Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Hollywood: Fashion Show & Fundraising Gala!

Daood: Imani Corporation seems to be a great organization! Can you provide for us its genesis and the primary focus of its programs?

C.E.O. Nicole Roberts: Imani Corporation was founded with our original program for youth Imani Phi Christ at First AME Church (FAME) on September 19, 1993 in the wake of the Los Angeles riots. Our mission is simple - "helping African American teenage girls maximize their potential". Fulfilling the purpose calls for us to challenge the negative aspects of the inner city. A community plagued by inferior educational systems, few recreational outlets, lack of adequate post-secondary opportunities, struggling with the menace of all low-income communities - gangs, violence and teenage pregnancies and a lack of positive role models that could inspire young women to excel.

Imani Phi Christ is a faith-based program aimed at developing the whole individual via three components: Mentoring, training/development and community service. These activities include:

  • Mentoring (members are matched with a mentor/advisor who helps them learn positive life choices and run the programs of the organization)
  • Training/Development
  • Self Development (Workshops on topics such as etiquette, self esteem, job
    skills, time management, peer pressure etc...)
  • College Prep (Empowering our members to move from day to day thinkers into
    long term goal oriented achievers. We give our girls the skills they need to
    apply, be accepted and sustain themselves in college)
  • Financial Literacy (teaching our members the importance of managing money
    and investing)
  • Community Service (members learn the importance of giving of themselves to help others by performing community service)
  • Leadership Development (Members learn leadership skills by organizing meetings special events, fundraisers and other activities)
  • Other Activities include: Educational Outings (such as museum trips, cultural fairs, plays, horse back riding etc...) & Fun Outings (such as sleepovers, movie trips etc...)
These programs are geared toward at risk young women of color between the ages of 13-19 years old. Imani seeks to build life skills by continuously encouraging our members to develop their creativity and ingenuity. Imani is unique in that its young members not only participate, but also help to create the programs of the organization.

Additionally, due to the fact that in the African American community, the church has traditionally been the place where our families go to for help, and still is, Imani utilizes this concept and is a one-stop service at churches to help young women.

Our track record to date is that:
  • 98% of our members are grdauating from high school,
  • 85% are going on to college, and
  • 95% are graduating from colleges and univesirities throughout the country.

Daood: This is your third annual gala event. Congratulations! The public who will be attending this extravaganza for the first time, what can they expect?

C.E.O. Nicole Roberts: They can expect an afternoon of mixing and mingling, a silent auction full of fabulous items, a fashion show highlighting up and coming and well know African American fashion designers.

However, the most important part of the event is that we recognize women who are MAXIMIZING their potential and who are a light for other young women to follow. We like to call this our moment of paying homage to those legends that came before us who fought and pushed to pave the way so that we all can have the opportunity to live in our MAXIMUM potential. This is as Imani's objective is to stand in the gap to make sure the young women of today reach out and partake in the opportunity afforded to them due to the fight of our ancestors.

Daood: What are the future goals and objectives for Imani Corporation?

C.E.O. Nicole Roberts: The ultimate goal of Imani Corporation is to start chapters of our youth program, Imani Phi Christ, in churches throughout the country. We currently have 3 chapters - 2 in South Los Angeles and one in Orange County but I am also happy to share with you that due to monies we raised last year we are currently developing Imani Phi Christ, in an additional church here in Los Angeles as well as one in Texas and one in Milwaukee.

Daood: I would like to thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer my questions!

C.E.O. Nicole Roberts: No thank you! The more people that hear about our program, the more doors that open for us to work with a greater number of women.

Imani's MAXIMIZE 2006 Fashion Show & Fundraising Gala will take place October 1st at LA's premiere special event venue, The Highlands Hollywood, with catering by Wolfgang Puck. The star-studded event will bring together prominent women and men from all across the country combining their efforts to raise money for this worthy cause. For more information on the event please visit the website at


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