HERstory in Black by #howshehustles

HERstory in Black is a Toronto-based digital photo series featuring 150 inspiring black women that I created through my diverse women’s network, How She Hustles. It took a small village of passionate, talented women who poured their time, creativity and love into this project to make it happen. And of course, women willing to share their stories!

After the project began, I pitched the project to CBC, where I also work in communications. Thanks to the enthusiastic support of our national public broadcaster, HERstory in Black received national TV, radio and digital media coverage throughout Black History Month in February and the women who participated will continue to be integrated into CBC’s Canada 2017 plans for the 150th anniversary of our nation.

HERstory_17_SheDoesTheCity.jpgHow She Hustles and CBC also partnered on a soul-shifting HERstory in Black event attended by 400 guests – this magical night was hosted by Amanda Parris, with performances by Jully Black and d’bi young anitafrika, music by DJ MelBoogie and a surprise greeting by Dr. Jean Augustine, the pioneer of Black History Month in Canada.

“There are women in this city who may not have titles, who may not work at a corporation, who may not lead up an organization that is widely recognized, but yet they are incredible influencers. They are making things happen in the city that I see, but I’m not sure everyone else sees. Here are some women who are doing things now and really, I think these are women who are going to be doing things next. History can be made by all of us in simple ways.” – Emily Mills

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Highlights of Television, Radio & Digital coverage

HERstory in Black: CBC highlights video

HERstory in Black: Emily Mills on Metro Morning with Matt Galloway

HERstory in Black: Meet 150 black women who have made a place in Canadian history via CBC

Massive photo project HERstory in Black shows a ‘different face of leadership’ via CBC

Dwight Drummond and Jully Black reminisce about growing up in Jane-Finch via CBC

HERstory in Black: Teaching the next generation via CBC

HERstory in Black: Camille Mitchell via CBC

HERstory in Black: d’bi young anitafrika via CBC

HERstory in Black: Jasmyn Fyffe via CBC

HERstory in Black: Eden Hagos via CBC 

HERstory in Black: Krissy Doyle-Thomas via CBC

HERstory in Black: Akua Delfish and Onika Powell via CBC

HERstory in Black: Nikkita Holder via CBC

HERstory in Black: Eugenia Duodu via CBC

HERstory in Black: Thomarya (Tee) Fergus via CBC

HERstory in Black: Emily Agard via CBC

HERstory in Black: DJ MelBoogie via CBC

HERstory in Black: Jalisa Luces-Mendes via CBC

HERstory in Black: CBC News Facebook Live

CBC/Radio-Canada corporate blog

She Does the City: HERstory in Black photo gallery

Claire She Goes
A taste of HERstory: Reflections on an unforgettable evening https://claireshegoes.com/2017/03/04/a-taste-of-herstory-reflections-on-an-unforgettable-evening/

Making HERstory: The Photographers

Nneka Elliott.com

Words by Michelle
Part 1 – https://wordswithmichelle.com/2017/02/23/herstory-a-document-of-150-phenomenal-black-women-part-1/
Part 2 – https://wordswithmichelle.com/2017/03/03/herstoryinblack-a-document-of-150-phenomenal-black-women-part-2/
Part 3 – https://wordswithmichelle.com/2017/03/09/herstoryinblack-a-document-of-150-phenomenal-black-women-part-3/


#howshehustles 4th women’s brunch

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May 2013 at Hotel Ocho
Video: http://youtu.be/kpNua2BKfbs
Photos: http://on.fb.me/1c7Waip http://on.fb.me/1ReB1Um

Our sold-out 4th annual #howshehustles brunch was be held  in Toronto for women to network, get inspired, share tips for success and enjoy. Ladies also joined us online during the event for contests, conversation and more! Many thanks to Samantha Clarke Photography for these incredibly vibrant photos.


#howshehustles 2nd women’s brunch

2nd How She Hustles brunch
May 2011 at Hilton Garden Inn Downtown
Video: http://bit.ly/w3qoVG
Photos: http://on.fb.me/wbeJos

100 powerful, inspired and very busy women on the move attended the 2nd annual How She Hustles brunch in Toronto. We represented many backgrounds, experiences, professions and walks of life – from lawyers to TV personalities, PR professionals to educators, theatre buffs to photographers, accountants to wedding planners, nurses to social media gurus, and more. As mothers, daughters, sisters, colleagues and friends, we shared inspiration, information and insight all during one awesome event. Take a look through the gallery to see for yourself! Thank you Alexis Finch Photography.

Note: If you would like to purchase your high resolution photo for future use, please contact www.alexisfinch.com. On behalf of How She Hustles, partial proceeds will go to this charity – Zack’s Dream Room project at York Central Hospital. Appreciate your support! EM/


#howshehustles fall social


How She Hustles Fall Social
November 2010 at Mirage Supperclub:
Video: http://bit.ly/A4e5ik
Photos: http://bit.ly/1UatoPp

A dynamic and diverse group of women from across the city gathered to network, exchange information and share inspiration. Thanks to everyone who attended and supported!

Who was there and what happened? Check out the video with images by Christy Murtha of Ladeebug Photography. And thanks to Remekie’s Boutique!




#howshehustles 1st Women’s Brunch

How She Hustles women's brunch

SONY DSC1st How She Hustles brunch
May 2010 at Globe Bistro:
Photos: http://on.fb.me/xlol7H

Who attended our very 1st event?

The CEO of the YWCA Canada; a national director from CBC; the founder of Honey Jam, Canada’s all-female showcase; the general manager of Warner Chappell Music Canada; the executive director of the Canadian Independent Recording Artists Association; two of Canada’s top DJs; the manager for Canada’s R&B artists on their way to the top; a fashion designer from Milan and a clothing store owner in Toronto; a veteran spa owner and aesthetics guru for women of colour; freelance writers, event planners, media/PR/communications practitioners; a web/graphic designer, IT consultant and video editor; youth workers, therapists and community builders; government administrators and grant writers; arts programmers, theatre producers and pioneers, singers/songwriters, poets, dancers; bankers, nurses, lawyers; Toronto teachers, and scholars hitting the books at NYU and Harvard; mothers, sisters, daughters, friends.

Thanks to all who attended the 1st annual ‘How She Hustles’ brunch on the weekend. So honoured you were there! Special thanks to Lekan, Munira, Tina, Dione, Laura, Urban Textures Salon, Jean Pierre Aesthetics and Spa, Natalie aka Liberty, Charity Love for the photos and my moms. So grateful. Also, thanks to those who were there in spirit. EM/


How She Hustles: Where diverse women connect

Greetings and thanks for your interest in How She Hustles.

So who are we and what do we do?

Founded by Emily Mills, How She Hustles is a vibrant network that connects 5000 diverse women through special events and social media.

In May 2010, Emily started How She Hustles informally with 50 women. How She Hustles is now growing into an international brand without any paid advertising or corporate sponsors – the buzz continues to build through a thriving online community of social influencers and supporters on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube.

We continue to host wildly popular women’s events – our recent Mother’s Day themed gathering was attended by 250 women, trending on Twitter, and featured VIP guests including Jully Black, Michie Mee and trey anthony.
For years, our signature event was the very popular How She Hustles women’s brunch. Tickets literally sold-out in hours with a guaranteed waiting list. Women attended to network, get inspired, share tips for success and enjoy. Guests included media personalities from CBC, CP24, CTV, Citytv and MuchMusic; the Consul Generals of South Africa and Antigua and Barbuda; a Canadian Olympian; and a Juno award-winning vocalist, for example.

The network connects diverse women, largely from the 25-49 demographic, representing the fields of media, technology, finance, arts, entertainment, law, education, health, social work, fashion and more. Although How She Hustles is based in Toronto, we have strong ties to women in different parts of Canada, the United States, Europe and the Caribbean – and we have proudly welcomed guests from outside the GTA to our events.


Emily knows what it’s like to ‘hustle’ and juggle it all – she’s founder of the How She Hustles women’s network; she’s a wife and mother; and, she has a demanding career at one of the largest media companies in Canada. Emily has a successful career in media and communications that spans 15 years. She holds degrees in journalism and music, and has studied public relations. Emily was recently nominated for a YWCA Toronto Women of Distinction Award, named one of 100 Black Women to Watch in Canada and received the inaugural Women’s Empowerment Award at the Black Canadian Awards.


Emily Mills
Founder, How She Hustles

Who is Emily Mills aka EM How She Hustles?

Emily is passionate about connecting people and communicating ideas that matter. She is a senior communications officer at CBC Toronto – working with our national public broadcaster on marketing strategies to sponsorship negotiations in the most competitive media market in the country.

Prior to CBC, she founded the How She Hustles network that connects 5000 diverse women through social media and special events. She’s also a proud wife and mother of two.

Emily’s latest project is HERtory in Black, a Toronto-based digital photo series she created to profile 150 inspiring black women. It was featured nationally on CBC’s TV, Radio and digital platforms to mark Black History Month and Canada’s 150th anniversary. The project concluded with a 400 person event at CBC Headquarters in Toronto featuring Jully Black, d’bi young anitafrika, DJ MelBoogie and Amanda Parris – the massive social media buzz included a retweet by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau!

Months earlier, Emily took on an additional leadership role as senior producer of Sounds of the Season, CBC Toronto’s largest annual outreach event that raised a record-breaking $727,226 and 21,372 pounds of non-perishable food for GTA food banks.

To kick-start 2017, Emily was named a CivicAction DiverseCity Fellow – one of 25 rising city leaders making an impact across the GTHA – and she is an ‘activator’ who champions female entrepreneurs through SheEO.

Emily has been nominated for a YWCA Toronto Women of Distinction Award, was named one of 100 Black Women to Watch in Canada and received the inaugural Women’s Empowerment Award at the 2015 Black Canadian Awards. Previously, Emily was profiled in Luminato’s Mille Femmes photo exhibit of 1,000 inspiring women in Toronto and received the Canadian National Griot Award alongside pioneers like the late Austin Clarke.

A frequent public speaker, Emily supports many initiatives to advance women, diversity and youth. She founded the Northern Secondary School Triumph Award for graduating students in 1999.

Emily is a proud alum of both York and Ryerson universities – she holds degrees in journalism and music, and has studied public relations.

#howshehustles 5th women’s brunch

5th & final How She Hustles brunch
October 2014 at The Chelsea Hotel Toronto
Sold out in days – trending on Twitter – Almost 250 guests!
Storify: http://bit.ly/1BR4WHB
Photos: http://on.fb.me/1GkbovL

Thank you, ladies, for being a part of this EPIC chapter of How She Hustles! Five years of women’s brunches in Toronto – by us, for us. Words cannot explain…

Many thanks to Kathy Grant, Idil Jeilani and Ebti Nabag for their beautiful images. Please consider hiring them for your special events! And, check out the brunch Youtube video by Carolyn E. Roberts. EM/



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