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*How did you spend your last day of Black History Month? We hung out with the creator and star of HBO’s hottest new series, Insecure and a few other faces we’re sure you’ll recognize —  Dawn-Lyen Gardner of Queen Sugar & Logan Browning of “Dear White People” & “Hit the Floor.”

EURweb correspondent, Loren LoRosa got a chance to experience an epic piece of Hollywood history! The epic panel, hosted by SAG-AFTRA & Brand Maverick Entertainment titled, “A Conversation with Issa & Pre Conversation with Dawn- Lyen Gardner & Logan Browning”  opened with a motivating conversation on the ups and downs of the business narrated by Stacy Ike.

To sum up the panel in just a few words, an all around “How To Overcome” for young actors, actresses and entertainment industry professionals. The conversations touched on everything from performance, beauty, health fitness to all of the current breakthroughs within the areas of diversity & inclusion.

For anyone who has ever set out to obtain a goal such as a career within the television or entertainment industry you know it can sometimes be a marathon of life experience that ultimately equal an amazing success story, not a fast race to the finish line. Here are some of the most inspirational bottom lines that we took away from the event.

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Issa Rae was really, really, broke.. moved back home with her mom & was force to learn to ask for what she wanted, years before HBO knocked on her door… bottom line #1, It takes time!

When BME’s founder Steve Jones sat down in front of the audience one thing that spoke consistently throughout the hilarious moments with Issa were, patience & persistence. Issa, who lived in NYC pursing her career for quit some time after graduating college told us all about her times where she barely had money to eat, which led to many nights eating tuna tacos. But in these same moments she found her voice, recording her first music video with friends and releasing it via her youtube channel.

When she found this voice she also discovered her ability to dish out content however and when ever she wanted, youtube! Moving forward, she’d have to move back home to LA from NYC into a house with her mother where she would be woken up in the middle of the night to wash dishes . During this time she also realized that her friends around her would be her backbone, her camera guy when she could not really afford one, she’d also discover her patience and develop her consistency! All of this later translated into some of our favorite original series like Insecure being picked up and watched all over the world.

“I honestly did not expect any television offers after being told I needed to be more diverse. I was told no by NBC and thought I had missed my moment. Me and Molly’s relationship in Insecure is based off of the relationship of me and my best friend. She grew up in the hood, but I can call her at work and she’ll switch it up!”  -Issa Rae

Issa’s life experiences have helped her tell the stories of so many black women around the world! As the conversation with Issa came to a close she was awarded the “Trail Blazer” award for her breakthrough in the entertainment industry positively impacting diversity & inclusion!

Dawn-Lyen Gardner always feels the importance of walking with purpose & responsibility as a black entertainment professional… bottom line #2, the story you decide to tell is important!

“As a black actor there is a certain amount of walking with responsibility, literally hearing your ancestors say, “so what you gonna do”, I have turned down things because my soul was upset, theres that reality.” – Dawn-Lyen Gardner

We all know Dawn from the OWN hit series directed by Ava DuVernay, Queen Sugar, but during the 4th installment of the Hollywood Confidential discussion we got to know her beyond the beloved character, Charlie. Dawn shared her story of making career decisions based on the feeling of being endowed to her community to tell certain stories. It was amazing to see the interaction between the black actresses on this panel as both her and Logan related on subjects like learning to say no to certain roles and the power of continually being a student of the game.

“As a black person I’m constantly walking with, what story am I telling? But then there is also the reality of knowing you have to pay your bills.” – Dawn-Lyen Gardner

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Logan almost gave up, then God showed up.. bottom line #3, faith produces miracles!

The amount of faith it takes to create a tangible life for yourself that may seem far fetched, endless! For Logan, she learned this first hand as she battled with booking gigs upon her arrival to LA.

“I left Vanderbilt to come to LA, I came during the year of the writers strike. I’m a realist once I felt like there was no work for me, I called my parents and told them I was coming home. The moment that I said “I’m going home” I got this opportunity to audition for a Tyler Perry show called meet the Browns and it brought me back home. I think that the person that I have been listening to is God and I will always listen.. stay faithful and listen” -Logan Browning

This night to remember ended with a theatre wide prayer where all in attendance joined hands and fellowshipped together. In a time where being a woman, diversity and inclusion are all at the forefront of everyday news headlines, this event reminded us all that we all face many of the same day to day struggles and if we join forces nothing is impossible!

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