Photo by Kelly Brown
Today, almost everywhere we look there are discussions happening about inclusivity, diversity, and the social issues that surround these ideas. The event industry is no different. Hearten Talks, a talk at the Machine Shop on March 2 led by Black Bride editor-in-chief Mary Chatman, will address inclusivity and diversity in the event industry.
“There is a very strong movement in the country, but also locally, of Black Lives Matter that has refocused an important conversation. We want to reflect that conversation in our businesses,” says Becca Dilley, founder of Independent Wedding Association and co-host of the event with Faith Folayan, owner and principal planner of This Love Weddings.
This inaugural event is aimed at discussing how those involved in the event industry can work to ensure that their businesses are doing their part to make all clients feel welcomed, especially in a time when the social climate can be tumultuous. While those in the event industry are the focus of the night, the conversation is important for the community as a whole, so anyone who wants to partake in the discussion (even if that means just listening) is greatly welcomed.
The night begins with a social cocktail hour catered by Chowgirls Killer Catering, which took a cue from Chatman’s Atlanta background and planned a spread that features some of the best Southern comfort foods. Following the social hour is a presentation and Q&A session with Chatman, who is also CEO of blackbride.com. By the end of the evening, the hope is that attendees leave with a little more knowledge, understanding, and some new friends.
“We wanted to see this conversation happen, and it needs to happen at every level . . . but it’s still going to be a really fun night even though it’s such an important topic,” adds Dilley.