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Author Archives: Naomi Bonman

I AM NOT A LABEL. I AM MY OWN BRAND

By Naomi K. Bonman

In today’s society, people, especially the media and the government, put labels on people. On job applications they want you to “label” yourself by putting what ethnicity you are, when it shouldn’t matter what color you are but what should matter is how well you do your job. Because we have become so accustomed to labels, we label ourselves. People will say, “Oh, I’m a Black such and such because society say’s so.” 

The BRANDED COLLECTION by Sophisticated Relations was created to erase the stigma behind labels. We want people to know that they are their own BRAND by simply being themselves. The way you carry yourself, your personality, that is your overall BRAND. If you’ve been through hell and back, but now you have made a name for yourself and you are an inspiration for your community, then your BRAND can be that you are a ‘Strong, determined, and successful Black/Latino Woman/Man.’

So without further due, I introduce you to the first batch of the BRANDED.YOU collection. View more photos of the collection below or buy it at www.sophisticatedrelations.com/shop.

Photo Recap: United Nations of Consciousness Hosts Ribbon Cutting with FREE Backpack Give-Away

By Naomi K. Bonman

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- They say it takes a village to raise up a child, and that is exactly the motto that United Nations of Consciousness (UNC) has been doing with our youth in San Bernardino.

The organization recently acquired a space where they are able to meet and hold activities for the youth at Anne Shirrells Park. However, things are never quite official until there’s a ribbon cutting.

UNC held its official grand opening and ribbon cutting on Saturday, July 30 at Anne Shirrells Park. Youth from all across the community came out to receive their backpacks filled with goodies, lunch provided by McDonalds, and a day filled with activities stations which included art, reading, building blocks, coloring, movies, and more.

To show their support, government and elected officials were in attendance, from Assemblymember Cheryl Brown, Rick Van Johnson, Carolyn Tillman, and the Black Chamber of Commerce Inland Empire.

If you would love to get involved with UNC and their community endeavors, please visit www.uncyouth.org or www.unclife.org.

The Heat was brought to the So Cal Region at the First Annual Los Angeles Soul Music Festival

By Naomi K. Bonman

Grooving, singing, kicking back, and just having the moment of the their lives are just a few words describe the emotions of soul lovers during this past weekend’s first annual Los Angeles Soul Fest. From July 22 to July 24, Southern California residents enjoyed a handful of activities at the Autry Museum of American West Griffith Park in Los Angeles.

The LA Soul Fest is the baby of Mark Douglas, CEO of Airborne Tickets that has blossomed and exceeded his exceptions. For the first annual Soul Fest, the event was very well attended and was an ultimate success. It brought out people of all ages and nationalities with everyone being there for one sole purpose—to enjoy some great soul music.

“Whether its vocals, instrumental soloists or a band, it doesn’t matter as long as each artist has the ability and talent to inspire and connect with an audience,” stated Los Angeles Soul Festival Head, Mark Douglas. 

This year’s talent included Grammy, Soul Train, BET, NAACP Image, Billboard, and ASCAP award-winners and nominees, as well as international and newly discovered talent. Highlighted acts included Eric Benet, Angie Stone, Marsha Ambrosius, Lalah Hathaway Lyfe Jennings, Jazmine Sullivan, Joe (Joe Thomas), Melanie Fiona, Eric Roberson, Rahsaan Patterson, Goapele, Vivian Green, Loose Ends featuring Jane Eugene, Avery Sunshine and Conya Doss. 

Great music would not be complete without good food and refreshing drinks. Guests were able to put their taste buds to the test with a variety of delicious food from several local food trucks. There were also smoothies and slushy trucks to cool patrons down from the heat. And of course, when it you’re groovin’ you usually want to have a drink in your hand. There was a 21+ drinking area that served a variety of beer and wine from vendors which included Stella Rose, Budweiser, Budlight, Stella Artois, Shock Top and Golden Road Brewing.

To keep up with the LA Soul Fest for the next year or to view photos and videos from this year, visit lasoulmusic.com or follow them on Twitter @LASoulFestFacebook and Instagram.