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Breyonna Pinkney Hosts My Sister’s Keeper Women’s Conference


“Be who you are and say how you feel, because those who mind, don’t matter, those who matter don’t min.,”

This past weekend, The Pinkney Promise Foundation, a non-profit organization along with prominent women leaders came together for a day of uplifting and motivational messages preaching the value of self-love.

The event which featured the Pinkney Promise CEO and founder, Breyonna Pinkney along with Halle Deneen, Brittany Johnson, Laurina Hedd Williams, and Taylor Evans took place on Howard University’s campus open to all women to attend.

The first speaker, Halle Deneen is a Howard alum and renowned plus-size model who has been featured in as many as 12 national campaigns. Deneen explained her trials with cyberbullying growing up and how that affected her journey in finding peace within herself. Her story of overcoming insecurities and molding into the role-model she is today, inspired many ladies in the crowd to share their stories as well.  Deneen’s 9 steps to self-love include:

  1. Get rid of negativity in your life

  2. Take the time to do what you love

  3. Compliment yourself/Think positive

  4. Own your flaws

  5. Be confident & empower others

  6. Forgive your past self

  7. Embrace those around you

  8. Love others just as you love yourself

  9. Don’t give anyone power to alter your peace

Following Deneen, Bowie State alumna Brittany Johnson spoke on the 6 “p-words” that make or break a woman. The words that make us are “prayer, purpose, and presence”.  Johnson emphasized the importance of staying grounded in what drives you. A personal favorite quote was, “Without purpose, any direction you take will lead you nowhere.” Presence meaning learning to appreciate the now instead of fixating on manipulating the future. She went on to explain the last three words, “procrastination, pessimism, and penis.” Yes, you read that right, one of a woman’s obstacles is “penis.” Johnson elaborated after the shock of the audience and broke down our tendency as women to depend on men to fill voids instead of setting boundaries to protect ourselves and our energies.

The next speaker touched on the sensitive topics of battling depression and childhood trauma. Taylor Evans, Howard senior and founder of “InhaLING Happiness”, detailed her past struggles with recognizing her depression and seeking help while finding herself. Evans consoled the audience with her healing words of encouragement. Reassuring us that sometimes “when things fall apart, take into consideration that life could have bumped it down on purpose.” Evans also gave us her own personal insight on how she practices embracing herself. Her tips included falling in love with you, making peace with the “mirror,” and not changing who you are to please others.

After an intimate discussion between the audience and speakers, we heard from Laurina Hedd Williams, a Howard alum and author of “Spread Your Wings”. Williams centered her speech around four main points:

  1. God-awareness

  2. Self awareness

  3. Environmental awareness

  4. People awareness.

Williams highlighted the fact often times we only seek God in times of trouble but never acknowledge him when things seem to be in place. She also broke down knowing how to not take every rejection so serious as “rejection puts you in alignment” for what God actually intended for you.

The evening ended off with wise words from Breyonna Pinkney about the importance of applying these practices. After the event, she said she wanted everyone to at least leave knowing the value of self-love. Pinkney shared a personal testimony and allotted time for the audience to write their own positive affirmations.

The room was full of so many inspiring and driven women who all have had their struggle yet were able to prevail. The atmosphere throughout the whole entire time was nothing short of amazing. From tears to laughter, everybody left feeling full.

Hey y'all! My name's Queen Divine, a sophomore biology major and psychology minor from New Jersey!
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