An Evening Celebrating Just Mercy

BE@WB (Black Employees at Warner Bros) started the year with an impactful event for the highly-anticipated film ‘Just Mercy’.  The night began with a cocktail reception and was followed by an advanced screening for WB employees and industry partners across a number of other studios including Amazon, Sony, Netflix and Paramount.  I heard of the work of Bryan Stevenson but to see this film and how it brought his story to life was very touching, educating and more importantly, much needed.  After watching this film, you cannot leave more inspired and yearning for change.  Inspired to do better, to have a voice, to make a difference in some form or fashion, to lend a helping hand.  Change can come in many forms as well so whatever you desire to see change or be apart of a form of change is what I meant in the preceding statement.  The cast delivered an outstanding, strong performance and helped to paint only a portion of the undeniably great work of Bryan Stevenson.  The formation of EJI (Equal Justice Initiative) was built on the premise of seeking truth, justice and providing legal assistance for the poor and condemned. Not to forget, this was all done without monetary gain since legal counsel was provided free of charge.  The amount of perseverance and strength to just keep going in spite of any hurdle or obstacle presented, portrayed in Stevenson’s character throughout the film, was inspiring in itself.


After the screening, the cast of the film joined us for a moderated panel. Talent included Michael B. Jordan, Brie Larson, Jamie Foxx, Karan Kendrick and the real-life hero, Bryan Stevenson. There were quite a few things that stuck with me from this panel discussion but here are a few key points I would like to share.  The first being words from Karan Kendrick who plays the wife of Walter McMillian.  She stated it was pretty much impossible to see this film and not leave moved in some way and wanting to contribute back to the community.  The best words of advice from her were the following. ” We cannot do everything, but we can do something.  Figure out what your something is and how you can make an impact with what you have where you are now”.  Definitely something to think about and figure out what your something is.  As stated, we cannot do it all but we most definitely can do something.

Bryan Stevenson shared so many gems, I could literally go on for pages sharing them all.  However, I want to share what stuck out to me the most.  I’ll start with “holding up the strength that diversity brings”.  Stevenson spoke quite a bit about his Harvard experience and wanting to blend in at first but then quickly realizing there was more power in his own story and path on how he even made it to study law at Harvard.  Subsequently, this leads to another key point taken from him “affirm the power in what makes you different”.  Often times, we all may of been in a space where it seemed easier to just to try to blend in but the real power comes from what makes you YOU.  Stevenson also spoke a lot about having your own narrative in the spaces you occupy and how the narrative should be based on your worth and values once in these spaces; not letting your narrative be shaped and formed by others.  There is power in creating your own narrative and changing the perception of what people may presume you are based on subjective views or what society has deemed you are before even walking in a room.  Stevenson elaborated heavily on maximizing every opportunity for any space you are in or platform, given or created, to embrace diversity and the strength given from it.  I left in awe from what Stevenson shared. I desire nothing more than to continue to be the best version of myself at all times and embrace what makes me different.  Every accomplishment made is big and should be celebrated, no matter how small it may seem to you at the time.  Huge kudos to BE@WB for pulling off such a successful event!  Looking forward to many more impactful events in the future.

**These views and opinions are my own and in no way reflect those of Warner Bros or its affiliates**

Hello 2020

As we begin a new year with such ambition and limitless opportunities, I would like to reflect on one of my favorite memories from 2019.  That being a girl’s trip which celebrated my sissy’s 30th birthday in Montego Bay, Jamaica.  I could not have asked for a better group of girls to travel with for this special occasion.  I was traveling from LA and was the first of the party to arrive.  We had the pleasure of staying at the all-inclusive Jewel Grande Montego Bay Resort & Spa with butler service included.  I mean could it get any better than this? (Cues Fancy by Drake) I was welcomed by the friendliest staff with a nice rum punch. You cannot come to Jamaica and not indulge in a few good rum punches.  While waiting for the girls to arrive, I decided to have lunch poolside with an infamous Bob Marley daiquiri.  I knew from that moment alone this trip would be one for the books.


We had a few things on the itinerary for our trip.  On our first night, the hotel hosted a silent headphone party.  This was my introduction to this type of party and I had a blast.  The multiple channel options of different music provided different vibes which was pretty cool.  I would definitely want to attend another one of these. The following day we decided to be more adventurous and joined Jam West Motorsports & Adventure Park for a day filled with a slew of activities including horseback riding and an ATV excursion.  It was an all-day adventure but completely worth it for the experience.


For our last full day, we decided to hang out at the resort and enjoy what was being offered right there at our fingertips.  Laying out catching a few sun rays, indulging in the full salon and spa service and the unlimited cocktails from the swim-up bar were all ultimately apart of this day of enjoyment and relaxation.  There was also different water sports or beach activities being hosted by the resort as well.  A nice volleyball match in the pool or banana boat ride were just a few things that you could participate in.  Not to mention the mini-bars cooking classic Jamaican dishes fresh to order to satisfy your mid-day cravings.  This was by far the best day spent at the resort.

dcfb2f16-7a17-48bf-8cfe-1ac0a09f994dFor the finale, the birthday girl planned an all-white dinner which we decided to have at the steakhouse at the resort.  To make matters even better, one of the butlers made a special request to the chef to prepare oxtails for our party as well.  I’m still craving these oxtails to this day.  We finished the night with a champagne toast to more life, success, many continued blessings and endless laughs.  I still remember the sounds of the ocean as I sat on the balcony and reflected on the great memories this trip had given me.  From the start, I knew this trip would be special and the group of ladies that traveled to celebrate my sissy’s milestone birthday made it that much more special and memorable to me.  Yea mon!  I wanted to start the year off by sharing a great memory with my readers.  For this year, there’s so much I would like to do and have come into fruition for Lifeofacitygal.  Hence, I am making this a year of action.  Here’s to creating more memories and continued growth.  Stay tuned.