Photo: Emmanuel Afolabi
  /  10.05.2022

This past weekend brought back ENVSN Festival, the third collaborative “festi-con” from Chief Impact Officer of Kith Sharifa Murdock and multimedia personality Laura Stylez. Since 2018, ENVSN Fest has created an ethos that centers on empowering the Gen Z and millennial demographics — with a fine-tuned focus on fostering the development of young women of color leaders.

After its two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s festival slogan was “Write Your Own Story,” a call to action for the youth to strive for their goals and take charge of their own narrative. Those who entered the venue, which stands at more than 13,000 square feet and is located in BKLYN STUDIOS at City Point in Brooklyn, New York, got the chance to do precisely that with the reemergence of the two-day networking extravaganza. With conversations made to elevate the mind and opportunities to network in real time, it’s safe to say ENVSN Fest is a kind of haven for young women looking to branch out professionally. 

From Oct. 1-2, the festival’s highlight was its panels featuring a lineup of notable industry mavens such as sports journalist Khristina Williams; Kanessa Tixe, publicist to major Latin stars like Maluma, Nicky Jam, and dembow artist Tokischa; and Karissa Mitchell, the senior fashion and beauty editor at Teen VogueDesigners like 2022 CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund recipient Fe Noel graced the stage, kickstarting the morning panels with her business advice and personal affirmations. In the evening, personalities and creators like Mandii B and WeezyWTF from one of Black Effect’s most popular podcasts, “WHOREible Decisions,” had the audience cackling as they gave a 50-minute dose of sex education.

Along with an array of wellness and beauty activations, brand partners had festivalgoers on a constant stream of experiences to massage their minds with. REVOLT proudly posted up alongside its award-winning creative agency #00000, which was there to showcase its branded content and tap into the talents of NYC’s Black and Brown creators who aspire to one day have a career in media. Since #000000 creative productions are 75 percent Black and women-led, it was important for Naydea Davis, their senior director of creative production, and Ghislaine Leon, director of creative strategy, to be on-site to represent a new wave and approach. #000000 agency aims for excellence while remaining mindful of placing Black creators front and center.

Other brands like Kith served the crowd their renowned Kith Treats ice cream, and Adidas hosted a two-day yoga workshop led by Jessamyn Stanley. Kappa popped out with Fang Drip and supplied custom tooth gems, blinging out all the smiles at the venue, while Atmos had a steady line of eager young folks waiting to customize their very own screen-printed tote bags. Occupying nearly a quarter of the venue’s space was a marketplace filled with Black and Brown small businesses, making it almost impossible to leave the festival empty-handed and uninspired.

If you weren’t attending ENVSN Fest already established in your field, you were there to get a break down of what you can do to be successful in your career. Deneil Mullings, director of publicity for 300 Entertainment (who was a speaker on “The Women in Music” panel) expressed to REVOLT what she thought people attending ENVSN Fest were looking for, saying, “The young woman attending ENVSN Festival is looking for inspiration … just looking and seeing other women of color doing things that you can be inspired by is enough.” 

Multimedia personality and music executive TT Torrez expressed why sharing her career trajectory with others is important, noting, “There are a lot of young women still trying to find their way. Sometimes people can see some of themselves in you, so it’s always good to connect in that way.”

One thing for sure is that the style and boss energy exuded from the festival were unmatched. When festival speakers were asked how they “step into their main character energy,” it generally came down to two answers. “Being prepared … really taking the moment to make sure that there are no curveballs and that you can operate at your highest level possible,” Jenay Alejandro, a PR executive that has done branding for BET and Atlantic Records, said. Then there was Savannah Britt’s response. The PR Guru, who’s worked with stars like DJ Khaled and Gucci Mane, said: “I write the script, and I pass it out to everyone else to follow.”

Even though it rained throughout ENVSN’s comeback weekend, hundreds gathered anyway to get that inspiration, that word of advice, that connection, that vibe that only a festival like ENVSN can encompass for the younger generation. ENVSN’s founders, Murdock and Stylez, want to specifically empower and encourage young women professionals to set lofty career goals. The two seek to create a space that provides the framework and is backed by testimonies of successful industry veterans. For the go-getter person out there looking for their lightbulb moment, they are sure to get it while attending the inspiring event.

View more pictures from 2022 ENVSN Festival below.

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