Women In Entertainment Network

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On Saturday June 28th 2008, Women in Entertainment Network (WEEN) kicked off its "Don't Judge Me…Empower Me" tour at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. With Power 105's DJ Lady Chellez on the ones and twos, the event was both entertaining and educational. WEEN has developed into a premiere organization utilizing its strong foundation and influence to continue social and societal change in the community. Advocating for the positive portrayal, education and most of all empowerment of women worldwide, WEEN has started a monumental movement.

In today's society double standards are prevalent between women and men. This is why women must always keep a positive image. In the entertainment industry women are often taken lightly, centered for looks, or portrayed sexually. In order to prevent that depiction, self-respect, proper presentation and education are key characteristics to maintain a positive image.

The Hammerstein Ballroom was filled nearly to capacity, leaving guests unanimously standing, and not in need of a chair; eager to take in as much information as possible.  Guests such as Lil' Mamma, LeToya Luckett, Melissa Ford and Teyanna Taylor participated in  staged panel discussions focusing on Financial Literacy, Relationships, Sex, Health, Leadership, and maintaining the positive portrayal of women in today's society,  while Illustrating the perspective of both adults and teenagers. The event was a complete success.

The panel discussions were intense, debatable and informative.  Discussions included subjects such as, the double standard between men and women in the entertainment industry.”  Living  with HIV, former actor and singer Maria Davis discussed the importance of getting tested for HIV and the dangers of unprotected sex. Financial literacy was also brought to the forefront with entertainment attorney, Nova Perry stressing the importance of good credit and real estate. "Women tend to be taken less seriously and must always present themselves professionally, thus commanding positive attention,” stated WEEN's Executive Director, Valiesha Butterfield.

When asked about the characteristics women should have to stay empowered, well known model and actress, Melissa Ford stated, "A woman must present herself accordingly and focus on education, cultivate what's within, have a moral code, and respect herself.  Presentation is everything." Ford, best known for her hip-hop appearances as a video model, says she eluded a negative image by focusing on the the business aspect of the videos and surrounding herself with the directors and staff.
Meanwhile, unexpected thunderstorms and rain poured outside the ballroom, having no negative effects on the guests.  In fact, it encouraged networking and a social hour after the event. The Women in Entertainment Network (WEEN) "Don't Judge Me…Empower Me" tour has given hundreds of teens and parents a clear perspective on living professional, productive and successful lives by illustrating key points and characteristics for women’s empowerment. WEEN is a most inspiring and productive organization that will continue to make changes in the community and beyond.

To learn more about WEEN, visit http://www.weenonline.org/home.html .

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