Essence Magazine editor to speak at women's seminar in Bradenton

MANATEE -- Mikki Taylor, editor-at-large for Essence Magazine, a monthly lifestyle, beauty and fashion publication for African-American women, has dined with First Lady Michelle Obama, traveled to South Africa on a personal invitation from Oprah Winfrey and mingled with several A-list celebrities.

Over the last 30 years, Taylor has advocated beauty, style and inner healing for women and has been featured on several television outlets, including The Oprah Win­frey Show, The View, TODAY, NBC Nightly News, Inside Edi­tion and CNN.

On Saturday, women in the Manatee and Sarasota county area will have to opportunity to meet Taylor, the keynote speaker at an annual Ladies' Seminar at 201 Church of Christ, 204 Dr. Martin Luther King Ave., Bradenton.

Taylor will also autograph copies of her latest book, Commander in Chic, a guide book to personal style that was inspired by Michelle Obama, and her first published book, Self-Seduction: Your Ultimate Path to Inner and Outer Beauty.

The seminar, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 8 a.m. with a free breakfast. Taylor will be one of two speakers during the seminar, which will conclude with a luncheon at noon.

Taylor's message is titled "Putting on the Armor of God: Taking off the old man and putting on the new man."

"It's looking at the word and getting dressed spiritually," Taylor said. "To be more resilient and build spiritual muscle, knowing your value and the importance of being on purpose."

Taylor, who has been touring the country to promote her book since January, was asked to speak at the seminar by longtime friend and Ellenton resident Exzora Brown, a member of 201 Church of Christ. Taylor and Brown have been friends for 30 years and attended the same church while living in the New York area. Brown worked in the radio and television market in New York for 35 years before moving to Ellenton five years ago.

"She's a dynamic person and she loves people," Brown said. "She's worked with people all her life. She has a great interest in helping people."

"When she invited me, I was just delighted," Taylor said.

Leslie Brown, a guidance counselor at James Tillman Elementary School in Palmetto and Brown's niece, will speak prior to Taylor about the importance of reading the Bible. Brown is involved in motivational speaking in the community and is a registered mental health counselor.

"It's an honor to speak before her," Brown said. "She's an exceptional motivational speaker. Today, its good to have someone to look to as an example. She exemplifies what a woman stands for. Her influence on women is positive and needed in today's society."

Taylor said it is her duty to be a role model.

"In my role of service to women, I wanted to help and empower women," she said. "It flows through me like the air I breath."

For more information, call 941-746-7715 or 941-730-9127. Taylor can be contacted on Twitter @IamMikkiTaylor

Nick Williams, East Manatee reporter, can be reached at 941-748-0411 ext. 7049. Follow on Twitter @_1NickWilliams