(L to R) Unkle Scooty, Mercy Chikowore, Damon Young, Danielle Belton, Maiysha Kai, Kia Weatherspoon, Panama Jackson
Photo: Susan Hornyak Photography

Do people still call Washington, D.C., Chocolate City? I’m asking for a friend and also because my people, my people, you guys showed up and showed out at our Very Smart Brothas and The Glow Up Boss Moves event on Thursday, July 19th—sponsored by Toyota—filling the Long View Gallery with beautiful boss blackness that could not be matched!

In order to be a leader, simply, one must lead. Do you have what it takes? The Boss Moves event tapped moderator and Very Smart Brotha, Panama Jackson, to lead the conversation with these key players: The Glow Up’s Maiysha Kai, DMV’s own Kevin Hallum (aka Unkle Scooty), soldier-turned-designer Kia Weatherspoon, D.C. PR queen Mercy Chikowore and another Very Smart Brotha, Damon Young.


The conversation showcased these panelists, who are at the top of their fields, but also allowed them to get vulnerable about how they got there, and how they continue forward when life comes at them fast.

Guess what? Just because you’re out here making boss moves doesn’t mean you’re exempt from hard times, depression and the like. Being a boss is navigating through all of the muck and still making it out on top. Kinda also sounds like being black, but I digress.

From time management to self-care to family and friends’ discounts, the Boss Moves panel tackled the topics we all are curious about.


It’s not an event for The Root until you have all of these elements: branded notebooks to write down all the black brilliance from the panel, libations, chicken, a brand new Toyota in the middle of the room, a dope panel and lucrative networking afterparty.

Now doesn’t that sound like you just can’t miss the next one? Because you can’t! Keep yourself locked in to The Root for information for our next Very Smart Brothas and The Glow Up event! Check out a few snapshots from the Boss Moves event below.

Special thanks to our wonderful sponsor, Toyota!

Boss Moves panel.
Very Smart Brothas and The Glow Up Host The Root’s Boss Moves
The line is down the block!
You are on the list!
Get checked in!
Wine not?
Panelist Mercy Chikowore
Step and repeat.
VSB’s Damon Young chatting with guest.
Guests with panelist Kia Weatherspoon
Guest having fun in the new Toyota Camry
Slider bar
Snacks on snacks
The 2019 Camry
Quick selfie moment with the Camry
Black and proud
Boss Moves panel
Guest question time
The crowd
Panelist Kia Weatherspoon
Panelists Maiysha Kai, Kevin Hallums and Kia Weatherspoon