The Cradle Blog

What is #BlackGirlMagic?

Our Children logo, #BlackGirlMagic, Two black girls smile at each other

Representation Matters: Affirming Girls of Color

On Thursday, February 17, 2022, 7:00 - 8:30 pm Central Standard Time, a dynamic panel of women will discuss the many things that make Black girls magical - as well as how mainstream beauty portrayals can dim that light and why representation is so important for healthy self-esteem and identity. They will also discuss their experiences as an adoptive mom, a transracial adoptee, entrepreneurs, mentors and advocates pushing past old boundaries and moving towards more inclusive standards and diverse representation in media and beyond. This panel discussion, Representation Matters: Affirming Girls of Color, is part of the Our Children: An Education and Empowerment Series. 1.5 CEUs available.


Hear from the Panelists on #BlackGirlMagic

“Black Girl Magic is a movement to uplift and praise the accomplishments, beauty and other amazing qualities of Black women around the world who are persevering, despite adversity."

- Cashawn Thompson, The mother of #BlackGirlMagic

Three of the panelists from Representation Matters: Affirming Girls of Color, an Our Children Webinar, share what #BlackGirlMagic means to them:

Meet the Moderator and Panelists


Iisha Scott HeadshotNBC Chicago logoIisha Scott, NBC Chicago Meteorologist

Iisha Scott is an award-winning meteorologist for NBC Chicago. She recently earned the prestigious Certified Broadcast Meteorologist seal from the American Meteorological Society. Iisha graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications from Norfolk State University. She also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Geosciences and Broadcast Meteorology from Mississippi State University.

Iisha most recently worked as the weekend evening meteorologist for WCNC Charlotte in Charlotte, North Carolina. While there, Iisha was a part of WCNC Charlotte's First Warn Storm Team's 2019 Hurricane Special, which won an Emmy Award.

Before Iisha joined WCNC Charlotte, she was the weekend evening meteorologist at 13News Now in Norfolk, Virginia where she received 13News Now’s “Ricky King Service Award” for her coverage of Tropical Storm Hermine. The award, presented in memory of a former employee at 13News Now, recognizes people at the station for going above and beyond the expectations of their jobs and setting examples of 

excellence for their peers. 

Iisha and the 13New Now Weather Team won the Virginia’s Associated Press Broadcasters Second Place Award for Best Weathercast for their coverage of the January 2018 Blizzard. They also won the Virginia's Associated Press Broadcasters Meritorious Award for Best Weathercast of the Year for their coverage of Hurricane Matthew. Iisha also received The Salvation Army Hampton Roads Area Command's "Doing The Most Good" award.

Before joining the 13News Now team, Iisha was the weekend morning meteorologist at WECT-TV 6 in Wilmington, N.C. where she covered the city’s second-largest ice storm on record. She got her start in television at WWBT NBC 12 in Richmond, Virginia where she was a weather apprentice and fill-in traffic reporter.

Giving back to the community is very important to Iisha. She held her inaugural Back to School Vision Board Party in 2016, encouraging young girls to chase their dreams and realize their potential. She is also involved with several mentoring programs.

While in Virginia, Iisha served as the President of Hampton Roads Black Media Professionals, the local chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists. She is currently a member of the National Weather Association, the American Meteorological Society, the National Association of Black Journalists, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Iisha has also served as a keynote speaker for schools, community programs and church services.


Ivey Smith HeadshotIvey Smith, Owner of My Skin is In

Ivey Nicole Smith is the owner of My Skin Is In, LLC. She created this company for every shy, timid emerging woman that is trying to learn how to embrace her beauty and conquer confidence but conflicted with the images in society that contradict what she sees in the mirror. My Skin Is  In is a reflection of who she is graced to be and what she hopes all will become: Luxurious. Bold. Confident. The formulas for My Skin Is In products are creatively inspired and executed by hand with care for every customer in mind.

With over 10 years in the retail industry specializing in inventory management and many years developing conferences and managing travel arrangements in the non-profit religious sector, Ms. Smith has a diverse and comprehensive background of professional experiences.

Ivey is a graduate of Hampton University and current resident of Chicago, IL. She enjoys exploring culinary experiences and connecting with people of different cultures.

Dr. Brooke Jackson HeadshotDr. Brooke Jackson, Certified Dermatologist, Author and

Board Certified Dermatologist, healthy skin advocate, adoptive mom, best-selling author of Skin Care for Runners on Amazon and Child of Mine: Caring for the Skin and Hair of your Adopted Child and founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology Associates in Durham NC.





Kelly Fair HeadshotKelly Fair, Founder and Executive Director of Polished Pebbles Girls Mentoring Program

Kelly Fair is the Founder and Executive Director of Polished Pebbles Girls Mentoring Program, an Illinois Gold Star rated mentoring program that enhances the life skills, career readiness, and leadership ability of girls and young women. She is the author of They’re All the Same Girl and Every Girl Is a CEO. Kelly is an award-winning social entrepreneur and sought-after speaker who advocates for girls, women, mentoring, and workforce pipelining.

Since launching Polished Pebbles in 2009 in Chicago, Kelly’s signature communications and job readiness programming has expanded from elementary age girls to include high schools, college programs, families, prominent women leaders, and to sites across the Chicagoland area and in Northwest Indiana, Dallas, Texas, and North Carolina. Polished Pebbles has worked with over 5,000 African American and Latinx girls and young women and provided over 500 mentors in hundreds of schools and has raised $2MM+ for partnering schools and communities.

Kelly is a sought-after speaker for mentoring, communication skills, girls’ development and job readiness, professional leadership development, and social entrepreneurship. Her work on behalf of girls and young women has earned recognition from the U.S. State Department, Bank of America, Ann Taylor, Vital Voices, ComEd, Verizon, Google, Duke University, Chicago Foundation for Women, Operation PUSH, Social Enterprise Alliance, and more. She has been featured by ESSENCE, EBONY, and Black Enterprise magazines, The Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, The Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Woman magazine, and The Kelly Clarkson Show.

She currently serves on the U.S. Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls Taskforce and the Illinois Council for Women and Girls.

Kelly is a graduate of Howard University and the University of Iowa, with honors. She is a true “south side girl” and lives in Chicago’s Chatham neighborhood. 

Learn more about Kelly Fair

Follow Kelly Fair on social media: @kfairthementor

Amanda McKinstry Headshot​Amanda McKinstry, Transracial Adoptee and Creator of

Amanda McKinstry is an adult transracial adoptee. She was adopted at 3 days old into an Italian/ Irish American family. Growing up in a predominantly white neighborhood and family was challenging for Amanda as she navigated her own self and racial identity.

Amanda grew up always wanting to know and have a relationship with her birth mother.  She always wanted to know more about her background and family history. Her family has always been loving and supportive but she lacked mirror images, which made it hard to accept and embrace herself.  This caused low self-esteem, low self-worth and a sense of loneliness.

 Regardless of these obstacles, Amanda was able to develop ways to cope with these challenges and grew to love herself unapologetically.   Amanda has been able to accept herself for who she is and where she’s from and uses the story of her adoption and hurdles to inspire, uplift and advocate for other transracial adoptees.

Amanda’s motto “Be authentic, be true, be you” has become a staple in her everyday life. It means that as long as you know who you are and live your truth, you can accomplish anything you want and obtain everything you desire.

Her story has captured many and continues to flourish as she continues her journey of healing and self- discovery with transparency mixed with a little bit of fierceness.

If you would like to know more about Amanda and her story, you can find her on Instagram @blackgirlwhitefamily.

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