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On the Frontline:
A Black Women’s Agenda! Virtual Webinar

Saturday, July 11, 2020  ●  1:00 pm – 6:00 pm CT

About #WeMatter

This day-long virtual event will consist of five (5) webinars headlined by a panel of powerful Black Women and Men, addressing the equity that is absent for African Americans in the areas of health/mental health, criminal justice, faith, business/entrepreneurship, education, politics, social justice….ironically during this new era of corporate diversity, inclusion and equality.  Yet we continue to cry out……. WE MATTER!

Part 1

The Black Church

The black church has been central in helping redeem the soul of America. It continues today to play that role. If we’re going to have a society where every American regardless of race, gender, sexuality, country of origin, economic status, etc. is guaranteed certain freedoms of our constitution, the black church has to be the source to redeem the soul of America, ” as expressed by Rev. Dr. Delman Coates, Senior Pastor of Mt. Ennon Baptist Church in Clinton, MD.  In our communities, the Black Church is the place where mobilization begins, where you will find all segments of the Black community and, therefore, we must be counted!


  • Rev. Janette Wilson, PUSH – Moderator
  • Dr. Janice Jackson, Chicago Public Schools
  • Kimberlie Jackson – CP2, LLC
  • Dorothy A. Brown, Clerk of the Circuit Court
  • Rev. James T. Meeks, Salem Baptist Church
  • Deputy Chief Ernest Cato, Chicago Police Department
  • James Gilliam, Fifth Third Bank
  • David Sanders, President, Malcolm X College
  • Pastor Michael Eaddy, The People’s Community Development Association, Inc.
  • Dr. David Daniels, McCormick Theological Seminary

Password: WeMatter2020

Part 2

Health Disparities & Mental Health

The panelist will shed light on the health disparities in the African American community, i.e., Obesity, High Blood Pressure, Heart Disease, Diabetes, and Mental Health, just to name a few. The discussion will also bring attention of acquiring the necessary economic resources so the African American community can have access to proper healthcare and treatment.

Special Guest

Tina Lifford, Hollywood Actress


  • Debra Wesley, Sinai Health System – Moderator
  • Dr. Airica Steed, EVP and Chief Operating Officer, Sinai Health System
  • Denise Walker, Executive Director/Sinai Medical Group Operations
  • Dr. Girija Kumar, Internal Medicine, Sinai Health System

Password: WeMatter2020

Part 3

The Importance of the
2020 Census

So much is at stake if we do not secure an accurate count of Illinois residents through the 2020 Census, i.e., dollars would be lost in federal programs and our representation in Congress will be drastically affected, for starters.  A dynamic panel of experts on the subject will drill down to what is needed to get the “hard to count” minorities to take action.


  • Donna Smith Bellinger, DS Bellinger Consulting, LLC – Moderator
  • President Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Board of Commissioners
  • Kimberly A. Lightford, Illinois State Senator
  • Deborah Williams, Counting on Chicago Coalition
  • Ald. Stephanie Coleman, 16th Ward

Password: WeMatter2020

Part 4

Small Business and Entrepreneurship

As has been reported, Black-owned businesses have been leading the charge with the number of businesses that startup annually.  Those businesses and entrepreneurs are now in dire straits as we navigate these unprecedented times with the arrival of COVID-19.  While loans and grants are available for small business relief, we continually find ourselves at the end of the receiving line.  We will tackle those realities and solutions post-coronavirus during this panel discussion.


  • Avis Lavelle, Business Leadership
    Council – Moderator
  • Robert Johnson, Chief Economic Inclusion Officer, YWCA
  • Melissa Conyears-Ervin, Chicago City Treasurer
  • Michele Hoskins, Michele Foods, Inc.
  • Charmaine Rickette, Uncle Remus USA
  • Angelique Warner, GoGoVie
  • Delisher Bankhole, My Girlfriends Photobooth

Password: WeMatter2020

Part 5

Criminal Justice, Social Justice and Our Youth


The treatment of African Americans in our criminal justice system is unfair and criminal, at best.  In the midst of the George Floyd tragedy, national surveys continually show the difference between how Blacks and Whites fare in the system that is supposed to protect us all.  Powerhouse speakers who are on the frontline of this issue will discuss where we are in this matter affecting so many African Americans in this country.

  • Wynona Redmond, Moderator, Wyn-Win  Communications and President Emeritus of the National Black Public Relations Society
  • Karen Freeman-Wilson, Chicago Urban League
  • Debra Vines, The Answer Inc.
  • Ashley Munson, Juneteenth March Organizer & Activist
  • CK Hoffler, Civil Rights Attorney
  • Sharon Grant Cook Country Juvenile Temporary Detention Center Foundation

Password: WeMatter2020

Add your name to the #WeMatter email list to receive most recent updates and registration opportunities for this webinar series.

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Sponsored by

Make Your Voice Count


Dear BWe family,

There aren’t enough words to express my gratitude for the support and encouragement shown by so many throughout this HUGE undertaking that we affectionately call “BWe NEXT Atlanta!”

Thank you to our sponsors (especially Chase Bank, our 2022 Title Sponsor), those small business exhibitors, musical artists, speakers & panelists, my phenomenal team and every single attendee for breathing life into our celebration of the Black woman in all three cities! Because of you, her legacy indeed continues!

I stole a few moments here and there to check out the vendors, pop in on panel discussions and catch some entertainment on the main stage. All I could say was, “WOW! WE DID THAT!”

There’s no doubt that my sister is smiling down on our earnest efforts that manifested into excellent execution. Ruby, we did it!

Again, please accept my heartfelt thanks….and Happy New Year!

Submitted with love,

Creator and Executive Producer
Black Women’s Expo