Power Rising, a national summit dedicated to empowering Black women, comes to Philly

The summit is by Black women for Black women. This year’s agenda covers various topics, such as affirmative action, healthcare and more.

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Stacey Abrams speaking at a podium

Stacey Abrams speaking at Power Rising 2022. (Power Rising)

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The national Power Rising summit brings a series of empowerment discussions to  Philadelphia this week.

The gathering, dedicated to celebrating and promoting Black women as leaders, features renowned speakers, celebrities and musical guests from Feb. 8 to 11 at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown. Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker will kick off the event with opening remarks.

“As we prepare to visit this vibrant city from February 8th to 11th, we are inspired by Mayor Parker’s dedication to public service and commitment to creating positive change,” Power Rising posted on Instagram. “Philadelphia’s rich history and dynamic community make it an ideal backdrop for important conversations and connections.”

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The summit emerged in 2018 from a need to connect more Black women across industries and interests to boost participation as voters and political actors.

“We wanted to create a space where Black women could come together and talk about the issues that were affecting us and create our own destiny,” said co-organizer Rev. Leah Daughtry, a nationally-known activist, author and bishop. “We’re excited about welcoming sisters to the City of Sisterly Effectiveness, as Miss [Katharine] Richardson called it this morning at city council.”

Daughtry said it is especially important to convene this year, and added:

“Attacks on [Black women] leadership are escalating. This is a time for us to come together, encourage each other … to plan the course ahead, particularly this pivotal election year,” she said. “Although we don’t come here to do politics, everything is political when it comes to Black women’s lives.”

In the past, political leaders such as Stacey Abrams and Kamala Harris and celebrities such as Star Jones were in attendance.

The convening will explore a range of topics including the power of collaboration, DEI and affirmative action, healthcare, imposter syndrome and Black women in leadership. The agenda features diverse sessions highlighted by a  Saturday workshop on Black women in artificial intelligence (AI).

The panel on AI highlights “Black women experts who have led AI’s development in industry, and been involved in research and policymaking will frame the importance of raising awareness about the technology’s role in society.” Sesha Joe Moon, the chief diversity officer of the U.S. House of Representatives, lauded the event for its place in discussing diversity, equity and inclusion.

“I look forward to bringing ‘Congress to Communities’ in celebration of Black History Month and Women’s History Month,” Moon wrote, who will speak during the DEI panel discussion.

“Power Rising is a convening designed to serve as a safe space for Black women who are committed to creating an actionable policy agenda that can help to influence the betterment of their core, communities, and country,” Moon told WHYY News.

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Guests slated to appear include Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Joanna E. McClinton, Fatima Goss Graves, CEO of the National Women’s Law Center, and Kelley Robinson, president of the Human Rights Campaign. Philly’s own Musiq Soulchild is one eagerly anticipated musical guest.

Power Rising will focus on five key pillars: Business & Economic Empowerment; Culture, Community, and Society; Education, Technology, and Innovation; Health & Wellness; and Political Empowerment.

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