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Kamala Harris, Stacy Abrams to speak at New Orleans summit

‘Power Rising’ for Black women

OW Staff Writer | 2/14/2019, midnight

In building on success of the 2018 Power Rising Summit, Black women will reconvene in New Orleans, LA from Feb. 22-24 to discuss the myriad of issues affecting the African American community.

Last year’s summit brought together Black women across ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, age, political affiliation, socio-economic status, and gender experience. This year’s summit comes on the heels of a transformative election in which Black women led the effort to elect the most diverse and female Congress in our nation’s history with more than 20 Black women serving in Congress for the first time. The summit is excited to announce two inspiring speakers this year, women who have been leading efforts to improve the lives of Black women and all women in this country, California Sen. Kamala Harris and former Georgia Minority Leader and gubernatorial candidate Stacy Abrams.

The 2019 Power Rising Summit will also feature speakers across various industries including author, educator, and commentator, Melissa Harris-Perry, Congressional Black Caucus Chairperson Rep Karen Bass (CA-37), Beverly E. Smith, president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Linda Goler Blount, president & CEO of Black Women’s Health Imperative, and Rev. Traci Blackmon, executive minister of justice and local church ministries with the United Church of Christ.

Power Rising 2019 will again assemble to provide a safe space for a cross-section of Black women to have meaningful and challenging conversations, connect on critical issues, and commit to future collective work. In attendance will be Black women representing 35 states including Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Washington, DC, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia,Washington state, and West Virginia.

During the summit, Black women and girls will take part in more 50 workshops and panel discussions bolstered by Power Rising’s five pillars of activism and engagement: Culture, Community and Society; Business and Economic Empowerment; Education, Technology, and Innovation; Health & Wellness; and Political Empowerment. The Summit will also include timely and necessary conversations around #MeToo and sexual assault of Black women and girls.

While Black women continue to excel in many areas of life including politics, business and entrepreneurship, academia and entertainment and media, there remain a host of racial barriers that impact Black women’s ability to succeed.

Regardless of education and income level, Black women are reportedly four times more likely than White women to die in childbirth. Despite being enrolled in college at a higher rate than any other group, Black women are still paid 61 cents for every dollar paid to White men.

The 2019 Power Rising Summit will celebrate the gains Black women have made from politics to the C-Suite, while also strategizing on how to leverage this power to create equity that recognizes the unique challenges facing Black women.

“In the midst of this moment of urgency and social and political unrest, we have once again been called forward to unite as Black women not only to leverage our collective wisdom to develop actionable avenues for ourselves, our communities, and our futures but also to lift one another up in inspiration, joy, and sisterhood, said Rev. Leah Daughtry, an official with Power Rising.

“Last year we brought together over 1,000 women from all walks of life. From grassroots activists to political neophytes to stay-at-home moms to elected leaders, to CEOs and entertainers, we know of no other conference that equalizes everyone. This year we aim to expand that experience to even more participants. Our hope is that every woman walks away with newfound contacts and friendships, a renewed sense of hope, and a plan to take action back home in their own communities.”