BET Networks’ Leading Women Defined summit may be over, but the conference message of Power, Presence and Possibilities will live on.
The conference, which is the brainchild of CEO Debra Lee, brought together approximately 130 influential ladies—from sports, entertainment, politics, media, business and more—for a series of workshop sessions meant to enrich and empower the lives of African-American women.
"I was thrilled with this year’s Leading Women Defined summit!” Lee said in a statement. “We created Leading Women Defined because it was the start of a new decade and a new opportunity to get powerful Black women together and discuss issues that are important to us. We had such amazing women participate this year, and [BET Networks looks] forward to continuing our focus on health, education and how we can impact the lives of women and girls in our community.”
Notable guests at the March 15 to 17 event included Mara Brock Akil, executive producer and creator of The Game, and actress Wendy Raquel Robinson, also of The Game, who hosted a “speed careering” program with local students; actress Tatyana Ali, who moderated a session on the future of activism; actress Tichina Arnold, who introduced a session on education reform and was on the Black Girls Rock: Positively! panel that also included Nicole Ari Parker, Tracee Ellis Ross and the group’s founder, Beverly Bond.
Black men weren’t totally left out in the cold, as television personality Star Jones hosted an all-male session on “The Power of a Black Woman.” Panelists for that session included actor Boris Kodjoe, National Urban League President Marc Morial and author Michael Eric Dyson.