Published on April 20th, 2019 | by Jameelah "Just Jay" Wilkerson0
The Hype Magazine Interviews #WE Creator Lowell Beasley
Lowell Beasley is the creator/ founder of the #WE Movement and trademarked purveyor of Women Empowerment Movement and #WE. In 2016, he received a phone call from a then friend in an iconic rap group who had just been introduced to then-Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina He was told Governor Haley was looking for ideas from the entertainment industry on how to engage the entertainment industry into raising public awareness and funding for domestic violence in her state, to help decrease those numbers. Lowell Beasley founded #WE based on that objective and created a program called #WE.SC, ( for #WE South Carolina), a program to empty all the domestic violence centers in South Carolina for a month and give every shelter resident a job, a residence and a car for a year.
Gov. Haley was picked to be in Trump’s cabinet shortly thereafter, so all #WE plans were temporarily shelved. A few months later, Beasley dusted off the plans, held an organizational meeting in Atlanta, and #WE were born. It is billed as the nation’s largest women empowerment campaign, surely its’ most ambitious.
On May 18, #WE is joining forces with Jersey City Fashion Forward in Jersey City and launching a mirrored project in New Jersey called, #WE.NJ. On that night, #WE is sponsoring 250 current domestic violence shelter residents to a complete free make-over ( hair, nails, make-up, wardrobe) and VIP ALL Access status to the fashion show, after party, Meet & Greet, etc. It also allows any of the 250 girls who want to walk the runway, to walk it.
#WE have just co-partnered with The Hype Magazine, the largest online magazine. #WE have just partnered with Plus Size Revolution, the Plus Size movement over 200,000 strong.#WE has just partnered with the music marketing company, Mueziq Entertainment out of Atlanta. Mueziq, led by Antwone Payne, manages some of The Jackson Family clan and .has many long-standing relationships.
Lowell Beasley is a former evangelist, ordained minister and concert promoter. He has a background in entertainment, artist management, and marketing. He describes himself as a visionary, and says,” #WE want to promote everyone’s skill and talent by collaborating together. #WE wants to envision a way to incorporate your talent or skill into # WE, into making a difference together Show me your talent and #WE will show you how you & I can become ” WE” so ” WE” can change the world together, make a difference together. Nobody PROMOTES artists anymore, PROMOTES talent, but #WE does and will. Hillary Clinton said, ” it takes a village”, and that is so true. The Bible says ” one can slay thousands but two can slay tens of thousands’….in other words, there is power in numbers. together, #WE are stronger individually together.”
He continues, ” #WE were created for women empowerment, and, in fact, that is what ” #WE” stands for. However, when the Charlottesville thing happened, it so incensed me. If #WE had been fully organized and operational then, #WE would LOVED to have been ” first respondent” there. On that day, #WE realized that #WE would be more of a ” We, the people” and stand for much more than women empowerment. #WE would morph into bullying, high school shootings, immigration, racism, etc.”.
What is #WE?
“It initially stands for women empowerment movement. We got the idea when then South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley met with an iconic rap group ( then a friend of ours) about ideas of how to bring attention to that state’s growing domestic violence numbers. ( It was then the #1 worst state in the nation for instances of domestic violence.) So we came up with the idea from there. Then Nikki accepted a Trump cabinet position, and resigned as Governor, so that ended that. I put the logo and the idea back on mothballs for a few months but it kept haunting me how relevant that was, so I finally pulled it out and #WE was born
That day? When?
Well, actually, a few days later and we set up an organizational meeting for April 7, 2017 in Atlanta.#WE’s first organizational members met then, and 90% of what we hoped to accomplish that weekend went to hell in a hand-basket…lol..but we managed to cement a basis for structure from then on.
So how did a guy get appointed the leader of the women empowerment movement?
Well, it certainly was not MY pick or MY idea..lol. I tell people every day I’d be the last person I’d pick. But I was the one with the vision and the passion..and the ” calling”. Then this lady in Phoenix one day called me out on an OTT broadcast on the air as the ” global visionary of women empowerment”. When my I heard that, it stopped me in my tracks. lol…I didn’t know I was the global visionary of anything! Do you know? So I called her, and I didn’t use these words but my thought was, ” are you on drugs?”,..like ” how am I the global visionary?”. Once she explained her reasons, it seemed to make sense and then other women who had also heard her broadcast started calling me and there we were. I am nothing I am nobody. But if I can make a difference, imagine what you can do as somebody, or imagine what we can do together.
What in your mind is the vision you had for #WE then?
There are over 3000 women’s groups nationally but no cohesive brand, central office nor communication. Last year when they had the women’s marches in 29 cities across America, over 4.5 million participated. But they organizers in one city were unfamiliar and not in contact with the organizers in other cities. So there was no central amalgamated brand for a sponsor or network to contact, so we created #WE to serve as a media and sponsor net brand on behalf of all those groups.
Was your idea well received by the women’s groups?
Why not? You would think they’d have been excited or elated.
But no. They viewed #WE as competition. Almost like with the churches. Everyone has their own little private group going on, and right now, they are a big fish in a little pond, and they don’t want to lose that. They see us as a threat to their identity and autonomy. They are afraid we are going to steal their press or steal their numbers.
Well, are you?
No. It was exactly the same years ago in the church. When Billy Graham first started trying to gather churches for a huge city-wide campaign, all the little churches were afraid to cooperate as they were afraid they might lose some of their members by exposing them to better churches, or more exciting churches…or they might lose their tithes to another church. Same thing here. Smaller women groups are threatened by the idea that we might come in and steal some of their thunder, or credit, or members or glory, but they miss the point. #WE are not TRYING to be a bigger company. We are like a Billy Graham crusade coming in to bring attention and glory to the smaller groups who don’t have the opportunity to do those things themselves. We are not trying to engulf the smaller groups but to ENGAGE the smaller groups so together they share a larger voice TOGETHER. When Billy Graham Crusade came to a city, he did not start a church so he was not trying to steal members but to make converts he could send to the churches to engage. So same thing with #WE. We are not trying to ” sign” up members from other entities to steal them from the smaller entities. We want to sign up women groups that we can promote, engage and monetize so THEY are a BIGGER fish in a bigger pond now because then they can share national recognition through a national brand. But it is NOT as easy to sell as one might think because of the jealousy, competition and pettiness of human nature. In our culture, everyone wants to be somebody and somehow the leaders of these small groups think if they identify with #WE, they will lose their identity and not be needed anymore or they won’t be the big fish anymore, and NOTHING could be further from the truth. We want them to own the big Wal-Mart brand of #WE in their mom & pop market, but admittedly, in a lot of cases, its a frustratingly hard sell.
How do concerts, tours and events fit in? Other women empowerment groups do primarily women conferences, why doesn’t #WE follow suit? Why do concerts and music events?
This is a short attention span culture. Everything is viral for a moment then gone. Its a millennial based culture. What is important to them is what’s hot and what’s not. This culture is TV, media and concert based. So if you want the eyes and ears of this culture, bring on media and entertainment content. That is what they spend both their money and attention on.
How is #WE structured?
#WE are a movement, not a company. For business purposes, we have corporations we must maintain, and the core one we set up first was Women’s Empowerment Movement, Inc. in Florida. But we are currently filing a non-profit status too. But #WE was not designed nor structured to be a corporate entity. It’s formed to be a movement; an amalgamation of many entities, corporations and movements, bonded together, working together. The largest online magazine, The Hype Magazine IS our partner…..Mueziq Entertainment Marketing, repping the Jackson family kids / grand-kids, THEY are our partner…….the Plus Size Movement, they are our partners..and #WE just keeps adding. The more that join, the more “WE” it is.
What is your goal?
To be the Live-Nation of social causes and social responses. #WE want to be the first social responders when the next Charlottesville occurs, the next Sandy Hook occurs, the next unjustified murder of an unarmed black man by a white redneck cop occurs, the next school shooting, the next hurricane, etc. #WE aspires to be the ones who rallies the forces to bring attention, aid and attention to these causes, as a ” we, the people”.
Your personal take on what you want #WE to convey?
Compassion first, spirituality second. We are all humans. We are all the same. We all need God. there is no ” big you, little me”, and there is no ” big me, little you”. We are “ALL Lives Matter”. We have no political agenda but despise cruelty, bullying and injustice by all and to all. We are not religious, God hates religion. But we are spiritual, and we must show the heart of God in what we do.
So how is a business?
Everything has its season. This seems to be our season as #WE are really taking off. We have Latins joining and to me, that is one of our primary markets. The biggest untapped markets are women, Latin and military and #WE is aggressively pursuing all 3 markets and #WE are looking for and welcoming all bands, artists, models, comics, etc. to join us in this endeavor.
Next up is….
Next up is the Fashion Forward in Jersey City then #WE are hitting L.A. with a west coast introductory party in June. Right now, those are the 2 events #WE are working on.Tweet