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Popular media sistah, businesswoman and radio/TV personality, none other than Catherine “Cathy” L. Hughes – she’s founder, chair and secretary of Radio One! – delivers the keynote address at The Phenomenal Woman Awards Gala o

Popular media sistah, businesswoman and radio/TV personality, none other than Catherine “Cathy” L. Hughes – she’s founder, chair and secretary of Radio One! – delivers the keynote address at The Phenomenal Woman Awards Gala on the opening night of the Black Women’s Expo, the No. 1 national destination event for the summer. The Expo is Aug. 7-8 at McCormick Place North; the Gala is at the Hyatt Regency Hotel’s Crystal Ballroom. The awards program continues its legacy of honoring 10 Chicago area women “for contributions in their specific fields of endeavor and for their community involvement.” The two-day expo, presented by State Farm, promises empowering seminars, insightful workshops, enlightening speakers, bestselling authors, a variety of sponsored exhibits and pavilions, as well as live entertainment to engage, entertain and inform. Exploring the dynamics of male/female relationships has proven to be one of the most popular seminar series in the expo’s history. This year will be no exception, so says Merry Green, founder and executive producer of the event now in its 17th year. Emilie McKendall, host of Emilie and Friends on WVON-AM/1690 radio, moderates Part 2 of “No More Drama: Real Talk from Real Men About Life and Love.” McKendall presented Part 1 back in May with six prominent guys. The female response was overwhelming. Part 2 promises to be more interactive, more dynamic and more insightful. McKendall will broadcast live from the Expo on Aug. 7, 1 p.m.-4 p.m. “There will be absolutely something for everyone,” Green adds. With a primary emphasis on the concerns and aspirations of African American women, the Expo also includes events of interest for the entire family and this year is no exception. As in previous years, The Black Women’s Expo features national experts in a variety of fields to address topics that are particularly important to African American women.  On tap this year are seminars and workshops covering economic management, health and wellness, business ownership, male/female relationships, financial literacy and more. Nationally known speakers and authors will be showcased. TV actress BernNadette Stanis of Good Times and her business partner Trent T. Daniel will present The Ultimate Personal and Business Credit Seminar and Stanis will discuss her new book, Situations 101.  Diana Gregory, Dick Gregory’s daughter, will present a seminar, Positively Powerful Women.  In addition, Ilyasah Shabazz will discuss her book Growing Up X: A Memoir by the Daughter of Malcolm X. New this year: Senior Lifestyle Pavilion, an oasis style atmosphere providing seniors with a respite area and senior advocates providing resources and tools to help them maintain their health, remain active and improve their quality of life and a Beauty Bar Pavilion, an ideal setting to showcase hair and beauty products. Beauty experts representing various national brands will provide latest info, perform beauty makeovers, field questions and offer samples. Other popular returning activity centers: a Literary CafT, Kidz Korner and Health & Wellness Pavilion. For more on The Black Women’s Expo, including schedules and performances, visit http://www.theblackwomensexpo.com or call (312) 243-3554. WACA Rewards – Ald. Toni Preckwinkle (4th) received the Political Empowerment Award; Joseph Moore, CEO of the Moore Group, the Charles E. Curry Spirit of Excellence Memorial Award; and Perri Irmer, CEO of the Illinois Sports Facility Authority, the Gloria L. Jenkins Leadership Memorial Award from the Westside Association for Community Action during its Blue Monday Extravaganza XXIV hosted by WACA’s Board of Directors at the Chicago Yacht Club. Benefit spearheads: State Sen. Arthur L. Turner Sr., chair; Janet Jones, board president; AT&T’S Michael Lieteau, vice president; Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau’s W. Bill Williams, vice president; Gloria Jenkins-Harvey, WACA executive director; Lola Jenkins, vice president/operations; and Ernest R. Jenkins, WACA founder and CEO. The evening, which celebrated “WACA’s 39 years of service to the Chicagoland community,” included an abundant buffet, silent auction, live music by Joe Barr & The Soul Purpose Band, DJ Chico, dancing, networking, entertainment and more on the Outdoor Terrace. Ramsey’s B’Day Bash – We’re all invited to the party when everybody’s fave jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis celebrates his 75th birthday Sept. 3 in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion of Millennium Park during the first evening performance of the 32nd Annual Chicago Jazz Festival. Our town’s longest running lakefront music festival with free admission has evolved from a two-day event to four. The fest, sponsored by CareFusion, a global medical device company, is produced by the Mayor’s Office of Special Events and will happen in three separate locations – Millennium Park, Chicago Cultural Center and Grant Park. Other weekend performing highlights: Nicole Mitchell, Kurk Elling, Rene Marie and Henry Threadgill. For the full schedule, go to http://www.chicagojazzfestival.us. Ramsey Emanuel Lewis Jr., born in Chicago on May 27, 1935, is a jazz composer, pianist and radio personality who has often been referred to as "the great performer," a title reflecting his performance style and musical selections which display his early gospel playing and classical training (Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, etc.) along with his love of jazz and other musical forms. Lewis has recorded over 80 albums and received five gold records and three Grammys – so far! – in his career. The septuagenarian has enjoyed a long career as a jazz pianist and composer, topping musical charts in the 60s with hits such as The In Crowd, Hang on Sloopy and Wade in the Water. Each of the three singles sold over one million copies. Ramsey was invited by President Barack Obama to perform his recently premiered Proclamation of Hope at the White House. Whazup! Whazup!

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