Celebrating a Lifetime of Excellence at Women of Power Summit

Black Enterprise honored the legacies of powerful women who have blazed trails in their respective industries at the 2016 Black Enterprise Women of Power 11th Annual Legacy Awards Gala, sponsored by PepsiCo.

With remarks by PepsiCo’s Senior Vice President, Chief Global Diversity and Engagement Officer, Deborah Rosado Shaw; ADP’s Corporate Vice President of Client Experience and Continuous Improvement, Debbie Dyson; and Vice President, Global Chief Diversity Officer for EMC Corporation, Jackie Glenn, Black Enterprise honored the legacies of the golf pioneer and the first African American women to be inducted into the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of Saint Andrews, Renee Powell, singer, actress and author, Vanessa Williams, and founder of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and recipient of the Barbara Graves Legacy Award, Dr. N. Joyce Payne.

The legacy awards were presented to these brilliant, bold, brazen, and brave women who have now become exceptional additions to Black Enterprise’s legacy sisterhood. “My legacy is to break down barriers and open doors wide enough for others to walk through,” says the first legacy award winner Dr. Renee Powell.

Overcoming adversity and immaculately thriving despite all odds earned Vanessa Williams a 2016 Legacy Award. “The real reward comes when you take a leap,” clarifies Williams. “I hope that people see me as a survivor; not a victim, but a survivor who never stopped.” Williams went on to offer profound insight on the desires of us all, “we all want the same things–success, passion, love, support, sisterhood and togetherness”

D.r N. Joyce Payne humbly accepted the highly-regarded Barbara Graves Legacy Awards while describing where her lasting legacy began. “I’ve been a rebel since the first grade, and nothing has changed. I ran for the president of my first-grade class, and I’ve been leading ever since.”

Lion Babe performs at the 2016 Women of Power Summit (Black Enterprise)

Neo-soul duo Lion Babe closed the awards gala with an electric performance.

To commemorate the evening, Chicago native twin sisters and visual artists, who also both happen to be elementary school principals, Rebecca and Rachel Crouch, painted 4 original pieces representing strength and powerful black women to be gifted to each Legacy Award recipient.