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The All Black Everything Summit celebrates the joy of black creativity

The All Black Everything Summit is back and we’re here for it.

But before we get into the event curated to inspire the next generation of go-getters let’s do a deeper dive into who founded the semi-annual digital event.

Ahead of time if you’re looking to attend the ABE Summit, pay what you can, and get tickets here.

Meet MUA Joy Fennell the founder of The All Black Everything Summit

There came a time when, as a young college student in Maryland, Joy Fennell, now a top-notch fashion and celebrity make-up artist based in New York, had enough of the tiresome routine: completing one homework assignment after another, writing paper after paper, meeting deadlines almost on autopilot.

Perhaps, that’s a sentiment that settles, even more than once, into all young people’s consciousnesses, as they yearn to gauge something deeper and fulfilling outside from their oft-theory-based classes.

But for Joy, it wasn’t merely a phase; it was the beginning of her chasing after her calling.

A calling that wasn’t another abstract dream to swipe under the rug and forget about when going towards it became tedious. She had to be decisive, clear with her plans, and wholly determined to get, as she did, to where she wanted to be.

She had to be that way for her mother, who understandably was initially discontent when Joy took her last semester off. Most importantly, however, she had to be that way for herself.

Her headstrong independence challenged a notion to which many young black creatives were then made to subscribe: the “gate-keeper mentality,” the idea that they have to ask for permission to get into a certain professional field.

“When I first got into the [make-up] industry, it was all about gatekeepers. It was about someone telling you that you are allowed into something safely,” she said.

Instead, she did not wait for approval. She went after her own “keys to the kingdom” and her own legacy. 


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Hello and welcome to all of my new followers!⁣⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⁣⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ My name is Joy Fennell and I am a makeup artist based in NYC and the founder of The Joy in Beauty but that’s just half of the story.⁣⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⁣⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I’m also the creatress of the All Black Everything Summit (@allblackeverythingsummit). I created this summit to support Black creatives. ⁣Feel free to follow that account as well.⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⁣⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ This summit emerged out of the Covid19 quarantine but now looking back, it was a foreshadowing of what was to come in the world. ⁣⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⁣⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Therefore, I am proud AF. Proud to know that real work was being done and hard conversations were starting to take place. Let’s keep this energy going.⁣⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⁣⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ If you’re ready for growth and real conversations then I say hello but if you’re not then I ask you to really challenge yourself and look inward to see what your conscious and unconscious biases are and why your ego won’t allow you to let them go.⁣⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⁣⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ And like I always say, perfection is NOT required but GROWTH IS!⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ And yes, I put that I’m “One to Watch.” Why you might ask? Well, you’ll just have to “watch” and see. ⁣⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⁣⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I’ll show you better than I can tell you.⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ps-if you follow both accounts you will see some overlapping of posts but bare with me, this will course correct soon and both accounts will eventually provide different updates.

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While she was ambitious to find a job that would speak to her, she did not immediately know that make-up was what she wanted to do.

Growing up, her creative endeavors were limitless; among other mediums, she tapped into drawing, and with that, she eventually developed a love for fashion, photography as well as perusing through old magazines and watching old films. 

It wasn’t until — serendipitously — she was walking past a MAC counter, with the stereo blasting there and people sitting and having fun, that she thought to herself: “Maybe I could work there.”

“I had never done anybody’s makeup. And I had no experience,” she said. “I went over and I asked them if they were hiring. And they said yes.”

The night before the job interview, she added:  “I had a friend who stayed up late with me and taught me a make-up look. And that’s how it happened.”

A platform designed to empower

Today, she wishes for every black creative to embrace that same mindset. That is why in May she launched the All Black Everything Summit, a platform that, through resources, virtual panels, and guides, could empower Black artists creatively and economically.

So that they can know how to better stand up for themselves, to ensure that their contributions are fairly monetized and that they have a community that supports them every step of the way.


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ATTENTION: THIS MESSAGE ISN’T FOR EVERYONE!!!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Let me first acknowledge that this message isn’t for everyone in the world. Some people are waking up to just survive the day. I don’t want people to feel like they are failing if they don’t do anything during this time of uncertainty.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ This message is; however, for the people that feel like the only way they can make it through is by doing something to stay busy.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I’m both. Some days, I want to do all the things and some days, I’m in bed barely wanting to touch a laptop.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The great thing is that you get to decide for yourself who you want to be on any given day. No judgment involved from anyone else outside of yourself. Nothing from the peanut gallery.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ So take this message how you want.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I actually heard this message in one of my #IGLIVES last week. Not sure who said it (but if you said it please let me know so I can credit you properly).⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ This message really made me think about how to make life long shifts in my life even during a pandemic.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Listen, I pray that we all make it through this with minimal repercussions but the truth is, I’m not sure that will be the case.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ My goal though is to help others because in helping others, I’m helping myself through this time. So that’s my goal. Nothing more, nothing less.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I pray that you are able to navigate through this time and cope as best you can. Don’t let the world tell you how to respond. That’s totally up to you.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ But I do pray that you find the strength to carry on and survive. Amen.

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The idea came to her in the middle of the night, after stay-at-home orders to curb the COVID-19 spread were finally given. 

Similar to the voice that spoke to her when passing by a MAC counter many years ago, another one prompted several questions in her head:

“What is going on with black creatives? How are we handling this? I knew that the pandemic would have a really disproportionate effect on us?”

Planning the first three-day summit, confirming creatives that would share their experiences, designing a digital page took everything out of her, but it brought her happiness a thousandfold. 

You have to put that work in, fam

Though she was moderating all the panels — which featured herbalist and licensed massage therapist Karen Culpepper, make-up artists Delina Medhin and Alana Wright, hairstylist Naeemah Lafond, celebrity stylist as well as inspirational speaker Felicia Leatherwood, and beauty entrepreneur AJ Crimson — she hasn’t considered it a one-woman show, per se. 

Behind the scenes, has been her advisory board, too. It includes her sister Daria Fennell, who runs her own namesake entertainment and publicity brand, JDot., co-founder and senior publicist at The JDot. Agency, NYC-based make-up artist Jennifer Fleming, and Culpepper.

The energy surrounding the project was new for Joy, but it only took two weeks between the epiphany and the manifestation of the idea.

A place of healing

It was also rather timely. Soon after the summit’s debut, the nation, already stricken with a pandemic, erupted in fury to George Floyd’s murder. Then and there, the question of how black artists are doing at such an overwhelming moment felt even more palpable.


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Repost from @theccnyc #blackouttuesday #amplifymelanatedvoices

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Whilst their social media feeds were filled with, sometimes, performative action posts, disturbing news images, and shocking clips, black artists all tacitly sought a sense of grounding.

For those who turned to the All Black Everything Summit, the platform intended to give them a “push” to foster their various crafts, so that they could get in touch with their inner voices, and heal.


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When you’re dipped in gold no one can stop you. Go get yours. 📸 by the amazing: @seyeisikalu

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“One of the things that I learned over the years as a creative, and starting out as a creative, is that creativity is what heals the community,” said Joy.

“I felt that if we weren’t creating, then, you know, I got nervous about that. I wanted to know how we are going to channel this energy and what we are going to create from this energy.”

Black artists, she says, need to understand that they will only begin to make sense of their generational wounds when they stop neglecting the fact that their creativity is their currency. Taking that into consideration, they must go out into the world and demand what they deserve.

Part of actionable healing, though, is not only sheerly confined to introspection, but also an acceptance of leaning on other artists for uplift.

It’s in that dependence, even if for a spare moment, on someone else’s positive gesture, inspiration, and words of wisdom that can remind those who might be more so falling behind that their creative journeys are real jobs.

That they do deserve an equitable wage, that their contribution to society is as important as everyone else’s because it is their creativity that shifts culture and effectuates change. 

Lean on me…

But what does it concretely mean to rely on other artists? The first step, Joy says, is to look at everyone as part of a team.

That means figuring out what others’ unique specialties are and considering them when contriving and, then, executing certain ideas.

Second, communication never hurts. Every artist, let alone anyone in general regardless of title, encounters struggles. Embracing vulnerability only opens more doors, creates a space of trust and commonality, and nurtures newfound respect beyond professional bounds.

Breakdowns happen when the aforementioned elements are not nurtured, when, afraid to appear vain, miserable, and petty, many artists withhold their emotions, bring themselves to creative blocks, and become too hesitant to reach out.

“We are always told, ‘Keep your business to yourself.’ But little do we know that people are out here struggling. They are mentally struggling and they don’t realize that there are others going through the same thing,” Joy said.

“And this is how we can all help each other out — by communicating. Lifting each other up and saying: ‘Hey, I am going through this too.’”

What you create is your business

Black artists also need to think of their projects, their businesses — no matter how small — as big.

And they need to maintain their relationships with their support systems along the way. Many are too focused, in fact, on taking the next step that they forget who, in the present, is already in their corner.

Oftentimes, without even realizing, they have “entire teams sitting in their living rooms” eager to provide help. Instead of thinking that one’s experience is lacking, that one’s endeavors are too “over-the-top,” too ambitious, these questions should be posed, Joy said:

“You might not be on the same level as being a big business right now, but what are your dreams? And how are your peers and the relationships you have right now channeling into those dreams at this point when you could utilize everyone’s gift to help?”

However, while many, she points out, are slow to give people the opportunity to help and feel needed, taking advantage of another’s friendship and gift means offering the same to them, too. Each connection is always a two-way street, always reciprocal.

Those kinds of relationships she mentions, especially nowadays and particularly for black artists, require good listening.

Joy wishes for her summits to scratch beneath the surficial — so that questions, from viewers and moderators, could be deep and answers from panelists could, in turn, be thought-provoking, somewhat didactic but overall genuinely helpful.

Validation of feelings is one thing; giving a well-construed perspective, no matter how forthright, is another.

“A good listener is someone who doesn’t listen just to speak. They are not just waiting to jump at the answer. They really like analyzing and really providing quality feedback,” she said.

“And when I say quality feedback, it’s not necessarily everything you want to hear or everything you need to hear. You need that person in your corner who is going to be that critical thought — who is not just sitting there telling you that you are the greatest of all time.”

So, when’s the next All Black Everything Summit?


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TODAY’S THE DAY!!!!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The tickets for the 2nd ALL BLACK EVERYTHING SUMMIT are now LIVE!!!!!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ And guess what??? You can PAY WHAT YOU CAN!!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Yep! This is open to everyone, no barriers to entry. This is about community and growth. No excuses!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Panelists announcements coming soon but get your ticket early!!! This summit is about to be popping!!!!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Share with everyone in your network. Repost, put it in your IG stories and get ready. If you thought the first one was good. Wait til you see what we have planned for number 2!

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On October 21 to 23, Joy is planning another summit. There, she doesn’t just hope to have more moderators besides herself but looks forward to delving into solution-finding.

Acknowledging systemic injustice isn’t enough. Strategizing how to and what to do next should be imperative. Having more of those conversations is just the beginning of an ambitious objective towards a fair, inclusive, and accepting future.

Still, writing off 2020 is not an option. However dire it is, it is also still opportune. Like with any obstacle, perseverance, motivation, and independent-thinking are always keys.


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If there’s anything she most wants every black artist to take away from her new platform and summits: 

“Stop asking for permission to go after our goals,” she explains.

“We stop waiting for someone to tell us it’s okay. I want us to know that we are powerful. The goal is to have it be intrinsic from your soul, coming from out of you.”

If you’re looking to attend the ABE Summit, pay what you can, and get tickets here.