Staff Report

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Each year, The Women of Color Empowerment Institute, Inc., a membership organization dedicated to enhancing and expanding leadership by women of color, hosts a weekend of activities all geared towards educating and motivating women of color to lead more effectively.

This year’s Sixth Annual Women of Color Empowerment Conference at the at the Westin Beach Resort in Fort Lauderdale kicked off on Friday, Sept. 9, with a reception and concert featuring national recording artists Miki Howard, Avery Sunshine and the Alan Paul Band.

Cathy Hughes, founder and chairperson of Radio One, Inc., the largest African-American owned and operated broadcasting company in the nation, served as the keynote speaker at the annual three-day retreat that connects more than 500 leaders throughout the state of Florida and beyond. “Each year the conference grows in its reach and impact. We were fortunate to have women attending the conference from 18 different states this year.”said WOCEI’s Founder, Burnadette Weeks, Esq.

Leaders turned out to hear words of power and wisdom from Hughes, Nielsen consumer information executive Rebecca Roussell, a panel of Florida news anchors and publishers and a host of other executives in various professional fields.

Saturday’s full-day of leadership sessions kicked off with “Hot Topics,” covering timely subjects such as 2016 Election Trends, Living Better beyond Medicine, and Leading from Where you Are.

Morning keynoter, Roussell, took the audience on an entertaining but substantive deep dive through the numbers constituting the collective economic power she calls “#BlackGirlConsumerMagic.”

Following a round of concurrent morning breakout sessions covering running for public office, corporate leadership and unconscious bias, Hughes took the stage as luncheon keynote speaker; leaving the crowd spell-bound with her incisive speech on “Relationship Capital: The Importance of Building Healthy Relationships for Women of Color.”

The luncheon was followed with afternoon breakout sessions on Living Life Out Loud, A Purse of Your Own and Venus and Mars: Leadership Differences.

Saturday concluded with a reception and graduation of the Women of Color Empowerment Institute, Inc.’s mentees, for which a new application process starts on Oct. 1.

Sunday consisted of a sisterhood breakfast featuring global television business expert Deborah Owens on the 7 Steps to 7 Figures and gospel recording artist Sherry Moses.

The Women of Color Empowement Conference is coordinated by a committee of community volunteers including: The Links, Incorporated (North Broward County, FL Chapter and Fort Lauderdale, FL Chapter); Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated (Broward County Alumnae Chapter) and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (Zeta Rho Omega Chapter).

For additional information about the WOCEI, visit www.National or contact Kathy at 954-768-9770.