Nika King, Ciera Payton And Storm Reid Celebrate Female Empowerment At The 2019 LadyLike Foundation White Carpet

This past Saturday, Her Campus at UCLA got the privilege to attend the annual LadyLike Luncheon where over 800 guests and celebrities came together to support this year’s scholarship recipients. The LadyLike Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to changing young women’s lives. The overall mission of the organization is to empower and inspire young women from underprivileged communities to achieve their highest potential and become a well-rounded and intelligent woman. The foundation has existed for over 11 years and it has built up a repertoire of celebrity supporters and donors. During the white carpet, we asked guests a few questions about the LadyLike Foundation and what it means to them.

Founder and president of the LadyLike Foundation, Leah Cher Pump, spoke highly of her organization when we asked about her most memorable achievements through it. “There’s so many achievements, but to have over 100 girls go to college is pretty amazing. They’re going to prestigious universities and city colleges. We’ve had girls that have been in and out of the system and they’ve gotten their lives back together and are going to college. Another achievement I’m personally proud of is how LadyLike has gone international to Ghana and we pay for the room and board of the girls at Mountain High boarding school and all their clothes and we take care of them. A lot of our past members come back and help us put on more events, so we must be doing something right!”

Ciera Payton, who will be starring in season 2 of She’s Gotta Have It , was also a huge fan of the foundation. Payton stated “The LadyLike Foundation means a world of empowerment and motivation for young women. I think we need more organizations like this were we highlight and motivate young girls from the inner city.”

Dr. Nita Landry from hit daytime show The Doctors, also chimed in about the impactful work LadyLike does. “I love the message the foundation gives. I love that we’re celebrating women that are giving back to the community. In this time that is so important to be there for each other and uplift each other as women of color we need to keep this uplifting cycle up.”

Seeing as the LadyLike Foundation serve on the basis of women’s empowerment, we also asked guests about what female empowerment means to them. We got a chance to speak with Nika King, who plays the mother of Zendaya and Storm Reid’s characters on HBO’s upcoming show Euphoriaabout what female empowerment means to her. King replied, “To me female empowerment means being bold. You know when you think ‘Oh maybe I shouldn’t do that, maybe I shouldn’t say that or maybe I shouldn’t wear that.’ Those are the moments where you should. It means not being afraid of stepping outside your comfort zone.”

Javicia Leslie from the CBS series God Friended Me enthusiastically added her idea of female empowerment through the perspective of a Black woman. “[As black women] we need to see that it’s our time! We are the future and the future is now. At the end of the day we need to take advantage of the platforms that we’re not currently on. We need to to get out there and move and be in front and lead this generation and understand that these little girls are our future they’re going to be our next CEO’s and leaders and we need to set a good example for them.”

The young women that the LadyLike Foundation supports and uplifts come from underprivileged backgrounds. Some have trouble getting basic resources like food and school supplies while others have been in and out of the system. Storm Reid, one of the stars on HBO’s Euphoria, is familiar with challenges that teens go through these days. The show focuses on the obstacles and internal challenges that teenagers face and how they cope with trying to figure out who they are. We asked Reid what her advice was to young people who were trying to figure out their lives. “I feel like everyone’s situation is different and not all people will go through same things. As a young person it’s hard to be growing up in this world right now but ultimately my advice is to be yourself and try to inspire the people around you. I know it can be hard and I’m not saying you have to try to be perfect because nobody is but if you strive for greatness and try to put yourself out there and use your voice i feel like that could help you and help others.”

With the focus on the girls who were being celebrated at the Luncheon we talked to actress Jazz Smollet and what the vision of the LadyLike Foundation meant to her as a mother. She went on to say, “As a mom of a young daughter I aspire to have her see herself and see the excellence that she can become and already is and understand her value and self worth. It’s also really important to remember as women of color we don’t need validation for anyone. We have ancestors rooting for us. We can empower from within and we really need to build each other up.”

All of the women gave truly inspiring and uplifting answers as they excitedly walked through the carpet and into the engaging Luncheon. It was a privilege to be in the presence of everyone and we hope readers continue to keep up with the amazing work that the LadyLike Foundation is doing.