The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau is gearing up to salute Black women in March with a lineup of events featuring some of the top movers and shakers in the U.S. today.
Black Enterprise magazine is predicting a record-breaking attendance of close to 1,000 participants for its 10th Annual Women of Power Summit March 2-5, convening for the first time on Fort Lauderdale beach with the CVB as host/sponsor. This year's event features a high-powered roster of top-level African American women in global finance, leadership development and training, business management, and mental health as well as women who have played pioneering roles in sports corporations, the military, diversity, and education.
Panelists, keynote speakers and award honorees include Susan Taylor, activist and change agent and editor-in-chief emeritus of Essence magazine; iconic film star Pam Grier; award-winning NPR journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault; Spelman College president Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum; "Good Morning America" financial contributor Mellody Hobson; and crisis communication expert Judy Smith, inspiration for the lead character in the TV series "Scandal."
"Each year we look for a warm place - since most people come from the Northeast and cold weather - and Fort Lauderdale certainly has it. And, we were attracted by the amenities and beauty of the area," said Renau Daniels, Senior Director Multimedia and Events Sponsorship and Sales at Black Enterprise.
The CVB is also partnering with the City of Miami Gardens this year for the Women's Impact Conference on March 20 preceding the 10th annual Jazz in the Gardens concerts March 21-22. The conference focuses on issues facing women in the workforce and community and will be held at the Miramar Cultural Center.
The women's conferences are in line with the CVB's tourism and economic development initiative which promotes innovative partnership opportunities for numerous upscale multicultural groups who visit the area. Participants vacation like VIPs while also interacting with and impacting the local community.
When the National Urban League brings its national conference to Greater Fort Lauderdale area in July for the first time, the focus will be on setting a national agenda for areas of concern in the Black community as well as conducting a job fair, health screenings, and projects for local youth.
Black Enterprise magazine has become a media partner with the American Tennis Association, the country's oldest Black sports organization, which attracts players from around the country to its annual championships each August in Fort Lauderdale. The ATA has plans to make the Greater Fort Lauderdale area its permanent home and nurture the education of young male players through partnerships with Black Greek organizations and HBCUs.
Organizations such as the National Black Accountants, the Sickle Cell Conference and the Airport Minority Advisory Council (AMAC) continue to flock to the area. "We are always supportive of events and conferences that bring affluent, high-powered African Americans to the area who can see all the wonderful things we have to offer and keep coming back,' said Albert Tucker, Vice President for Multicultural Business Development for the CVB.