Mary J. Blige's Strength Of A Woman Festival And Summit Was A 3-Day Event Filled With Inspiration

    Women run the world.

    For the first time ever, Mary J. Blige and Pepsi brought their Strength of a Woman Festival and Summit to New York City after spending two years in Atlanta, and it was a weekend filled with inspiration.

    A closeup of Mary J. Blige on the red carpet in a blazer and matching short skirt

    The three-day event, which ran from May 10–12, was a mixture of music, female empowerment, food, creativity, and laughter. There's a little something for everyone including celebrity panels and discussions with public figures, Black-owned vendors, a gospel brunch, concerts, and more.

    Mary J. Blige onstage wearing a cropped jacket, shorts, and over-the-knee boots

    Experiencing those panels in real time was probably my favorite moment from the summit because the talent was so diverse (chefs, entrepreneurs, entertainers, lawyers, comedians, stylists, CEOs, doctors, and more), and the advice each person gave was motivational no matter which stage of your career journey you're on.

    Four individuals seated on stage in an event with a  'MARY J. BLIGE PRESENTS strength of a woman' backdrop

    For her panel, Mary was accompanied by her good friends Angie Martinez, Taraji P. Henson, and Tasha Smith for a girls' chat about the importance of sisterhood/friendship, giving yourself grace, and taking chances.

    Closeup of Mary J. Blige, Angie Martinez, Tasha Smith, and Taraji P. Henson standing onstage

    Throughout their discussion, the crowd erupted in applause, tears, and giggles, showing just how much the powerful messages resonated with everyone. Mary herself also spoke about the importance of not letting others dictate who you are.

    Mary J. Blige seated, speaking into a microphone

    "Your gift is not what everybody wants you to be," Mary said during her panel discussion. "Your gift is whatever you are."

    Mary J. Blige poses at an event for Strength of a Woman event

    It was truly impossible to walk away from this event without feeling like I could conquer the world. The love in the room was palpable, and I can't wait to experience it again!

    Until next year...