On Saturday, February 15th, at Chicago’s W Hotel City Center, members of the National Basketball Wives Association held their third annual Women’s Empowerment Summit. Hosted by ESPN’s Ros Gold-Onwunde, this year’s theme was “Unsung Sheroes.” Following a moment of silence in remembrance of the late Kobe Bryant, and his daughter, Gianna, the afternoon began with a welcome by NBWA President and Director, Mrs. Mia Wright, wife of Dorell Wright.
The event consisted of a panel discussion moderated by Karen Civil, with guest speakers, Beth Moskowitz, Head of Specials Projects, Beyond Meat, Elle Leonard, CEO, Level Foods, Jasmine Jordan, Sports Marketing and Designer, Jordan Brand, and Tia Mowry-Hardrict, Actress and CEO, ANSER. There were also two fireside chats. The first was moderated by ESPN’s Cari Champion, with Illinois Lt. Governor, Juliana Stratton, and Cook County State’s Attorney, Kim Foxx, and the second, with Ros Gold-Onwunde serving as moderator, and President of Team Marketing & Business Operations and NBA Chief Innovation Officer, Amy Brooks as the speaker.
After acknowledging her family and NBWA, “Unsung Sheroes” Honoree Cheryl Burton, who was introduced by Samantha Chatman of ABC7, touched on her almost three-decades-long career as a news anchor in Chicago, being authentic, and never forgetting her roots. She also spoke on how being the only person to interview Oprah before her leaving Chicago was a lesson in paying it forward, saying, “It’s a mantra I live. And one thing it also taught me was to be the light that inspires others and be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” Cheryl also said, “Your life is a manifestation of where you put your imagery.” She closed by announcing that a journalism scholarship has been established in her name at her high school alma mater, Lindblom Math and Science Academy and said, “Always lean into joy, appreciate where you are, because the true joy in life, is letting your light be used as a purpose, and that way, God will always shine His light on you.”