Women’s Dialogue UN Event in NY

By Walter Greene


As part of the United Nations General Assembly last week in New York, a part of the South African Delegation of women participated in the 2nd Annual Mbokodo Awards "GLOBAL WOMENS DIALOGUE" where leadership, infused with humanity and philanthropy were discussed. Carol Bouwer, UNICEF South Africa Special Advocate, Anne Githuku-Shongwe, Representative UN Women, South Africa and Malaak Compton-Rock, Humatarian and Author conducted the dialogue


Carol, who spearheaded the event, spoke on women, now having a voice and they must speak up. "The whole world is affected by the `Me Too' Movement. It makes each of us to be engaged, only when we come out and support one another, then they will change." Carol is CEO of Carol Bouwer Productions, a television company and is the creator of the Carol Bouwer Handbag, a fast rising company that designs and produce high-end handhags in South Africa. As an industry leader in South Africa, and bearing the torch as a UNICEF Specail Advocate, Carol addressed the UN General Assembly on Monday.  


Anne Githuku-Shongwe said; "As we do our work, our company would have highest profits with a woman as CEO. What we find at the end of the day is what they give women is miniscule. We need programs that are about women - about Grandmothers, it's key to childhood development....we don't need to be treated as second class citizens. What we are trying to do, is to continue to make it so every gender gets equality." Anne continued; "I have not experienced so much comradery with women like I do now. What can we do as women to support one another?" Anne emphasized that within a three month period they were able to transform the unit at her company and generate policies that they've never seen before, just because they had three women leaders at the helm of the unit. "Having the first woman President in Africa, she made things move. It's no longer a question...a woman Chairman changes the whole structure of an organization. They are key to how a company transforms." She referenced the women in Nigeria of always having a "su-su" (a pyramid type money saving situation) "They raise money behind the issue of philanthropy, there are ways where women form platforms to raise money and grow." She saluted the country of Malawi because "The President has made it possible for Malawi to be the first country in the world to make equal pay gender equality."

Malaak Compton-Rock spoke on her work in Malawi and how supporting causes build accountability by giving back. "Sometimes you can't give from your wallet, but you can volunteer - you can always find a way to give back. When you use the word philanthropy, sometimes you feel like you have to be a big millionaire and that is not so." 


Carol Bouwer (center) greet guests: Chloe' Taylor Brown (left) and Angelique Miles (right).

Part of the South African group with friemds 

Carol Bouwer with New York philanthropist Sherry Bronfman

Anina Malherberan, Ava L.Hall VP Programming & Brand Advancement BET International and Carol Bouwer after the formal presentation at Zavo restaurant in New York

‘Conversations’ at Ruby’s Vintage in Harlem

By Walter Greene


To kick off a new Salon Series of `Conversations,' DREAMLEAPERS hosted the event launch at `Ruby's Vintage' the new restaurant, due for it's grand opening in October. Located at 2340 Seventh Avenue @ 137th Street, in the historic, Strivers Row

Section of Harlem, Ruby's Vintage was named after the legendary Black actress/activist Ruby Dee, who actually lived upstairs of the restaurant back in her youth. A nice bit of `Black History.' 


SO for the `Salon Series' HARRIETTE COLE Dreamleapers Founder, sat down with CONSTANCE C.R.WHITE, Fashion's most illustrious editor and author of the new Black Style Bible "How To Slay - Inspiration From The Queens & Kings of Black Style." (Rizzoli Books) This is Constance' second book, her first, `Style Noir' was released in 1998. The ladies talked about starting out in fashion when there were very few, if any, people of color playing a leadership role in the industry. Challenges and breaking barriers were discussed. Constance shared experiences like being on the front row, and, getting fashion scoops, including a big scoop on Ivanna Trump while she was an editor at Womens Wear Daily, the then Bible of the fashion industry. 

Harriette shared some of the exquisite photography and dazzling images featured in `How To Slay' including the recently lost legend Aretha Franklin. Constance expounded on some of the fashion stars in the book like Naomi Campbell, the original supermodel who became a constant while editing the thousands of beautiful Black men and women featured in the book. "Naomi was the one image that came up every time as the epitome of `slaying' in every photograph. She is so good at what she does. It was very difficult to select her images for the book," noted Constance. Not only are models plastered on the pages of `How To Slay,' but ramdom folks, unknown in the fashion and entertainment industry, including several African tribes people, and a stunning photograph of an African King, from the Akuffo family of Ghana. In the early 20th century photograph, the King is swathed in gold, kente cloth and leopard skins. 

A plethora of `fashion slayers' make up the other featured images displayed in `How To Slay' They include: Pharrell Williams, Iman, Beyonce' and Jay Z, Viola Davis, Lupita Nyong'o, Janet Jackson, LL Cool J, Grace Jones, Bob Marley, MC Hammer, Whitney Houston, Sophia Richie, Janelle Monae, Pam Grier, Billie Holiday, Rihanna, Judith Jamison, Roshumba Williams, Nicki Minaj, Joan Smalls, Kerry Washington, Halle Berry, Isaac Hayes and Constances' own daughter Nefatari, an accomplished singer/songwriter who also just landed a Cover Girl Cosmetics ad under her belt. 


Among the well heeled guests spotted at the fashion fueled affair were: actor JUSTIN DAVIS, photographers KEITH MAJOR and HOSEA JOHNSON. style mavens SHARON MILLER, and NEFATARI COOPER, writers OYINKEN OGUNLEYE, JULIA CHANCE and SEKOU WRITES, artist manager RAMON HERVEY and the President of IMG Models & IMG Fashion Properties IVAN BART.