"The Queen in Me" Baltimore Girls Rock 2019

Baltimore Girls Rock 2019 Facilitator Speaker Chelsea Stevenson Cardamom Clove Henna Baltimore Henna Artist

Have you ever had one of those moments where you just had to stop and think to yourself, “My goodness, I have been blessed beyond measure today?”

That’s exactly how I feel after having yet another opportunity to participate in the Baltimore Girls Rock Conference, hosted and sponsored by the National Alumnae Association of Spelman College (NAASC).

If you’re unfamiliar with the NAASC, they are the official organization supporting Spelman College, a historically black college for women, through financial gifts, student recruitment, sisterhood, community service, and recognition of Spelman women. Per their official mission statement, the NAASC “was formed to support, nurture and assist in the matriculation of current and future Baltimore area Spelman students through funding, outreach and communication. We also aim to promote womanhood and sisterhood through membership, fellowship and networking.” To that end, each year they hold a girls conference with the hopes of educating, empowering, and engaging adolescent girls of color as it relates to their brilliance and endless possibilities.

This year, the theme of the girls conference was one that spoke to me deeply: “The Queen in Me.” Along with thirteen other Black female entrepreneurs and professionals, I was invited to participate not only as a presenter in the career crawl, but also as a workshop facilitator - an opportunity that I am increasingly grateful for, truly.

Baltimore Girls Rock 2019 Facilitator Speaker Chelsea Stevenson Cardamom Clove Henna Baltimore Henna Artist

During my workshops, which I titled “Straighten Your Crown, Queen,” I had the privilege of connecting with the young ladies in attendance about the importance of acknowledging, addressing, and moving beyond the negative self talk that we all experience while simultaneously improving our own self-perception.

As a professional henna artist, my livelihood is directly affected by the critique of the community around me, and as result I've learned just how crucial it is to manage self-perception, effectively counter negative self-talk, and show up as my own cheerleader on a daily basis. Inside of the workshops, we spent time discussing healthy coping methods, cognitive behavioral adjustments, and self-care - things that were largely new concepts to many of the girls in workshop attendance.

I cannot express how thankful and humbled I am to be able to use my experiences as a means of empowering the upcoming generation of Black female leaders with the tools that I only wish someone would have given me when I was their age.

After our sessions, many of the girls stopped by to express gratitude and share the tips and tricks that they picked up during the workshop and hope to apply moving forward.

That right there? That’s the ultimate treasure.

xo, Chelsea

For more information about the NAASC or the Baltimore Girls Rock Conference, please click here.