On May 5th & 6th, 2018 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, more than 5,000 women gathered for the 2nd Annual 2018 United State of Women Summit. The energy in the building was beyond excitement as GenXers to Baby Boomers and beyond, these ladies were 'lit' with anticipation of what was to come. The line-up of speakers were impeccable and included Forever First Lady Michelle Obama, Tracee Ellis Ross, Senator Kamala Harris, #MeToo Founder Tarana Burke, Olympic Medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad, Activist and Actor Yara Shahidi, Comedian/Inscure AMANDA SEALES and many many more.
This is the first summit I've ever attended where I witnessed in true form a genuine love, passion, solidarity, interest and trust between women whose only agenda was to lift up the person to the right, left, in front or behind them. The conversations were not just in passing, but rather women took time to look one another in their eyes and listen, respond and celebrate. That's rare!
In 2016, the feminist organization United State of Women staged its first summit in Washington, D.C. Held in partnership with the White House Council on Women and Girls and featuring Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey. Again at that time the summit brought together 5,000 women, girls and allies to discuss issues ranging from entrepreneurship to violence against women. This summit happens every other year and I can hardly wait for #USOW2020.
Here are just a few takeaway statements that resonate with me to this day:
"If our vote wasn't important, people would not be trying to take it away from us. If our voices didn't matter, you would be trying to silence people like us. The systems are not broken, but rather they were designed to do exactly what they are doing." Brittany Packnett
"Be gentle with yourself and take care of yourself. The work will always be here to be done." Tanara Burke, #MeToo
"Women know how to speak truth and they've had to do it for a long time." #ElectionsMatter. Senator Kamala Harris