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The Best Me Conference Returns in 2023 to Inspire Black Women.

Lauren Jennings
Lauren Jennings

Lauren Jennings, the founder of The Best Me Conference, grew tired of being the only Black woman in the room while serving in professional leadership roles. 

“While this was something I had grown accustomed to, often, it felt exhausting,” she says. 

She searched for a space where she could feel seen and safe, where she could be authentically herself. 

“I thought, how powerful would it be to have a conference focused specifically on Black women with one common goal: to become the best version of themselves? It was there that The Best Me Conference was born. I took a risk, and since I could not find it, I chose to create the space I was looking for, a space for Black women to feel loved, nurtured, and inspired,” says Jennings.

Jennings affirms that Black women deserve a space where they can be celebrated and supported. Black women often face unique challenges and obstacles to success, and The Best Me Conference was created to address those challenges and provide resources and support to help overcome them. 

“By bringing Black women together in a supportive and inclusive community, our goal is to inspire women to reach their full potential and become their best selves,” she says. 

The Soft Life: Embracing Rest, Ease, and Joy

The Best Me’s theme for 2023 is The Soft Life. Jennings says that while she’s sure we’ve all likely heard this phrase, the definition of it is simple: living in alignment with the vision you have for yourself. It’s a daily reminder to evaluate what parts of your life are no longer serving you and give yourself permission to make the necessary changes to invest in the life you’ve always wanted to live. 

“As Black women, we’re tired of struggling, and we’re tired of having to always be strong. 2023 is the year of redefining softness and prioritizing rest, ease, and unapologetic joy,” says Jennings. 

Speaking on the stage at The Best Me Conference
Speaking on the stage at the Conference

The conference organizers set out in search of speakers who could identify with the theme. Each diverse Black woman on the panel is embracing their own version of the soft life. 

“While we share an identity as Black women, we’re all on unique journeys. Our speakers exemplify diversity of thought and conversation, so different attendees can all feel a sense of connection and benefit from the content,” Jennings says. 

Nurturing The Whole Woman, from 18 to 80

A Speaker at The Best Me Conference
A Speaker at The Best Me Conference

Speakers come from a wide range of backgrounds and ages. This is intentional, as the goal is to promote cross-generational conversation.

“Our tagline is, ‘Whether you are 18 or 80, The Best Me Conference is for you.’ This is not just something that sounds good; it truly represents our target audience. Black women need community. Our speakers and attendees range in age, and no matter your age or background, you will walk away feeling celebrated and inspired. We are geared to meet the Black woman in her current state of being, whatever that is. Our topics, speakers, and workshops are created with this in mind,” she says. 

The Best Me Conference also discusses various aspects of Black women’s lives: health and wellness, self-esteem, career empowerment, love and family relationships. 

“As women and human beings, we are multi-faceted. We are body, soul, and spirit, and if one area is suffering, our entire being suffers. We felt it was critical that in order to be healthy whole women, we needed our entire well-being nurtured. Our topics reflect this,” says Jennings. 

Changing Women’s Lives

After the last Best Me conference, many women reached out to Jennings to share how the conference made a difference for them. 

Two, in particular, come to her mind. One attendee shared that the conference inspired her to run for public office. She had never considered that, but knew she wanted to make a difference in her community. 

“The conference gave her the push she needed to trust in herself and take the risk. She now serves as the first Black City Councilmember of her city,” says Jennings. 

Women networking at The Best Me Conference
Networking at The Best Me Conference

Also, Jennings remembers two women who had both come by themselves. Both almost didn’t buy tickets because they felt awkward attending an all-day event where they didn’t know anyone. 

“As fate would have it, they sat next to each other at the conference, and the rest is history. A few weeks after the event, they tagged us in a photo of them together and thanked the conference for their newfound friendship!” says Jennings. 

Come On Out!

Laura Jennings meeting an attendee
Laura Jennings meeting an attendee at the Conference

The Best Me Conference is returning to California State University East Bay (Hayward) on April 1st, 2023. The organizers invite you to come clarify your purpose, top off your confidence, sharpen your skills and talents, and forge new connections. 

“We are uniting our tribe, so raise your hand and gather with us!” 


TROORA MAGAZINE | MAY 2023
WRITTEN BY CRISTINA DEPTULA
PHOTOS COURTESY OF AMINA L. KABBANY: @THECAFFEINIST | MARY RUCKER: @SISWITHTHACAMERA

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