Andrea Lewis, former star of the tween classic drama Degrassi, is developing a Women’s Empowerment Weekend. Lewis, most notable for her role as Hazel, or
Wheelchair Jimmy's Drake's ex-girlfriend on the hit show, will launch the inaugural Women’s Empowerment Weekend on Aug. 27 and Aug. 28 in the Downtown Los Angeles Arts District.
Day 1 of the two-part weekend event features a panel discussion featuring black women working behind the scenes in the entertainment industry. The panel will feature Karen Horne, talent and development at NBC; Chika Chukudebelu, original programming at BET; and Deniese Davis of Issa Rae Productions.
Day 2 of the weekend will feature tea time dedicated to self-love with actress Keesha Sharp, formerly of Girlfriends. The Sunday event is designed to be a safe space for women of color to talk over tea about everything from self-love and sisterhood to life and career choices.
The program focuses on the different aspects, for women of color, of working in influential roles, ranging from media and film to entertainment and more. Both events are designed to offer an intimate experience to connect with key influencers in desirable industries whom women wouldn’t normally have access to on a daily basis, offering career tips and advice.
"My first event featured special celebrity guest Essence Atkins, and it was a powwow of women sharing everything from their fears, their joy, their dreams and their goals, and it was truly the makings of a sisterhood," says Lewis, who is also the creator of the brilliant YouTube series Black Actress. "Most of the ladies didn’t know each other in the beginning, but after three hours of open and honest conversation and even some tears, it felt like a room full of best friends."
For Lewis, this all started as a personal journey to build self-confidence.
"I did it simply because I had just spent nearly a year working on my self-confidence and self-awareness, and I was very happy with how I felt about myself finally," she said. "At the time I was doing a play and working with a woman who I felt was beautiful but I also felt could use a bit of encouragement, but I didn’t exactly know how to say it. So I decided to make a video saying everything I was thinking."
Now, more than 100 self-love videos later on her YouTube channel, and she’s bringing this self-love-focused audience to life.
Women’s Empowerment Weekend has plans to expand to cities such as New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C., in the near future. For now, tickets for the event's inaugural weekend in Los Angeles are available in a bundle pack of $30 for the entire weekend, or both $20 and $15 for respective individual date tickets. You can purchase them here!