Vice President Kamala Harris to Open Black Women’s Roundtable Summit 
Photo by Win McNamee

Vice President Kamala Harris is slated to deliver opening remarks at the Black Women’s Roundtable 10th Annual “Women of Power National Summit.” The four-day event kicks off virtually on Wednesday, March 24 and runs through Sunday, March 28. It is open to the public. 

The multigenerational conference will bring together more than 700 participants—Black women and teens aged 13-to-17—from at least 20 states, territories and Washington, D.C. 

The summit will focus on amplifying the voices and power of Black women and girls who have shaped history and currently play key roles in politics, civil rights, social justice, advocacy, business, education, labor, faith, government, philanthropy and more. 

This year’s theme, “Rebuilding Hope, Justice, Equity & Equality,” aims to leverage that collective and individual influence amidst a series of unprecedented health, racial and other crises impacting America. Organizers also plan to celebrate Women’s History Month and the historic election of VP Harris.  

“The past year has been one of immense challenges. It was a year marked by loss, pain and a series of events that tested our nation’s moral character,” said Melanie L. Campbell, president/CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, and convener of the Black Women’s Roundtable. 

Despite what Campbell called “unprecedented turbulence,” she said the country has also experienced “glimmers of hope.”

“We elected the first Black and South Asian vice president of the United States and saw Black women in Georgia lead a historic shift.” 

She added, “We are honored and delighted that Vice President Harris will bring opening remarks. We also know that her very presence will encourage [our] girls to dream even bigger dreams and believe they can be anything they want to be.”

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Organizers said participants will strategize public policy priorities impacting Black women, their families and communities, with a goal of developing empowerment plans for this year and beyond.  

BWR will also release its 2021 Policy Agenda and Annual Report, which includes policy recommendations for a host of critical issues. They include COVID-19, racial justice/hate crimes, criminal justice/policing reform, voting rights, affordable housing, education, environmental justice/climate change, entrepreneurship, paid family leave, raising the minimum wage and more. 

Besides the vice president, a host of elected officials and leaders are expected as speakers and presenters. They include Biden-Harris Administration appointees: Marcia Fudge, secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); domestic policy advisor, Susan Rice; UN Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield; and Natalie Madeira Cofield, assistant administrator for the Office of Women’s Business Ownership. 

Lawmakers scheduled to participate include: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA); Congressional Black Caucus chair, Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH); Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), vice-chair, Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls; Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA); Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA); Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI) and Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA). Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and Prince George’s County, Maryland executive Angela Alsobrooks are among the municipal leaders.  

“Our purpose for gathering this year could not be clearer,” said Campbell. “As we enter a new chapter in our nation’s history, we have an unprecedented opportunity to shape the health and wealth of our communities,” 

For more information on registration, see the Eventbrite link here.