Empowering Brilliance: Reflecting on Paint Me Empowered ’23

Celebrating Empowerment and Healing: A Glance at Paint Me Empowered '23

In the heart of Oakland, where creativity and empowerment intertwine, a powerful event unfolded on a sun-kissed Saturday, August 12th. Paint Me Empowered ’23, hosted by SousSHE, cast a transformative spell that left attendees inspired, uplifted, and brimming with a sense of unity that only community can foster.

At the helm of this event was SousSHE, a beacon of hope and growth, with its unwavering commitment to empowering young Black girls through projects centered around entrepreneurship, culinary arts, wellness, and artistic expression. Paint Me Empowered ’23 was a reflection of this mission in its purest form, bringing together mentors, collaborators, and supporters to create an unforgettable experience.

Creating Healing and Unity Through Collaboration

With a profound sense of gratitude, SousSHE acknowledged the support of the City of Oakland’s Department of Violence Prevention, whose Community Healing Mini-Grant breathed life into the event. This collaboration paved the way for young minds to explore their talents and creativity, celebrating unity and healing through art and connection.

The event was graciously hosted by Oakland Don’t Play That, a Black woman-owned business that provided the perfect canvas for empowerment to flourish. Collaborators from the Department of Violence Prevention further magnified the impact, fostering a safe space for growth and expression.

Empowering Voices that Resonate

The event was graced by the presence of Khariyyah Shabazz, a community activist, and inspirational speaker. Reflecting on the event, she shared,

Today I had the pleasure of pouring into young girls about the importance of understanding their diverse talents! – Khariyyah Shabazz, Khariyyah Speaks

Her words encapsulated the essence of the day – celebrating diversity, embracing talents, and paving the way for the next generation of empowered leaders.

Nicia Delovely, a Poetess and ARTivist, breathed life into the event with her own experiences and a moving poem that resonated deeply with the girls. She aptly encapsulated the sentiment of the day, saying, “Gone and Soar Black Girl!!!”

Workshops that Illuminate and Inspire

From CreativeLei’s captivating custom photo booth to Bre’s motivational talks on overcoming shared struggles, the event was a tapestry of experiences showcasing young minds’ resilience and potential.

 King Leigh’s workshop on self-love and acceptance of individuality was a masterpiece, celebrating each participant’s uniqueness and their crowns.

A Soul-Nourishing Experience

Sisterhood blossomed as attendees enjoyed a sumptuous brunch. The treat table beckoned with delicious donuts, cupcakes, and refreshments. And a savory table of vegetarian options, mac & cheese, wings, waffles, and berries. 

Sharing food became a conduit and healing space for opening hearts and minds as attendees delved into conversations celebrating their journeys. 

A Future Bright with Potential

As the event concluded, the girls exchanged Soar Black Girl journals, weaving connections that transcend words.  

They began with an, “I AM” and by the end affirming, “YOU ARE” of their peers. 


A journal opened to a page with writing on it

A Special Thanks to Our Heroes

The success of Paint Me Empowered ’23 wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication of our volunteers, mentors, and supporters. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all who contributed, from those who set up the event with precision to those who shared their stories and insights.

This event was absolutely beautiful! Everything about it, and everyone present. Thank you for welcoming me to speak. Call on me anytime, sis. Gone and Soar Black Girl!!! 


Nicia De’Lovely, Poet & ARTivist

This event was just a beginning, a spark that will ignite a fire of creativity, self-discovery, and empowerment in the hearts of young Black girls. We extend our gratitude to our sponsors, collaborators, and every individual who played a part in making this event a reality:

We invite you to be a part of this journey and continue supporting programs like Paint Me Empowered, Culinary Cuties, Sis Let’s Do Brunch and Spill the Tea, and our entrepreneurial projects. 

Let’s nurture a future where every young Black girl soars high, confident, and empowered to make a difference.

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