The visits to Capitol Hill and the White House are part of the Black Women's Roundtable (BWR) National Women of Power Summit taking place March 12- 14 at the National Education Association's Headquarters, 1201 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC. Themed "Amplifying the Voices of Women and Girls in the Digital Age," keynote speakers will include Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook, the U.S. Ambassador-At-Large for International Religious Freedom, U. S. State Department and Susan L. Taylor, founder and president, National CARES Mentoring Movement and editor-in-chief emerita, Essence magazine.
"We're coming together to in the nation's capitol leverage our vote," said Melanie L. Campbell, convener Black Women's Roundtable and president of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation. "In 2012 Black women were the highest vote for President Obama and the margin of victory for many in the U. S. Congress. We want to tell our elected officials what we want - which includes ending sequestration now and becoming a functional government working in the interest of the people."
The first day of the conference is Public Policy Day so BWR delegates will visit legislators and attend a briefing with representatives from congress and the Federal Communications Commission. Invited congress members include: Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Rep.Yvette Clarke(D-NY), Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Rep.John Boehner(R-OH)and Rep. Donna M. Christensen (D- U.S. Virgin Islands). Later in the day the group will go to the White House for a Public Policy Briefing. Sharhonda Knott Lawson of Chicago Black Women's Roundtable will also speak on gun violence reform.
Friday, Civic Engagement and Global Empowerment Day, opens with faith and social justice prayer breakfast and roundtable discussion. Other roundtable topics to include: labor, education and social justice; voting rights and social justice; women and girls, health and wellness empowerment; business, education and economic empowerment; and global empowerment and sustainability.
Saturday March 16 is Community Day and will be held at Shiloh Baptist Church, 1500 9th Street, NW in DC from 11:00 am - 5:00 pm. Community Day family-oriented activities include a Love You More! Health & Wellness Walk, a Healthy, Wealthy and Wise Health Fair and Mini-Expo, girls tech camp, and group exercises. Community Day is free to the public.
Made possible by Verizon Foundation, National Education Association, United Healthcare Plans, American Postal Workers Union, National Urban League and other sponsors, the BWR National Summit will feature workshops on healthy living, equal pay, financial planning, mental health and entrepreneurship. Skills-building sessions will train organizers on utilizing new technology, mentoring, issue organizing and special enrichment sessions for girls & teens.
Diane Babineaux, International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers; Chanelle Hardy, National Urban League; Nicole Lee, TransAfrica Forum; Rev. Marcia Dyson, Women's Global Initiative; Meshelle Forman Shields, author and comedian; Lauren Darensbourgh, President's Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition; and Clayola Brown, A. Philip Randolph Institute, are among the diverse offering of panelists and speakers.
Black Women's Roundtable is an intergenerational network of The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to increasing civic engagement in Black and underserved communities. BWR brings together diverse women to motivate Black women to engage in all levels of civil society. BWR Summit registration is $40. For more information or to register visit www.ncbcp.org or call (202) 659-4929.