We all know that the entertainment world is a growing industry. If you are trying to get in the music, television, or magazine industry, and you do not have the necessary resources, and guidance it can be tough, especially for women of color.
I had the opportunity to talk to Valeisha Butterfield-Jones about her opinion with the portrayal that women of color have in the music industry and now television-with the explosion of reality television. Ms. Butterfield is the co-founder and chair of the Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network (WEEN) and have served for more than six years as the Executive Director of Russell Simmons’ Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to voter education and youth empowerment.
When asked about her views on the way women of color are being perceived because of the Hip Hop culture. She didn’t think it was very positive. “I’ve got to take responsibility,” Valeisha says.
Valeisha and three other success women in the entertainment industry-Sabrina Thompson, Kristi Henderson, and Lauren Lake- came together and formed an organization that has led to a movement known as WEEN
WEEN is comprised of individuals dedicated to improving the quality of life for women worldwide. Representing the entertainment industry, WEEN has taken a leadership role in the balanced portrayal of women and partners with like-minded organizations and individuals to provide educational programs targeting women.
WEEN grants scholarships each year to deserving college students and young women entrepreneurs. WEEN also provides mentorship match-making and programs year round with the following focus: Health Education, Financial Literacy, Career Development, and Personal Advancement.
“We recently just finished our WEEN Academy”, says Valeisha. “The WEEN Academy is a six week crash course, for women who are in college, and are trying to get in the entertainment industry. We have celebrities, on-air talent who are in the industry, and the main goal for academy is to get these women internships.”
When I asked Valeisha what is now the main focus of W.E.E.N, she replied “The W.E.E.N. Awards. This will be the 4th Annual W.E.E.N. Awards, and we honor women of color in the industry who has open doors for us.”
It is free to become a member of W.E.E.N. If you would like to become a member, and get more information on this awesome organization, just go tohttp://www.weenonline.org/. Once you become a member, not only will you become a part of this powerful movement, but you will also have access to internships, and jobs that you will not be able to find anywhere else.
You can also keep up with upcoming W.E.E.N events by following me on Twitter @JustMeMarvette or Facebook at Marvette Coley