Deanna Bookert of The Bookert Agency, hosted the agency’s 3rd annual empowerment conference, “I’m not Broken, I’m Better”, Saturday June 13th. The five phenomenal speakers, Alicia Zeigler, Tamika Sims, Viticus Thomas, Curtis Bush and Antione Jackson gave testimonies of difficult times in their lives and how they overcame.
Curtis Bush talked about the tragedy of being a black man in America and growing up in a rough side of town. He told of how a tragic night after the club “broke him” and made him change his perspective on life. He recounts a time when he thought he was better dead than alive. He explains that counseling became a necessary purge of feelings and emotions. Fear kept him from pursuing dreams. Not having a father in home was a situation that broke him at one point but he is proud to say, now he is better.
Tamika sims, thought she found the man that God had sent for her. She suffered from emotional, physical, verbal and psychological abuse from a partner but her story does not end there. She did not allow the situation to keep her stagnant. She took time to heal her heart and make herself whole again. She lived as a little girl who never grew up because of the situation she went through. In the process of healing, she wrote a book about her ordeal and how she overcame. Through her literary business, Ink Pen Diva, she now helps women tell their story.
Viticus Thomas grew up with a broken family. As a young black man without a father in the home he did not have a blueprint on how to be a man and a father. Thomas wanted to break the chain of divorce in his family. Thomas asked the audience, how many of us are waking around with last names that do not belong to us. Our name is our identity, and without a good relationship with both parents, we grow up with an emptiness. Thomas was able to repair the relationship with his father and can now say, he is not broken, he is better.
Alicia Ziegler overcame a tough childhood through God. She became comfortable in her sin and that’s what held her back from getting close with God. As a child and young woman she remembers being called many derogatory terms as she lived a life “in the streets”. Even though she didn’t graduate high school or college she has been able to become very successful, as founder of Columbia Fashion Week and owner of FFS model and talent agency. She is not broken, she is better with God.
Speaker Antoine Jackson, overcame a drug addiction to become a pastor and leader of many community and political organizations. As a pastors kid, he recounts that he was the worst kid in the church. Though he evolves from a trouble past, now a youth minister he recounts, “I’m not perfect but I’m obedient”. Jackson advises that we do not have to be perfect to be in line with God” but we can control our attitude and our actions.
Host DeAnna Bookert explained to the audience that this conference was a way for her to overcome a difficult time in her own life. Personally we go through phases and sometimes we stay there. We allow ourselves to sit in hurt and disappointment . We cannot allow ourselves to stay in a bad situation, we must power through and use that situation to take us to the next level. The conference has truly empowered and encouraged me to activate my purpose.
The conference was sponsored by Sheen Magazine, Stephanie Pierre-Lewis of IT Works and Chavonte Davis of Traci Lynn Jewlery. Other vendors at the event included G Mitchell Concierge & Travel, Smith Photography and Mary Kay. Refreshments were provided by Tamara Canzater of Creative Cooking.