Summit 21 2019 is always dedicated to sisterhood and empowerment — and who better to lead a discussion on that than Mrs. Tina Knowles-Lawson.

As a businesswoman, art collector, philanthropist and mothers to queens Beyonce and Solange, Lawson shared endless gems during the closing chat in conversation with Blavity Inc. CEO, Morgan DeBaun. Lawson discussed living with intention, leading with integrity and learning how to show compassion and love for everything you do. After all, these were all lessons passed down from her mother.

“My mom taught me how to take nothing and turn it into something — and to never give up.” Lawson shared onstage to the 1500+ Black women in the room. “You have to pass that down generation to generation.” 

And that’s exactly what she’s done as these lessons are exhibited in the careers of her multi-talented daughters, which she noted also include Kelly and Michelle. However, they are not the only ones she holds dear to her heart. Lawson is also the founder of Ms. Tina’s Angels, a youth empowerment academy she established to give back and provide opportunities to inner-city kids. She does this alongside her husband Richard Lawson, who leads his own cohort of kids which he calls Richard’s Warriors. 

“It’s a great program,” she said. “We’ve taken them to the museum, nice lunches, we have high tea. My husband spends time with the boys, takes them to the movies and red carpets. We recently had Tiffany Haddish come and talk to them about raising their test scores.” 

“We also host a college fair where we have colleges and trade schools come in and talk to the kids early on,” she added. “We try to expose our kids to everything.” 

In addition to all she does, Lawson and her husband also host the annual Wearable Art Gala where they hold an auction showcasing some of the most powerful pieces of Black art. All proceeds go back to the WACO Theater, an LA-based arts and performance space the two created to give back to the community. 

As an avid art collector and appreciator, Lawson shared her love for the medium and emphatically encouraged all the women in the room: 

“Don’t buy that Gucci purse. Buy a piece of art.” (Now, that’s a word.) 

Before closing out her discussion, Lawson revealed that she is working on a book that she hopes will capture the experiences she’s had throughout her journey and the important lessons she learned from them. 

“Everybody should write a book, everyone’s got a story right?” she said. “ Even if it’s not for you, even if it’s for you to leave for your kids — just write your life story. Because everyone has an interesting and amazing story, so I encourage you to do that.” 

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