‘Sisters Empowering Sisters’ conference to focus on enhancing lives of young women through education, mentoring
‘Sisters Empowering Sisters’ conference to focus on enhancing lives of young women through education, mentoringMarch 15, 2006Cynthia J. Moritzcjmoritz@syr.edu
“Sisters Empowering Sisters,” a conference for young women between the ages of 13 and 18, will explore how education and mentoring can inspire and empower young women in underserved populations. The two-day program includes panel discussions and workshops on self-esteem, relationship violence prevention and STD/HIV/AIDS awareness. About a hundred female students of color from the Syracuse City School District and local community centers have been invited to attend the conference, which takes place March 24-25 on the Syracuse University campus.
The conference is a collaborative venture among the Image Initiative–a consortium of professional women of color from diverse fields–and a number of SU and local community organizations. Principal sponsors are the Syracuse City School District, the SU Exploring the Soul of Syracuse Initiative and SU’s Office of Multicultural Affairs.
According to Nicole Jones, conference chair and founder of the Image Initiative, the goal of the conference is to enhance the lives of young women of color by instilling pride through educational initiatives and mentoring. “Most major initiatives, funding and programming locally are provided to young men,” says Jones. “While there isn’t anything inherently wrong with this, most young women are left to fend for themselves.”
“The Sisters Empowering Sisters Youth Conference is a way to let young women of color in Syracuse know that we love them and care about them,” says conference co-chair Tiffany C. Rush.
The conference keynote speaker is writer, poet and hip-hop artist Akua Goodrich, founder of My Sista’s Keeper–an organization dedicated to helping women empower each other–and co-founder of Power Unit for Motivating Youth (PUMY). The conference also includes the following speakers/topics:
- Yasmin Shiraz, an empowerment speaker, entertainment journalist, author and entrepreneur, who will facilitate a workshop on self-esteem and entrepreneurship;
- Shanterra McBride, relationship violence consultant, and Lisa Earle and Janice Hill, both of Vera House, who will present workshops on empowering relationships;
- Maria Davis, entertainment industry promoter and professional;
- Working Wonders founder Evelyn Valentino;
- Project It Takes A Village founder Joy Mutare;
- Sylvia Romero, of Latinas Promoviendo Comunidad/Lambda Pi Chi Sorority, Inc.;
- and Luz Encarnacion of Planned Parenthood, who will facilitate a workshop on teen pregnancy.
Additional workshops include entrepreneurship, career choices and health and fitness.
The conference convenes on Friday, March 24, from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Hillel Center on the SU campus. Saturday’s events will take place in Rooms 304 A, B and C in SU’s Hildegarde and J. Myer Schine Student Center from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Students will be transported by bus from local area high schools on Friday and three local community center locations on Saturday.