Are you up to the challenge of writing a novel in 30 days? November is National Novel Writing Month
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Each November, there is a writing challenge that takes place around the world. The National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) challenges writers to pen a 50,000-word novel within 30 days. During 2017, over 400,000 people participated in the annual event.

Many people like the challenge of writing the novel in one month, but most have no idea what to do with it once it’s done. That’s where an expert writing coach can come into play and help take the novel from a challenge to a published book.

“It’s a huge accomplishment to write an entire novel in a month,” explains Annalisa Parent, writing coach and award winning author. “The last thing you want to do is close the document or tuck it in a drawer and never do anything else with it. You did the hardest part, now all you need to do is take the next steps to take it all the way.”

As an expert writing coach, Parent has helped countless people around the world to finish their novel, edit their manuscript to publishable, work their way through the publishing process, and successfully market their book to the masses. She offers one-on-one chat sessions to provide a customized approach to guiding each writer in the specific areas they need help in.

Parent offers a wide variety of guidance for writers and can help those who are taking part in the NaNoWriMo by:

  • Guiding them through the editing process once they have finished their novel.
  • Helping them to determine what to do with the book once they have finished the editing process.
  • Working with them to target publishers that publish books in their genre.
  • Helping them to successfully reach their target market to help sell the book once it has been published.
  • Boosting the writer’s confidence so they feel they can meet the demands of the publishing process and come out successful.

“Every November it’s a wonderful opportunity to be a part of something great in the creative world,” adds Parent. “National Novel Writing Month is just the start of something beautiful. But it can go on to be the start of a wonderful writing career if you play your cards right and take those steps to get you there. I’ve helped many people to get their novel published, and it never stops being a wonderful feeling for us both.”

Parent has coached hundreds of writers and has taught over 100 writing courses around the world. She works with fiction authors, as well as entrepreneurs seeking to write their expert book. Her book Storytelling for Pantsers: How to Write and Revise Your Novel without an Outline won the CIPA EVVY Silver Award in Best Business Books, and earned a merit award in the Humor category. She has been a featured speaker on writing-related topics across the globe, and she has been a guest on a variety of television, radio, and podcast shows, sharing her secrets for how to write, publish, and sell your book.

Parent is also currently offering a 2019 Writing Gym in England Retreat. To learn more about the retreat, visit the website at: datewiththemuse.com/retreat. For more information about Annalisa Parent, her book, and her coaching services, visit her site at: datewiththemuse.com. For more information on how to become a published author, download her free e-book TheSix Secrets to go from Struggling Writer to Published Author here: datewiththemuse.com/6secrets.

Foundation For Women Honors Amanda Gorman, Amanda Nguyen, Dr. Kizzmekiah Corbett, Laura Jiménez, And Marissa Nuncio At 2021 Gloria Awards
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Marlo Thomas, Gloria Steinem, Patricia Carbine and Letty Cottin-Pogrebin speak during the 33rd Gloria Awards: A Salute to Women of Vision virtual event

Recently, the Ms. Foundation for Women, the nation’s first and oldest women’s foundation, hosted The 33rd Gloria Awards: A Salute to Women of Vision, which paid tribute to the remarkable achievements of those whose courage and leadership move our society toward a more just and inclusive world, and raised funds that will help support women-led nonprofits and community organizations in the nation’s most impacted communities.

The evening honored Rise CEO and founder Amanda Nguyen, Immunologist at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Moderna Vaccine co-developer Dr. Kizzmekiah Corbett, 2021 Inaugural Poet Amanda Gorman, along with two leaders from grantee partner organizations–Laura Jiménez,  Director of The Garment Worker Center, and Marissa Nuncio, Executive Director for California Latinas for Reproductive Justice. Photo: Marlo Thomas, Gloria Steinem, Patricia Carbine and Letty Cottin-Pogrebin speak during the 33rd Gloria Awards: A Salute to Women of Vision – VIRTUAL EVENT on May 19, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images Ms. Foundation for Women)

The Gloria Awards, named for Gloria Steinem, one of the organization’s founding mothers, is a yearly celebration to benefit Ms. Foundation grantee partners around the country and to recognize leaders who have made an indelible impact on the movement for gender equity at the local, state, and national level. Ms. Nguyen, Ms. Jiménez, and Ms. Nuncio, received the Women of Vision Award, honoring feminist leaders who create positive change. Dr. Corbett received the Marie C. Wilson Emerging Leader Award, named after the former CEO and President of the Foundation to recognize young, trailblazing feminists. Ms. Gorman received the Free to Be You and Me Award.

Championing the theme “JOY UNMUTED,”more than 1,000 registrants celebrated a much-needed release after this very intense year, demonstrating that no matter what, they will rise in collective joy as they speak truth to power.

HIGHLIGHT: Gloria Steinem opened the The 33rd Gloria Awards: A Salute to Women of Vision ceremony with a reflection of the past year.

TOP QUOTE: Gloria Steinem, Founding Mother of Ms. Foundation stated, ”The past year has had a life-altering effect on everyone, and especially on especially women, particularly women of color. But even in the face of the most daunting challenges and great pain, women found the passion and determination to continue to fight for equality and justice. Tonight, we’re here to honor that collective power and draw inspiration from each other, knowing that we can all take action.”

HIGHLIGHT: Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett received the Marie C. Wilson Emerging Leader Award Recipient:

This award honors trailblazing feminist leaders who amplify their voice and enact positive change by paving the way for generations to come. Dr Corbett is an immunologist who developed the Moderna Vaccine and spends her weekends educating marginalized communities about vaccine safety and efficacy in an effort to ease health disparities.

TOP QUOTE: Dr. Corbett said, “What I want women and girls of color, in particular, to know is that you have a purpose. You have meaning. And you belong. Oftentimes we are made to feel like we are outside of all the great things that are happening, when actually the opposite is true. We are at the heart of it. Women of color have been and continue to be the backbone of this country. We create, we lead, and with that comes amazing movements like for example the COVID-19 vaccine. Part of the reason why we are able to do that is because of our strength. Because we understand what the strength is in our purpose. Finding that strength, understanding that purpose is how you as a woman or girl can fuel what you are destined to be.”

HIGHLIGHT: Amanda Gorman, Free to Be You and Me Award Honoree: 

This award honors young activists enacting change and leading the way for future generations.  Her unbridled passion for poetry and the written word has cemented much-needed messages of power, agency, and hope across generations. Ms. Foundation’s Founding Mother, Marlo Thomas presented her with this award.

TOP QUOTE: Poet and Changemaker Amanda Gorman said, “To ‘unmute joy,’ you also have to unmute your hope, your faith, your belief, your fire. And one of the ways in which continue to unmute my joy is by unmuting my voice. Growing up with a speech impediment, being a spoken word poet wasn’t always easy. And every single time I get onstage, whether it be at the Inauguration or in a third grade classroom, I am still terrified. But unmuting joy doesn’t mean that you are unafraid, it just means that there’s something more important than your fear. So I hope that you continue to unmute your joy, and furthermore to put it on full volume.”

HIGHLIGHT: Amanda Nguyen, Woman of Vision Award Recipient:

Amanda was honored not only for  her work not only as CEO and founder of Rise, a civil rights accelerator that empowers everyday citizens to pen their own rights into existence, but also for her outspoken candor regarding Anti-Asian Racism and attacks against the AAPI communities. Actor Kelly Marie Tran presented her with this award.

TOP QUOTE: When introducing Amanda, Kelly Marie Tran said, “Amanda is not only my friend, my sister, and my role model, she is also a civil rights activist…I am so proud of you. I am truly, constantly inspired by your persistence, tenacity, and your grace. You’ve taught me so much.”

TOP QUOTE: Amanda Nguyen, CEO and Founder of Rise,  upon receiving the award, said, “We can absolutely speak our issues into the consciousness of the nation, of the world. There’s a long history of people taking their painful living truths and channeling that into justice, and I have joined that tradition by penning my own rights into existence…We are certainly stronger when we come together.”

HIGHLIGHT: President and CEO of the Ms. Foundation, Teresa C. Younger,  shared remarks about the theme of the event.

TOP QUOTE: “We decided we would embrace joy as a stance towards resistance. And so tonight, we are joy unmuted,” and continued on with the importance of the Ms. Foundation’s work, “By letting our grantees lead, we’re able to amplify the voices of the next generation. And with your help, we are going to continue the fight for true equity and justice for all.”

HIGHLIGHT: Annually, the Ms. Foundation honors grassroots leaders, influencers and philanthropists who have made an indelible impact on the gender justice movement at the local, state, and national levels, and this year, Marissa Nuncio, Director of The Garment Worker Center and Laura Jiménez, Executive Director for California Latinas for Reproductive Justice were the recipients of this Women of Vision Award.

TOP QUOTE: Marissa Nuncio said, “Organizing for worker rights is also about organizing for women’s rights because it is women who bear the brunt of labor abuses at their impacts.  At GWC [The Garment Worker Center], when women are organizing, they’re organizing for the agency that fair compensation gives them in their personal lives and household, for the right to have their bodies respected and free from danger and violence in the workplace, for freedom from mental abuse by their bosses, and for the empowered voice that they enjoy when they take collective action side-by-side their sisters and brothers in struggle. We’re grateful the Ms. Foundation champions this collective power within our membership.”

TOP QUOTE: Laura Jiménez said, “We have seen how over the last four years especially the situation for reproductive rights, health, and justice has become more and more dire – but I also want to remind you that even so, we have made significant wins: passing legislation to support young parents, defeating restrictive abortion laws at the Supreme Court, and turning out voters. This is the power of women, girls and femmes who will not be silenced into submission.  So, make sure you use your voice to speak about issues that matter to you because your voice matters for you and so many others.”

HIGHLIGHT:  Founding Mothers Gloria Steinem, Marlo Thomas, Patricia Carbine and Letty Cottin-Pogrebin made special appearances for the event, discussing the history of the founding of the Ms. Foundation for Women in 1973. Key quotes include:

TOP QUOTE: Gloria Steinem, Founding Mother of Ms. Foundation stated, ”There was no other foundation devoted to the female half of the population in all of its diversity.”

TOP QUOTE:  Patricia Carbine, Founding Mother of Ms. Foundation stated, ”We had the luxury of deciding how we were going to arrange ourselves as a group at the Magazine. We really started from scratch.”

TOP QUOTE: Letty Cottin-Pogrebin, Founding Mother of Ms. Foundation stated, ”We had that, what is now called intersectionality, in our minds. There was a consciousness that maybe didn’t have a name.”

TOP QUOTE: Marlo Thomas, Founding Mother of Ms. Foundation stated, ”That’s why this Foundation started, we were four women who reached out to these other women Dolores Huerta, Maxine Waters, and all the ones that we’ve been discussing today. We knew that we wanted their voices, and we knew what we wanted to do with the money. We were very purposeful. We were ambitious, audacious, and purposeful. You have to be that way to change the world.”

The 33rd Gloria Awards: A Salute to Women of  Vision is still available for viewing at: wov2021.forwomen.org and paid ticket purchasers can gain access to the full exclusive Founding Mothers conversation.

For over 45 years, the Ms. Foundation for Women has worked to build women’s collective power in the U.S. to advance equity and justice for all. The Ms. Foundation invests in and strengthens the capacity of women-led movements to advance meaningful social, cultural, and economic change in the lives of women. With equity and inclusion as the cornerstones of true democracy, the Ms. Foundation works to create a world in which the worth and dignity of every person are valued, and power and possibility are not limited by gender, race, class, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or age.

WBENC’s weekly virtual event in June
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four women sitting on stage with microphones at a WBENC event

Have you heard about WBENC’s weekly virtual event in June that’s focused on the future? Every Tuesday starting on the 8th, this series is bringing together America’s Top Corporations for Women’s Business Enterprises and WBE Stars to help women business owners like me achieve a successful and sustainable future. Come network with me!

See the full event schedule, session details, and pricing information at wbenc.org/june2021

Just In Time For Mother’s Day, OpenTable Reveals its 2021 List of the 100 Best Brunch Restaurants in America
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A group of people is dining in a elegance restaurant or hotel

OpenTable, the world’s leading provider of online restaurant reservations and part of Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG), recently released its annual list of the 100 Best Brunch Restaurants in America for 2021.

As restaurant restrictions ease in the U.S, a recent OpenTable survey* shows 33% of Americans haven’t had an extended family gathering in more than a year, and OpenTable data shows Mother’s Day reservations are up 64% compared to 2019 (pre-pandemic levels) – a clear sign families are eager to reunite and celebrate with their loved ones this Mother’s Day.

“This Mother’s Day will be more meaningful than as it may be one of the first occasions that families are reuniting around the table since the beginning of the pandemic,” said Debby Soo, CEO at OpenTable. “We wanted to make sure diners had the best brunch restaurants at their fingertips as they make plans to celebrate this special holiday with their loved ones.”

Featuring restaurants coast-to-coast, across 24 states and Washington, D.C., the list is a comprehensive look at the best brunch spots in the country. The Best Brunch Restaurants in America list was culled from more than 12 million verified diner reviews of over 30,000 restaurants in 50 states and Washington, D.C. California is the most recognized state on the list with 17 restaurants honored, followed by Florida and Pennsylvania with eight winning restaurants. Illinois and Texas each boast seven winning restaurants and Georgia, Minnesota and Nevada claim six honorees.

From restaurants with just the right ambiance for both indoor and outdoor dining, like Foreign Cinema in San Francisco, to sweet and savory favorites at Yardbird Southern Table and Bar in Las Vegas and Miami to local big-city favorites like Perch in Los Angeles, the Best Brunch list features a wide variety of options for any type of menu and environment diners are looking for.

The annual list comes on the heels of OpenTable’s national “Frame the Feeling” promotion, an initiative to help families capture the moment as they reconnect this Mother’s Day. The campaign offers professional family photos for all reservations made on Mother’s Day at 14 select restaurants nationwide.

The 100 Best Brunch Restaurants in America for 2021 according to OpenTable diners, are as follows (listed alphabetically):

  1. a’Bouzy – Houston, TX
  2. Ambar Capitol Hill – Washington D.C.
  3. Anis Cafe and Bistro – Atlanta, GA
  4. Atchafalaya Restaurant – New Orleans, LA
  5. The Aviary Restaurant & Bar – Swansea, MA
  6. Baldamar – Roseville, MN
  7. The Barn at Rocky Fork Creek – Gahanna, OH
  8. Beachcomber Cafe – Crystal Cove – Newport Coast, CA
  9. Beetlecat – Atlanta, GA
  10. Bistro at Edgewood Tahoe – Stateline, NV
  11. The Bistro at LaBelle Winery Amherst – Amherst, NH
  12. Bistro L’Hermitage – Woodbridge, VA
  13. Bistro Niko – Atlanta, GA
  14. Black Bass Hotel – Lumberville, PA
  15. Blue Bell Inn – Blue Bell, PA
  16. The Boathouse – Lake Buena Vista, FL
  17. Brennan’s – Multiple Locations
  18. Bristol Seafood Grill – Leawood, KS
  19. Brix – Napa, CA
  20. Buttermilk & Bourbon – Boston, MA
  21. Cabra – Chicago, IL
  22. Café Ba-Ba-Reeba – Chicago, IL
  23. Cafe Monte – Charlotte, NC
  24. Canoe – Atlanta, GA
  25. Cap City Fine Diner & Bar – Grandview – Columbus, OH
  26. Cappy’s Restaurant – San Antonio, TX
  27. Carson’s Food & Drink – Lexington, KY
  28. Cheever’s Cafe – Oklahoma City, OK
  29. Chianti Grill – Burnsville, MN
  30. The Dandelion – Philadelphia, PA
  31. Del Vino Vineyards – Northport, NY
  32. Duke’s La Jolla – San Diego, CA
  33. Eiffel Tower – Las Vegas, NV
  34. Eight4Nine – Palm Springs, CA
  35. Fabian’s Italian Bistro – Fair Oaks, CA
  36. Farmhouse at Rogers Gardens – Corona Del Mar, CA
  37. Flight Restaurant & Wine Bar – Memphis, TN
  38. The Food Market – Baltimore, MD
  39. Foreign Cinema – San Francisco, CA
  40. The Front Yard – North Hollywood, CA
  41. Good Day Cafe – Golden Valley, MN
  42. Grace’s – Houston, TX
  43. Great Maple – San Diego, CA
  44. Green Valley Grill – Greensboro, NC
  45. The Hampton Social – Multiple Locations
  46. Happy Camper – Denver, CO
  47. Haywire – Plano, TX
  48. Hazelwood – Bloomington, MN
  49. Hell’s Kitchen – Caesars Palace – Las Vegas, NV
  50. The Henry – Phoenix, AZ
  51. Honey Salt – Las Vegas, NV
  52. JOLO Winery & Vineyards – Pilot Mountain, NC
  53. La Merise – Denver, CO
  54. Lake Elmo Inn – Lake Elmo, MN
  55. Latitudes on Sunset Key – Key West, FL
  56. Le Diplomate – Washington D.C.
  57. Le Yaca – Williamsburg, VA
  58. Ledger Restaurant & Bar – Salem, MA
  59. Lindey’s – Columbus, OH
  60. Little Goat – Chicago, IL
  61. Lon’s at The Hermosa – Paradise Valley, AZ
  62. The Love – Philadelphia, PA
  63. Madison – San Diego, CA
  64. Meson Sabika – Naperville, IL
  65. Mon Ami Gabi – Las Vegas, NV
  66. Murphy’s – Atlanta, GA
  67. OBC Kitchen – Lexington, KY
  68. Old Ebbitt Grill – Washington D.C.
  69. Ouisie’s Table – Houston, TX
  70. Pacific Coast Grill – Cardiff By the Sea, CA
  71. Parc – Philadelphia, PA
  72. Perch – Los Angeles, CA
  73. Pier W – Cleveland, OH
  74. Poor Calvin’s – Atlanta, GA
  75. Preserved Restaurant – St. Augustine, FL
  76. Prime: An American Kitchen & Bar – Huntington, NY
  77. Print Works Bistro – Greensboro, NC
  78. RH – Multiple Locations
  79. The Rooftop by JG – Beverly Hills, CA
  80. Rooney’s Oceanfront Restaurant – Long Branch, NJ
  81. Root Down – Denver, CO
  82. Seed Kitchen + Bar – Marietta, GA
  83. Sheldon Inn Restaurant & Bar – Elk Grove, CA
  84. Simon Pearce Restaurant – Quechee, VT
  85. Soby’s – Greenville, SC
  86. Summer House Santa Monica – Chicago, IL
  87. Sunset Terrace – Omni Grove Park Inn – Asheville, NC
  88. Talula’s Garden – Philadelphia, PA
  89. The Tap Room at Dubsdread – Orlando, FL
  90. Tavern 4 & 5 – Eden Prairie, MN
  91. Terrain Cafe – Glen Mills, PA
  92. The Tropicale – Palm Springs, CA
  93. Ulele – Tampa, FL
  94. Union and Finch – Allentown, PA
  95. Vintage – Vail, CO
  96. WeHo Bistro – West Hollywood, CA
  97. Whiskey Cake – Plano, TX
  98. Wine Bar George – A Restaurant & Bar – Orlando, FL
  99. Yardbird Southern Table & Bar – Multiple Locations
  100. Zaytinya – Washington D.C.

The complete list may also be viewed at: https://pages.email.opentable.com/Top100BrunchUS. To learn more about the “Frame the Feeling” promotion, visit the OpenTable blog at http://blog.opentable.com/2021/mothers-day-2021-frame-the-feeling.

OT Best Brunch Methodology:
The 100 Best Brunch Restaurants list is generated solely from diner reviews collected between from April 1, 2020 – March 31, 2021. All restaurants with a minimum rating and number of qualifying reviews were included for consideration. Qualifying restaurants were then scored and sorted according to the sum of tags for which “brunch” was selected as a special feature.

*OT Survey Methodology:
OpenTable partnered with YouGov on April 19 – 20, 2021 to survey 1,326 adults (aged 18+) online within the U.S. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all U.S. adults (aged 18+).

About OpenTable
OpenTable, part of Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG), powers reservations for the hospitality industry. OpenTable’s software seats more than 1 billion people per year and helps more than 60,000 restaurants, bars, wineries and other venues attract guests, manage capacity, improve operations and maximize revenue.

Mississippi’s Asya Branch Wins Miss USA 2020
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Miss USA pageant winner Asya Branch smilign with sash on and clasping hands

Better late than never! Months after the competition was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Miss Mississippi USA Asya Branch has been crowned Miss USA 2020.

Branch, 22, was awarded the coveted title on Monday in a competition that aired live from Elvis Presley’s Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee. She was crowned by her predecessor, Miss USA 2019 Chelsie Kryst.

Placing second runner-up was Miss Oklahoma USA Mariah Jane Davis, and just ahead of her was first runner-up, Miss Idaho USA Kim Layne.

Branch was the first African American to be named Miss Mississippi USA and comes from Booneville.

Prior to her win on Monday night, Branch shared her take on gun laws in her final statement.

“We should require people to pass training and safety classes” before attaining guns, she said.

This year’s winner was chosen by a selection committee that included Fox Nation host Abby Hornacek, entrepreneur Gloria Mayfield Banks, sports reporter and Miss USA 1999 Kimberly Pressler, businesswoman Susan Yara, Miss USA 2000 Lynnette Cole and Carolyn Aronson, CEO of It’s a 10 Haircare and Be A 10 Cosmetics.

The night’s festivities — which were originally slated for spring, but got postponed due to COVID-19 — were hosted by sports reporter and Miss Teen USA 2005 Allie LaForce and American Ninja Warrior co-host Akbar Gbaja-Biamila, a former professional football player.

The competition also included a virtual performance by American Idol alum Haley Reinhart.

With the crown now sitting pretty atop her head, Branch will move to New York City to represent the Miss USA brand and various philanthropic organizations, just as Kryst did before her.

“Being Miss USA has afforded me the opportunity to be an advocate for issues that deserve attention, including criminal justice reform and racial inequality,” Kryst said in a statement. “I am proud to continue the legacy of national titleholders who speak up and encourage change, and I look forward to supporting the next Miss USA and Miss Teen USA in doing the same.”

Continue on to People to read the complete article.

Photo Credit: People

Letter from the Editor: Fall 2020
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Newest Rihanna Cover for Professional Woman's Magazine

By Samar Khoury

Our first Wonder Woman issue was created three years ago, featuring the Wonder Woman film, and it has soared in popularity ever since. Each year, we select women doing amazing things, and there is no shortage of them. Women all over the world are inspiring us to follow in their footsteps and take the lead.

Wonder Woman 1984 will make its debut this year, once again starring Gal Gadot. But she and original Wonder Woman Lynda Carter are heroines not only on-screen but also in real life. Read about what the dynamic duo is up to now on page 25.

What’s more, our cover story – the amazing, caring, and hardworking Rihanna – is truly an example of grace and resilience, which is why we made her Professional WOMAN’s Magazine’s Wonder Woman of the Year.

The philanthropist has made it her mission to give back and push for equality, and she hasn’t stopped. Through her businesses, charity organization, and big heart, Rihanna never ceases to amaze us. The superstar has been especially supportive of the Black Lives Matter movement and has even provided generous donations to COVID-19 relief efforts. “We are not staying silent and we are not standing by. The fight against racial inequality, injustice, and straight up racism doesn’t stop with financial donations and words of support,” the icon stressed.

But Rihanna’s accomplishments go far beyond the above. Read more about the thriving businesswoman’s efforts to make the world a better place on page 38.

This issue is full of inspiring and dedicated women moving the needle: Senator Kalama Harris, the second African-American woman and first South Asian-American senator in history, and now presidential candidate Joe Biden’s running mate; the Duchess of Sussex; executives paving the way in business; and much, much more.

If you think you can’t make it in business during these unprecedented times – think again. As you flip through this issue, you’ll discover many powerhouses are thriving right now – some are even reinventing their industries.

Every issue of Professional WOMAN’s Magazine aims to motivate you to be the best version of yourself. Even during uncertainty, being your own wonder woman is more than possible, and what better time than the present to show your worth? The women in this issue have been thriving among uncertainty, and you can, too!

Samar Khoury
Managing Editor
Professional WOMAN’s Magazine

Ava DuVernay Launches ‘When They See Us’ Online Education Initiative
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Ana Durvernay at a press event

Ava DuVernay’s When They See Us educated many people on the story of the Exonerated Five, the young men wrongly convicted in the attack on a Central Park jogger in 1989.

Now, the award-winning director and writer is using the groundbreaking miniseries for a new online education initiative.

Via ARRAY, her multi platform media company and arts collective, DuVernay is launching ARRAY 101.

On May 28, the Oscar nominee revealed on Instagram, “Today, I’m so, so proud to launch a project that my comrades at @ARRAYNow and I have been working on for over a year. Today, we launch #ARRAY101: dynamic learning companions for all our film/TV projects.

Continue on to BET to read the complete article…

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Landmark Ruling Grants Women Equal Rights in Indian Army
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A group of people, mostly women, holding small Indian flags in the air.

By Sara Salam

In February, India’s Supreme Court ruled in favor of equal rights in the country’s armed forces, ordering the government to grant permanent commission and command positions to women officers in consistent practice with men.

This landmark judgment means that all women will now be eligible for the same promotions, ranks, benefits and pensions as their male counterparts. While the court’s ruling does not permit women to serve in army combat units, like the infantry or artillery corps, they are now eligible to command entire battalions or run the intelligence department.

This change will allow women to serve a full tenure and earn a higher rank, with greater salary and leadership potential. Women have been inducted into the army through short service commissions, which only permit them to serve for 10 to 14 years.

“This change will lift up women – not just in the army but all girls across the country and the world,” said Lt. Col. Seema Singh to reporters after the court ruling as reported by CNN.

In the judgment, the Supreme Court indicated that it was time for change in India’s armed forces.

“The time has come for a realization that women officers in the army are not adjuncts to a male dominated establishment whose presence must be ‘tolerated’ within narrow confines,” the court said.

Source: CNN

Michigan’s Eastpointe Welcomes its First Black Mayor
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Mayor Monique Owens sitting on a bench and smiling and the camera

By Sara Salam

In November, Monique Owens became the first Black mayor of Michigan’s Eastpointe.

Prior to her election as mayor, Owens served as a councilwoman for two years. Owens is the first African American elected to either position.

Her journey to this post has been nothing short of eventful.

Back in 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a suit in which it argued that Eastpointe violated the Voting Rights Act. The suit claims Eastpointe systematically denied its African-American residents the opportunity to elect people who look like them by holding citywide votes for its city council seats. In contrast, cities like neighboring Detroit divide the city into districts, which then elect their own representatives.

One outcome of the lawsuit was Owens’s election to the Eastpointe City Council. Subsequently this past November, she was elected mayor. She narrowly beat fellow City Council member Michael Klinefelt, earning 1,648 votes to his 1,629 votes—a 19-vote victory.

Currently, about 30 percent of Eastpointe’s 32,000 residents are African American. According to the U.S. census, African Americans made up 4.7 percent of the population in 2000.

Owens is the first African American elected to either position.

Owens moved from Clinton Township in Macomb County to Eastpointe about ten years ago. She started her career as a clerical employee in the Detroit Police Department and later as a Wayne County Sheriff deputy.

She first got into politics when she applied to finish an Eastpointe council member’s term following their death. She applied again when a council member resigned a month after they were elected.

After her election to the Eastpointe City Council in 2017, she developed a greater desire to serve as mayor.

“I want people to own their own homes, be proud of where they live at and invest more into the city,” Owens said in a statement.

She also wants to work with police to lower crimes and bring more recreation parks to the city.

A community once named East Detroit, Eastpointe changed its name in 1991 per voter choice as a means of distancing itself from the negative connotations associated with its Motor City neighbor.

Owens wants to help educate Black people about politics and public policy that she was not taught as a child.

“I want to write a children’s book to teach kids about public policy at a young age,” she said. “When they get to a certain age, they will know what a councilperson is, what a mayor is—and become that.”

Sources: michiganadvance.com; clickondetroit.com; metrotimes.com

Top Organizations to Receive Diversity and Inclusion Honors Award At Annual Conference
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The Association of ERGs & Councils (a practice group of PRISM International, Inc.) released their annual list of the Top 25 US Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), Business Resource Groups (BRGs) and Diversity Councils set to receive the tenth annual 2019 ERG & Council Honors Award™ at an award ceremony during the 2019 ERG & Council Conference in Orlando May 3rd.

The 2019 ERG & Council Honors Award™ is the only annual national award that recognizes and honors the outstanding contributions and achievements of ERGs, BRGs and Diversity Councils. It was established in 2008 by the Association of ERGs & Councils, a practice group of diversity and inclusion consulting and training firm PRISM International, Inc.

The 2019 ERG & Council Honors Award™ recipients are a diverse combination of US organizations representing most sectors, geographies and sizes. “This year we had a diverse pool of highly qualified applications representing 1,079 ERGs, BRGs, Diversity Councils and their chapters,” states Fernando Serpa, Executive Director of the Association of ERGs & Councils. “We also had several non-Top 25 groups demonstrate best practices and results that deserve to be recognized and they will be receiving the Spotlight Impact Award™ that highlights the achievements of these select groups in the categories of Organizational Impact, Talent Management and Culture of Inclusion.”

This year, for the first time, the Association of ERGs and Councils will bestow the honor of Top Executive Sponsor of the Year. “We wanted to recognize and call out the important role executive sponsors play in developing, supporting and enabling their ERGs and Councils to succeed,” Serpa said.

The 2019 ERG & Council Honors Award™ Top 25 recipient rankings will be revealed at the May 3 award ceremony at the Disney Yacht & Beach Club Resort in Orlando, Florida. The Award Ceremony and Conference is open to all diversity and inclusion professionals involved with ERGs, BRGs and Councils.  This is a great opportunity for individuals to learn and share best practices, network, grow and celebrate, to become inspired and be renewed…all for the purpose of increasing their impact on key organizational and business objectives. Learn more by visiting ErgCouncilConference.com.

The 2019 ERG & Council Honors Award™ recipients in alphabetical order include:

  • American Airlines – American Airlines Diversity Advisory Council
  • Atrium Health – Atrium Health Divisional Diversity Councils
  • Bank of America – Military Support & Assistance Group ( MSAG)
  • Cleveland Clinic – ClinicPride Employee Resource Group (ClinicPride ERG)
  • Cleveland Clinic – Military/Veterans Employee Resource Group
  • Cleveland Clinic – SALUD
  • Davenport University – Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council
  • Entergy Corporation – Entergy Employee Resource Group
  • Erie Insurance – Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council
  • Froedtert Health – Froedtert Health Diversity Council
  • General Motors – General Motors Employee Resource Group Council
  • KeyBank – Key Business Impact and Networking Groups
  • Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals – Mallinckrodt Inclusion & Diversity Council
  • Mount Sinai Queens, part of the Mount Sinai Health System – Mount Sinai Queens Diversity Council
  • Mount Sinai St. Luke’s, part of the Mount Sinai Health System – Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Diversity Council
  • National Guard – Joint Diversity Executive Council
  • Northern Trust Corporation – Advancing Professionals Resource Council (APRC)
  • Northern Trust Corporation – Women In Leadership Business Resource Council (WIL BRC)
  • Northwestern Mutual – Asian ERG
  • Northwestern Mutual – Northwestern Mutual Women’s Employee Resource Group
  • Novant Health – Asian Business Resource Group
  • PNC Financial Services Group – Corporate Diversity Council
  • State Street Corporation – Professional Women’s Network – Massachusetts Chapter (PWN-MA)
  • Texas Instruments – Texas Instruments Diversity Network (TIDN)
  • Turner, Inc. – Turner Business Resource Groups
  • U.S. Bank – Spectrum LGBTQ Business Resource Group
  • U.S. Bank – U.S. Bank Proud to Serve

The 2019 Spotlight Impact Award™ recipients in alphabetical order include:

  • Dominion Energy – Dominion Energy Executive Diversity Council (EDC)
  • FedEx Services – Diversity and Inclusion BRT Council
  • Food Lion – Diversity and Inclusion
  • MUFG Union Bank, N.A. – Women’s Initiative Network (WIN)
  • Summa Health – Diversity and Advisory Council

The 2019 Executive Sponsor of the Year recipients in alphabetical order:

  • FedEx Services Diversity and Inclusion BRT Council – Rebecca Huling
  • Perdue Farms Inclusion Council – Randy Day
  • Southern California Edison Company (SCE) Women’s Roundtable (WR) – Maria Rigatti
  • U.S. Bank Proud to Serve – Mike Ott

About the ERG & Council Honors Award™
The ERG & Council Honors Award™ is the only annual national award that recognizes, honors and celebrates the outstanding contributions and achievements of ERGs, BRGs and Diversity Councils that lead the diversity and inclusion process in their organizations and demonstrate results in their workforce, workplace and marketplace. Learn more by visiting ERG & Council Honors Award™.

About the ERG & Council Conference™
ERGs and Diversity Councils are vital links for improving organizational results. However, to remain impactful and effective, they need opportunities to increase their skills and knowledge and to learn and share best practices. They need opportunities to network, celebrate and grow. This is the purpose of the only annual conference designed specifically for ERGs, BRGs and Diversity Councils. Learn more by visiting ERGCouncilConference.com.

About the Association of ERGs & Councils
The Association of ERGs & Councils is a practice group of PRISM International Inc. and the premier resource for transforming Employee Resource Groups, Diversity Councils and Employee Network Groups to impact key organizational and business objectives. Learn more by visiting the ErgCouncil.com.

About PRISM International, Inc.
PRISM International Inc., a Talent Dimensions company, is a WBENC-certified, full-service provider of innovative and proven consulting, training and products for leveraging diversity and inclusion, addressing unconscious bias, increasing cross-cultural competencies and creating more effective ERGs and Diversity Councils. Learn more by visiting PrismDiversity.com.

NDILC Membership Drive: Senior Executive Women with Grit!
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Women in the Housing & Real Ecosystem (NAWRB) is seeking additional senior executive women to join our exclusive NAWRB Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council (NDILC). By cultivating and leveraging each other’s resources to advance gender equality and women’s economic growth, we will help more women achieve leadership positions.

About NAWRB NAWRB is a leading voice for women focused on advancing gender equality, raising the utilization of women-owned and small businesses and providing the tools for economic security, stability and sanctuary. We provide one of the most wide-ranging resources in the industry, covering topics and issues affecting women in the housing ecosystem from poverty and homeownership to leadership opportunities and family offices.

NAWRB is one of only 9 organizations listed on the national platform for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as a Partner Resource for Women-Owned Businesses.

History of NDILC The housing ecosystem has been critically lacking women in upper management and the utilization of women owned suppliers across their platforms. While Dodd-Frank Section 342 created the Office(s) of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI), the overall act lacks defined regulations for the accountability of the regulated entities.

In 2015, NAWRB introduced our Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Council, dedicated to raising the number of women leaders and growing women’s employment and empowerment at all levels in the housing ecosystem. Our Council, comprised of senior executive women, works diligently toward gender equality and obtaining equal opportunity for women across America.

The leaders on the NDILC work together to achieve their shared goals by leveraging each other’s resources, offering mentorship and education training, sharing opportunities for women’s advancement and highlighting individuals and organizations who are making a difference in achieving gender parity. Council members can focus their efforts in the following sub-committees:

  • Communication/Media
  • Education/Mentoring
  • Women’s Leadership

“We will share, better understand the impacts of, and develop good solutions to assist our industry in promoting diversity for all women. The focus of our Council will be to develop women’s diversity best practices that will be adopted by many leading companies and executed broadly across our industry. These practices will help women at all associate and leadership levels enhance our financial services and real estate businesses in the future.” – Rebecca Steele, President & CEO of National Foundation For Credit Counseling (NFCC)

Continue onto NAWRB to read the complete article.

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Upcoming Events

  1. Wonder Women Tech
    October 26, 2021 - October 29, 2021
  2. CSUN Conference
    March 13, 2022 - March 18, 2022

Upcoming Events

  1. Wonder Women Tech
    October 26, 2021 - October 29, 2021
  2. CSUN Conference
    March 13, 2022 - March 18, 2022