[INTERVIEW] Dr. Ni’cola Mitchell Opens Up About Lifetime’s ‘Giving Hope: A Ni’Cola Mitchell Story’

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Dr. Ni’Cola Mitchell is an author, mother, publishing expert, youth leader and the founder of the award winning ‘Girls Who Brunch Tour‘.  Our Ni’Cola Mitchell interview dives into it all, highlighting the successful entrepreneur.

Ni’Cola began her journey as an author, writing a variety of fiction novels.  Through her independent publishing company, she has released 17 novels, published 125 titles and has helped over 1,000 authors publish their titles independently.  She has been successfully doing book tours before the launch of Girls Who Brunch Tour.

Ni’Cola was awarded the L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth award in 2019, a Forbes’ Change Maker in 2019, The People’s Uprising in 2021, and so many others. She has recently obtained her Doctorate of Philosophy in Humanitarianism as well. Ni’Cola has inspired so many young women and little girls with her story and her movement with the Girls Who Brunch Tour.

Before Dr. Ni’Cola became all she is today, she will tell you that she used to be the little girl who needed a place, a support system and others to confide in.  The Girls Who Brunch Tour is a place where 9-17 year old girls can find support, healing, worthiness, growth and sisterhood. She created Girls Who Brunch for young girls who may feel that they are not worthy. The Girls Who Brunch Tour invites girls to find their freedom, their healing, self-worth & most of all HOPE.

Ni’Cola’s most recent accomplishment is serving as the executive producer for the new Lifetime movie, Giving Hope: A Ni’Cola Mitchell Story.  Starring Tatyana Ali in the title role, the film shares Ni’cola Mitchell at the start of her movement with ‘Girls Who Brunch Tour’ and the journey that has followed.

The film premiered on Sunday April 9th at 8PM CT/9PM ET on Lifetime Network.

Parlé Magazine had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Ni’Cola Mitchell to discuss the new movie and everything pertaining to Girls Who Brunch Tour.  Our Dr. Ni’Cola Mitchell interview shares her story detailing the trauma of being raped, dealing with early pregnancy and life before becoming a published author, and entrepreneur.

Parlé Mag: How did you feel filming your story and having to relive it?
Dr. Ni’Cola Mitchell: It was a lot of mixed emotions. It’s still kind of surreal at times, even though we are at the final stages. I watched it three times now, at three different premieres. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to enjoy this and have this while I’m still alive. A lot of times, a lot of people who are in situations like this, they’re old, they’re in a wheelchair or they’re gone. To be able to experience this now, while I’m still fairly young, is a beautiful thing. I am able to enjoy it and my children can enjoy it as well. 

Parlé: How would having something like Girls Who Brunch Tour impact you when you were growing up?
Dr. Ni’Cola: I wish I did have a program like this when I was younger. I kind of did have that at Upper Ground with Dr. Sullivan, but it wasn’t this in depth. I feel like if I had somebody at a younger age, which is why I picked 9 years-old for the start, I don’t know where I would be right now. I don’t look at the rapes and the bad things that happened to me as necessarily “bad” to the point that I can’t get over it. I just look at it as things that are stepping stones to push me in the right direction that I need to go. I love the mantra, “where the devil meets the bad, God meets the good,” it has become my mantra. It allows me to just turn those things into positive things, and that’s just been my way to do things.

Parlé: What was the inspiration in creating the event Girls Who Brunch Tour? When did the shift from being a writer to hosting an event take place?
Dr. Ni’Cola: In the film, I am at a book signing and I meet one little girl. But in real life, it was a book signing but there were multiple girls there. I met this group of girls and listening to them, listening to the things that they were going through and things they were doing, it inspired me. It made me remember that I used to be one of those kids. I never really openly talked about my rapes and things back then, but I was one of those little girls. When I left there that’s when I had a burning feeling in my gut that I needed to do something for those girls. Nobody else just those girls. So I went back there, I didn’t have a name for it, just yet, but they gave me everything I needed. So I knew that I had to do it because I was put in the position. It wasn’t supposed to take over my life the way it did because I was only planning to have three cities along with my regular book tours, but by the time we ended hosting the first one (in Charleston, South Carolina), I had nine cities confirmed.

Parlé: How did having those nine cities confirmed make you feel without knowing how Girls who Brunch Tour would take off?
Dr. Ni’Cola: Overwhelming but happy. I was honestly asking myself, “how am I going to do this?” Charleston, SC made it seem easy because they gave me money, they gave me resources even though they gave it to me after the fact. I still was able to receive money. I thought it was going to be easy like that in different cities but that wasn’t the case. It was hard. It’s still hard because I have twenty-three cities right now and only seven of them are fully funded. I am still trying to gain funding till this day, but funding isn’t just about the financial necessity. Either way you just want to keep going because of the greater good of those girls. Every time I host an event there’s always at least one “Keisha,” or a parent, or both that are in the room that keeps me pushing, keeps me going. I tell myself let me figure this out. I have a running joke I say all the time that is, “I quit”. I’ll tell everyone, “Y’all I quit. I’m about to go on Instagram live and tell them I can’t do this anymore.” I say it at a joke, but I am also super serious too. It was just one of those things where it was like how am I going to keep going. But when I look at that movie, I’m just like, “dang she was strong.” It’s just something you don’t think about it when you’re in it. 

Parlé: How do you keep afloat without having the financial support that you need?
Dr. Ni’Cola: Well, because we are on Lifetime we didn’t have a lot of budget for all the people apart of the movie. But I also wasn’t completely alone. My daughter helped host the events. I also did have some people, family members and friends that joined in and helped me from city to city, at first. The first year I had a lot of help at least for the event. My aunt would help, my cousin who used to be my event planner spent two hundred dollars worth of fresh flowers and I remember saying, “we can’t keep doing this.” We needed to find ways to get things done on the “low low,” but still be cute. I think the support of them being there made it easier. When it was time for everyone to leave because life was still “life’in,” it was a good thing because I fell apart. It was also during my cancer time but again it was a  beautiful thing because I needed to be able to tell others how to jump in. I had to learn how to “pre-prep.” I would make the bags for the girls at my house and I would ship about fifteen to twenty boxes. No one knew everything that was going on, how I was paying bills late and asking for extensions on my power bill. In the beginning, Diamond, she was a senior in high school but there came a point where her and my other daughter went to college at the same time. So I am figuring out everything, while also paying two tuitions and house bills. All I can say is God, God did that!

Parlé: Did you help in casting for the film?
Dr. Ni’Cola: No, but when she said Tatyana Ali, I asked, “Is she old enough, isn’t that Ashley?” But when we talked online together and we started doing the zoom calls I understood and could see how they picked her. We’ve been kindred spirits ever since.

Parlé: Tatyana Ali was extremely expressive and emotional in the role. Do you believe she captured your emotions well?
Dr. Ni’Cola: For sure, she captured it. It was my friends and family being emotional and reliving it as well. My cousin has just seen it for the first time and she was impressed. I remember her expressing to me, “Oh my gosh, she was just like you!” Being able to see how her facial expressions were, how she called all the girls “her babies,” how I’m always hugging them and giving them high fives, it was just the little things that she captured. People would watch it and see me. Even one of my community leaders in Charlotte said, “Oh I’ve seen you give those high five so many times!” She really captured who I was, I loved it. 

Parlé: Understanding the title of the movie being, Giving Hope. What is your definition of hope?
Dr. Ni’Cola: Hope is not giving up. Hope is seeing, believing in whoever your God is that you’re going to make it through. Hope is knowing that in the end of every tunnel there is a light. That was kind of my driving factor. I remember my manager saying, “I can’t keep staying here and we’re not getting paid for this. It’s just not economically possible.” I understood, and then we separated. Nobody understood it, I have had so many conversations with people asking why would I not put it to the side and come back to it. But there was something in my gut that was telling me that I needed to do it and I believe that was hope. The same hope that I want to give my girls.

Parlé: What can these girls experience or what is it that you want them to experience when coming to Girls Who Brunch Tour?
Dr. Ni’Cola: Oh number one, I want them to see that you are worth it because I am here. I always tell them, “I flew in.” Because they’ll read my biography and see that I was raped at fourteen multiple times, I had two kids by the time I was nineteen and when I was married I used to be abused. I let them know that the things I’ve been through and have done, I am open with these girls. You’ll see that sometimes the energy will go down because we turn the music off, but in the beginning it’s a mix and mingle and we have beauty lounges. When I get to my bio and who I am now we get a little serious, but I’m like “hey I just flew in from Atlanta (or wherever I was) , y’all see all this stuff. I did this last night, I need more energy.” Then I’ll walk off the stage and reintroduce myself. It’s  just meeting them where they are and letting them have fun. They get prizes for dances and prizes for following the social media page. They become excited because they’re great prizes. We even might have panel discussions & I’ll ask them to tell me three things that they’ve learned. Before, it would be like a couple of girls standing up, now it’s the whole class standing. Every time, I’ll wait for each and every one of them to tell me what they’ve learned.

Parlé: What are the different workshops that you do in Girls Who Brunch Tour?
Dr. Ni’Cola: It just all depends. Every city I do have a human trafficking workshop because it is a running issue today. Then I have hygiene, financial literacy, healthy relationships, social intelligence, STEM class. It’s all over the place but it depends per city what the speakers sign up for. We also get business panels as well. Last year we had the topic of, “You Matter.” So there will be questions of just asking the girls how do you matter, from your skin to colorism to bullying, how do you matter? Before I used to do anonymous questions and let them go around to collect them, but that took so long because they’ll want you to pull all the questions.  This way I have a few questions that I am asking. So I’ll ask, so what did you learn, tell something that someone said that was on the panel. This way they are learning how to remember, so just subliminally teaching them.


Dr. Ni’Cola Mitchell is the inspiration that these girls need to become the best version of themselves. With the help of the other producers and Lifetime Network, they have been able to create a masterpiece for the little girls who need it.

Giving Hope: A Ni’Cola Mitchell Story will premiered Sunday April 9th on Lifetime Network at 8pm CT/9PM ET.

More on her story can be found on her site.

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