What Keri (Hilson) Says
Raw. Honest. Inspiring.
W Hotels held another installment of its panel series What She Said on May 12th in the affluent Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta. The event featured Georgia's own Keri Hilson as the keynote panelist for the appropriately sunny afternoon. The W’s women’s empowerment series is orchestrated by the legacy-brand's respective communications team, notably Reginald Alston who is the Buckhead mainstay's marketing manager. Alston is the trusted - and most graciously professional - host who directs the flow of social energy, in addition to the day's full itinerary. Past renditions with this team has included trend-forecasting with socialite SuthinGirl (in partnership with Saks 5th Avenue); and more recently, the intermittent social hosted winemakers the McBride Sisters.
It appears Hilson is the first feature panelist from a musical performance background, which is a choice that intimately speaks to the city's ruling agents of culture and currency. She embodies the stylish and solid segment of Atlanta's millennial population, as Hilson is herself the audience with whom she spoke at What She Said. This close connection between supporter and public figure stems from the singer being born and raised in Dekalb County, where her mother encouraged her and her siblings to explore extracurricular activities without limitation as to what they could participate in. She played various sports and engaged multiple creative outlets, having tested the likes of horseback-riding to basketball. She studied at Emory University, and she calls Decatur home.
The decor drew on Hilson's ties to the locale in telling her the story, hence the retro microphone ornament, and southern-style crafted cocktails. It represented the tale of a locally-bred star who continues to perfectly capture hometown charm.
The roots that would sprout into Hilson's career, were planted and then nurtured right here in Atlanta. Unwavering reception to the songwriter's conversation certainly points to the reciprocal relationship Hilson has built among this community. While she is most notably recognized in popular culture for her music and acting credentials, it was her philosophy on life and humanitarianism that took center stage at the event. As a guest speaker, Hilson presents a genuine rawness and honesty from an inspiring spirit. Her passion unapologetically radiates when exploring her multifaceted career - during which Hilson has tackled success, controversy, and her current state of rebirth. However, Hilson's philanthropic passion burns from an especially divine space, as she proves how this work has been a mutually beneficial undertaking that redirected her toward a more soul-fulfilling journey.
Living your best life ACCORDING TO KERI HILSON:
1. Curate Your Tribe
This process is intentional, selective and spiritual. The people you choose to exist in your private and social worlds, are a reflection of who you are and how you value yourself. Hilson makes it a point to curate a tribe that positively and holistically influences her life.
2. Hilson's Toolbox Metaphor
The Keri Hilson Foundation advocates for "bringing arts back to Dekalb," and to disadvantaged youths within and far outside of Atlanta. Hilson believes a comprehensive arts education equipped her to be successful in academia (Hilson is a graduate of Emory Unversity), sports and creative careers. "I want [every child] to have a full toolbox."
3. The Soul In Social Media
Social media can be antithetical to reality, but it does not have to be. According to Hilson, we "have to search for the soul in social media." The overarching message here is this: There is soul in the social realms when we are authentic in our interactions, online personalities and who we are offline.