There are few things in the world more powerful than a group of young people coming together to support one another in their life’s journey. Yesterday, I journeyed to Brooklyn, New York to attend the second-ever Gurls Talk panel event, hosted by model and organization founder Adwoa Aboah and one of my all-time favorite fashion brands, Coach. The event was filled with inspiring moments and big new ideas, some of which I just have to share with you!
If you haven’t heard of it yet, Gurls Talk is a mission founded to create a safe space for girls to share their stories and listen to others’ experiences — without the fear of judgement. The organization hosts these free, live meet-up events in order to make its work accessible to young women. Meaning, you don’t have to be a PhD student or women’s studies major or fancy Fashion Week model to come by and hear guest speakers like music artist Professor Green, model Paloma Elsesser, or Teen Vogue‘s executive editor Samhita Mukhopadhyay. You could ask the kind of questions there is no “right answer to,” and you could hang out with your sisters, your mom, or your group of friends (like I did) and have a good time regardless. I really appreciated that this event didn’t make anyone feel like they needed to know it all to participate, something I’ve felt insecure about when I’ve attended other types of moderated panels.
At this weekend’s panel, organizers and guest speakers started discussions about major topics like race, sexual assault, body positivity, mental health, and what’s missing from the current #MeToo movement. Some topics were heavy, some were motivational — but all of them refreshingly real.
Young teens, working businesswomen, Adwoa’s own model friends, and any kind of guest you could imagine had fun taking Instagram-ready photobooth pics, exploring the beautiful Industry City venue, and checking out creative vendors. I got the Gurls Talk logo embroidered onto my denim jacket by the lovely team at The Stonework, enjoyed a delicious pizza lunch courtesy of Industry City’s own Table 87, and got a great Coach goodie bag filled with cartoon pins I can’t wait to decorate my outfit with.
I would have been happy to sit outside a bus station and listen to Adwoa and her friends tell their stories. But I was really blown away by the quality of speakers, event space, and amenities. The details that went into making the space feel cozy were magical too: fuzzy rugs, throw pillows, and glitter confetti were strewn around the floor, making it feel like we were in our BFF’s bedroom growing up.
Missed this one? Or want to go again? (I sure do!) Luckily, Gurls Talk plans on expanding even further and hosting more events like this one all around the world. The next scheduled stop is set to be in Ghana. Be sure to keep an eye out for a panel in your area, because it’s something you won’t want to miss!