Black Owned Media Weekend 2023 in Tulsa


( ENSPIRE Feature ) Black Media Embracing Empowerment and Knowledge at BOMESI 23

In the world of independent media, the journey to create and sustain a publication is no small task. But when the ambition meets the unique challenges faced by Black-owned media companies, the path to success becomes both a transformative experience and a powerful testament to the resilience of visionaries who dare to tell stories that matter. As Editor and Publisher of ENSPIRE Magazine, I had the privilege of attending the Black Owned Media Equity & Sustainability Institute (BOMESI) weekend event in June, held in honor of Juneteenth. The experience served as a profound reminder of the importance of education, unity, and understanding the pros and cons of being a Black-owned media company.

The road to building a reputable name like ENSPIRE requires hard work, dedication, and an unwavering commitment to the stories that deserve to be told. At the heart of my professional journey is the belief that true success lies not just in individual accomplishments, but in fostering a community that supports and uplifts one another. This belief was reaffirmed when I was introduced to BOMESI through a mutual friend and colleague, Kevin of Parle Mag. It’s a testament to the power of having a strong network–one that believes in your vision and will share referrals and positive endorsements even when you’re not in the room.

Setting foot into the world of BOMESI was an enlightening experience for me. With initial skepticism about what a Black-owned media conference could offer in Tulsa, OK, the realization that this was an opportunity not just for personal growth, but for the brand’s evolution swiftly replaced those doubts. The Black-owned media weekend organized by BOMESI was nothing short of extraordinary. The warmth of the welcome, the wealth of information, and the sense of camaraderie were immediate indicators that this was a space where the struggles I faced daily were truly understood and shared.

A pivotal moment was the session that featured media outlets taking part in BOMESI’s mentorship cohort. The presentations were not just enlightening but also empowering, making me realize that the journey of others could serve as a blueprint for their own success. The power of representation, visibility, and unity was clear in those presentations–a reminder that Black-owned media companies can create a lasting impact by telling authentic stories that resonate with their audience. That resonated with me, I am doing it; I am struggling with it; I am learning to do it better, but I am doing it. 

The educational aspect of the event reached its pinnacle with a tour of The Greenwood District and a visit to The Greenwood Rising Black Wall Street History Center. This experience unveiled a deeper layer of history that I had not been fully aware of, shedding light on the struggles and obstacles that have been endured throughout generations. It was a transformative moment that further fueled my determination to tell stories that not only uplift but also educate and empower.

The panels throughout the weekend were golden nuggets of wisdom. From marketing strategies to brand empowerment, each panel was a treasure trove of insights that resonated with everyone present. Notable among them were discussions about fostering economic empowerment, amplifying diverse storytelling, and standing out in a competitive landscape. These panels were not just informative; they provided a roadmap for Black-owned media outlets to thrive and prosper.

The BOMESI event concluded on a high note, emphasizing the importance of matching intention with action and the experiences of brands, agencies, and media owners. It was an event that not only provided knowledge but also ignited a spark of unity and determination. The history of Tulsa’s Black Wall Street was a stark reminder of the resilience ingrained within the community, and the weekend served as a catalyst for me to further amplify the voices that deserve to be heard.

In the end, BOMESI’s weekend was a powerful reminder that being a Black-owned media company comes with its own set of challenges and triumphs. The journey is not just about personal growth, but about collectively raising each other up to tell stories that matter. I returned from the weekend with a renewed sense of purpose and an unwavering commitment to creating a platform that not only informs but also empowers and connects.


As I continue to navigate the landscape of independent media, I carry the lessons learned at BOMESI – the importance of education, the strength of unity, and the resilience that comes with sharing stories that celebrate the Black experience. Through the journey of ENSPIRE Magazine, I have embodied the spirit of Black-owned media, embracing both the challenges and the extraordinary potential to make a lasting impact. Thank you DéVon, Rhonesha, and all the hosts and speakers.

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