By Megan Sayles, AFRO Business Writer
Report For America Corps Member
If Quinn Conyers was a superhero, her power would be her voice. She may only be five feet tall, but when the professional speaker and energetic emcee opens her mouth, she feels herself grow into a giant.
Recently, Conyers employed her superpower to win AT&T’s Dream in Black Future Maker contest, a competition that celebrates trailblazers who are shaping the present and future. With this achievement, she now stands among Black groundbreakers, including Billy Porter, LeBron James and H.E.R.
“I was honestly in shock and humbled to look at my picture and see myself next to people who are doing amazing things for the Black culture and community. I just felt honored to be a person living in Baltimore that is sharing the same stage and space with some people who are really making some positive moves for the community,” said Conyers.
Conyers learned about the Dream in Black Future Maker contest from a friend. To enter, she posted a 60-second pitch video on Instagram explaining why she is a future maker, which AT&T defined as someone who shows how they are making history now by giving back to the community, pursuing their dreams or actualizing their gifts and positivity.
About a month after the post, Conyers learned she won $10,000 from AT&T, as well as recognition as a future maker.
During her pitch, Conyers acknowledged the work she is doing through her brand, Speak Black Woman. After starting as a Facebook group, Speak Black Woman transitioned into a podcast. Now, Conyers is helping Black women amplify their voices by coaching them on how to verbalize their value, use luxury language and perfect their presentations.
Although she now views her voice as a superpower, it was not always liberated, and Conyers discovered that many other Black women experienced the same challenge.
“Maybe it was cultural, maybe it was growing up in their family they were told to be seen but not heard, but activating and using their voice was something that they really struggled with,” said Conyers. “Now that we’re living in 2022, if you want to be successful, be a great business woman or advance in your career, you’re requested and required to speak up.”
Conyers’ recently published her first book, “Speak Black Woman: How Women in Business Can Profit from Public Speaking,” and she intends to use her prize money to give back to the women she serves. In the spring, Conyers will host an event called Unmuted, in which she will show Black women how their voice is an asset.
Often, Conyers finds that Black people’s voices are validated in rap and R&B, so it means a lot to her that she was recognized for her professional speaking. She hopes this accomplishment illustrates how diverse the African-American community is when it comes to using their voice.
“When organizations and brands like AT&T give us an opportunity to amplify our voice, it really not only gives me the fuel to keep going, but it’s also going to inspire another Black woman to use her voice,” said Conyers.
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