Passion is Pursuit Merges Personal Faith With Professional Experiences
When Cassondra Lenoir arrived in New York City from St. Louis in the Spring of 2012 she found robust entertainment and media industries filled with young professionals eagerly seeking success. What didn’t find was a safe space for her to discuss her faith and the impact that it’s had on her professional life. While she was completely comfortable discussing her devout christianity during Starbucks dates and marketing mixers not everyone welcomed hearing about it.
The Pew Research Center and many other organizations have found that “millennials are much less likely than older Americans to pray or attend church regularly or to consider religion an important part of their lives”. As a result Lenoir and other young professionals can find it difficult to locate those who can relate to their professional experiences as well as their religious beliefs.
To remedy what she saw as a void in the many summits, symposiums, conventions, forums, panels, and seminars the city hosts Lenoir founded the Passion is Pursuit Conference. Billed as “the ONLY entertainment and media conference for entrepreneurial millennials of faith” the conference featured Q&A sessions, musical performances, networking sessions, vendors, and a dynamic poetry reading.
Speakers included author, digital strategist, and Newark Venture Partner’s Entrepreneur in Residence Anthony Frasier, author, fashion industry veteran, and media professional Charell Strong, and award-winning multi-media journalist Selena Hill.
Lenoir also conducted an interview with the newlyweds behind the Emmy nominated web series “Tough Love” Roni Simpson and Caleb Davis where the couple spoke on how their faith fortifies their marriage.
Media partners for the conference included Black Enterprise, Mack Interactive, Urban Girl Magazine, Her Agenda, and The C Letter. Sponsors included Miss Jessie’s, The Kreme, RB Sweet Treats, SKFP, and Already Famous.
Early arrivals were able to get professional headshots (a must in the age of LinkedIn), and VIP ticket holders were resented with swag filled “Passioneer” backpacks.
The event was a family affair Lenoir’s mother and younger cousin helped out each beaming with pride at her efforts to combine her faith with her career.
The twelve hour conference began and ended with group prayer.
*The C Letter served as a media partner for the Passion Is Pursuit Conference. All thoughts, opinions, and observations in this post are my own. There was no monetary compensation exchanged for this post.