Shaleah Laché Sutton is a THOUGHT-LEADER & self-professed passionista for THE ADVANCEMENT OF black women and girls. Sutton has fused her life and work experience to build a NEEDED platform.
A platform that “challenges the world’s one-dimensional concept of what black young women and girls should look, act, and sound like; what they should value and seek to attain; and what they should believe in and aspire to BECOME.”
She is the founder and president of UNIQUELY YOU SUMMIT, INC. (UYS), an avant-garde organization with a clear mission - to help black girls uniquely define, discover and become who they are. In 2009, Sutton launched the UNIQUELY YOU SUMMIT, an annual forum in the greater Philadelphia region where hundreds of black girls, 11 to 18 years old, engage in dialogue that addresses the complexities of being a black girl in America. Since its inception, UYS has impacted thousands of young black women and girls from across the United States through the work of their annual Summit.
Sutton has expanded her commitment of EMPOWERING YOUNG BLACK WOMEN & GIRLS
By creating new platforms such as Conversations #ForTheLoveOfBlackGirls, peer-led open discussions for high school girls where they are encouraged to discover and use their unique voices concerning the societal and political factors impacting their communities and schools. For Seniors Only, a two-day special edition of the UNIQUELY YOU SUMMIT (at UPENN’s Wharton School), specifically designed to strengthen, support, and empower 25 graduating high school seniors as they broaden their journey into womanhood, enter college, and ultimately prepare to become agents for change in both their individual and interpersonal lives. The UYS Cover Girl Cohort, a selected group of 12 girls, serving annually as peer-mentors and peer-leaders, representing the organization as the official faces and voices of its programming and initiatives. Our goal is to help them become active, engaged and influential global citizens; who believe they can transform not only their community, but the world. And lastly, the #WhatIKnowNow Series, which features black celebrity panelists, including actresses Teyonah Parris, Amanda Seales, Sheryl Lee Ralph and SNL Comedienne Sasheer Zamata, examines matters related to the black woman experience. She is also the creator of both the #ForTheLoveOfBlackGirls and #BlackGirlInspiration social media hashtags.
Sutton has received numerous honors for her efforts to enrich the lives of young women and girls.
In January 2018 she was featured on Forbes.com (These Four Women Are Helping the Next Generation of Leaders Find Their Calling). Most recently Sutton was honored with the 2017 YWCA Tri-County Tribute to Exceptional Women Mission Impact Award & the 2016 PECO Power to the Community Award. In 2011, the Council of the City of Philadelphia, awarded Resolution No. 110325 to her organization for its efforts to focus on “character education” as the best method to instill leadership values among young women. She has also received a 2011 Outstanding Young Leader nod by Pennsylvania State Senator Vincent Hughes; The Role Model Group’s 2011 Lady Leadership Honor for her commitment to leadership and excellence as a real role model; an invitation to be a Workshop Presenter at the 100th National Anniversary of Girls Scouts for Eastern Pennsylvania; a 2012 Community Service Award from the Pennsylvania State Senate’s 7th Senatorial District for social activism; and a 2014 Community Impact Award from Philadelphia mentoring organization, Developing In Excellence.
Sutton holds a B.A. in Political Science from Spelman College in Atlanta, GA (2002) and is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (2000). Shaleah currently resides in a suburb outside of Philadelphia with her 12 & 1/2 year-old twins, Brandon & Island.