Inaugural Black Girls Rock event to honor influential women in Oxford

Published 11:10 am Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Oxford has many events that honor some of the community’s best and brightest, but Chasity Williams felt there was still one part of the community that was not getting their fullest recognition. 

In an effort to amend that issue, Williams created Black Girls Rock!: Queens of Oxford 2019. It is an event that will honor some of the most influential African-American women in Oxford. 

“Growing up, I was raised around so many women that have been influential in the community,” Williams said. “We have paralegals, my mom was an educator, people that work in the healthcare field. They’ve all been influential figures, and I thought to do an event where we can honor those women.” 

The award show will take place at the Inn at Ole Miss on Aug. 3 as a culmination of a two-day celebration. On Friday, there will be a pre-party with a Margaritaville theme and then a red-carpet walk and awards ceremony beginning at 4 p.m. on Saturday. 

Williams said she first thought about doing a weekend such as this last month, and it started with a Facebook post. She reached out to friends asking to message her some influential women in the community. If Williams was not familiar with someone who was mentioned, she would ask the person nominating them to provide a brief description of what made them influential. 

The response was overwhelming, and when a woman was mentioned more than three times, Williams would begin to make categories for them. Some categories included community outreach, the “G.O.A.T.” award, educator of the year and women in health. 

“We ended up having maybe 34-35 nominees,” Williams said. “Even our mayor, she’s been so supportive of this event. When I first told her about it, she was so excited that I was doing something like this because we know these women. We see them every day.” 

Williams said Mayor Robyn Tannehill would not be able to attend on Saturday due to a previous commitment, but knew she would be there in spirit. 

After getting the nominees into categories, Williams created a separate page where people could cast their vote. She said they received over 3,000 votes. The winners will be announced during the award show and instead of a trophy or statue the winners will be given crowns. 

For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page which includes how to purchase a ticket to Saturday’s red-carpet and award show. Friday’s event is free. Tickets are also available through Eventbrite.