Thought leaders gathered to discuss important moments, both past and present.
The history of civil rights in the United States was the topic during the Icons of the Civil Rights Movement Empowerment Experience. Moderated by Rev. Al Sharpton, attendees were able to hear the personal stories from such storied civil rights leaders as Congressman John Lewis; Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton; Shirley Sherrod, formerly of the USDA; and Myrlie Evers-Williams, the widow of Medgar Evers.
The packed room listened with rapt attention as each guest covered topics ranging from their personal stories, to the Trayvon Martin trial, to the impact homophobia has played in the history of the black community.
Myrlie Evers-Williams spoke at length about life in the aftermath of her husband’s assassination and how it spurred her to take charge of her life. When asked what advice she had for young black women, without hesitation she said, “Believe in yourself. Know your strengths and weaknesses if possible and build on those strengths.” Just short of thirty years-old at the time of Medgar Evers’ death, she revealed that it had been her late husbands’ encouragement that sparked a transformation in how she regarded herself and her abilities. “To believe in yourself, to have someone who believes in you, whether it’s a significant other or family or friends, the key word is believe.”