BrownGirl Village kicked off their 2017 national tour this past Saturday at the Genesis Convention Center in Gary, Indiana. Hosted by Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson and the City of Gary, 200 girls participated in a day-long highly-anticipated conference for girls. The conference aimed to expose girls who attended, to new opportunities and to empower the girls to look beyond their present situations.
BrownGirl Village places emphasis on undeserved girls between the ages of 12-18 and helps these girls realize that anything is possible with hard work, dedication and determination. The organization’s mission is to develop self-esteem and to empower girls to serve, innovate and to lead.
Featured speakers included accomplished stage, film and television actor and author Hill Harper, Emmy award-winning journalist and news anchor Cheryl Burton of ABC 7 News-Chicago, along with Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, former Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, “Girl Power Hour” radio host and event MC Maria Wells, WWE wrestler Queen Sharmell, Arcelor Mittal Account Manager Paulina Johnson, digital marketer Alicia Glenn, Strategic Heights media partner Michelle Huff Elliott, author Lexi P., NIPSCO President Violet Sistovaris, advocate Ashly Day, financial literacy expert Dakita L. Jones, fitness expert Niki Wood, Green Urbanism Director Brenda Scott Henry, Walgreens Regional Director Jada Bush, and chef Pamela Staples-Wood.
“I am overwhelmed by the success of the inaugural event. I have been amazed at the number of participants and parents who have expressed how positive the experience was for them. We have the opportunity to grow this event in Gary and take it to other places. There is also an opportunity to build on our work with the My Brothers Keeper initiative to create a similar experience for our young men,” said Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson.
The retreat included a full day of exciting interactive educational workshops and sessions, celebrity speakers, beauty tips, health and fitness and fun activities.
Retreat topics included: Women in Politics, the Beauty of Business, The Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media, Naturally & Authentically You, Fit BrownGirl, The Right Fork, Youth Financial Literacy, BrownGirls Love Science and BrownGirls Count Money. The girls participated in a fun Zumba session, “Strut Your Stuff” runway walk-off and more.
“Our inaugural BrownGirl Village Gary was very empowering and inspiring to all the brown girls who attended. We are eager to continue this tour and to encourage brown girls across the United States,” says BrownGirl Village Founder Sharon Page.
BrownGirl Village Gary sponsors were Walgreens Boots Alliance, NIPSCO, Gary Stormwater District, Centier Bank, Haywood Fleming & Associates, Dell Computers, Boyd Construction, and Legacy Foundation.