Elaine Welteroth Talks Overcoming the Odds and Claiming Your Own Space in “More Than Enough”

“I didn’t decide to do this, I just answered a calling. It was so clear this is what I had to do,” says Elaine Welteroth, as she talks with Dr. Lakeysha (Key) Hallmon in Atlanta, GA, on the fourth stop of her book tour. The journalist, author, and former Editor-in-Chief of Teen Vogue released her highly anticipated book, “More than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say)”, on June 11, 2019.

The intimate event, “Cocktails and Conversation with Dr. Key Hallmon and Elaine Welteroth” allowed the audience to get to know a little more about Elaine Welteroth. The audience enjoyed complimentary wine and cocktails while they touched on a few chapters of the book, read parts out loud, and were able to participate in a Q&A. The audience also completed an activity where they wrote down what they were claiming space for, and how they were going to ignore anything that blocked them.

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There’s nothing I love more than a great book and a great conversation. This Sunday at 6:30 PM at the Gathering Spot, I will be having an intimate conversation paired with great cocktails with former editor-and-chief of Teen Vogue, gifted journalist and author, @elainewelteroth. ⁣⁣ ⁣ She’s making a special stop on her book-tour to take us on the journey of becoming "more than enough” and share with us all the lessons that have led her to the present. ⁣ ⁣ Be sure to join us and bring your closest friends for an engaging conversation, great cocktails, and an open dialogue that will inspire all of us to claim a space for ourselves and all of who we are.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ **RSVP: the link is in my bio. ⁣Bring your book with you or you can purchase at the door.⁣** ⁣⁣ Very appreciative for my friend Ryan and the @thegatheringspots for co-sponsoring this event with us.⁣

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“More Than Enough” is not your average self-help book

Welteroth explained to the audience that she intentionally did not want to write a self-help book. This book is for the underestimated and undervalued. It’s for the black and brown girls who identify as FOD’s–first, only, different (coined by Shonda Rhimes). It’s a story of what it means to be the only one like you in the room. For anyone who had a dream that didn’t go through, or had no role models to look up to. She also introduces her personal life to the world and everything that came along with her journey. From going through childhood and feeling like she never belonged, to college and toxic love stories. She talks about the ups and downs of working at Teen Vogue, and the pivotal moment that she knew God was telling her it was time to move on.

Building her own table

Welteroth’s rise to the top of Teen Vogue as Editor-in-Chief spread like wildfire and praises from Black Twitter came pouring in. However, the position wasn’t as glamorous as she thought. In the conversation with Dr. Hallmon, she opens up about her time at the magazine. She touches on how the offer of a lifetime was actually just $10,000 with two other people doing the job alongside her. The offer didn’t come with any of the perks—not the big office we see in movies, not the clothing, not even the complete title. From the outside, we cheered for her success, not knowing she was completely suffocating in this position.

She had no idea this happens to women like her because no one ever talks about it. No one talks about having caucasian counterparts belittling and sulking over a black or brown girl’s success. Welteroth began to learn that a lot of women in positions of power have similar stories, but there wasn’t a place for them to sit and talk about them. However, with publishing “More Than Enough”, she has begun building her own table to start the real support and having those conversations.

photo via @elainewelteroth on Instagram

“When the music changes, so must your dance.”

Dr. Hallmon and Welteroth ended the event on the topic of what happens when it’s time to wake up from your dreams, only to start dreaming bigger.

“What I realized was, I did the damn thing, I did this dream. I accomplished my goals and more, but I’m worth more than this. I’m bigger than this, and I’m done with this,” says Welteroth.  She explains how God affirmed this message through a conversation with, who she calls her hero, Ava Duvernay.

Through her entire career, people would ask when she was going to write a book. She would have anxiety about the thought alone, and wouldn’t allow herself to even dream that big. However, when your purpose is aligned with divine order it will never leave you.

As her journey takes on a new path as an entrepreneur, Elaine Welteroth is still working on finding out her purpose and who she is. Dr. Hallmon and the audience gave her some advice as well and reminded her of her own words as the event ended; “When the world tells you to shrink, expand.”

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