WASHINGTON, Oct. 31, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Black Women's Roundtable (BWR) Healthy, Wealthy and Wise National Empowerment Tour culminated their ten-city tour reaching out to women and girls last week in Riverdale, GA. The group is gearing up for the National Summit that will bring attendees from the individual cities to Washington, D.C. in 2012.
Melanie L. Campbell, president and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (The National Coalition) and convener of BWR said, "The goal of this national tour is to personally connect with smaller groups of women in underserved communities. We featured experts in technology, finance and other areas along with inspirational speakers like actress, singer and activist, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Susan L. Taylor of Cares Mentoring, and Clayola Brown, president of A. Philip Randolph Institute."
In Riverdale, after honoring women's rights leader, Rita Jackson Samuels, and Riverdale Mayor, Dr. Evelyn Wynn Dixon, actress/singer, Demetria McKinney, and actress/producer/businesswoman, Vivica A. Fox, shared inspirational stories about overcoming obstacles like single parenthood and joblessness.
Samuels and Mayor Dixon were honored for their woman's rights work. Samuels grew up poor but went on to work alongside Dr. Martin L. King, Jr., served at the White House under President Jimmy Carter, and founded Georgia Coalition for Black Women.
Mayor Dixon shared a riveting story of surviving a bitter divorce and homelessness as a single parent of five kids. "At the lowest point in my life I found the courage to pick myself up and refused to let adversity hold me back," said Dixon.
Fox, the co-star of "Kill Bill" addressed ageism against women in Hollywood. "My agents told me there aren't roles for Black women over 40. I asked, have you forgotten Set It Off with Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett?" Fox continued, "I regrouped and took hold of the 'business' side of 'show business' and began producing films, stage plays and TV shows. Don't let nobody tell you what you can't do."
McKinney, who plays Janine Payne on Tyler Perry's House of Payne and recently released her debut CD, "Get Yo Ish," told the audience she had to drop out of college to raise her son. "I got a job waiting tables and moved to the projects but I never gave up. Remember, the situation doesn't make you," said McKinney, who was accompanied by the former EVP of Tyler Perry Studio's and CEO of Bobbcat Films, Roger Bobb.
In addition to the Sista-2-Sister Talk, there was a mini-expo, panels on domestic violence, economic health, technology access and a fitness session. Physicians from the Centers for Disease Control addressed health issues and Pharmacists from Walgreens Pharmacy administered flu shots and donated vouchers for free flu shots.
Opening night of the three-day event included a BWR Listening session hosted by East Point Fire Chief Rosemary Cloud. On Sunday the women held a special tribute to BWR members Ruby Campbell-Pulliam and Adrienne Dennis.
"The Listening Session allowed women and girls to have a candid discussion about issues that impact their lives," said Helen Butler, executive director of the Georgia Coalition for the Peoples Agenda, the local coordinating partner for the event.
The tour is made possible by the W.F. Kellogg Foundation. BWR Atlanta sponsors include: AT&T, Verizon Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Black Women's Roundtable is an intergenerational women's network of The National Coalition, a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to increasing civic engagement in Black and underserved communities. For more information visit www.ncbcp.org.
CONTACT: Edrea Davis, +1-770-961-6200, firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE National Coalition on Black Civic Participation