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BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Inc. is 501(c)3 non-profit youth empowerment and mentoring organization established to promote the arts for young women of color, as well as to encourage dialogue and analysis of the ways women of color are portrayed in the media.

Since 2006, BLACK GIRLS ROCK! has been dedicated to the healthy development of young women and girls. BLACK GIRLS ROCK! seeks to build the self-esteem and self-worth of young women of color by changing their outlook on life, broadening their horizons, and helping them to empower themselves. For the past four years, we have enjoyed the opportunity to enrich the lives of girls aged 12 to 17 years old through mentorship, arts education, cultural exploration and public service.

The Evolution of “Black Girls Rock!"

Beverly Bond is the model-turned-DJ who’s vision for a foundation—Black Girls Rock!—spawned into the inspiring awards show of the same title that celebrates the brilliance of Black women. As we gear up for the 2nd Annual Black Girls Rock! program that will air on BET November 6, 2011 we take a look back on Bond’s career and how her Black Girls Rock! vision has evolved into the amazing show that she executive produces today!

Beverly Bond was inspired by her mother’s love for a wide variety of music—from soul to African to world music—at an early age. She was raised in Maryland and as a child she started collecting albums and amassed so many that eventually she said, “Everybody that came to my house thought I was a DJ ‘cause they would see my record collection is crazy.” It wouldn’t be until later in life that she would return to the turntables, but a seed was planted.

At 17, Bond moved to New York to pursue modeling and her gorgeous looks and 5’9” frame landed her contracts with at Elite New Faces and Wilhemina. Soon she began hitting runways and posing for clients including Guess, Diesel and Nike.

She enrolled in an acting academy where one of her classes focused on the Meisner Technique. "The essence of that program was to be true to yourself, to find the truth of yourself by digging deep," Bond told CBB. By the time she graduated in 1999, Bond had become a good actress and her classmates assumed she was destined for Hollywood. "But by that time, I had found the truth," she told CBB. "I wanted to be a DJ."

In 2000, Bond made it official and became DJ Beverly Bond. With an eclectic sound that mixed old school hip hop, soul and funk to African drummers, Brazilian grooves and classic jazz. She started rocking small parties around New York City and cementing her name on the scene. "I know that I have set myself apart from girls who are models, who are trying to be DJs and trying to be trendy," she once told the Village Voice. "I like to surprise people. I changed the game in a way." 

Within a year Bond stopped modeling because her career as a DJ completely took off. The beauty who could get crowds moving found herself spinning for clients like Chanel, Hugo Boss and Diesel instead of walking their runways and also juggled gigs at exclusive clubs, big events including the the Glamour Fashion Awards, the CFDA Awards and ESPN’s X-Games Awards. She also spun at parties for celeb clients including Prince, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys and Diddy. She even became a go-to DJ right here on BET for Rap City and 106 & Park, among other network and worldwide appearances.

Within her first two years as a DJ, Bond found more success than she had in nearly a decade as a model. And if there was ever any doubt in her abilities on the turntables, she was named the Best Female DJ at the Justo Mixtape Awards in 2002. The accolades kept coming: Village Voice named Bond a "Club-land MVP,"Honey Magazine called her one of the "Hot 100 People to Watch" and Vibe Magazine tagged her a "Future Urban Icon."

After making DJ appearances with acts like the Roots, Erykah Badu, Floetry and Musiq Soulchild Bond turned to producing putting out a highly acclaimed CD which featured remixes of 50 Cent's "Many Men" and Nas's "One Mic." Bond was also the music director for Comedy Central's Comic Groove and went on to team with Alicia Keys to produce an exclusive track for Baby Phat Fashions. By 2005, she was recognized for her producing skills for several tracks and mixtapes.

Would you believe Black Girls Rock started with a T-shirt? Bond told, “First I started the T-shirt and was thinking of all the incredible women to list on it. I was writing down all of these names and just couldn’t fit them all. In my attempt to try, I said, 'This is bigger than just a shirt.' So I decided to start a mentoring program.” The fly shirt has since expanded into a full range of tees and hoodies that are currently available for purchase through the organization’s website store.

In 2006, the multi-talented entertainer added another title as the founder of Black Girls Rock!, Inc., a non-profit youth empowerment mentoring organization to inspire inner-city girls ages 12–17 through the arts. As an extension of the program, Bond created the annual Black Girls Rock! event to celebrate the accomplishments of exceptional Black women who have made outstanding contributions in their careers and are positive role models in the community. 

Bond has a long roster of program partnerships including a Scratch DJ Academy technical DJ training camp and a musical education program. It includes “I Rhyme Like a Girl” spoken word program workshop, “Taste the World” program that makes the foreign familiar through an in-depth understanding of cultural flavors of the world, Black Girls Rock! has expanded into a go-to destination for uplifting and educating young Black women on a variety of artistic topics.

Though she sought out to honor and inspire other Black women, Bonds vision for Black Girls Rock! resulted in her own honors and distinctions. She was named one of New York’s Fifty Fabulous Females by Love Heals, a leading foundation for AIDS education, in 2006; received the 2009 “Gold Rush Award” by Russell Simmons’ Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation for her community work and for promoting youth programs; listed on The Source magazine’s 2009 Power Circle group of leaders in hip hop and got the 2009 “Agent of Change Award” a the “Obama: THAT ONE!” Pre-Inaugural Awards gala in Washington, D.C.,—just to name a few of her honors.

With all the success of Black Girls Rock!, in 2010 Bond partnered with BET to share her Black Girls Rock! Awards vision and executive produced the first broadcast. Last year’s honorees included Ruby Dee (Living Legend Award), Missy Elliott (Lifetime Achievement Award), Raven-SymonĂ© (Young, Black & Gifted Award), Keke Palmer (Who Got Next Award), and Rev. Dr. Iyanla Vanzant (Motivator Award).

The Black Girls Rock! Awards received an NAACP Image Award nomination in 2010 for Outstanding Variety Series or Special. That year Bond was also honored for her work as a community leader as one of Essencemagazine’s “40 Fierce and Fabulous Women Who are Changing the World” and Ebony magazine recently listed Bond on their Power 100 list—the second year in a row she received a distinction as one of Ebony’s “Most Influential Blacks in America.”

This year Black Girls Rock! returned to BET for the second year with Reed Between the Lines star Tracee Ellis Ross and actress Regina King onboard as the hosts. The show aired on BET November 6 at 8P/7C. You can catch it again, Tuesday November 8 at 8P/7C

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