ColorComm’s 6th Annual Conference

By: Arnetta Whiteside
By: Arnetta Whiteside
Get Ready! The importance of owning your professional journey and more.

ColorComm (Women of Color in Communication) started in 2011 as an invite-only luncheon for a group of women in Washington, D.C. and soon became a highly coveted event with top-notch speakers. After a few years and leaning into feedback received from attendees, ColorComm morphed into a membership organization. Today, they have chapters across the U.S. and UK and produce an annual conference, C2, held every year in July. And I am proud to be a member.

This year’s theme was Get Ready! As our elders used to say, “If you stay ready, you’ll never have to get ready.” And the same holds true with your career.

The conference kicked-off with Jovian Zayne, Executive Coach and Founder of On Purpose Movement®, who moved us to tears when she dove into our psyche and asked us to explore our true purpose for being on this Earth. She challenged us to think about three questions: Who do you want to impact? How you want to impact? And what are you committed to shift, to live in your purpose?

We also heard from thought leaders on strategies that companies can implement to accelerate internal diversity initiatives – because diversity shouldn’t be based on gender alone. Studies have shown that women of color get left behind when the diversity narrative is solely based on gender (McKinsey Women in the Workplace 2018).

Attending ColorComm offered time for reflection – to consider if we’re walking the path WE want to be on, or if our path has been designed by someone else. A lot of what we heard in these workshops was that women of color can no longer afford to be in the background. We MUST continue to challenge and shake the system to progress into senior leadership roles.

Yes, I know our parents told us hard work gets rewarded. But there are a LOT of us who have been passed over for deserved promotions and raises because our managers and supervisors didn’t think we were worthy or we didn’t speak up. ColorComm and conferences like it have always given us the necessary tools to become our own cheerleaders and advocates.

What I loved most about ColorComm was the ability to connect with other women of color in my field. The sisterhood of being in a room of 500 of us – when I’m typically ‘the only’ – was electric. At one point, one of the presenters pronounced “As women of color, we need to continue to uplift each other. So instead of throwing shade – throw glitter. We all know what happens when you use glitter, you get as much on you as you put on something/someone else.”

ColorComm was also about reconnecting and spending good girlfriend time with my tribe. We don’t get to see each other much throughout the year. So, this isone of the few times we can laugh, cry and scream about all the things going on in our lives. It’s our no judgement zone. And no year is ever complete without it.

Do you and your tribe meet up at conferences? Show them so love by tagging us @MBIB on IG, Facebook or Twitter.

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