Black Women’s Empowerment Conference

Public Advocate Letitia James is expected to deliver one of the keynote addresses.
Attorney GeneralLetitia James.

As part of Women’s History Month celebrations, the Caribbean Research Center (CRC) at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College will on March 21 host its Fourth Annual Black Women’s Empowerment Conference.

The all-day conference, which will be held under the theme, “Preserving the Black Family of New York City,” takes place in the college’s S Building on Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn.

The event honors the legacy of late U.S. Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, whose parents were from Barbados and Guyana, and whose husband was Jamaican.

“This is our fourth year in looking at issues that impact Black women in Brooklyn, especially Central Brooklyn, especially at a time when so many turbulent issues are affecting our community, such as immigration,” Dr. Una S.T. Clarke, a former City Councilwoman who chairs the center’s Advisory Board, told Caribbean Life.

Clarke will be among a host of distinguished speakers at the conference that, besides the CRC, is sponsored by Black Women for Fairness, Justice & Equity; Health First; Emblem Health; the School Construction Authority; and the National Association of University Women.

Dr. George Irish, co-founder and CRC chair Center, who is also dean in the School of Liberal Arts and Education at Medgar Evers College, will serve as Master of Ceremonies.

Dr. Augustine Okereke, provost at Medgar Evers College, and Clarke will deliver opening remarks.

New York City Public Advocate Letitia James and City Council Speaker Melissa Marks will also deliver the morning’s keynote addresses.

A forum on Sustainable Development, Economic Development and Affordable Housing will be co-moderated by Dr. JoAnne Rolle, dean of Medgar Evers College’s School of Business, and Dr. Waldaba Stewart, a CRC co-founder and professor at Medgar Evers College.

Panelists at this forum include Alicia Glen, Deputy Mayor, Housing and Economic Development; City Councilman Jumaane Williams, chair of the Council’s Housing Committee; Tracey Capers, executive vice president, Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation; Councilman Robert Cornegy, chair, City Council Small Business Committee; and Attorney Tremaine Wright, chairwoman of Community Board 3.

Other forum topics comprise: Immigration Reform, Civic Engagement and Census 2020; Black Women: Criminal Justice, Domestic Violence, Health and Mental Health; The UPK to College Pipeline: and Employment and Economic Empowerment.

Luncheon keynote speakers include Dr. Rudolph Crew, president of Medgar Evers College; US Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke; and New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Travis Bassett.

New York City First Lady Chirlaine McCray and Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson will be among other panelists.

U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District and nominee for U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina will deliver closing remarks.

Newly-elected Haitian American Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bischotte and Assemblywoman Latrice Walker, who was also recently elected, will be honored at a reception following the event.

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