On Saturday, December 9, WURD Radio celebrated Black commerce, the holidays, and the spirit of ujamaa at our annual Empowerment Experience marketplace.
More than 25 vendors, selling high-quality items like eyeglasses, crocheted goods, dolls, health supplements, clothing, books, beauty products and much more, gathered in the Family Life Center at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church East. For five hours, WURD welcomed the public to shop, eat and have fun alongside friends and members of the WURD team, including hosts Solomon Jones, Andrea Lawful Sanders, and Tonya Pendleton. To see photos from the event click below.
“We are celebrating the Kwanzaa principle of Ujamaa which means cooperative economics. We are so grateful to partner with Enon and with all of our Black businesses here in Philadelphia and the vicinity,” said WURD President and CEO Sara Lomax. “People are coming and shopping and circulating our dollars within the community. We are proud to be able to celebrate the holidays in a way that is also uplifting our businesses and our communities.”
People who couldn’t make it to Empowerment were able to experience the marketplace through an innovative collaboration with Philadelphia’s live-shopping pioneer Meeka Johnson of All Black Everything Pop Up. Johnson worked with two vendors at Empowerment to conduct a live shopping event via Instagram, where people who follow both All Black Everything and WURD Radio on the platform were able to view products, interact with vendors, and purchase items to have shipped to them at home.
“WURD’s Empowerment Experience introduced the WURD audience to live shopping and Black businesses,” Johnson said. “It offered easy additional streams of revenue for longtime vendors like Keith Howell of Nubian K Essentials – bridging the gap between technology and seasoned vendors and businesses.”
WURD Radio broadcasted live from Empowerment Experience all day. Hosts Andrea Lawful Sanders and Tonya Pendleton interviewed two dozen people on air, including many of the marketplace vendors as well as prominent Black community figures – Pennsylvania Secretary of General Services Reggie McNeil, Congressman Dwight Evans, Councilwoman Katherine Gilmore Richardson, Enon Pastor Rev. Alyn Waller, community leader and Kwanzaa educator Maisha Ongoza, and many more.
DJ Tactics kept the energy high with a soundtrack of upbeat soul, R&B and hip-hop all day, and attendees enjoyed food from Royal Zarasa’s food truck as well as complimentary sandwiches and snacks from the Brown Family ShopRite Partners Cafe.
“WURD Radio hosted a great event – one of the best I’ve been to this year,” said Alexis Williams, owner of Shottiz by Lex, an eyeglass merchant. “I got a chance to be on the radio and three customers came because they said they heard me on the radio talking about my business.”
Many business owners shared the same sentiment – that Empowerment was great for their spirit and their bottom lines. “Today’s WURD Empowerment Experience left my heart smiling. I am so thankful and grateful for the opportunity it provided,” said Tiffany Jones, owner of Luv+Charm Boutique. “It felt so good to be able to laugh, smile and have access to my target client in my own community. I am so appreciative of the love I received today.”
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Written by: Ashanti Martin
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