Black Women’s Expo Presents Inaugural #SheMatters Award posthumously to Sandra Bland
Phenomenal Woman’s Award to recognize nine women leaders
One of Chicago’s most anticipated annual experiential events, The Black Women’s Expo (BWE), will host its Phenomenal Woman Awards Reception on Thursday, April 7, when they pay tribute to ten outstanding Chicago area women whose excellence in a variety of fields commands recognition. The event will be held at the Chicago Hilton and Towers, 720 S. Michigan Avenue, beginning at 6:00 p.m. in the Continental Ballroom. The event will be emceed by ABC 7’s Karen Jordan.
The newly introduced #SheMatters Award is given to a woman who has impacted the country’s way of thinking about the value of African-American life. The inaugural #SheMatters Award will be presented posthumously to Sandra Bland, the 28-year-old Naperville woman who according to Texas authorities allegedly hung herself in a Texas jail cell on July 10, 2015. Bland’s was among a number of deaths in police custody or during arrest that propelled the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Her mother, Geneva Reed-Veal will accept the award.
The 2016 Phenomenal Woman honorees are: Corporate – Corliss Garner, BMO Harris; Community Service – Torrey Richardson, Dear Father Letter Writing Movement; Education – Carol “Safisha” Lee, PhD The Betty Shabazz International Charter Schools; Health – JoAnne Glenn, W.O.T. Foundation, Inc.; Faith-Based – Rev. Janette Wilson, Rainbow Push; Entrepreneur – Fallon Johnson, Annie Bell Fragrances; Political – Kim Foxx, Cook County Government; Philanthropy – Nicole Robinson, Mondelez; Launa T. Thompson Spirit Award – Angela Ingram, iHeart Media Markets Group, Chicago Region.
“This year’s Phenomenal Woman’s Award is particularly special for the Black Women’s Expo because of our theme of “She Matters”, says Merry Green, founder of the Expo. It is both recognition of the times in which we find ourselves, and our mission to champion the fact that Black women do matter. The women we are honoring fill multiple roles in their family, career and community, and do it with style and grace.”
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 22nd anniversary in Chicago April 8 – 10 at McCormick Place. The Black Women’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. This year that experience will extend to the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. September 16 – 18 and Atlanta’s Georgia World Congress Center October 7 – 9th. 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 & wellness, racial equality, hair & 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 examining the issues around police involved shootings and protecting our civil rights and a Teen Summit addressing issues pertinent to African American youth.
BWE also offers African American consumers 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; B-Groomed Men’s Den, a space where male guests can experience pampering and grooming, as well as see the best in men’s fashion; the Kidz Korner, sponsored by Mariano’s is an exciting space for young people with interactive games, exercise and fun activities. New this year is an Art Pavilion curated by artist Jonathon Romain featuring 10 outstanding artist.