What does natural hair mean in 2017? – Inspirational YOU – Saturday 20th May 2017

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Inspirational YOU, The Village, weareUnedited and Motherhood Reconstructed


Series 2

What does natural mean in 2017?

Saturday 20th May 2017

4.00pm – 6.00pm

The Village Centre, Willington Road, London, SW9 9NB


Inspirational YOU and Motherhood Reconstructed proudly present the second instalment of their natural hair and well-being panel discussion, “What does natural mean in 2017?”

For black women across the diaspora, the choice of how one wears their hair is at times more than simply a personal choice. Often, it’s rife with social and political implications that can have a profound impact on all aspects of one’s life.

This series is a forum for all to come together and discuss the beauty and visibility of natural hair.  The Black hair care industry is worth £88 million and as utilising the rise of social influencers to reach a new audience.

This panel of industry influencers will discuss hair maintenance, wellbeing, hair stories, style options, professional experiences and reflections on what it means to be natural in 2017 in an inclusive and lively environment.

Sandra Brown-Pinnock – Owner of Xsandy’s hair and beauty retail chain and hair brand (https://xsandyshairandcosmetics.co.uk/)

Sandra Xsandy

Stephanie Sey – Consultant Trichologist (http://stephaniesey.co.uk/)


Yvadney Davis – Freelance fashion stylist specialising in children’s fashion and founder of the Mums That Slay blog for stylish mum’s that are passionate about self care (http://www.mumsthatslay.com)


Comfort Nsek – Simply Comfort Hair heat free mobile hair service and Trainee Solicitor (https://www.simplycomforthair.com/)


Dr Samantha Z Tross MBBS, FRCS, FRCS Ed, FRCS Ed(Tr&Orth) –

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samantha_Tross)


The panel will be moderated by Leah Samuel and Tamu Thomas of Motherhood Reconstructed.

Motherhood_Reconstructed_Purple-3-copy (1)

You can read some information about the previous panelists here.

Tickets: £5.00 – £10.00


There will be limited tickets available at the door.  Children under 16 are free.

More info:



Media Partner:

Natural Hair Weekly


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.@ProjectEmbrace | Lekia Lée – Inspirational YOU – Saturday 25th March 2017

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Lekia Lée

Former Journalist, Natural hair mentor, beauty advocate

Founder of Project Embrace

Saturday 25th March 2017

What does natural mean in 2017? – A natural hair and wellbeing discussion


Lekia Lée, a former broadcast journalist, natural hair mentor, beauty advocate and positive image activist, is the founder of Project Embrace, a social enterprise creating and promoting positive images of Afro textured hair with their newly-launched billboard campaign. Her company also organises empowerment workshops for mothers and daughters to inspire unconditional self-love and to teach practical ways to care for natural afro textured hair. Their ‘emPOWERDRESSING’  range feature Tshirts and other merchandise with positive affirmation slogans.

Project Embrace by challenging the narrow perception of beautiful hair, aims to encourage diversity in the beauty and fashion industry and society in general.


According to Lekia, research has shown that dissatisfaction with personal looks is linked to unhealthy wellbeing and low self-esteem; “hence her strapline – I am Enough. She says: “I hope to encourage women and girls to use their beauty as a source of empowerment and not a source of anxiety. When you feel empowered you can achieve anything. It is all about demanding equality and the right to express your authentic beauty.  The problem is not that we appreciate beauty, but that the definition of beauty is narrow.”

Book your ticket:


Inspirational YOU – Pop Up Market, Natural hair debate & Acoustic Evening (Int. Women’s Month/Pre-Mothering Sunday) – SW9

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Inspirational YOU, The Village, weareunEdited and Motherhood Reconstructed


International Women’s Month & Pre-Mothers Day

 Pop Up Market, Debate and Live acoustic evening

Saturday 25th March 2017

2.00pm – 9.00pm

Join independent female makers and designers who are selling:

Clothing | Jewellery | Accessories | Arts | Natural skincare and beauty | Homeware | Books

Our pop up shop is an opportunity for you to experience handmade and high quality from independent brands.

Music on rotation by

Ace of Jacks


Pop Up Shop Traders:

  • Mathemateacal – Tea (sample tasting)
  • Okuna Leather Art – Hand stitched leather bags and accessories
  • Coco & Ginger – Luxury handmade candles & diffusers
  • D_Jewelsus – Leather handmade Jewellery
  • Forever Living Products – Aloe Consumables
  • Pleasant Presents – Personalised handmade gifts
  • Soufriere Living – Inspirational art prints
  • Bella – Books
  • Nature’s Gift Products – Hand made skin care stuff; creams, soaps, hand creams and hand made bags
  • HK HennaArt – Henna/art
  • Love YaaYaa ltd – Leather belts, jewellery and African print hair scarves
  • Neteru Journey Health Products – Herbal Capsules (Moringa, Soursop, Aloe Vera, Noni, Maca).
  • Care for Someone – Maracas
  • FunkyNChunky – Handmade African print bags, statement jewellery, Headwraps and purses
  • Gitas Portal – Modern african print dresses and clothing

4.00pm – 5.30pm (Booking required)

Natural hair and wellbeing discussion hosted by Motherhood ReConstructed

Twitter Natural Hair & Wellness (1)


Be Manzini – Poet, Writer, Film maker and Spoken word artist

Be Manzini, award winning writer and creative producer. Be has donned natural hair he whole life and as every hairstyle for natural hair known to the African continent! She is passionate about promoting a positive Black identities which is no surprise as her family were freedom fighters that assisted in the decolonisation of Rhodesia making way for Zimbabwe.

Imriel Morgan – Co-Founder & CEO of the ShoutOUT Network & co-host of the Melanin Mellennials podcast

Imriel Morgan, co-founder and CEO of The ShoutOut Network and co-host of the Melanin Millennials podcast. Melanin Millennials is one of the best podcasts full stop, if you have not listened.. where have you been. Imriel and her co-host Satia have topical debates centred on the Black British experience and have recently started live shows which are super lit! Imriel is known for her undiluted commentary and quick wit.

Lekia Lée – Former Journalist, natural hair mentor, beauty advocate & Founder of Project Embrace

Leika Lee, former journalist, natural hair mentor, positive image activist and founder of Project Embrace. Project embrace promotes a positive image of Afro textured hair which is often overlooked. Leila has recently made waves with an #Afro Visibility billboard campaign promoting tightly coiled Afro hair.

Simone Powderly – Model, Peer support worker & Influencer

Simone Powderly, model, peer support worker and natural hair influencer. Some know Simone as the young woman that was told to remove her braids to be offered a job in 2015 and some may know her as an advocate for natural hair care, wellbeing and empowering women.

6.00pm – 8.00pm (Booking required)

In the evening we have a live acoustic showcase featuring artists:


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A talented 18 singer who is currently attending the world faamous Brit School for performing arts, where he is studying Musical Theatre. He is an RnB singer who also performs in indie or acoustic.



An exceptionally talented Singer, Songwriter and Producer.



Her music can be described as ‘fun’, ‘passionate’ and relatable. ‘Odd is normal’ known for her vibrantly colourful hair, with musical influences ranging from 90s Rhythm n Blues and current hip hop. She creates her own unique interpretation of RnB merged with Neo Soul.



Kianja is an upcoming artist who has been singing, songwriting and self producing since the age of 14. She’s nearly finished her journey at The Brit School and is ready to take on the world! Yay!  Her music is feel-filled and fresh. ‘Kianja’ means sunshine in Swahili and she aims to spread love and light through music.

Come and hear about The Village CIC and their plans for this new community space.

More info:

Email: thevilageldn@gmail.com

Call: 07772 527 813 / 07545 156 111


Karen Blackett OBE @Blackett_kt – Inspirational YOU – Tuesday 28th February 2017 – House of commons

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Karen Blackett OBE

Chair of Mediacom UK and Chancellor of the University of Portsmouth

Tuesday 28th February 2017

Raising the bar – Leadership, progression and success at the top

House of Commons

Karen has been in media for 22 years and is currently Chairwoman of MediaCom, the largest media agency in the UK with billings over £1 billion. Prior to this Karen was CEO for 5 years.

Karen has been instrumental not only in the success of MediaCom, but in championing diversity throughout the advertising and media industry. In 2012 Karen launched the first ever Government backed Apprentice Scheme for the sector, where the apprentices qualify for an NVQ in Marketing and Communications.


In June 2014, Karen received an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours and in 2015 Karen was the first business woman to be named Britain’s Most Influential Black person in the Power List.

Image from ITV news – MediaCom CEO Karen Blackett

In 2015 Karen was appointed as one of four external advisors to help diversify the Civil Service, and as a DIT (Department for International Trade) Business Ambassador for No 10. Karen is also a Non-Exec for Creative England whose focus is to support new and emerging talent in the Creative Industry helping grow the UK Economy and a Council member of the Creative Industries Federation. In March 2016 Karen became the President of NABS, the advertising industry charity which focuses on health and wellbeing in the workplace and presenting the business case for Diversity.

Karen Blackett, was named chancellor of the University or Portsmouth in January 2017, succeeding broadcaster and Women’s Equality Party co-founder Sandi Toksvig.

Source: University of Portsmouth

Blackett will take up the role officially in October to coincide with the beginning of the academic year. She is a graduate of the university herself, having gained a BA in Geography in 1992 as well as an honorary degree in 2015.

Blackett added: “I am honoured to become Chancellor of the University. As an alumna of Portsmouth, I am thrilled to be able to return to the University and use my passion for developing talent and learning, to help create our next set of leaders.”

Book your ticket:



Jill Offman – MD at MTV UK and Comedy Central UK – Inspirational YOU on Wednesday 17th August 2016

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Jill Offman

Managing Director of MTV UK and Comedy Central

Inspirational YOU summer masterclass and networking evening

Wednesday 17th August 2016


Jill Offman is Senior Vice President, Comedy, at Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN), giving her lead responsibility for the programming and content development of the Comedy Central brand across all international markets outside of the United States.


In addition, Offman is Managing Director for both MTV and Comedy Central in the UK.  In this role Offman leads the programming teams for both the MTV and Comedy brands and has ultimate responsibility for all original commissions and acquisitions, as well as research, marketing, communications and creative.


Jill Offman began her career as a journalist and film-maker at the CBC in Canada before joining Discovery Canada as Head of Programming where she initiated several co-productions with UK terrestrials including Emmy and RTS nominated shows.  After a stint as MD at Discovery in the UK, Offman joined Paramount Comedy in 2008 where she spearheaded the successful re-launch and transition of Paramount Comedy to Comedy Central in April 2009.

Book your ticket:


Donna Herdsman @DMSEnterprise – Technology Executive – Inspirational YOU – Wednesday 17th August 2016

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Donna Herdsman

Technology Executive

Wednesday 17th August 2016

Viacom International Media Network


Donna is a well-respected Management Consultant and Tech Executive.  She has worked with both Public and Private Sector organisations globally. Her specialty lies in helping clients realise the business benefits of transforming the technologies available to their organisation.


Donna has worked for corporations such as PwC, IBM and most recently Hewlett Packard Enterprise where she has acquired strategic, operational and change management expertise.


She has an Advanced Diploma in Strategy and Innovation from Said Business School, Oxford, a Business Studies Degree, from South Bank University.  She is a qualified accountant (Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy), with a Business Studies degree.


Donna was recently recognised as one of the Upstanding 100 BAME international Executives, supported by the FT. She is passionate about developing people and mentoring others.


Donna recently presented ‘the business case’ for diversity in STEM in Brussels, at Hypathiaprojects, an EU funded forum and was featured in Computer Weekly as part of their Techweek initiative.


She is a mentor for Slaughter and May/Upstanding inaugural mentoring programme and for WOMEN WHO L-EARN, based is based in Hackney.

Book your ticket: http://www.artofwinning.eventbrite.co.uk

Kat Gray – Vice President of learning and development at Viacom – Inspirational YOU – Wednesday 17th August 2016

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Kay Gray

Inspirational YOU summer masterclass & Networking evening

The Art of Winning


Kat started her career in the fashion industry as a sales adviser at the age of 15.

She secured a place on the management fast track program and took her first leading role of managing a 1.5 million turnover store at the age of 19.

Over the last 15 years Kat has a proven track record of implementing successful development programs and processes that have contributed to organisational/business success across the retail and Media industries. Kat co-designs the people strategy for International with the business, focusing on being the First Choice place to work contributing to the retention and development of our talent.

Aside from work, Kat is kept busy with her 8 year-old boy and the trials and tribulations of balancing a busy family life and career.

Book your ticket :