For the past four days, I had the privilege of being in the nation's capital. Though I've come every two years since 2012, this year was a bit more special. With the new National Museum of African American History & Culture opening and the final months of the Obama administration upon us, I felt that it was my civil responsibility to make this trip both reflective and explorative. Though I somewhat frequent the city, it had been well over a decade since I've actually stopped and smelled the roses. Fortunately, I was able to during this go round.
The first day in town, my husband and I walked over ten miles to visit many of the major monuments & memorials We visited the Washington Monument, World War I Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Korean War Memorial, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.
The trek, albeit it crucial on the feet, was well worth it. I was in high school when I last visited these sites, and of course the MLK Memorial didn't even exist at that time, so it was great to go and actually understand and reflect on the significance of each of these memorials and moments in time.
Day 2 of the trip was actually spent working, because after all, that's really why I was in DC. I'm blessed to be a part of a company that embraces diversity and provides organizations that foster growth and development of underrepresented groups. Every two years, the African/African American affinity network hosts its global conference in DC. We hear from speakers ranging from Rev. Al Sharpton to Senator Cory Booker all the way to this year's guest, Russell Simmons. We then have workshops centered around professional development and have the opportunity to network with our CEO, many of the business' leaders, and other inspiring professionals. In short, it's a week of black excellence.
|Russell Simmons and Chairman Jeff Immelt|
|Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed|
At this year's conference, I had the privilege of being honored and receiving the network's top award- - the ICON award. This award recognizes those who are the top performers in their respective functional area, but who also work tirelessly in the communities in which they live, show leadership in all areas in which they serve, and who contribute to the growth and development of other Africans/African Americans. I was certainly honored to be among many other trailblazers who, like me, often represent the black community in their workplace, carrying such a heavy burden to dispel stereotypes and go above and beyond the standard of excellence. To win this award is truly an honor and I am certainly humbled and appreciative to those who thought that I was worthy of this recognition. The amazing thing about being selected for this award is that it was my 3rd nomination. So, it goes to show that if at first you don't succeed, keep working hard and celebrating others and your time will come!
Though my day was filled with speakers, workshops, and networking, I got a few spare hours in the evening to do a bit more sightseeing. Of course, the trip would not be complete without going to Pennsylvania Avenue to get a peek at the White House. Though the President and First Lady were in town (thanks to my social media insights), we didn't get a glimpse of them. We did, however, get some pretty awesome photos from both the North and South Lawns.
|The North Lawn of the White House|
|National Museum of African American History & Culture|
Though I have extremely sore and tired feet and aching legs, my time in DC was amazing. Despite the crazy driving, overpriced food, and J-walkers, I look forward to returning and being able to visit many more historic sites and museums.
To cap off a great week, we ended our trip with our very first uber ride! So if you're in DC (or any other city), use the code Faneishaaue to get a free uber ride after your first ride and Feeling22 to get a $22 credit.
Have you been to DC or the new museum? Tell me about it in the comments section.