Ok I swear all I did at the start of this year was blink, and suddenly it's nearly 2022?! What's with that? 👀 ... In addition to blinking, I officially launched the Glowreel newsletter this year and it's been an amazing ride so far.
I've sent out 50 weekly newsletters this year, and connected with amazing BIPOC women and allies (including you!) along the way. It's been awesome and I'm so grateful for the Glowreel community - especially to you for supporting my newsletter. Your support means the world to me 💜 Seriously, every time someone subscribes to the newsletter, I do a little happy dance 💃🏾 So thank YOU!
If you're reading this message and thinking it sounds like a farewell message, it's because it is. Well, farewell for now! This is the last Glowreel newsletter for 2021. I'm taking a little break over the holiday season to reset, and will be back to lighting up your inbox (and more...) in January 2022!
Before I head off, you've got one more epic news round up to enjoy, and an interview with Elaysia Davidson - the founder of the Best Version Project. Elaysia's work will have you feeling beyond motivated to live your best life heading into the new year - spoiler alert, it involves more than just face masks and wine.
See you in the new year and thank you again for being part of the Glowreel community.
Let's get glowing!
P.S. I'll still be posting the empowering, inspiring and relatable content you know and love on the Glowreel Instagram during my break. Come say hi! 👋🏽
News To Know
A Whole Series Of Firsts To See Out 2021
Image via Thomas Hengge
There were a lot of firsts for BIPOC women across all industries in 2021. Yes, yes, we all wonder how some of these firsts are only happening now - it's 2021 people! But it is also great to see change happening, and as you know, here at Glowreel we are all about celebrating the stories and achievements of BIPOC women 👏🏽
So, it's kind of fitting that our last newsletter of the year includes a round up of some exciting firsts for BIPOC women this week:
In the world of public service and politics, Keechant Sewell has been announced as the next New York City Police Department commissioner, making her the first Black woman to lead the USA's largest police department. Susan Hutson also just became the first Black woman elected sheriff in Louisiana, USA.
See also: Mpho Phalatse is the the first black woman mayor of Johannesburgand these four Black female police officers were just promoted to captain in Philadelphia.
Over in academia, Neeli Bendapudi is the first woman and the first person of colour to be named president of Pennsylvania State University in the USA. Over in the UK, Patricia Kingori is the youngest Black female professor ever to be tenured at the University of Oxford.
Last but not least: competitions, aka sports and pageants. Kristen Hayden became the first Black woman to win a national diving title. Meanwhile, Emma Broyles is the first ever Korean-American contestant to win the Miss America pageant.
Ok, ok one more! ICYMI, over in business and fashion, Leena Nair has been appointed as Chanel’s new Global CEO. Her appointment marks the first time a woman of colour will lead a major global luxury brand. We love to see the representation - it truly matters!
Glowreel Reco Of The Week
You need to read: Ain't I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism by bell hooks
Ain't I a Woman is essential to understanding the complex dynamics black women have with racism and feminism. The book examines the impact of sexism on black women during slavery, the historic devaluation of black womanhood, black male sexism and black women's involvement with feminism.
Bonus reco: You know how sometimes you read a reco and think "oooh I should read/listen/try that!" ... but then you forget to do it .... and then you can't remember which newsletter that reco you were interested in was in? Because same! Fortunately for you, we've consolidated all our recos for 2021 here - so you can enjoy the best of the best over the holiday season!
- (Coding) Boss Bitch 👩🏾💻 Girls Who Code, founded by Reshma Saujani, partnered with Doja Cat to create the first ever codable music video - how cool!
- Meg Thee Graduate 👩🏽🎓 ICYMI, Grammy-winning rapper Megan Thee Stallion graduated with a Bachelor's degree in health administration. She said her dedication to finishing her education came from the matriarchs in her family - we love to hear it.
- A 104-year-old Indian woman fulfilled her lifelong dream of learning how to read 📖 Kuttiyamma now loves starting her day by reading the local newspaper page to page. We love this story so much, and it shows that age truly is just a number.
- She's not a regular aunty, she's a cool aunty who skates 🛹 Oorbee Roy is breaking down all the stereotypes of a South Asian woman in her forties. Check out her epic skateboarding videos here - and yes this is a another reminder to pursue your passions/goals at any age!
Sup Buckos! It's Time Become The Best Version Of Yourself With Elaysia Davidson
Image via Elaysia Davidson
Elaysia Davidson is on a mission to become the best version of herself, and she wants to help you to do the same! After going through a difficult period in her life, Elaysia embarked on her Best Version Project journey, and documented the whole experience on Tik Tok.
Glowreel is honoured to have spoken with Elaysia on what the best version journey has been like for her and how your can get involved in the Best Version Project - it could be the perfect way to kick off 2022!!
Tell me a bit about yourself
Hi! I'm Elaysia, and I've made it my mission to help future world changers become the best versions of themselves. I'm an African American from the Midwest region of the United States. I'm obsessed with reading, writing, and posting creative content on social media that inspires others.
I LOVE the Best Version Project! What motivated you to start the journey/project?
Thank you so much! In late 2018, I went through an extremely difficult phase in my life. I was at both a physical and an emotional low, and I knew I needed to make a big change in my life. I was so unhappy with my life as I was living it. The following year, I started reading personal development books, and I took notes on the key insights I discovered. From that point forward, I read over 50 different non-fiction novels spanning a variety of genres (including general psychology/neuroscience, spiritual well-being, & personal development) and synthesized the most impactful takeaways to create the original Best Version Project. The first draft of the Best Version Project was completed in May 2021. I decided to embark on the Best Version Project journey at this time as I was going through a transitional phase in my life, and I wanted to reclaim control of my destiny and discover that person I've always wanted to become.
How is your best version journey going so far?
It's changed my life in more ways than I ever could've imagined. Starting my Best Version Project journey has opened so many doors for me, and faster than I ever would've anticipated. I'm doing more of the things I enjoy, I'm building the life I've always dreamed of living, and I'm falling more and more in love with myself every day.
What are some of the highlights and some of the biggest challenges of your journey so far?
One of my favorite parts of the Best Version Project journey is creating the Goal Book. Goal Books are so fun to make, and so empowering. I truly believe that, when done the right way, the mere creation of a Goal Book can provide life-changing results. One of my biggest challenges has been maintaining consistency. I think everyone struggles with staying consistent in the beginning of any new journey, and this was definitely a struggle for me at times. Now that I've stayed consistent with following my Best Version Project 50 Day Guide, I've seen so many incredible changes in my life. There's so many exciting things happening that I have to keep on the downlow for now, but I can't wait to share them!
How can people get involved with the Best Version Project, and who is it for?
The Best Version Project was made for young women (more specifically, late and young adults) who are ready to take the next step in becoming the person they've always wanted to be. There's so many ways to get involved with the Best Version Project, the easiest way being to check out my TikTok account, @bestversionproject, where I post content related to my personal Best Version Project journey nearly every day. For those who are ready to start their own journey, live the life of their dreams, and finally unlock the best versions of themselves, my website is waiting for you.
What makes you Glow?
Living each day knowing that I am consciously working towards building the best version of myself and helping others do the same makes me glow.
Women Who Shook Up The World
In Memory Of bell hooks - A Feminist Icon
Gloria Jean Watkins (September 25 1952 – December 15 2021) was an American author, professor, feminist, and social activist. She was known as bell hooks.
She adopted her maternal great-grandmother's name as her pen name, in a nod to her great-grandmother's "snappy and bold tongue, which I greatly admired." She also used lowercase letters for her name to to distinguish herself from her great-grandmother and to put the focus on her work, instead of on herself.
The focus of hooks' work was the intersectionality of race, capitalism, and gender, and what she described as their ability to produce and perpetuate systems of oppression.
She published over 30 books and numerous scholarly articles, appeared in documentary films, and participated in public lectures. Her first major book Ain't I a Woman? Black Women and Feminism has been recognised for its long lasting contribution to feminist thought. Her work will no doubt continue to inspire and teach generations to come
One Lioness To Another
“In my work I constantly say, this is how I fell and this is how I was able to rise. It may be important that you fall. Life is not over. Just don’t let defeat defeat you. See where you are, and then forgive yourself, and get up.”