It got no realer over the span of Feb. 28–March 3, 2019, in Las Vegas, Nevada at the host hotel, ironically called the Mirage. Some 1,500 were in attendance for year 14 of The Women of Power Summit, the nation’s No. 1 executive development and leadership conference for women of color. The affair annually attracts upward of 1,200 corporate executives, professionals, businesswomen and a few students from across the country and appears to be projecting upward in terms of prestige and popularity. The three immersive days of executive development sessions and activities designed to train, equip and encourage industry leadership, career strategies, and effective peak-performance and work-life balance techniques were augmented with the invaluable opportunities to network. That alone should allure future registrants but with the possibility of a permanent city that provides a level of excitement along with Women of Power Legacy awards, the highest honor of achievement presented by the organization, the ingredients are now in place to gain additional notoriety and impact. Prior to the beginning of the festivities, Caroline Clarke, chief brand officer, Women of Power, affirmed, “For 14 years, the Women of Power Summit has been at the forefront of beating that drum for that change by arming women of color with the hard skills, proven strategies, vital connections, and internal fortitude to not only level up themselves, but to help advance and accelerate each others’ careers. This year, in Vegas for the first time, we’ve aligned with tremendous corporate partners to create a program—an experience—that will transform the life, the path, the purpose of every woman it touches. Come to Vegas, and bet on that!”
Phyllis A. James, chief diversity and corporate responsibility officer at MGM Resorts International, welcomed the conference attendees to the city of Vegas. The first big highlight of the weekend was to begin as the honorees of the 2019 Women of Power Summit Legacy Awards Gala, hosted by PepsiCo, were to be celebrated. The following outstanding achievers this year were Cynthia Marshall, Alice Walker, Chaka Khan and Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, recipient of the Barbara Graves award.
That would on normal circumstances be the gem of the weekend, but a month after announcing the official launch of her presidential campaign, Sen. Kamala Harris joined the high-ranking, powerful speaker corps that included Stacey Abrams, Valerie Jarrett, Lisa Wardell, Tracey Travis, Cynthia Marshall, Carolynn Johnson and Symone Sanders. In a conversation with Star Jones, entitled “The Truths We Hold,” Harris revealed a glimpse into her personality, prior laurels and political stances as she embarks into the biggest race of her storied career.
Being in the room, it became apparent that her political agenda took a back burner to her aspirations. Her accomplishments thus far and future journey provided the ultimate inspiration, moving some attendees to tears. In one of the messages that solidified her bond with the room Harris offered, “You will find many times in your life that you will be the only that looks like you in a room. I urge all of you to look around this room, hold this image to your heart and remember that when you’re seemingly alone in that room, we’re all there with you supporting and cheering you on.”
And away we go!!!
Over and out. Holla next week. Til then, enjoy the nightlife.