#IAmPowerRising Unites Black Women Across in the Country in Solidarity

#IAmPowerRising Unites Black Women Across in the Country in Solidarity


Born from feelings of despair and dismay following the election of Donald Trump, the idea for the Power Rising summit began taking shape in the spring of 2017. After taking time to reflect and recover from one of the most contentious election cycles in our nation’s history, Rev. Leah Daughtry, who’d served as CEO of the 2008 and 2016 Democratic National Conventions, started to do what she knows best  – organize. One of the original ‘Colored Girls,’ Daughtry reached out to friends and colleagues, Minyon Moore, Yolanda Carraway, Donna Brazile, as well as heads of organizations and business leaders to put her idea to action.

The following July in a basement office for the National Council of Negro Women – the only building owned by African Americans on Pennsylvania Avenue – their first planning meeting took shape. What emerged was the blueprint for Power Rising: Building an Agenda for Black Women, a four-day immersive summit of sisterhood and solidarity hosted in Atlanta, Georgia.

 Through a combination of plenary sessions, workshops, and mealtime-exchanges, participants were encouraged to work collaboratively to advance the interests of Black women across five pillars: business and economic empowerment, culture and community, education and innovation, health and wellness, and political empowerment.

More than 900 registrants from 33 states and the Virgin Islands converged upon The Westin Peachtree Plaza, each seeking an opportunity to connect with their kindred. As the inaugural convening of the summit, no one entirely knew what to expect of Power Rising. What took shape, however, was an emotional outpouring of support and solidarity, with new alliances being formed and greater empathy being expressed between ‘sisters’ of all shades, shape, economic situation, geographic location, and sexual orientation and representation.

The sheer volume of perspectives shared during the conference reflected the depth and breadth of the women taking part in the summit. Pastor Traci Blackmon helped set the stage for the convening with her opening remarks/invocation on the first full day of the summit when she said “we always talk about speaking truth to power, but the truth is, we are the power.” Her comments were echoed by speakers throughout the event, including the legendary Cicely Tyson.

Beyond working together to frame an agenda that Black women could support across multiple fronts, participants were encouraged to think about the one thing they could do to help improve themselves and make Black communities better.

Of the multitude of topics addressed across more than forty-five general, plenary, workshops, and issues sessions, one thing is clear: the era of Black women is upon us, and theirs is Power Rising!

To view highlights from the summit visit the Power Rising Facebook or Instagram pages, or follow #IAmPowerRising and #PowerRising18 on Twitter.