Created by Tatyerra Spurlock, Gratitude 4 Black Girls is a multifaceted platform developed to amplify Black Women and Girls’ unique and diverse stories, ideas, and businesses by creating opportunities for Black Girls to read about, hear from, and be inspired by Black Women entrepreneurs, artists, and community leaders at every stage of their journey. This year’s virtual event, “This is For Us” explores, shares, and celebrates real, everyday stories of Black Women and Girls.
The first G4BG event was held in Chicago three years ago in April — designated as Black Woman’s History Month by Atlanta activist Sha Battle — as a celebration of Black Women entrepreneurs and creatives. The event moved online in 2020 due to the pandemic, and in 2021, G4BG is planning a celebration featuring Black women entrepreneurs and 500 attendees. Sponsored by Chicago-based Spurlock and Son, as well as Rutledge Financial Partners and Leaders of Color, new features of the 2021 event include $2,000 in scholarships for Black Women and Girls, a virtual marketplace for women entrepreneurs, keynote speakers, and sessions targeted toward the holistic wellness of Black Women and Girls.
Chicago-born actress, rapper, and philanthropist Ta’Rhonda Jones will receive Gratitude for Black Girls’ first-ever Kimberly A. Spurlock Community Leadership Award during “This is For Us”, a virtual event for Black women and girls on April 24. Named for local entrepreneur and community leader Kimberly Spurlock, the award is presented to a Black woman who pours compassion, grit, and unconditional love into the Chicago Community.
“From a food bank to grants for local entrepreneurs, and scholarships for communities on the South and West sides of Chicago, as the founder of The Black Village Foundation, after finding her own success as an artist, Ta’Rhonda has invested in the resilience of our communities by taking actionable steps towards real change,” said Gratitude 4 Black Girls founder Tatyerra Spurlock, a Chicago native. “This award was named for my mother, who taught me the value of working to ensure that every member of our community has a pathway to success, and I can’t think of anyone more deserving of being celebrated for doing this critical work.”
Jones is part of an inaugural cohort of awardees, including Denise Woodard, a JAY-Z venture capital-backed entrepreneur whose allergen-free cookies are sold nationally by major retailers including Target and Whole Foods, as well as Michellene Davis, Executive Vice President at leading healthcare system RWJBarnabas Health.
Performances at the event include cellist, Yanna Cello, DJ Evie the Cool, and Authors, Jessica Hamilton and Cherlnell Lane. The interactive experience will feature access to shopping with Black woman owned businesses, workshops and entertainment.
“It is truly an honor to be honored by Gratitude for Black Girls,” said Jones on Instagram.
Gratitude 4 Black Girls Event, “This is For Us” be held virtually on April 24. Chicago Defender Readers can support and attend this virtual event using the special discount code, “DEFENDER10”. Tickets are on sale now on their website. Ticket prices range from $7-$30.
Danielle Sanders is a writer and journalist living in Chicago. Find her on social media @DanieSandersofficial.