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A dynamo in true form, Beverly Bond, has blazed trails in the music, entertainment and social entrepreneurship industries. Her body of work, across sectors, has made her one of the most celebrated DJs and social innovators of our time.

A true music connoisseur, Beverly’s passion for music and her uncanny ability to read the crowd has solidified her as one of the premier DJs in the world. Over the last decade, the former Wilhelmina model has brought her versatile talents to the most highly exclusive events and to a myriad of celebrity clients including Prince, Alicia Keys, Sarah Jessica Parker, Erykah Badu, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Derrick Jeter, Jessica and Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Z, Martha Stewart and others.

In 2006, she founded BLACK GIRLS ROCK!, a youth empowerment mentoring organization. Bond simultaneously created the annual BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Awards to celebrate the accomplishments of exceptional women of color who have made outstanding contributions in their careers and stand as inspirational and positive role models in the community.

In 2010, Beverly first partnered with BET to air BLACK GIRLS ROCK! On network television. The Awards show went on to receive an NAACP Image Award for outstanding Variety Series or Special.

Here, she talks about this year’s BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Awards which is set to air on BET on Sunday, April 5th at 7 pm ET/PT. Among the many luminaries appearing on the show is First Lady Michelle Obama.

Kam Williams: Hi Beverly, thanks for the interview.

Beverly Bond: Thank you, Kam.

KW: I’ll be mixing my questions in with some sent in by readers. You just taped the BLACK GIRLS ROCK! awards show last night. Are you still on a high from the event?

BB: Omigosh! I’m still taking it in and trying to process it all.

KW: Environmental activist Grace Sinden asks: What was your strongest or most surprising impression of First Lady Michelle Obama?

BB: I think I always knew this about her, although I’d never met her in person until now, but she’s so authentic and genuine. And she’s so sincere and committed to making a difference in the lives of others. She’s a real humanitarian.

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KW: How did you come to pick this year’s honorees: director Ava DuVernay, actresses Jada Pinkett Smith and Cicely Tyson, singer Erykah Badu, CARE CEO Dr. Helene D. Gayle and middle school principal Nadia Lopez?

BB: Well, there’s never a shortage of incredible black women who have made major contributions each year. So, we’re constantly monitoring what’s happening in Black Girls’ World, so to speak, and we’re aware that there’s always an abundance of worthy individuals to choose from. It’s a matter of each person’s accomplishments and how current they are. Part of the process has to do with production, and part of it just comes down to who is available and how things fall in place based on the time period you’re looking at. So, yes, there’s a process, but the truth is there are so many amazing black women who have contributed to society who don’t always get a chance to shine. Our mission is to make sure we acknowledge them on our stages.

KW: Grace also asks: How difficult and over how many years did it take you to create BLACK GIRLS ROCK! and make it into a social force?

BB: I founded it in 2006, and it was an instant success. I was so driven and so passionate about the necessity of this message that I worked 24 hours a day to make it happen. But it doesn’t feel difficult when it’s your mission and your vision. It’s been a lot of work, but I knew that many people would be into it. Honestly, by 2007, we had the media’s attention already, BET, VH-1 and others, so I knew it was going to be televised. If you believe in something enough, you’re going to make it work. And to me, this was so important because it was about the message to the girls, especially the young girls.

KW: How do you respond to the Twitter trend #WhiteGirlsRock which claimed that BLACK GIRLS ROCK! is racist?

BB: I think that when you tune into Black Entertainment Television and you are complaining about black people lifting up black women and celebrating their wonderful accomplishments, your racism is showing all over your face. Did they call in when the images were less than stellar? It is fascinating to me how there’s an uproar whenever it comes to black people celebrating themselves. So, I pay them no attention, although I did respond once by writing a little article making the point that just because we say that black girls rock doesn’t mean that you don’t rock, too. But I wonder whether this was really just an attempt to punish us for having the audacity to celebrate ourselves. Everyone’s so used to putting us at the bottom of the barrel that they feel entitled to find our simply saying “We rock!” offensive. I don’t give it too much attention, because it’s really silly, but it does show the privilege and the racism that exists in some circles.

KW: What do you want viewers to take away from BLACK GIRLS ROCK!?

BB: BLACK GIRLS ROCK! really focuses on helping to raise the bar for our kids, because we’ve got to change our culture and make black excellence important again. Literacy should not be a problem for us in 2015. The education gap continues to widen for black kids, and that’s telling. So, we have to figure out how to help our kids to survive and thrive and become trailblazers themselves.

KW: Thanks again for the time, Beverly, and best of luck with Black Girls Rock.

BB: Thanks, Kam, and I must say this has been an awesome interview. Thank you so much.

To see a TV spot for Black Girls Rock!, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJ_idJp9V2U