I could not sleep the night before I caught my flight for Palm Springs. Part of it was anticipation, while the other reason was procrastination. The car bringing me the airport was late, getting through security was a hassle, and my connecting flight out of LAX was delayed. But in this one particular instance, the journey wasn’t as important as the destination. Because, once I arrived to the 2008 Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit in La Quinta, CA, my grievances subsided. Though in its third year, this is my second time attending. Last year, the event was held in Phoenix, AZ and long story short: it exceeded my expectations and before it even ended, I’d already promised myself I’d be back for 2008. And here I am. Today, I am just as full of excitement and awe as I was then. It’s a bit surreal to have over 700 women of all different ages, backgrounds, and experience together in one place, sharing the strategies and lessons of (successfully) surviving the world we both work and live.
And it’s only fitting that we start this conference each year by honoring women who’ve helped pave the way for us. All four of the honorees: Ruby Dee Davis, Ann Fudge, Nikki Giovanni, and Dr. Dorothy Height, embody perseverance, commitment, confidences and ingenuity. In accepting her award, Dr. Height said it best as to why an event of this caliber is imperative. “The better you feel about yourself, the more you can help others,” said the pioneer. “And the more you can help others, the better you will feel about yourself.” In addition to the world, the lives we lead are full-circle; it takes not only passion but purpose to attain happiness. And the underlying tone of the conference thus far has been that regardless of age or ambition, you have got to take the time to cultivate your power, find your voice and challenge yourself to not only listen but act.
So, I pose the question: How will you power forward? This is the mantra of the conference and should be the motivation for all as we make our way into 2008 and beyond. How do you plan to take your goals to fruition be them of a personal or professional nature? We have got to in everything we do regardless how difficult or unattainable it may seem at first. In addition, we have to remember that there is a select group of women in front of us willing to help as well as too many women to count behind us looking for the same guidance that we seek. And I think that’s the motivation that has brought us all here and out of their daily routine and environment…to prove that we not only want to know better, but want to do better.
We have more power than we think we have. The better you feel about yourself the more you can help others, and the more you help others, the better you feel