NCNW, Ashley Stewart Campaign to Empower Black Women, Girls

Retailer opens doors as a safe haven, mentor center

have the highest labor force participation rate of any group of women. Also, she says black women tend to be clustered in very low wage jobs with little access to health benefits.

Ashley Stewart Stores is one corporation that is ahead in the game on this issue, says Mary Kay Devine, director of work force development policy, at Women Employed, an organization that helps to remove barriers to economic equity for working women. With a workforce that is made up of 98% blacks and 97% women, Ashley Stewart offers full-time associates paid, short-term disability and six to eight weeks of maternity leave.

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  • Robin Caldwell

    This is such a smart program. I hope it does well and the word continues to spread about it.

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  • Good concept but it is not focused enough.

    1. It focuses on Black Women and Girls. Are they doing something collectively or independently for those groups?

    2. Where are these mentoring places located? Physical? Online?

    3. What does a $30 membership pay for?

    4. How is ‘talking about’ things empowering people? Who is talking about these things? Community leaders and advocates? Professionals? What is the call to action?

    This article does not speak to me and the person who will probably need this most is probably not a subscriber to Black Enterprise Magazine or browsing this website.

    The program needs to be better defined and/or the article better written. Inspire me as a member of YOUR target audience to get excited about this program and want to get involved with it and make sure people in my network know about this.


    • Courtney Wise

      1.) The program focuses collectively on Black women and girls. It is a cross-generational discussion series.

      2.) The meeting places are Ashley Stewart stores in your particular area. The partnership is such that NCNW will plan the program while Ashley Stewart will provide the venue.

      3.) Your $30 national membership in NCNW pays for resources which are shared with NCNW sections so that they might operate effectively, i.e. leadership training materials, leadership conferences, national staff positions, and essentially all people/tools needed to make sure an organization as large as NCNW can operate. Additional section dues provide individual section treasuries; as you may well be aware, even in the nonprofit world, services cost money.

      4.) Talking about things empowers people by informing them of issues they may not have been aware about and giving them the tools to take action after they leave. Talking about things, particularly in a diverse group–in this case diversity will be found perhaps in age, socioeconomic status and personal background–enables people to grow their community perspective and community view by learning and interacting with people who actually aren’t like them–even if they share the same skin color. Talking about things, in this regard, will empower attendees to realize that there are women who want to make some changes in their personal lives and/or communities, and put them in touch with one another so that they may leave and connect later on. Talking about things in a forum such as this will allow attendees to expand their personal networks.

      NCNW Sections will allow not only community members/attendees to talk with one another, but will also bring in experts from whatever fields are being discussed.

      Essentially, the call to action is for the attendee to join NCNW and participate in regular community service at the end of the event, or take charge of her physical health, or financial health, or mental health or whatever health based on the topic of discussion. Quite frankly, that is the purpose of community-minded groups like sections of NCNW–to give people the tools to improve their individual selves so that those individuals may in turn become part of movements that transform their communities. To say that this article, or even the partnership between NCNW and Ashley Stewart does not speak to YOU is one thing; to say that the person who may need to attend the forums isn’t being reached either, because they don’t read Black Enterprise is quite another. Middle-class and upper-class, college educated Black women also struggle with weight, mental illness, domestic violence, aging parents, autistic children, sexism, AIDS, cancer, sickle-cell anemia, identity theft, foreclosure, and a myriad of other things which you only have to be alive to know. Should you find that such an approach doesn’t do it for you, I’m sure you won’t have any trouble finding masses of other groups which you might be interested to join in this age of new and massive media.

  • If you want to hear a reader’s feedback 🙂 , I rate this article for four from five. Decent info, but I just have to go to that damn yahoo to find the missed pieces. Thanks, anyway!

  • Montrey (Lane) Suddeth

    I want to commend the prisident Dorthy L. Height for such a wonderful organization, fantastic information I want in, and I know several of my friends have been trying to get a program started like this , now how do I get such a program started in Akron, Oh?

  • allison salter

    how can i become a mentor inside the program with ashley stewart here in tampabay florida

  • Natasia

    Is this program in New Jersey? I would love to get involved.

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    Usually I do not learn post on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very pressured me to try and do it! Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thank you, quite nice post.

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