Day two was set to be THE day. Definitely, the programming I was most excited to attend, I made a point to not miss any of today’s heavy hitters and found time to catch some dope activations and events along the way as well! Today got me full on in the SXSW spirit and set the table for the rest of this years conference,¬†here are a few of my takeaways:

Winners:

Marsai Martin, Zandra Cunningham, & Mikaila Ulmer.

The day kicked off with the Moguls in the Making panel, featuring the three hyper-impressive entrepreneurs listed above. Three black girls all under the age of 18, crushing it in business. Marsai in entertainment, Zandra in beauty, and Austin’s own Mikaila in the beverage sphere. What really impressed me about these girls is their youthful resilience and creativity. As opposed to letting the challenges they face dishearten them, they’ve chosen at each hurdle to use these challenges as opportunities for creative problem-solving. The quote that stuck out to me was “Dream like a kid, stop letting things get in your way, be fearless.” – Mikaila Ulmer. These girls simply won’t accept not chasing their dreams at an age when often everyone around them is trying to manage and control every aspect of their lives, they’ve managed to reassert their control and not fall prey to the limitations imposed upon them. Marsai even recalled firing an agent for laughing at the seed idea for her current production Little. Zandra who started her company because her father refused to continue to support heer lip gloss habit, now works for her. These three girls are inspirations to everyone around them, but most importantly to boys and girls that look like them, showcasing the power of drive, passion, and faith.

Trevor Noah, Desi Lydic, Dulcé Sloan, Jaboukie Young-White, Michael Kosta, Ronny Chieng, Roy Wood Jr.

As soon as the cast of The Daily Show was announced I knew I wanted to attend their panel and get a live look at the cast that’s been so influential for my generations news consumption and they were fantastic. Funny and pointed they all have an acute understanding of the influence they wield, from discussing how quickly a show plan can change from a late afternoon tweet to understanding the need to still cover “longer form” segments that may not be “day of” news. They were fantastic at addressing the evolution of the shows form, content, and coverage, as well as, how they strive to continually bring humor to a often difficult discussion. Combine the panel with the SXSW build of The Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library, and I’m an even bigger fan than I was before. To find a way to bring that level of creativity and humor to something as simple as a set of the 45th president’s tweets is truly exceptional. If nothing else they proved to me that they really are a set of some of the funniest people in the country and all of the acclaim they receive is warranted.

Alexandria Ocasio Cortez

I made up my mind to see two Keynotes today and this was the second. As an avid AOC fan, I had to be in the room for this. It was immediately apparent that AOC takes her responsibilities as a civil servant very seriously. She doesn’t want to take measures to make our political system incrementally better one motion at a time in the hopes that 50 – 100 years from now our great grandchildren will have an America they can be proud of. She wants to overhaul the whole damn thing and give the American people the leaders and systems they need and deserve now. Furthermore it was refreshing to see her not be able to parrot canned answers to the questions she was asked, but to get to watch her formulate the answer in her mind in front of us and try to articulate, even her most controversial answers, in a way that everyone could understand and not be turned off by. A freshman congresswoman with personality in bunches, the most impressive traits about her were her compassion and determination. That is what separates her and why she appeals to so many people.

Questlove & the ACLU

I mean what more can I say, I’ve seen Quest at two SXSW shows now and both have been fire! The man simply doesn’t disappoint. An icon in the music industry he knowledge of music and mastery of his craft come through in every mix. Blending old school with new school, hip-hop with pop, rock, and more the man is a musical genius. He got the crowd rocking from the first drop and we didn’t stop until he stepped off stage. Shouts to the ACLU for this dope collab and for giving the people what they want!

MISC: WeWork, SAP, Dell

Finally, I checked out a few parties and activations and luckily they were all hits today! WeWork put on a dope activation to let people get away, grab some food, relax and enjoy some more casual programming in their patio space. With quality barbecue and the sun shining it hit the spot. SAP had a line out the door with people waiting to get in grab drinks, play with their basketball analysis court, and kick it with a fresh DJ. And Dell came through with a partnership with Tiff’s Treat’s (Brooklyn Decker & Andy Roddick), live music and some tight tech on display.

Losers:

None.

Takeaways:

All in all, day two of SXSW certainly lived up to the hype. Came in hot with some inspirational teens and went out rocking with Quest of The Legendary Roots Crew. More than anything it was a reminder of that the level of creativity and innovation at SXSW is unparalleled. Inspiring, motivating, and energizing my creative juices are definitely flowing.