culture are unhealthy and need to be changed. From my trip to Ghana in July 2014 as a fellow, my trip to Costa Rica in 2015 as an intern, and the continued connections to leaders in our community, like Gabrielle Union, the IHFYLP has open so many doors for me.”

Learn more about this innovative youth leadership program at its 2016 Annual Reception.”

Read the full story here

** Nyah Project was formerly known as the International Human Factor Youth Leadership Program**