EVENT PROFESSIONALS IN COMMUNITY
BUILDING OUR TABLE
Ensuring that our ever growing table is diverse, inclusive and equitable for all creatives in the events and wedding industry. Working together, celebrating each other's work and embracing one another.
Showcasing industry creatives and companies based on talent, integrity and love for their craft.
Extending an invitation for intentional and purposeful dialogue around the issues of race, inclusion and equity in our industry, but also seeing the magnitude and wealth of talent and excellence creatives of color possess.
“Creating a space for all voices to unite with unconditional love, room to grow and collaborate, and an opportunity to build an intricate future in the events world, is and always will be my main focus for EPIC.”
AKIVA REICH - FOUNDER OF GOWANUS HOSPITALITY GROUP
we introduce you to B_EPIC’s Founding Partners:
In forming EPIC for creatives of color in our industry, our conversations began with these Black Event Planners who said "Yes" wanting to be a part of not just the conversation of change, but to represent change in action and all they do in the industry.
THE BEGINNING OF EPIC
The year 2020 was going to be monumental. It was the start of a new decade that would be filled with dreaming big and stepping into unchartered waters for me and my Event; Wedding Planning business. In the first quarter, I planned to focus on elevating my business systems and expanding my industry network. I looked at potential opportunities to connect with others locally and across the country. First up, was The Love Union, with conference dates from February 24th through the 27th.
I registered for all four (4) days before the itinerary was released because I just felt that it would be something that I would enjoy. I remembered the pictures I saw last year on Amber Marlow’s IG page that I wanted to be a part of this community and connect with other industry professionals. I left my home in Bed-Stuy early, so that I had time to find parking. With a parking space scored, I trekked to 501 Union to check-in, so that I could sign up for as many sessions as I could. I had committed this entire week to maximize the opportunity to learn from and connect with industry professionals I did not know. I showed up every day and The Love Union 2020 exceeded my expectations.
The workshops were fun and informative. I met vendors from all over the city. The back massage I received on one of my breaks was amazing. Getting website feedback, while noshing on the amazing food items prepped for us was the best of both worlds. I learned and experienced so much that I made a commitment to myself to be there every year thereafter because I was replenished and inspired.
It was at the close of the 2 nd / 3 rd day that I met Akiva. I didn’t know who he was at the time, but we talked about my experience up to that point and what I thought about the conference as a first-timer. I shared a lot with him. Akiva then shared that he was involved with the planning for The Love Union and wanted to see more diversity in attendance and participation. I agreed that incorporating creatives of color would enhance the experience even more. I gave him my card (he ran out of his) and we agreed to talk after the conference about how we could improve diversity within the conference.
A few short weeks later, the entire world was thrown into a tailspin with the onslaught of COVID-19. I personally lost four (4) family members to the virus, and had others infected who later recovered. With so much turmoil and time to reflect on how I could effect positive change in the places and spaces I showed up in, I remembered my conversation with Akiva at The Love Union and I reached out to him on June 9, 2020. On our call, we agreed that our pre-COVID conversation on diversity and inclusion was a prelude to some of the issues bought up in the social justice movement that ensued across the entire world, following the murder of George Floyd.
From our meetings and discussions on what we want to see and put into action, EPIC (Event Professionals in Community) with The Love Union was formed. EPIC is launching for the purpose of being a conduit through which diversity, inclusion, and equity are intentionally and purposefully enacted within the event industry. Event professionals of color are being asked to join in the community with The Love Union to create a more diverse community that continues to build up the wedding and event community with all the skill sets and talent we possess for a richer experience and collaboration of work.
While EPIC will grow to include all event professionals of color, B_EPIC (Black Event Professionals in Community) with The Love Union is launching today as a starting point from which our initial conversations about diversity, inclusion and equity began. We are so appreciative of the Planners who agreed to partner with The Love Union to begin the dialogue and to share their industry experience with us.
We are grateful for their partnership. So today we introduce you to B_EPIC’s Founding Partners:
🗝 Suzette Spann Scarborough, Envisioned Events by Suzette
🗝 Sheena Daniels, Upsy Dazy Events
🗝 Terrian Freeman, Dream Plan It Events
🗝 Victoria Lartey-Williams, Victorious Events NYC
🗝 Al-Nisa Reid Jenkins, ARJ Signature Design
🗝 Bernadette Saunders, The Kairos Moment Wedding & Event Planners
🗝 Bjorn VW, Bjorn the Event Planner
We invite all event professionals of color to join EPIC with The Love Union as we continue to work at building and growing our presence and recognition in the event and wedding industry, doing what we love.