About Encounter Weekend


Founded in 2017, and based in Los Angeles, Encounter is a retreat for black creatives seeking transformation.

During a happy hour, now known as the "light bulb moment," co-founders Shanelle Williams and Kareem Taylor realized they can't attend one more awkward "networking mixer." The idea for a better professional networking experience was born.

Attendees at our retreats spend the weekend living, eating and exploring together. Basically, they really get to know each other, through trial and tribulation. Throughout the weekend, they journey together and grow personally and professionally, all the while participating in activities like empowering talks, yoga and archery.

Our goal is to create an environment where people form powerful life-long connections, changing both themselves and those around them. Harvard Business Review reports that strong friendships lead to happiness. If you've ever had a night out with good friends, perhaps you know that feeling.

Our aspiration for Encounter is for it to become the go-to retreat experience for black creatives seeking transformation; to help make happen the change they want to see in the world.

Meet The Team


Shanelle Williams, Co-Founder is one of Los Angeles' most trusted event producers. Her company, True Splendor Events, is the production company that oversees Encounter.

Kareem Taylor, Co-Founder has spent the last decade working in entertainment marketing and advertising. He oversees all marketing, strategic partnerships and business development efforts for Encounter.

“I am the one thing in life I can control.”
―  Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton: The Revolution