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[OPINION]: This Male Millennial Wants You To Know: Women Harass Men, Too

Women-and even some men-are going public, almost daily, accusing men of sexual misconduct within the workplace. Rarely do we hear stories of men being sexually harassed by women at work, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

In the midst of several disturbing allegations of sexual misconduct coming out in the news recently, I am reminded of my own experience and the times when I felt comments or behavior from a female co-worker at my former place of employment were not OK.


(Image: iStock/XiXinXing)

Workplace Double Standards?

Double standards in the workplace are extremely taboo and rarely discussed. Comments made in the same context between a man and woman can be taken differently.

I recall one time at my former job when a female co-worker asked me to assist her with one of the new programs the company used. I stopped by her desk to help her with the issue and when I leaned in to use her keyboard, she told me, "You smell really good."

Honestly, maybe she just liked the cologne I was wearing but if I said the same in the same situation would it be appropriate? Can I tell a woman, "You smell good," while we are working? If she reported that comment to human resources, would HR brush it off or would I find myself in trouble?

Crossing the Line

Another situation with the same co-worker happened when I wore a new pair of slim-fitting khakis to work. I was in the cafeteria getting coffee as she was sat with a group of other women from her department. She said "New pants? They look good on you."

The entire table snickered. I remember at that exact moment I felt as though I were on display. I felt cheapened.

Again, let's flip the situation. If I said to her, "That dress looks good on you," how would she have taken the comment?

The last and final straw happened a few weeks later when this co-worker touched my arm and asked, "Have you been working out?"

Why was she touching me at all?

The first two situations mentioned-one can argue whether they were inappropriate or not-but not this. I knew if I had been the one to touch her body I would be unemployed.

There is an old saying that what you allow is what will continue. I did not want to get this woman fired or make a whole fiasco about it so I wrote her a direct email. I listed the three times she made me feel uncomfortable and asked her to please keep our relationship professional. She later apologized to me and only talked to me about work the rest of the time I was at that company.

Having been subject to harassment and now witnessing the barrage of sexual harassment stories dominating the news forces me to take accountability from another angle. That is that often men are more receptive to these comments, especially if it is coming from someone they find attractive. Nine times out of 10 we deem it as harmless flirting. But the point is that no matter your gender, there is a very thin line between being friendly/having an innocent conversation, and making your co-worker feel harassed or uncomfortable.



via: http://www.blackenterprise.com/career/male-millennial-wants-know-women-harass-men

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Women of Color Small Business Owners: Access to Birth Control Is Vital To Our Success

Maintaining access to birth control is vital to their continued success; women small usiness owners are making it known they support continued coverage of a federal rule that guaranteed free contraception co-pay to more than 62 million women.

Yet that coverage is being slashed with a recent decision by the Trump administration that eliminated birth control coverage offered under President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. With Trump's repeal, public and private employers to cite religious or moral objections to refuse birth control via their insurance plans. Female employees may now have to spend their own money to cover some or all contraceptive costs.


(Image: iStock/julief514)
Supporters say the preventive health benefit saved women $1.4 billion on birth control in its the first year of existence.


New Poll Reflects Women Small Business Owners' Views on Mandate Repeal

A new poll by the advocacy group Small Business Majority surveyed 507 female entrepreneurs and discovered that 56% said that access to birth control and the ability to decide if and when to have children allowed them to advance in their careers and start their businesses. The poll, which included oversamples of African American and Latina small business owners, found reproductive healthcare is especially important to women entrepreneurs.

With the move by the Trump administration to roll back this requirement, the Small Business Majority contends that it's important to understand the perspective of one of the most important, and fastest growing, segments of the nation's economy: women small business owners.


Women-Owned Businesses Pump $1.35 Trillion into Economy

Indeed, the latest U.S. Census data shows there are 8.9 million women-owned businesses contributing $1.35 trillion in sales in America.  The data provides strong evidence that those businesses make a major contribution to the nation's economy.

Plus, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is suing the Trump administration over new rules the Department of Health and Human Services announced that ease the ACA requirement that employers and insurers provide contraception coverage, according to CBS News.

"The Trump administration is forcing women to pay for their boss's religious beliefs," ACLU senior staff attorney Brigitte Amiri stated. "We're filing this lawsuit because the federal government cannot authorize discrimination against women in the name of religion or otherwise."


Important for Economic Well-Being and Stability

The survey showed that 79% of female business owners concur that access to reproductive healthcare is important for women's economic well-being and stability. Another 79% agree we need to ensure all women have access to affordable, reproductive healthcare as a basic economic issue for our families.

Fifty-six percent of women small business owners admit that their ability to access birth control and to decide if and when to have children allowed them to advance in their careers and start their own business, and 52% agree this access impacts their ability to grow their business.


via: http://www.blackenterprise.com/small-business/poll-women-smalll-business-owners-say-access-to-birth-control-vital-to-their-success-despite-white-house-ruling-to-end-coverage

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Steve Bannon Lectures Black Businesses on 'Economic Nationalism'
Steve Bannon

Steve Bannon, the former chief strategist to President Donald Trump, encouraged a group of Southern black business leaders to demand better on Friday.

Bannon made the comments while speaking at a private round-table event in Charleston, South Carolina, which was sponsored by the South Carolina African American Chamber of Commerce, a group that strives to empower black entrepreneurs. He was joined by dozens of black business leaders from across North and South Carolina and Georgia. While there, Bannon said he understands the struggle that African American business owners might face when it comes to securing capital and scaling up.

(Steve Bannon | Image: Flickr/Michael Vadon)

"Minority entrepreneurs are the biggest customers of community banks," he said, according to The Associated Press. "And you know why they didn't get recapitalized? Because nobody cares. When it comes time to make the deals, you're not in the room."

Bannon, who has been accused of making anti-Semitic comments and amplifying the controversial alt-right movement, received a warm welcome from the crowd. At one point, they shouted "Amen!" when he argued that "economic nationalism" is a philosophy that advances the opportunities for all citizens, regardless of their ethnicity or race. He also called for more support for black banks.

"For the black community, Bannon said, that means strengthening the community banks on which he said many minority-owned businesses rely. Those institutions, he said, didn't get the same bailout opportunities as bigger banks did following the economic downturn several years ago," reads the AP report.

"When it comes time to make the deals, you're not in the room," he said, adding that big banks "got a piece of the action."

"Isn't it time for your piece?" he asked.

Prior to the event, Stephen Gilchrist, the chairman of the South Carolina African American Chamber of Commerce, said he considers Bannon a friend and that he was invited "to discuss ideas and strategies for how small businesses access capital," reports The Post and Courier. "This administration has an opportunity to engage a new constituency, and show them what policy really means," said Gilchrist, CEO of GSL Distributors L.L.C.

One a local black lawmaker expressed skepticism toward the Chamber. "I question the credibility of any African American group which extends an invitation to Mr. Bannon to speak," said Democratic state Sen. Marlon Kimpson. 

Bannon currently serves as the executive chairman of Breitbart News, which he has described as "the platform for the alt-right." Under Bannon's leadership, the publication has praised the work of white supremacists like Richard Spencer, one of the leaders of the infamous Charlottesville rally.


via: http://www.blackenterprise.com/news/steve-bannon-black-banks-businesses

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Digital Guru Kirk McDonald Just Named Top Executive of AT&T's Advertising Arm

On Thursday, AT&T announced Kirk McDonald, one of the most well-regarded digital and advertising gurus in the media and business worlds, as chief marketing officer of AT&T's advertising and analytics company.

(Kirk McDonald. Image: pubmatic.com)

With a quarter of a century's experience in media, branding, and advertising, McDonald was most recently a special adviser to the CEO of PubMatic-an advertising technology company where he managed global go-to-market functions. He also served as the president of Digital at Time Inc.

"Kirk brings invaluable experience in the media and advertising technology space," said Brian Lesser, CEO of AT&T's advertising and analytics company via a press release. "He is a transformational leader-one of many who will join AT&T as we invest in and build a new kind of advertising business."

McDonald spoke on a panel at the 2016 Black Enterprise TechConneXt Summit in the session "Business Tech: What's Hot, Next, and New." He spoke about the need for businesses to truly understand data analytics and how important speed is to the application of data for true innovation.

"If you are in a small, medium, or large business and you are not accelerating the processing of all data available to make a better-informed decision, you are going out of business," McDonald said during the session. "Almost every business of innovation from Uber to Airbnb have found ways to capture a digital data asset, run it through an algorithm, some version of machine learning to actually inform a next decision quicker than a human could. That's the point of automation."


The business industry is keeping a keen eye on AT&T as it is currently in consideration to be acquired by Time Warner Inc. The potential purchase by Time Warner Inc. is currently under review by the United States Department of Justice and competition authorities in certain foreign countries, according to a statement on AT&T's website.


via: http://www.blackenterprise.com/business/digital-guru-kirk-mcdonald-just-named-top-executive-atts-advertising-arm

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7 Black Candidates That Made History on Election Day 2017


7 Black Candidates That Made History on Election Day 2017
Andrea Jenksin

Two big winners emerged from Tuesday night's Election Day results: The Democratic Party and diversity.

A year after Donald Trump blindsided the nation with one of the biggest upset victories in political history, a blue wave swept through the country as progressives celebrated several important state and local wins. Democratic candidates triumphed in key gubernatorial races in both Virginia and New Jersey. In Massachusetts, Danica Roem beat an openly homophobic Republican incumbent to become the first trans person to be elected as a state legislator. Meanwhile, voters in Hoboken elected the first Sikh mayor in the history of New Jersey and, for the first time, a lesbian won a mayoral race in Seattle.

That's just a handful of the progressive officials who will usher in more diverse voices into our political landscape; a number of black leaders were elected as well. Here's a list of seven historic seats gained by African Americans on Election Day.


Charlotte's First Black Woman Mayor

(Image: Vi Lyles became the first black women elected mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo credit: vilyes.com)

After spending decades as a public servant in North Carolina, Vi Lyles became the first African American woman to be elected mayor of Charlotte. In her victory speech, the Democrat thanked voters for their support. "With this opportunity you've given me, you've proven that we are a city of opportunity and inclusiveness. You've proven a woman whose father didn't graduate from high school can become this city's first female African American mayor," she said.


The First Black Transgender Woman Elected to Public Office

(Image: Twitter/andreaforward8)

Andrea Jenkins won a seat on the Minneapolis City Council, making her the first African American transgender woman to be elected to public office. Jenkins carried an impressive 73% of Minneapolis' Eighth Ward and beat out three other candidates vying for the seat. "As an African American trans-identified woman, I know firsthand the feeling of being marginalized, left out, thrown under the bus. Those days are over. We don't just want a seat at the table, we want to set the table," she said in her victory speech, according to KMSP.


A Black Woman Is Elected As The First Mayor of Framingham, Massachusetts

(Image: Twitter/DrYvie)

Earlier this year, residents of Framingham, Massachusetts, voted to transition from a town to a city. Yesterday, it elected Yvonne Spicer, a Museum of Science education executive and former teacher, as its first mayor.


The First Black Mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota

(Image: Twitter/RedTRaccoon)

Melvin Carter, a former city council member in Minnesota, became the first African American to win a mayoral race in St. Paul. Carter currently serves as executive director of the Minnesota Children's Cabinet, where he advises the governor on early childhood policy and advocates for critical investments in public education.


The First Black Lt. Governor of Virginia in Three Decades

(Justin Fairfax is the lieutenant governor-elect of Virginia. Image: fairfaxforlg.com)

Justin Fairfax, a 38-year-old Democratic state senator, is the second African American to be elected as Virginia's lieutenant governor. The first victory was scored by L. Douglas Wilder in 1985. Black Enterprise Editor-in-Chief Derek T. Dingle writes that "the significance of that victory is that the position has traditionally served as the path to high office. In fact, Wilder became the first African American elected governor in the Old Dominion and the nation four years later in 1989."


The First Black and Openly Gay Mayor of Bridgeport, Pennsylvania

(Image: Instagram/MarkBarbee)

At just 28 years old, Mark Barbee will become the first African American and first openly gay mayor of Bridgeport, Pennsylvania. Prior to the election, Barbee served on Bridgeport's council, where he helped create a business association and instituted a curbside recycling program.



New Jersey's First African American Female Lt. Governor

(Image: www.cawp.rutgers.edu)

In addition to electing Democrat Phil Murphy as governor, the Garden State elected Sheila Oliver as its first African American female lieutenant governor.






via: http://www.blackenterprise.com/news/8-black-candidates-history-election-day

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Vi Lyles Makes History As Charlotte's First Black Female Mayor

On Election Day, history was made in Charlotte, North Carolina, as Democrat Vi Lyles, who has spent decades in public service as a budget official, city administrator, and city council member, easily defeated Republican City Council Member Kenny Smith to become the first African American woman to lead the Queen City. In her victory speech, she told supporters: "With this opportunity you've given me, you've proven that we are a city of opportunity and inclusiveness. You've proven a woman whose father didn't graduate from high school can become this city's first female African American mayor."

(Vi Lyles became the first black women elected mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina. Image: vilyes.com)

Lyle's victory places her on the national stage after a series of huge electoral wins for the Democratic Party. Citing the milestone in this perennial battleground state, Democratic National Committee Chairman Thomas Perez congratulated Lyles for her "historic" victory in the Charlotte mayoral race, acknowledging that "Vi has spent more than four decades in public service" and that "we can't wait to see what Lyles [will] accomplish."

Lyles, 66, who gained the lead over Smith due to early voter turnout, has been viewed as a leader that can build coalitions and bridge communities. That skill will be vital after Charlotte has dealt with major controversies, including the rioting that followed last year's police shooting of a 43-year-old African American, Keith Lamont Smith. The Charlotte Observer reported on praise that Lyles received from myriad Democrats and Republicans alike for her work in fostering dialogue and bringing together citizens in the aftermath of the unrest.

The new mayor, who handled community outreach for the host committee of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, will preside over City Hall at a time when major events will come to one of the nation's financial centers, helping to drive economic and business development for the African American community, among others. One of the largest in 2018 will be the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit, to be held at the city's convention center from June 6-9. As such, Charlotte will serve as the venue for one of the largest gatherings of entrepreneurs and business leaders as well as an event that will showcase local businesses and stimulate the city's economy.

Lyles, who graduated from Queens College and gained a master's in public administration from UNC-Chapel Hill, began her work in government as a budget analyst and then budget director in 1987. By 1996, she received the position of assistant city manager and handled issues related to community policing and affordable housing and transportation, among others. Retiring from that post in 2004, she joined the nonprofit Lee Institute, which developed programs under the philosophy "Go Slow to Go Fast," a mode she adopted as project director of UNC Charlotte's task force on football, according to The Charlotte Observer.

As an at-large city council member, the progressive Democrat backed last year's ordinance on LGBT rights, which prompted state lawmakers to respond with House Bill 2, and supported extending rail transit, expansion of affordable housing and advancement of economic development-areas she is expected to continue to champion from City Hall.

via: http://www.blackenterprise.com/news/vi-lyles-makes-history-as-charlottes-first-black-female-mayor

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Black Vote Stops Trump Bump for GOP in Statewide Races on Election Day

The outcome of two major contests-gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey-demonstrated that Donald Trump did not have coattails to carry the GOP to victory.

A year after the election that ushered in the incendiary Trump presidency, Democrats achieved huge wins and a much-needed momentum boost on Election Day after recent intraparty controversies and a series of special election defeats earlier this year. But the successful campaigns proved the value of coalition politics and, the contest in Virginia, in particular, demonstrated that African American voter turnout continues to prove critical for Democratic fortunes.

As the Democrats take a victory lap-the party also gained important local victories in New York and North Carolina-the results of these contest will force the leadership of both parties to re-evaluate their strategic thrust and voter messaging as they prepare for next year's rough-and-tumble mid-term elections.

Virginia's Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam overcame a racially-divisive campaign to trounce Republican challenger Ed Gillespie in a landslide victory in what veteran political analyst Larry Sabato told CBS News was a clear "repudiation of Trump."


(Ralph Northam is the new governor-elect of Virginia. Image: Twitter/RalphNortham)

Moreover, a bit of history was also made on election night when 38-year-old Democratic state senator Justin Fairfax became the second African American to be elected as Virginia's lieutenant governor-32 years after L. Douglas Wilder achieved that milestone. The significance of that victory is that the position has traditionally served as the path to high office. In fact, Wilder became the first African American elected governor in the Old Dominion and the nation four years later in 1989.


(Justin Fairfax is the lieutenant governor-elect of Virginia. Image: fairfaxforlg.com)

In other races: New Jersey Democratic nominee Phil Murphy beat Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno to take the governor's mansion in the Garden State-a referendum on the scandal-plagued administration of the nation's most unpopular governor, Chris Christie. Moreover, history was made in that statewide contest with the election of Sheila Oliver, who became the first African American female lieutenant governor of New Jersey.

Incumbent Bill de Blasio easily won re-election to gain a second term as mayor of New York City.

The Virginia governor's race offered a real litmus test on the immunity of Trump's appeal as well as the development of a strategy for Dems to gain congressional seats in 2018. Political analyst Zerlina Maxwell told CBS News on election night that a major part of the equation will continue to include African American voters; a major contributor to the sweeping victories of Northam and Fairfax and reportedly the greatest Democratic power shift in the State Legislature in more than 40 years.

According to The Washington Post, exit poll results showed that African Americans comprised 21% of voters, similar to the participation in the 2016 presidential election that delivered Hillary Clinton the second highest statewide turnout. In fact, the black electorate favored Northam over Gillespie by a whopping 73-point margin, according to the Post.

Democrats heavily courted black Virginian voters in the weeks leading up to the election-even recruiting former President Barack Obama to hold an October rally in Richmond, the state capital as well as getting him to record an endorsement message as part of the campaign's get-out-the-vote effort. In the final days, Northam and Fairfax brought out other high-profile black politicians, New Jersey Sen. Corey Booker and Minnesota Rep. and Deputy DNC Chair Keith Ellison.

(Barack Obama with Justin Fairfax and Ralph Northam. Image: Twitter/Justin Fairfax)

There had been concerns prior to the election related to black voter participation due, in part, to Northam's inability to connect in earlier stages of his campaign. Black voter turnout had also declined nationally in the post-Obama era. But myriad Democrats predicted a surge as a result of this past summer's deadly rally held in Charlottesville, Virginia, by white supremacists. According to Politico, BlackPac, an independent organization that spent more than $1 million in mail, digital, media, and grassroots voter outreach, found that African American voters throughout the state have been alarmed by the current political environment. In fact, its poll found that 54% of black voters believed people of color were under siege and 73% embraced the statement that their vote would "send a resounding message to Trump."

DNC Political and Organizing Director Amanda Brown Lierman released the following statement: "The DNC knows that the victories we celebrate would be impossible without the massive support from the African American men and women who made up a fifth of the commonwealth's electorate. Undoubtedly, a cornerstone of our party, black voters continued to surge to the polls in a tremendous way, set the tone for future elections and paved the way for government that truly represents them."

Northam's campaign was also buoyed by overwhelming diverse voter support from Northern Virginia and the fact that Trump has an overall 35% approval rate in the state.

Trump endorsed but did not openly campaign for Gillespie, who used race-baiting tactics like the airing of negative TV ads aimed at immigration, attempting to link the Northam campaign to "Latino gang violence" despite protests from Democrats and Latino groups of the promotion of racial stereotypes. He also supported protection of Confederate monuments, an approach in which Trump tweeted his support during his campaign, and mocked the NFL protests against racial inequality and police brutality inspired by quarterback Colin Kaepernick's kneeling during the national anthem. And although he tried to distance himself from Trump, Gillespie aggressively campaigned using the pugnacious politician's playbook, especially the stance against sanctuary cities.

After Gillespie's defeat, however, Trump blasted the former GOP chairman on Twitter: "Ed Gillespie worked hard but did not embrace me or what I stand for. Don't forget Republicans won 4 out of 4 House seats, and with the economy doing record numbers, we will continue to win, even bigger than before!"

In a victory speech in Virginia, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez began positioning the party for the 2018 races by asserting that Northam's gubernatorial victory "sent a message" to Trump, who is currently on a tour of Asia: "The America that Donald Trump comes back to in a few days is far different than the America he left. It's an America, where we are regaining our values."

Perez later tweeted an early appeal to constituents and party members: "Tonight was a great night for Democrats, but now more than ever, we know we can't get ahead of ourselves. Sign up to make today's victories tomorrow's victories too."


via: http://www.blackenterprise.com/news/black-voters-stop-trump-bump-for-gop-in-statewide-races-on-election-day

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[WATCH] On Election Day, Stacey Abrams Shares What Dems Need To Do To Win

This Election Day, the country will be watching to see if the Democratic Party can begin to recover from their disastrous loss in the presidential election last year.

The woman who could make history next year as the first black woman governor of Georgia-or of any state in U.S. history-has a few ideas on how Dems can win their elections.

And the main thing Democratic candidates need to stop doing, she says, is pretending to be Republicans.

Watch her exclusive interview with Black Enterprise for her thoughts on the right way to court disaffected white voters.

via: http://www.blackenterprise.com/news/election-day-stacey-abrams-democrats

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Black Billionaire's Investment Firm Buys Leading IT Services Company

Vista Equity Partners, one of the world's most successful investment firms, founded by black billionaire Robert F. Smith and a BE 100 company ranked No. 1 on the Private Equity Firms list, announced its acquisition of Datto, a leading provider of business data protection solutions.


(Robert F. Smith. Image: robertfsmith.org)

Vista plans to merge Datto with another IT-services company already in its portfolio, Autodesk, as per a press release from Autotask. The newly merged firm will offer a host of business IT services to managed service providers (MSPs) including backup and disaster recovery; remote network monitoring and management; file sharing; and more.

Although the press release did not disclose any financial details about the acquisition, it revealed that merging Datto and Autodesk results in 13,000 employees that service over half-a-million small-to-mid-sized businesses throughout 125 countries.

"We're thrilled to bring together the complementary skills and world-class service of two global market leaders, Autotask and Datto," said Brian Sheth, co-founder and president of Vista Equity Partners via a press release.

"Over the past three years, we have worked closely with the Autotask team to accelerate growth and expand its Unified Platform. Bringing Autotask together with Datto's impressive talent and deep expertise in backup and networking solutions will take us to the next level and deliver extraordinary tools and services to MSPs worldwide."

"We're honored to be joining forces with both the world's premier software investor, Vista Equity Partners, and with Autotask, the provider of the most essential tools for the MSP space," said Datto's founder and CEO, Austin McChord. "This unique combination of talent with a track record of success marks a new chapter that will make an even bigger impact for our Managed Service Provider partners, by delivering an unprecedented set of capabilities for them to serve millions of small businesses in the future."

Mark Cattini, president and CEO of Autotask also spoke favorably about the transaction. "With the powerful combination of the Autotask Unified PSA-RMM platform and Datto's industry-leading business continuity solutions, together we can now deliver unprecedented innovation and unmatched levels of value and service to our customers and partners worldwide."

Vista Equity's founder and CEO Robert F. Smith ranked No. 226 on Forbes' 400 richest list with a net worth of $3.3 billion.




via: http://www.blackenterprise.com/business/black-billionaires-investment-firm-buys-leading-services-company

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[OPINION]: Thousands Visit Detroit for The Women's Convention Inspired to Create Change

On Jan. 21, 2017, the largest single-day protest took place in U.S. history at the Women's March. The momentum and energy from that event was an experience of a lifetime. Lives were changed and many women went back to their communities to continue the efforts for change.

(Image: womensconvention.com)

During the weekend of Oct. 27-29 in Detroit, over 5,000 attendees came together at the Cobo Center for the first-of-its-kind Women's Convention in 40 years. The inaugural event brought together thousands of first-time activists, women who've organized locally and nationally, students, movement leaders, politicians, and more. Attendees were from Los Angeles, New York, D.C., Chicago, Florida, Oklahoma, and more.

Confronting White Womanhood

The theme of the convention was "Reclaiming Our Time," this was in honor of Congresswoman Maxine Waters' viral phrase "reclaiming my time." The event had over 170 workshops and 400 speakers and panelists. Attendees had the opportunity to learn about wellness as it relates to activism, fighting for gender equality, how to plan a rally in less than 24 hours, strategies on building a new vision for safety to overcome mass incarnation, strategies for organizing in schools and communities for youth, and combating sexual violence within the community.

One of the most popular sessions was "Confronting White Womanhood," which led organizers to create a repeat session on Saturday due to the overwhelming demand. The convention also included a Social Justice Concert with Melanie Fiona, Alice Smith, BombaRica, V. Bozeman, Jessica Care Moore, and more.

From the moment the convention started, the energy was infectious and electric. The opening remarks included speeches from Women's March co-Chairs Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour; Tarana Burke; the original founder of the #MeToo campaign; actress Rose McGowan; activist Rosa Clemente; and more. That set the momentum that would run throughout the weekend. After a full day of sessions, Friday night remarks included Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence, Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

Maxine Waters: "Creep, Get Off My Back!"

On Saturday, Congresswoman Maxine Waters was honored and gave a speech that spoke to sexual harassment, sharing that the issue is beyond Hollywood. She also warned those who are trying to divide the women's resistance movement to "go to hell." She started the catchphrase "reclaiming my time." Another one that will surface soon, is "creep, get off my back." This came as Waters was telling the attendees about Trump walking near Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in an intrusive and intimidating manner during a 2016 debate. "Hillary should have said: 'Creep, get off my back!'" Waters said. Wrapping up the speech Waters had the crowd on their feet cheering and chanting "Impeach 45."

As the weekend came to a close, a very important question was answered during the final discussion "Where Do We Go From Here?" The panel was moderated by Mallory. Panelists were Angela Rye, Carmen Perez, Bob Bland, and Donnell R. White. The speakers encouraged attendees to go local when it comes to creating change. Rye referenced Martin Luther King's 1967 speech Where Do We Go From Here and broke it down into three prongs. She advised the crowd to, "bank black, give black, and buy black." She continued to share that "black women are the largest group of entrepreneurs" and encouraged attendees to support black-owned businesses.

Where do we go from here is a loaded question, but the people who attended the Women's Convention are up for the challenge. Many left feeling a bittersweet emotion, clarity, rejuvenated, and ready to take action. Although there is much work to be done, this event was a strong follow up from the march.

via: http://www.blackenterprise.com/lifestyle/thousands-visit-detroit-for-the-womens-convention-inspired-to-create-change

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