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Congresswoman Maxine Waters to keynote Phenomenal Woman Awards

One of the most powerful women in American politics today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), will keynote the Phenomenal Woman Awards Gala on Thursday, April 6. The event is the kickoff to The Black Women’s Expo (BWE), one of Chicago’s most anticipated annual experiential events, and will be held at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 E. Wacker Dr., in the Crystal Ballroom beginning at 6:00 p.m. It is also when 10 outstanding Chicago area women whose excellence in a variety of fields will be honored.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Congresswoman Waters of California is considered by many to be one of the most powerful women in American politics today. She has gained a reputation as a fearless and outspoken advocate for women, children, people of color and the poor. First elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1990, Congresswoman Waters represents a large swath of South Central Los Angeles. She serves as the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Financial Services, and is an integral member of Congressional Democratic Leadership. Congresswoman Waters serves as a member of the Steering & Policy Committee, and is also a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and member and past chair of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).

The 2017 Phenomenal Woman honorees are: MBIB Determination is Power Award Jerline Lambert, Lambert’s Realty; MBIB Fearless Leader AwardJolinda Wade, New Creation Binding & Loosing Ministries; MBIB Catalyst AwardDiane Latiker,Kids Off The Block; MBIB Inspire the Youth AwardCosette Yisrael, LUV Institute; MBIB Knowledge is Power Award Lisa Rollins, UNCF; My Beautiful is Igniting Change for Greatness AwardBarbara Bates, The Barbara Bates Foundation; Woman of Valor AwardLori E. Lightfoot, President, Chicago Police Board; MBIB Luminary AwardRona Fourte, Walgreens; Vanguard of Health Award, Debra Vines, The Answer, Inc.; Launa T. Thompson Spirit Award Toi Salter, Salter Financial Management.

“The Phenomenal Woman Awards allow us to showcase women in our community who are leading in a manner that makes us all proud,” says Merry Green, founder of the event. “The Black Women’s Expo is about celebrating the strength, savvy and significance of African American women.” We are particularly excited to have My Black is Beautiful serve as a presenting sponsor of this year’s Expo, and join us at the Phenomenal Woman Awards.”

“Since its inception a decade ago, My Black is Beautiful has provided a powerful platform for African American women to ignite change within their communities and work to redefine beauty standards,” says Verna Coleman-Hagler, Brand Manager of My Black Is Beautiful. “We’re honored to support this special evening and shine a deserving spotlight on each of the award recipients whose achievements are leaving an indelible mark on our society.”

The Black Women’s Expo offers African American women an opportunity to get informed, empowered and enlightened, while discovering the latest trends and amazing new products and services specifically created for them celebrates its 23rd anniversary in Chicago April 7-9 at McCormick Place. The Black Wo- men’s Expo has continued to grow in Chicago, and is now the longest running exposition of its kind. Over 30,000 people, from 14 surrounding states, are expected to attend the expo during its three-day run at the McCormick Place Convention Center. For the second year in a row the BWe will conduct a national tour with stops in Washington, D.C. and Atlanta, Georgia. The rich cultural experience, while targeted to women, has elements for men, families and children.

The BWE offers informative seminars and panel discussions presented by notable local and national speakers and lecturers, educational exhibits and corporate displays, and rousing entertainment. Historically, the standing-room only seminars have addressed such issues as health and wellness, racial equality, hair and beauty, travel, career advancement, business/entrepreneurship, the welfare of our children and much more.

BWE’s seminars and workshops will be far-ranging and engaging, featuring topics that impact women’s daily lives. Additionally, there will be a Town Hall Meeting with key local and state political leaders, and a Teen Summit addressing issues pertinent to African American youth.

BWe will again host themed pavilions including: The Literary Café, which showcases African American authors and booksellers; the Natural Hair Pavilion, featuring products specifically for natural hair; the Health & Wellness pavilion, where local medical institutions provide much-needed health information and screenings; the Kidz Korner, an exciting space for young people with interactive games, exercise and fun activities; an Art Pavilion curated by noted artist Jonathon Romain. New this year, BWe will host a Culinary Pavilion, where local and national chefs will showcase their cuisine, and a Networking Lounge.

The Black Women’s Expo is brought to you by Procter & Gamble’s My Black is Beautiful in partnership with Walgreens, and sponsors include State Farm, Chevrolet, United Airlines, ABC 7 Chicago, General Motors, Luster Products, Black McDonald’s Operators Association (BMOA), American Family Insurance, BMO Harris and Colgate. Media sponsors include The Chicago Defender and the Chicago Crusader.

Expo hours are Friday, April 7 from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; Saturday, April 8, from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; and Sunday, April 9 from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Ticket prices are $20 for adults, $6 for children, and $5 for the BWe Teen Summit with promo code; weekend passes are available for $45. Tickets for The Black Women’s Expo can be purchased online at www. Half-priced, advanced adult tickets go on sale at participating Walgreens stores March 7. For information or tickets for the Phenomenal Woman Awards Reception, call 312-454-6100.

Follow The Black Women’s Expo on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram using the hashtag #SheMatters.

About My Black is Beautiful

My Black is Beautiful is a community-building program consisting of over 2.6 million online community members, created to help positively change the conversation around black beauty by addressing the societal and cultural stigmas associated with self-image. Formed at Procter & Gamble in 2006 by a group of visionary women, MBIB was designed to spark a broader dialogue about Black beauty. Their mission was to encourage Black women everywhere. Follow My Black is Beautiful on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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