Updated: Nov 15, 2021
On November 11, 2021, South Los Angeles residents and members of the Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation (WJSFF) WILL Book Club attended an event at The Beehive in South Los Angeles. The event was hosted in partnership with the Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation (OWCF), SoLa Impact, Mentor CA, CBTU, Fitbit, and American Airlines. The night marked WILL Book Club (WBC)’s first Los Angeles event, and is part of a series of community service events created by WJSFF honoring the legacy of Will Smith’s grandmother whose mantra was “Leave it better because you touched it.”
The event focused on building intentional community spaces through art and defining your personal brand. Attendees were offered the choice between two workshops. Participants of the first workshop, hosted by Will Smith’s memoir cover artist Brandan “BMike” Odums, collaborated to design a community mural made of painted bricks. Their artwork will become a permanent installation at The Beehive’s upcoming community garden.
“It was really cool to see participants express their creativity in a way that will positively impact the community,” said Teree Henderson, Director of Social Impact at SoLa Impact, who helped lead the session.
The second workshop, “Build Your Brand,” offered participants the opportunity to stand out as hiring candidates and individuals by defining their brand and creating an online portfolio to showcase accomplishments and work experience. This workshop was led by SoLa Impact’s Marketing team and included key insights from current hiring managers and recruiters. Participants also received free professional headshots at the event and personalized support as they designed their portfolio sites.
“I’ve designed websites for other organizations and have freelanced, but I never thought about making my own portfolio. I’m glad I came to this workshop—I learned a lot,” said one participant.
The night ended with attendees receiving a donated Fitbit, a copy of Will Smith’s new memoir, “WILL,” and new pairs of New Balance sneakers as part of WBC’s Read and Run Challenge. SoLa Impact is proud to be partnering with organizations like Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation on initiatives centering social empowerment, education, and wellness in our communities.