27th Annual Black Women’s Expo Expected to Draw Thousands

The 27th Annual Black Women’s Expo (BWe NEXT) returns August 12 – 14, 2022 at McCormick Place uplifting the theme “The Legacy Continues.”

“We chose this theme in tribute to the thousands of Black women, men and families that have supported us over the years without fail,” said Merry Green, Creator and Executive Producer of the largest expo for Black women in the country. “This weekend has always been about celebrating the greatness of the Black woman. As a team, we strive to make every moment spent at Expo uplifting, empowering and just plain fun.”

The festivities will kick off with an invitation-only “Phenomenal Woman” awards reception on Thursday, August 11, 2022. Twelve women will be saluted for their career accomplishments and contributions to community.

The honorees include: Astin Hayes, Michelle Okennard, Jimilita Tillman, Kari Steele, Glennese Harston Ray, Jackie Burgess-Bishop, Monique Spence, Frances Guichard, Dorothy Jean Tillman II, Chrishon Lampley, Patrice Gibson and Chanel W. Coney.

A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place Friday, August 12th at 9:30 a.m. and will feature brief remarks by several city officials, dignitaries and sponsors.

Once the doors open, attendees can expect three days of informative seminars, guest speakers, a youth summit, live demonstrations including a fashion show, hair show, job fair and main stage entertainment. More than 400 exhibitors will be on the main floor showing products and services. Headline entertainment includes timeless balladeer El DeBarge, DJ Mannie Fresh, R&B singer Montell Jordan and a series of performances by local artists. Actress Brandee Evans and singer, writer/producer Nicci Gilbert will be featured speakers.

Green shared that this production was difficult to plan due to the sudden passing of her sister Ruby earlier this summer.

“I lost my sister unexpectedly, and wasn’t sure how I could move forward,” said Green. “Then I remembered how much she loved the Expo and would fly in every year to lend a helping hand. So, I wiped my tears, got back to work and here we are, just like Ruby would want.”

Green is dedicating this year’s show to the memory of her sister, Ruby Coley.

J.P. Morgan Chase is serving as this year’s Title Sponsor for the Chicago, Detroit and Atlanta shows. Presenting partners include Walgreens, Verizon and State Farm. Tickets to the BWe NEXT are available for half price at all Chicagoland Walgreens stores. For a full line-up of seminars, performances and other event details, visit www.BWeNEXT.com.

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