By Christina Sturdivant-Sani, Special to the AFRO
After hosting several events to promote #BlackMomMagic in Washington, D.C., Nikki Osei and Simona Noce are in the throes of organizing their largest affair to date. The Momference is the nation’s first all-day conference catering to Black millennial moms, according to the public relations professionals.
“We’re setting the tone for what to expect from Black millennials moms… it will become the standard and we’re so excited to set that standard,” Osei, owner of Osei PR, told the AFRO.
In August 2016, Osei and Noce co-founded the group District MotherHUED, which has attracted more than 3,400 Instagram followers, also known as the #DMVMomTribe. They’ve hosted family picnics, pamper parties, and wellness classes, among other events that usually draw about 50 to 100 women depending on their venues’ capacities.
They’re planning for 250 women to sell out The Momference on May 19 at Hyatt Regency in Bethesda, Maryland.
Osei and Noce, both mothers of two, realized early on that they couldn’t plan the conference alone. “Nor did we want to pull it off by ourselves because we knew that our ideas were not the only ideas that would provide a successful conference,” said Noce, owner of The NoceModel PR & Events.
After receiving 120 volunteer inquiries, they created a team of 22 women. “I think it’s pretty dynamic that we are all moms and we’re not all professional conference producers—we’re busy moms addressing the needs of other moms,” said Noce. “It speaks levels that 22 different women can work together for a greater purpose—that in itself defies all these negative stereotypes that people have toward Black women and mothers.”
The group has organized quite the full-day experience. Guests will convene over breakfast, lunch, and cocktails. They’ll hear from keynote speakers Kahlana Barfield Brown, InStyle Magazine’s fashion and beauty director, and Julee Wilson, fashion and beauty director at Essence Magazine, which is also sponsoring the event.
There will be roundtables and panels with “top mom influencers” from across the country discussing everything from co-parenting to post-baby sex lives and building personal brands. Mini workshops will offer tips on beauty, wellness, holistic parenting, and more. There will be a pamper suite for District MotherHUED organization—many of whom juggle parenting, careers and entrepreneurship, romantic and platonic relationships, and race relations on a daily basis.
The “Mommy Market” will leverage the spending power of Black millennial moms. “We’re legitimate consumers,” said Osei, referencing articles from Forbes to Fast Company that talk about the spending power and influence of Black women.
Still, she said, it seems major brands seem to leave out Black moms as targets in their marketing. So, the market will feature quality Black businesses and companies that create products with women of color in mind.
About half of the vendors are also run by moms. “If we don’t support each other, who will?” said Osei. “It’s time for the rebirth of the Black renaissance.”
“With all of the education, resources, and pampering, let’s not forget the new relationships that will undoubtedly be made,” said Noce. “You’re meeting 250 moms who not only look like you and walk the same motherhood journey, but have the same interest to attend an event like this—that in itself is priceless.”