The Women’s Media Award Was One of the Most Epic Nights Ever!
I’m still trying to process the award I just got from the Women’s Media Center. This Social Media Award means the world because the organization that gave it to me is changing the face of media, therefore the world. When Beyonce said “Who runs the world?” she should have meant THESE girls. This award is also SUPER special for me because my peers voted for me to win it. It’s a double win!
But I realized how HUGE this was when I saw the list of the other women being honored that night. Pat Mitchell (Peabody Award winner and first woman to be president of PBS) was getting the Lifetime Achievement Award that is now named after her, Martha Nelson (editorial director of TIME Inc.) was getting the Going the Distance Award, Laura Ling and Lisa Ling were getting the Sisterhood is Powerful award and Sarah Hoye of CNN was awarded the Emerging Journalist award.
WELL DAMB! I’m getting an award with THESE women? COME ON, SOMEBODY! And yes, I must insert a jig here.
And then a press release went out saying Anne Hathaway was hosting.
The staff of WMC made this process flawless too! From the moment they told me I won, they started coordinating my trip to New York for the awards dinner. I. WAS. EXCITED.
I was told that my award would be presented by Robin Morgan and I flipped. In case you don’t know who she is, she’s feminist activist, poet, author and basically superwoman. She’s also one of the three founders of the Women’s Media Center. She is the definition is awesome. For realsies. I’d actually spoken to Robin on Monday morning, before leaving for New York. She interviewed me for Women’s Media Center Live, her radio show. During the call, she basically gave me my whole resumé and had clearly done her research on me. And then she told me she loves my work and humor and I’m the “future of media.” *faints* Allow me to lay here as I ask what my life is about.
The dinner itself was on Tuesday night, but they flew me into NYC on Monday evening so I could settle in. When I landed, there was car service waiting for me and I was taken to the YOTEL, which is THE WEIRDEST HOTEL EVER AND I LOVED IT! It’s like the Partridge Family meets the Jetson’s. It’s so funky.
On Tuesday, I started getting ready at 3. This was a special event so I had to look GOODT! So I called on Tara Lauren (@taralauren_), an AMAZING makeup artist to come SLAY my face! She does Angel Laws of ConcreteLoop’s makeup a lot and Angel’s face be DONEEEEE. Tara did not disappoint. She came through and had me feeling like a princess!
My car picked me up and I was on the way! FEELING MYSELF!
Here was my full #alphet, which my girl (and stylist) Aramide of The Sassy Peach helped me put together.
When I got to Guastivino’s (which is an AMAZEBALLS venue), the staff of WMC treated me all special and whatnot. LEMME FIND OUT I’M SOMEBODY OUTCHEA, DOE! I finally met folks like Michelle, Nora, Katy and they were so welcoming!
I finally met Robin Morgan, and she gave me the world’s BIGGEST hug!
She told me I was the surprise of the night because only WMC staff knew who won the award until that point.
Happy hour kicked off and the h’ors d’oeuvres were popping! I think I ate about 8 shrimps (you know I love my seafood). But I had gum with me so my breath stayed fresh! This wasn’t the night for halitosis. NO MA’AM.
When the event started, it was finally feeling real. I was at a table with Robin Morgan, Carol Jenkins, Sarah Hoye (and her parents) and Robin’s son and his ldy. And my BFF, TC, who was my guest. YAYYY!
Sarah and I connected and she’s AWESOME! I love her. She had me laughing the whole time and I almost forgot I was nervous that I had to give this speech in front of this room of EPIC people. But I didn’t realize how epic the room was until there was a break. AND THERE WAS BEN VEREEN! And BARBARA WALTERS. AND LYNN NOTTAGE! WHaaaaaaaaaaa???? And we had to meet Gloria Steinem and Donna Deitch too!
So Sarah and I went around on a mission. We had to meet all of them! And we did! And here are pics to prove it!
Sarah Hoye, Me, Gloria Steinem, Donna Deitch. I LOVED Gloria’s black and gold sash.
Isn’t Anne Hathaway THE CUTEST??? And she’s also very nice! She intro’ed us to her hubby and excitedly gushed that she just got married 6 weeks ago. TOO. CUTE. Also, there’s a pic of the three of us on GETTY Images and it’s AWESOME! We’re all cheesing like fools and I love it.
Also, I’M ON GETTY IMAGES! Mama, I made it!
Me with Lynn Nottage, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright. Matching lipstick and locs (well hers are much longer than mine)! She’s beautiful.
With Ben Vereen and his DOPE top hat! YESSSS! He’s also another really down-to-Earth celeb. So gracious! In fact, he made sure someone took this pic on his iPhone too. Aawww!
Barbara J. Walters in the house!!! YESSSS! In the gahtdamb building is this legend. And I am HERE for it ALL!!!
WHOOOOO!!! That room was like playing a game of “spot the celebrity.” I’d turn around and there’d be another one. I’m like WOWSIES! I had NO idea it was gonna be this celeb-packed. I got my LIFE.
Finally, it was time for my award. Robin Morgan’s intro of me was truly the dopest. I was beyond honored. Below are some of her remarks but you can read them in full HERE.
“It’s a genuine pleasure to present the winner of the 2012 Women’s Media Center Social Media Award. I love this award, because it honors the future of media and the global online explosion of information—the kind of communication that can fuel activism.
This is The Women’s Media Center’s one de facto ‘people’s choice’ award, since the winner is chosen by voting online at the Women’s Media Center website. These young nominees, previously ignored in traditional media, have mapped their own paths to reaching wide audiences and affecting many lives.
Due to her extraordinary work and innovative thinking, and her dedicated social media following, Luvvie Ajayi was selected from an impressive group of nineteen prolific bloggers, social media activists, and new media makers.”
*skips ahead but you can read Robin’s full intro of me HERE*
“Poised at the intersection of comedy and technology, and wielding the superpower of humor, Luvvie raises consciousness about the real lives of women and girls.
I am proud to present to you, our Women’s Media Center Social Media Award Winner self-proclaimed “red pump rocker, techie, superb side-eye giver, and bodacious blogger,” Luvvie Ajayi.”
I mean. WUT? While she was doing this, I was at my chair trying to soak it all in and be PRESENT in the moment. When she called me name, I got up, making sure I didn’t trip or nothing. THAT woulda been TERRIBLE.
Also, it was when they FINALLY let the cat out of the bag and tweeted to announce me as the winner!
When I was on that stage, all the nervousness disappeared. The remarks I had written were running on the teleprompter but I didn’t look because I’d never read from one before and now was not the time to experiment. So I used the printed version in front of me as a guide and I spoke about my passion for social media for more than loitering. My entire speech is HERE.
When I got to my seat, it really hit me that I just spoke about my work, my passion, my interests, in a room with people who I’d only ever even DREAMED of meeting. Barbara Walters. Lisa Ling. Anne Hathaway. Pat Mitchell. These people are GIANTS and now they know who I am.
At the end of the evening, when all the honorees were asked to come on stage, I was right in front of Pat Mitchell, and I stopped to let her pass me. She grabbed my hand and pulled me behind her so we could go on stage together. And she told me “You are the future.”
Pat Mitchell, me and Sarah.
And when I got on that stage and was standing next to her, she repeated it to Gloria Steinem and Robin, and they both said “She sure is.” Then Anne Hathaway saw me, came up to me and hugged me. She said “OMG you’re adorable. I LOVE what you’re doing.” And she asked for my business card and said she will send me a picture of her in red shoes for the Red Pump Project.
iCan’t even put into words.
People came up to me saying I was inspiring. And they’re excited to learn more about my work.
And the ENTIRE time, I was in my head saying “how did I get here?”
I don’t even know how to feel yet. I’m still processing it. I’m so glad to be a part of the WMC family now! I’m even part of their SheSource, an online database of female experts available for media appearances! Here’s my SheSource page!
One thing I do know though is that I’m spurred to do more. My goal is to change the world and I won’t stop until I do it.
“Well-behaved women seldom make history.” I don’t know how to act so I AM LEGEND!
This is only the beginning.
I stand on the shoulders of giants. And while there, I crane my neck even more to see farther. And, my God, it looks promising.
More pics from the event are on my personal Facebook page so you can getchu a piece there.