It’s Time to REDEFINE…AND CELEBRATE YOUR SHINE!
This is the tagline for BIBO (Beauty In/Beauty Out). BIBO has been around for three years now in its birthplace of Chicago, and on September 12, 2015, this tour made its debut in Los Angeles. What exactly is BIBO? “The BIBO Awards are award ceremonies that celebrate the works and accomplishments of women from ALL walks of life and from varying backgrounds. It ‘levels’ the playing field by simultaneously honoring the community and entrepreneurial milestones of celebrities, politicians, as well as the successes of more “everyday” women on the same stage. The goal of the BIBO Awards is to celebrate and honor “real role models” and better define a more realistic view of “real beauty” for other young women to look up to and emulate.” Beauty In/Beauty Out celebrates inner beauty which is so often overlooked in today’s photoshopped world. However, these women have proven that inner beauty does indeed exist.
As I sit here writing, I find it difficult to explain the true magnitude of this incredible event. Perhaps I should begin by discussing its roots and birth mother, the beautiful, selfless, Traci S. Campbell. I’m going to quote from her biography as I don’t want to leave anything out. I believe to truly begin to understand BIBO, we must first try to un-derstand its founder.
Traci is a social entrepreneur, public speaker, author, radio host, IT consultant and founder of two organizations, the C.H.A.M.P. Community Project and the Beauty In/Beauty Out (BIBO) Awards. The C.H.A.M.P. Community Project is a 501(c)(3) organization which aims to provide mental and emotional support education to single parents and their children and teens. The BIBO Awards seek to recognize dynamic women demonstrating leadership in their communities and celebrate “real role models”.
Traci is the product of a struggling single mother and as a teen and young adult, this lovely young lady worked as a print model and as a hostess of a formal din-ing room at a prestigious hotel that allowed her to help her mother pay the bills as they struggled to make ends meet. Despite the perceived "glamour" of these jobs, Traci still experienced periods of low self-esteem and low self-confidence just as many young women experience today. It wasn't until she encountered mentors and role models in her professional career that she overcame these is-sues. Recalling this period in her young life and seeing the same issues rear their ugly heads even more in today’s young women, through her work with C.H.A.M.P. Community project, Traci developed the BIBO Awards to shed light on what REAL beauty is and at the same time, celebrate incredible women who are the TRUE role models for young women to emulate today. The BIBO Awards have honored women such as Illinois State Senator Iris Martinez (first Latina As-sistant Majority Leader); Shea Vaughn (master trainer, founder of SheaNetics ®, mother of actor Vince Vaughn); Barbara Niven (actress ‘One Life to Live,’ ‘Cedar Cove’); Dayna Roselli (CBS News Anchor, Las Vegas) and many others.
I was first introduced to BIBO by Beatrice Davis, my friend and business associate. Be-atrice is part of the BIBO team, along with Donald Ortale, Brandon G. Adams and Lisa E. Beatrice helps plan and organize the awards, which includes finding volunteers for the night of the ceremony. Last year, the tour added Las Vegas to its list of cities; being that I’m in SoCal and everyone knows that we Californians like to head to Vegas any chance we get, she thought I might like to make the desert trek and assist with the eve-nings festivities. “Of course,” I said, and thus formed my relationship with BIBO. You can read about that night in my article, “Redefine and Celebrate Your Shine.”
Since the awards tour was adding LA to their list of stops this year, and I live reasonably close, I was asked if I wanted to stage manage. Obviously I jumped at the opportunity and began to help out as much as I could before the event. This meant finding volunteers, which turned out to be a little more difficult than I thought, but my final volunteers, five lovely women including a beautiful grandmother/granddaughter team, were outstanding and I can’t thank them enough! Selfless ladies in their own right as they spent their entire Saturday helping us throw a wonderful celebration for 15 of the most inspiring, compassionate, dedicated, truly beautiful (inside and out) women you could ever hope to meet. There were eight award categories, and 15 recipients total who received the gorgeous Reflection Award trophy. Let’s honor these women at least one more time!
Zenay Arnold Burton-Outstanding Holistic Healing; Anicia Bragg-Outstanding Film and Media Work; Dr. Sherrie Campbell-Outstanding Holistic Healing; Lourdes Colon-Outstanding Holistic Healing; Nicole Conn-Outstanding Film and Media Work; Shellie Hunt-Outstanding Mentorship; Gayle Jackson-Outstanding Cause Leadership; Judie Mancuso-Outstanding Animal Advocacy; Laura Martella-Outstanding Entrepreneurship; Alicia Mendoza-Legacy of Beauty Award; Lumbie Miambo-Outstanding Entrepreneurship; Sheryl Lee Ralph-Outstanding Cause Leadership; Naibe Reynoso-Outstanding Film and Media Work; Alli Simpson-BIBO Starlet; Monika Wiela-Outstanding Entrepreneurship
I encourage you to go the website, biboawards.com to learn more about the phenome-nal work of these special ladies.
The ceremony was hosted by Comedian, Empowerment Speaker, and Actor Ernie G. Gritzewsky and co-hosted by TV Host and Producer Rachel Rudwall.
In addition to all of the inspirational speeches by the honorees, we were treated to out-standing musical performances by the incredibly talented singer/songwriter Olivia Dvo-rak, the just-as-amazing singer/songwriter Jamella, an exquisite Tango performance by Laura Conde-Alonso and Daniel Ledesma, and two fun dances by the San Clemente Dance Group. Entertainment galore and it couldn’t have been more fabulous!
I’m not sure what else to say about this wildly inspiring and empowering organization except that they are gaining more traction and moving full steam ahead. BIBO has one more event in Chicago on October 3, and then it’s back to planning for next year. I would like to point out that the honorees in each city are nominated by one person. There are nomination forms on the website, it is announced that the awards are coming up and nominations are open, and then it just happens organically. There are no pre-determined groups, no lobbying, no politics, just people appreciating women for outstanding, selfless, tireless work that they do for others. I appreciate these women for helping and instilling hope in others; two words that may seem hard to come by these days. However, as these women, all of these women, in all three cities have proven, there is always hope.
I encourage you once again to go the website, learn about BIBO, and perhaps make a nomination for next year, or plan to attend one of the ceremonies nearest you. Until then “REDEFINE…AND CELEBRATE YOUR SHINE!”