Reclaim Your Voice

I wasn’t sure how it would look….suspicious maybe. Surely I was somehow to blame. 

I actually considered his feelings and how it would look if he had to explain his actions to his girlfriend, now wife.

I didn’t put up a fight – couldn’t put up a fight – because I didn’t want the neighbors getting involved.


My innermost places did not understand that I was being violated. My body reacted instinctively, which in its own unique way protected me from more extreme physical trauma which would have only compounded my inevitable emotional scars. 


Before I was assaulted, I was clear about not wanting any sexual contact with him.

Because of his demeanor, I felt pressured to explain, even though he was in a relationship anyway. 

I was not interested. 


My reaction the next day still baffles me. I carried on a normal conversation as if he had not violated me the night before. 

I acted as though everything was OK, when in fact I was terrified. Filled with disbelief. Confused as to why I was behaving as though everything was the same.

I wanted to hit him, strangle him, tell his girlfriend, and NEVER speak to him again.


#MeToo I didn’t fight. #MeToo I felt I was to blame. #MeToo I remained silent. #MeToo Me. Too. 


You are worthy and deserving of respect. Their insecurities and lack of self-discipline have NOTHING to do with you.

My story. Your story. Our story.

Reclaim your energy. Reclaim your sense of worth. Reclaim your voice. Reclaim YOU. 

Love. Joy. Peace. 


-K. Love

Sewing into Self-Confidence & Entrepreneurship: 10 Years Strong

By: Kristi Love
SONE group fashion show-1

Sew N Know Scholars, Directors, family and friends

For more than 15 years Sewing Opportunity Never Ending (SONE) has supported the Sew N Know Program serving over 2,500 students in the District of Columbia. Recognized as an official DC Department of Parks & Recreation (DPR) program the Sew N Know program has effectively operated in more than a dozen DPR facilities, many of which are located in some of the most economically challenged areas of the District. SONE’s mission is to change the nature of economic conditions for disadvantaged and minority individuals through the establishment of community based tutoring, training, and skill-development programs. Continue reading →

“The Look” of an Entrepreneur

Kristi Love | Blogger                                                                                       2017


Growing up, the only entrepreneurs I knew were folks selling Noni Juice, Mary Kay, and Avon. They were talking fast and inviting me to their life changing meetings.

Ok, I may be exaggerating a little, but you get my point.

The word or the thought of an entrepreneur was not used regularly in my household. I grew up knowing the word “work”. That’s what people did- they go to school, get that good education, and go to work. Make sure it is a good company where you can stay for 10 years or more and get that “good retirement plan”. I may be telling my age, because nowadays, people only stay in jobs for 3-8years (with the average being 5years).

So, what does an entrepreneur look like? Who is this person? What is their style, their race, age, and educational background? People in the media have shown us their version of an Entrepreneur. Just Google “Top Richest Entrepreneurs”. The same group of people will show up on any list. Want to guess who’s on that list?

Yes, you guessed it- Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, the co-founders of Google, and the list goes on? The common thread- they are all (usually) men…white men. Literally a list full of white males.

Funny thing is however; as an adult, I am surrounded around African American men and women entrepreneurs more than any other race/ethnicity. That is my reality. It doesn’t matter what images are portrayed in the media. We are all capable of creating the images of what an entrepreneur looks like. We are the look.

Non-Profit Organizations like Black Girl Vision in DC (where crowdfunding meets pitch competition) is a perfect example of creating the image of an entrepreneur. Black Girl Vision is a community of women for women of color entrepreneurs who receive networking opportunities, learning experiences, and crowd funding. Black Girl Vision is on a Mission to support Women of Color Entrepreneurs

There is no one look of an entrepreneur. We all come in different sizes, shades, ethnicity, and socioeconomic backgrounds. The media is wrong with their idea of a “successful entrepreneur”.


Now that it’s clear that “The Look of an Entrepreneur” doesn’t really exist, let’s discuss the qualities and characteristics needed to be an Entrepreneur.

*Stay tuned

Black Girl Vision is on a Mission to support Women of Color Entrepreneurs

By: Kristi Love

Logo BGV

Black Girl Vision brings a twist to the typical pitch competition. They have created, ‘Pitch Competition meets Crowd Funding’. Women of color (and others) register for the monthly BGV event which generates funding for pitch competitors. On the day of the Eat, Pitch, Vote, event, 8 women of color pitch their idea. At the end, participants vote for their favorite business idea. The winner receives funding which allows them to grow their business.

As a business owner of 3 companies and entrepreneur herself, Shelly Bell knew that women of color start businesses at higher rates than everyone else, nonetheless lack the support needed to sustain a viable and profitable business. S. BellProviding access to capital for women of color business owners and entrepreneurs was Shelly’s vison when she created Black Girl Vision in August of 2016.  “With so many women of color entrepreneurs and all the Black Girl Magic happening, we also need support, networking, and funding to work,” Shelly told Uprising.

After attending a few BGV events, the members of DICE were eager to participate in BGV’s Pitch Completion. They won on March 18th and that was the first time founders of DICE pitched their idea and they pitched their way to winning 1st Place!

The founders of DICE, Amber Watson, Tasha Lo Port, and Michaela Hall first connected with Black Girl Vision (BGV) via Instagram (@blackgirlvision). They founded DICE (Diversity, Inclusion, and Collaborative Engagement Leadership Group) to create a better world by celebrating the differences of all people through conversation and collaboration.  “We develop workplaces where discussions and problem-solving are more inclusive, collaborative, and successful in discovering collective solutions that work,” founders tell Uprising Experience.

As winners of the pitch competition, DICE members received $500 in funding, T-shirts for their business, an accounting consultation, a legal consultation, a network of supporters, and business coaching.

“As a successful entrepreneur, Shelly Bell’s guidance has been instrumental in helping us take advantage of opportunities and avoid pitfalls. Having an experienced mentor pushed our business to the next level. We are more competitive, more strategic, and more equipped with the knowledge needed to be successful,” said DICE founders.

DICE women

The seed funding helped DICE advance their goals in several ways, “We created a community of practice around diversity and inclusion engagements, we updated our products to provide better training experiences for our customers, and we secured advertising that increased our social media following and produced client leads,” says, Ms. Hall of DICE.

Since the Black Girl Vision Pitch Competition win, members of DICE have advanced to the second level of the DC EBay Startup Cup and they were chosen as one of the top 26 companies from among 100. “The support we’ve received from Black Girl Vision undoubtedly gave us the competitive edge,” DICE tells Uprising.

Line Dancing as a “Support System”

We have all experienced grief and loss and for some of us, we find it hard to cope and move forward while still holding on to memories of our loved ones. Going to therapy or grief and loss counseling (especially in African American families) is more of a taboo topic for our community. We tend not to go to therapy to help us deal with our issues. We stay silent and often find negative ways to cope. However, there are several positive ways (and maybe unconventional ways) to embrace grief and loss in a positive way.

Ms. Paula Allen, who is a Recreational specialist at D.C.’s Parks & Recreation, (Turkey Thicket in Northeast), loss her Grandfather in August of 2004 and not a day goes by where she is not thinking of, honoring, and remember him.

One of the many ways that she embraces the grieving process is through volunteering as a line dance instructor. For Ms. Allen, not only does she enjoy bringing people of all ages together, dancing is her therapy.

“Dancing helps me keep my mind busy and not be so sad during this time (in August),” says P. Allen.

This August marked five years the Turkey Thicket Dance Addicts have hosted their “All White Out Dance Social”. This dance social is special because dance groups from all over the DC Metro area come out to support each other and dance the last days of summer away.

“It is a great way to end the Summer and see what everyone has learned since February,” Paula tells Uprising Experience.

This free event took place on August 24th and was open to the public. Each year, the Dance Addicts invite residents to come dance with them and encourage participants to wear all white.

Janee Stewart, Ward 4 Resident, also appreciates the support system that comes with dancing. Ms. Stewart who has always been a dancer, started line dancing 4 years ago. “My Grandmother was one of the original Line Dance students and she invited me one Friday and I’ve been coming ever since.”