Carissa Stephens

Feature: Classy Living Society Awards Carissa Stephens

Earlier this year I was contacted to do an interview for the Chronicles Too! and subsequently was notified that I would also be receiving an award at the upcoming Red Dress Gala that would be taking place in Downtown Houston and hosted by the owners of Chronicles Too!, Classy Living Society.

Classy Living Society is a multi-faceted women’s community service organization based out of Atlanta, Georgia with a hands-on approach to volunteerism founded by LaShanda Pitts in 2013. The organization has since achieved over 300,000 volunteer hours. The beneficiary of this year’s gala was Sock Out of Poverty, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization organization which provides socks, clothing, and other material goods to men, women and children that are in need or less fortunate. 

As an honoree, it was requested that I arrived several minutes early for press and photos. I was greeted at the door with champagne and the pleasant sounds of a live harp player. There was an instant feeling of sisterhood as over 200 melanated Queens, all dressed in red, entered into the grand ballroom at Le Meridien Hotel in Downtown Houston.

I enjoyed live music from Prodigy and the accompanying sounds of DJ Tay Powers on the 1s and 2s. The event opened with the singing of the negro national anthem led beautifully by Jessica Forest. Comedian Lady Q really helped get the party started with “Beyonce – Formation” vibes, her dancing and her over-sized black diva hat paying true homage to our Houston Queen, Bey. She was hilarious and had everyone laughing throughout the entire program. Brunch was delicious and there was even a second line band! I’m of creole ancestry so you know I’m always down for brass band music! There was such amazing energy during the entire gala!

The event was very well orchestrated, elegant AND absolutely lit all at the same time!!! I’m so grateful that CLS chose Houston as their host city for their prestigious gala this year and came here all the way from Atlanta for a weekend filled with sisterhood, positive vibes and an overflow of Black Girl Magic! 

I was blessed with the distinct honor and privilege to be recognized among several other influential boss women as an award recipient by Classy Living Society at their 6th annual #RedDressGala! The theme “Access Taken” spotlighted women who are pioneers in their fields, who have remained resilient in the face of adversity and who have defied the odds! Women who have not merely waited for access to be granted, but who have found success by designed their lives upon the principle of access taken.

During my speech I couldn’t help but mention the irony in the organization’s abbreviated name also being my initials! CLS! It’s amazing how God aligns you when you allow Him to!

I’m grateful to be able to continually have the opportunity to share my journey and inspirational gems with such gorgeous audiences. Thank you Classy Living Society, the founding sisters (especially Superwoman Founder, LaShanda Pitts) and my family and friends who came to support.


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