Carol Moseley Braun
Former US Senator
Former US Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa
Founder, CEO of Good Food Organics/Ambassador Organics Brand
Student delegations from 10 campuses attend CHOICES Campus Leadership Program's first women of color conference
The Feminist Majority Foundation's CHOICES Campus Leadership Program held its first women of color conference, From Campus to Congress: Women of Color Creating Change, September 21 at Bennett College for Women in Greensboro , NC .
Former U.S. Senator and Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun keynoted the one-day conference captivating the crowd with anecdotes about her time on Capitol Hill and conviction and courage it takes to step into a leadership position. She also discussed her current endeavor as CEO for Ambassador Organic Foods. Introducing Braun, Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation, spoke about the times they shared fighting to ratify the ERA and to secure women's rights and civil rights. Smeal also spoke to the closing plenary and fired up the conference participants to make change.
Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers also spoke to the closing plenary and a workshop on the history of women of color in feminism. Producer, director, writer, Aishah Shahidah Simmons, previewed her film "NO!" on Friday evening and led a workshop on Saturday on ending violence in communities of color.
Conference participants also strategized on how to create positive change through elected leadership development, grassroots organizing, and advocacy. Yvonne Johnson, Bennett College for Women Board of Trustee member, was the perfect example of such work being done as the first Black woman and current front runner for the coveted mayor's position in Greensboro .
Bennett was chosen for the conference because of its rich history for women of color. The conference participants were from 10 colleges and universities including five historically black institutions; University of Georgia, Spelman College, Morehouse College, Barton College, Wake Forest University, Winston Salem State University, University of North Carolina-Greensboro, Duke University, North Carolina A&T State University and Bennett College for Women.
Ms. magazine hosted a special pre-conference reception on Friday, September 21, 2007 with Dr. Julianne Malveaux, President of Bennett College for Women, members of the community as well as conference participants.
Though this was the Choices Campus Leadership Program's first conference geared toward women of color, it definitely won't be the last. "We would like to continue to invest our time and effort into empowering women of color to create change. Building visibility of women of color within the feminist movement is paramount," said Kassidy Johnson , FMF National Campus Organizer.