On January 24th 2020, Los Angeles served as the home to the inaugural Grit Before The Gram celebration. This event highlighted notable women raising the bar behind the scenes in the entertainment industry by shining and even brighter light on their impact. The two honorees of the night were Yvette Noel-Schure, Founder of the Schure Media Group who received The Bridge Award, while Nija Charles, 7x Grammy-nominated Songwriter and Producer took home The Spotlight Award.
Also in attendance were trailblazers Sylvia Rhone (Chairman & CEO, EPIC Records), Mara Brock Akil (Creator of TV series Girlfriends & The Game), Laurieann Gibson (Choreographer & Creative Director), Ethiopia Habtemariam (President, Motown Records) and many more!
Scanning the room felt equivalent to scrolling through an Instagram feed under the hashtag Black Girl Magic or Black Excellence or What to Wear When Showing Out. If the décor and elegantly dressed company weren’t glamorous enough, there was a spectacular spread of dishes that had everyone rapturous. It’s a rarity to be in a room full of tremendously successful women that look like you and represent the diversity that the culture tends to lack, and The Vanity Group did not disappoint!
Like many aspiring and iconic game changers in this community, Yvette Noel-Schure accredits her family that she has lost and in the islands as being her motivation whenever she needs an extra push saying to herself “Yvette you’re falling asleep on this, you’ve got to get up and do it! What would Papa have done? Papa would’ve gotten up and done it! I always go back to them.”
There were countless exchanges of gratitude amongst mentor to mentees that have evolved in to colleagues and industry family. The silent theme of the night, responsibility, seemed to linger as so many of the night’s guests have played a meaningful role in the career of a woman sitting to either the right or left of them. All the attendees have the responsibility to keep the door open for the next wave of disruptive thinkers and serial executioners that may need their guidance or helping hand under the code of each one, teach one.
Karleen Roy is known for imagining and executing experiences that keeping getting better each time she steps up to the plate, that being said, it’s safe to assume that next years Grit Before The Gram will be one for the books!