Cleo Wade Hosts A New Orleans Dinner Celebrating The "Buy From A Black Woman Inspire Tour" Presented By H&M

Black women are being celebrated by H&M USA and Buy From A Black Woman. With a celebratory dinner given by activist and author Cleo Wade, the nonprofit organization began the 2022 Inspire Tour in New Orleans, Louisiana, on June 30.

NEW ORLEANS, LA – JUNE 30: Cleo Wade poses for a photo as Cleo Wade hosts a New Orleans dinner celebrating H&M and the Buy From A Black Woman Inspire Tour 2022 at the Calcasieu Ball Room on June 30, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Peter Forest/Getty Images for H&M)

A special screening of The Story Behind A Black Woman, a new documentary by BFABW, was held at the WB Collective, which is a part of New Orleans’ Warehouse Arts District.

The documentary looks at Nikki Porcher, the organization’s founder, and the history of how she came to start BFABW, as well as its great impact on Black women entrepreneurs functioning in a society where they might not always be acknowledged. 

NEW ORLEANS, LA – JUNE 30: Katja Ahola, Donna Dozier Gordon, Carlos Duarte, Nikki Porcher and Abi Kammerzell pose for a group photo as Cleo Wade hosts a New Orleans dinner celebrating H&M and the Buy From A Black Woman Inspire Tour 2022 at the Calcasieu Ball Room on June 30, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Peter Forest/Getty Images for H&M)

“I’ve often said that Buy From A Black Woman brings Black Women into spaces that we never thought we could imagine, but that is not true,” says Porcher. “The Buy From A Black Woman Inspire Tour has proved that wrong. Black women do imagine these spaces. We just do not often get the chance that we deserve, as there are people who believe Black women do not belong in certain spaces. That is why this partnership with H&M is such a valuable one. H&M is one of the few companies that continues to stand up and show their support to Black Women Business Owners.”

Following the documentary, attendees were escorted to dinner at Calcasieu by a classic New Orleans brass band. Cleo Wade welcomed and hosted guests as they enjoyed a delicious dinner.

NEW ORLEANS, LA – JUNE 30: A second line procession is underway as Cleo Wade hosts a New Orleans dinner celebrating H&M and the Buy From A Black Woman Inspire Tour 2022 at the Calcasieu Ball Room June 30, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Peter Forest/Getty Images for H&M)

“As a New Orleans native, it’s so special to me to be supporting Buy From a Black Woman and the kick-off to their Inspire Tour 2022 here in the Crescent City,” says Wade. “I’m inspired by the work Nikki Porcher and the organization have done in empowering black women business owners, and I look forward to continuing my work with them this year.”

She continues, “It’s really about elevating the organization and helping Nikki to further the vision that she has for the organization. We want to show up for our colleagues, as we call our employees, or we want to show up for the community.”

NEW ORLEANS, LA – JUNE 30: Cleo Wade speaks as she hosts a New Orleans dinner celebrating H&M and the Buy From A Black Woman Inspire Tour 2022 at the Calcasieu Ball Room on June 30, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Peter Forest/Getty Images for H&M)

The following day, coinciding with Essence Fest, the tour had its first pop-up at the French Quarter H&M store, showcasing companies run by Black women around the country.

“If you look at the Black women business owners that are part of the Inspire Tour, this is your everyday Black woman,” Porcher tells us. “Not celebrity Black women or women with multimillion-dollar businesses. These are Black women who are also mothers and teachers who put in the time to work overnight to see their businesses succeed.”

NEW ORLEANS, LA – JUNE 30: Cleo Wade and Nikki Porcher pose for a photo as Cleo Wade hosts a New Orleans dinner celebrating H&M and the Buy From A Black Woman Inspire Tour 2022 at the Calcasieu Ball Room on June 30, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Peter Forest/Getty Images for H&M)

The Buy From a Black Woman Inspire Tour is a series of pop-up shopping events that will take place in 12 American cities, showcasing regional Black Woman-owned companies and giving them options in a society that restricts their voices. 

NEW ORLEANS, LA – JUNE 30: Donna Dozier Gordon poses for a photo as Cleo Wade hosts a New Orleans dinner celebrating H&M and the Buy From A Black Woman Inspire Tour 2022 at the Calcasieu Ball Room on June 30, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Peter Forest/Getty Images for H&M)

“We thank Cleo Wade for joining us to host the joyous dinner. We appreciate her taking the time to lend her support and her voice to our celebration of Buy From a Black Woman and the start of the Inspire Tour 2022,” says Donna Dozier Gordon, Head of Inclusion and Diversity for H&M Americas. “We continue to be proud of the partnership we’ve forged with Buy From a Black Woman, which exemplifies our commitment to meaningful community engagement.”

For a list of Black women vendors who will be attending the Inspire tour, and for more info on BFABW, visit here.

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