Shades of excellence: Global best, brightest honored in Houston at ‘30 Black Stars’ gala

HOUSTON – It was networking above networking as more than a hundred guests filled a ballroom at the Royal Sonesta Hotel near the Houston Galleria Nov. 15 to honor 30 of the best and brightest professionals in various shades of darkness from around the nation.

30 Black Stars is an initiative created by Face2face Africa to highlight and celebrate the achievements and impact of African, African-American, and Caribbean-American business and professional leaders in the United States. Each year, the organization identifies and honors outstanding professionals, across all industries, who have distinguished themselves and are paving a way for minorities through a commitment to excellence.

The evening was emceed by Erica Simon, ABC 13 weekend morning anchor and Vice President of Multimedia for the Houston Association of Black Journalists.

“I’m still processing Face2Face Africa’s 30 Black Stars. Literally, my mind is blown. I not only got to host the awards ceremony, but I got to network and be in the room with brilliant Black business and professional leaders from around the globe. The 30 African, Caribbean-American and Black American honorees represented a number of nations — Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Jamaica, Antigua, the United States and many more,” Simon said. “Forget what us mainstream media may tell you. The African continent is alive and well, and its descendants across the diaspora are making major cultural and corporate impacts. Kudos to the Face2Face Africa team (you forever have a friend in me), and all who put together this regal event. I’m challenged and inspired to go deeper and be greater.”

This year, awardees included Sabina Dankwa, Vice President/Executive Director at Goldman Sachs; Sekou Kaalund, head of Advancing Black Pathways, a JPMorgan Chase initiative; Mikeisha Anderson Jones, Esq., Vice President of Global Diverse Executive Engagement at American Express; Monique Y. Murphy, Corporate Vice President in the Office of Diversity & Inclusion at New York Life and Houston’s own Kim Roxie, owner and CEO of LAMIK Beauty. Click here to see full list of awardees.

Roxie has been at the forefront of celebrating the beauty of multicultural women since she founded LAMIK in 2004, while still a college. Armed with her savings and a small investment from her mother, Roxie set out to build a meaningful business. After obtaining her Esthetics license, she established a manufacturing hub, and opened her first store in Sharpstown Mall.

In 2012, the LAMIK brand launched in Macy’s Texas locations making her the youngest African American woman to launch a cosmetics brand in a major department store. Her business continues to thrive today, and when she isn’t traveling the country inspiring women and spreading the LAMIK love, she’s resting at home in H-Town with her husband, toddler daughter, and bonus son.

“It felt amazing to be honored amongst top professionals from all around the country in my hometown. In addition, throughout the awards, it’s like we are now inducted into a society of people who will assist each other to shine brighter,” Roxie told African American News and Issues. “With Face to Face Africa holding its inaugural 30 Black Stars awards in Houston, choosing to hold this display of Black Excellence here, shows the opportunity this city provides for all professionals.”

The Black Stars Conference was designed to facilitate empowering discussions around diversity and inclusion and advancing the leadership pipeline for minority professionals. The goal of the forum was to empower attendees with the tools and resources they need to increase their capacity, and examine what companies are doing to cultivate a more inclusive culture to harness the strengths and full potential of professionals within ethnic communities. The conference concluded with the awards gala, honoring the 30 achievers.



October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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