Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Final Roundup: Conference Picture 3

The final set of pictures from the conference photographer, D. Jerome Smedley.  Click HERE to see.


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Final Roundup: Conference Pictures 2


Check out the second album of pictures from our conference photographer,  D. Jerome Smedley.  See the pictures HERE2.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Final Roundup: Conference Pictures 1

Here is a group of pictures from the first day taken by D. Jerome Smedley, the conference photographer.  See the pictures HERE1.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

It's Kairos Time!

On Saturday, September 1, 2012 for the Closing Luncheon, Bishop Teresa Snorton in the participants of the Phenomenal Women's Summit with a message that inspired and encouraged the audience to recognize the importance of the moment.  Using Ecclesiastes and Esther 4 as reference points, Snorton discusses kairos time and the relationship between this conference and how it is strategically placed in the lives of the attendees.  Hear the full sermon below:

video

Morning Meditation



This morning, D'Marie, known more commonly as Rev. Dolly Pankey presented a fusion of scripture and original songs for meditation.  Participants were also invited to pray in small groups to center themselves for the day.

A few of the scriptures were as follows:  1 John 4:14-18Romans 8:35-39Jeremiah 31:3, and
1 John 4:7-8

Hear one of D'Marie's songs below:


Uniquely You...Celebrate Your Phenomenal Style


On Saturday, September 1, 2012, the Phenomenal Women's Summit 2012 ended with a luncheon to commemorate the rejuvenation, reaffirmation and education that took place over the 3 day event.  The morning included a recognition of all the sponsor, a moving Introduction of the Speaker by Ms. Jeanette Bouknight, solos by Sherolyn Coachman and a closing sermon by Bishop Teresa E. Snorton.   Rev. Dr. Vanessee Burns did the closing commissioning and D'Marie left the participants with a her song, "I'm Not the Girl I Used to Know".  Hear the introduction and watch the video of D'Marie's performance.

Jeanette Bouknight's Introduction of Bishop Teresa Snorton

video


D'Marie's "I'm Not the Girl I Used to Know"

video



Sheyann Webb-Christburg



During the third Plenary session on Saturday, September 1, 2012 at the Phenomenal Women's Summit in Birmingham, Alabama, Sheyann Webb-Christburg, Civil Rights Activist gave a keynote address.

Webb-Christburg is a native of Selma, Alabama, one of eight children.  A known humanitarian activist, mentor and advocate, she is the author of Selma, Lord, Selma: Girlhood Memories of the Civil Rights Days, depicting her childhood experiences growing up during the Civil Rights movement.  Hear her speech from the conference below:



video




Friday, August 31, 2012

Phenomenal in Shades of Purple: Benefit Concert

On Friday, August 31, 2012, the Phenomenal Women's Summit held a benefit concert for the Initiative African American Women Against Diabetes.  MC'd by LeNa Ferguson Powe, Miss Black Alabama 2011, it featured Gospel Folk artists Joyce & Jacque, guitarist Roland Gresham, dancers One Step Above and a special Appearance by Grammy Nominate American Idol Winner Ruben Studdard.  Click on the videos to see highlights of the performances.  Pictures to come!


One Step Above
Roland Gresham
Ruben Studdard

Benefit Concert Preview

This afternoon, Joyce and Jacque, a gospel folk duo, did a sound check before their performance this evening.  Check them out.


Thank you to our Sponsors


The Phenomenal Women's Summit would not have been possible without the help of the following sponsors.  We'd like to acknowledge the following:

Councilor Steven W. Hoyt, President, Pro Tempore
Birmingham
Dr. George French, President
The National Institute for Human Development
The City of Birmingham
Alabama Power
Miles College
Gourmet Services, Inc.
Troy State University
Exford Architects
Holiday Properties
The Sheraton Birmingham and BJCC
Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau
Mr. Richard C. Willis
Mrs. Rita Woods

Fellowship, Style and a little Exercise



 On Friday, August 31, 2012, attendees of the Phenomenal Women’s Summit in Birmingham, Alabama proved that they can be both intelligent as stylish by mixing a Luncheon/Fashion Show in with their morning sessions. While partaking in a healthy lunch, Orlando Hunter of It's All About You Enterprises served as Master of Ceremonies of a show featuring styles by the vendors at the Summit with ready to wear looks. 

In addition, participants were able to work off their lunch and energize themselves with a Fitness Check featuring Patrick Parker and Jerri Haslem of Black People Run Bike and Swim. 

More pictures to come!  Check out www.blackpeoplerunbikeswim.com for more information.


Quilts for Kids


At the Phenomenal Women’s Summit in Birmingham, Alabama on Friday, August 31, 2012, registrants participated in the Quilts for Kids service project.  Quilts for Kids' mission is to "transform discontinued, unwanted and other fabrics into patchwork quilts that comfort children with life-threatening illnesses and children of abuse." Women at the Summit sewed, ironed, pinned and stitch fabric together in order to reach the goal of 10 quilts.  See the pictures below...more pictures to come! 

In the meantime, check out http://www.quiltsforkids.org/ for more information.









Phenomenal Spiritually




Dr. Karen Griffin (picture) from the Interdenominational Theological Center, Atlanta, GA engaged Summit partakers in a session entitled “The Phenomenal Spiritual Self” on Friday, August 31, 2012, in Birmingham, Alabama.  She started by defining phenomenal as "great, extraordinary, outstanding." Sometimes, women lose sight of themselves. "Our spirituality is song that we sing and the our connection to God," mentions Griffin.  "When we lose our voice and our agency, we lose our connection to God."

This session was about working to recapture lost voices.  "Until I find my place, I don’t have anything to say," said Rev. Griffin. "We don’t hear the music because we are afraid to participate and then just stop giving."  After setting a foundation, Rev. Griffin allowed participants to share their stories and experiences of being silenced, and invited ways to find their voices again.  The powerpoint below goes into further details of her presentation.



Phenomenal Physically



On Friday, August 31, 2012, TJ Estell and staff of One Step Above in Atlanta, GA presented on "The Phenomenal Physical Self Dancing as a Star" through line dancing. 

TJ expressed the importance of moving your body and doing it in a fun way.  Originally from Detroit, MI, TJ and a group of urban artists sough to find an alternative to dancing in the clubs.  One Step Above was birthed out of that desire.  Taking a few volunteers, TJ proceeded to show how the dance company works by teaching the participants a line dance. Check out the video below.



For more information on http://www.1stepabove.com/

Morning Workshop Sampler





Bishop Snorton introduced the presenters who each gave a small tidbit of their presentation.  More from each of these Phenomenal people after lunch!  Those who presented were the following:
  • Abundant Living with Diabetes Dr. LaSalle French Barmore, Brownstone Total Family Healthcare, PC
  • The Phenomenal Physical Self Dancing as a Star: TJ Estell and staff, One Step Above, Atlanta, GA
  • The Phenomenal Spiritual Self: Dr. Karen Griffin, Interdenominational Theological Center, Atlanta, GA 

  • The Phenomenal Self as Entrepreneur – LaVa Darby, Founder/CEO, Darby Enterprise, Birmingham, AL.

Women Rock: We Just do




At the second plenary session on Friday, August 31, 2012, Mrs. Bobbie Knight presented on the subject of "Women Rock: We Just Do" for the Phenomenal Women's Summit 2012 in Birmingham, Alabama.  Knight mentioned that as Black Women, even though we had "setbacks, we still achieve."  She first started by talking about her family, particularly her mother.  

"As a little girl in Zion City, I was really carved and changed as a result of events that happened."  Knight explained.  She lived near a Race Trac where the Ku Klux Klan often gathered, so there was danger but her family instilled in her solid religious ties and work ethics. Her mother always stressed the importance of education.  As a pastry chef, she was polished and pressed her chefs work outfits.  It was where Knight learned style her mother’s style -- hats, suits, gloves.  

One Sunday morning, 49 years ago, when the bomb went off at the 16th Street Baptist Church, killing the 4 little girls and deforming 1.  Knight was emotion in the memory as she understand the weight of knowledge that she was in a church basement in Sunday school at the time of the bombing and it could have been any other church, including her own.  Birmingham will start a year long commemoration of the bombing because it was one of the catalysts for the movement.  "A little black girl could not dream of being a major officer at a corporation in 1963," said Knight.

Quoting Martin Luther King, Jr's Eulogy for the girls, she says "God still has a way of wringing good out of evil….The innocent blood of these little girls may well serve as a redemptive force (Yeah) that will bring new light to this dark city.”

Knight reiterated to the participants that each of them is a a jewel and can make some changes.  "Just be the precious jewels that you are, and that tomorrows diamonds will see us as a shining example."

Bishop Snorton allowed the audience to ask questions - the following is the dialogue that came out of that inquiry:

The question was posed how did she survive 34 years in a company.  She reflects on being one of five children, and is the only one of them still in residence.  Mrs. Knight mentioned that they often talk about how the Birmingham now is not the Birmingham from then.  When she arrived at Alabama Power, there were very few women in supervisory roles.  Mrs. Knight survived by learning.

Who were your mentors?
She said she had many mentors who had no clue who they were.  One was Brenda Fache – she admired her walk, her style and her work ethic. Mrs. Knight also mentored that there were also many men who helped because that’s who she was around the most.

She likes to take the best part of people and through away the ugly parts.  She would use the traits to help herself become better. Worked also in Tuscaluso and…Started in customer services, then went to Human Resources.  Steve Spencer (she was assigned to him), they grew up around the same place and she subsequently worked with with him in 4 other positions.

Knight was also asked about her parents and growing up as a child under such dangerous situations.
She mentioned her parents were very protective and as children, they never really understood the magnitude.  She mentioned how her brothers would throw rocks at the Klan even though they were warned not to.  They didn’t know they were without anything or that they were in a segregated neighborhood.

She was bused by “forced busing” in high school and the integration was difficult for the first two years.  While those persons at the school didn’t want them there and those being bussed didn’t want to go. Mrs. Knight mentioned some of those persons did become lifelong

She was finally asked if a young African American woman was new to the company and asked for advice, what would she give?  Knight responded.
1) Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You don’t know what you don’t know.
2) Life is about continuous learning.  Read everything.
She reads fiction but also Annual reports, the history of the company.  Educate yourself.
3) Keep it real and don’t lose you.  Don’t run away from you.
Knight replied, “People ask me how I survived 34 years [at Alabama Power], it’s because I’ve never been confused about who I was.”

Knight left us with one final thought, "Let the light amplify through you for, after all, you rock!"

Hear the full speech below:


video

Exploring the Phenomenal Self



How can you develop into a Phenomenal Woman without considering all aspects of the self?  On Friday, August 31, 2012 at the Phenomenal Women’s Summit in Birmingham, Alabama, participants developed deep into the self by choosing from 8 different concurrent sessions to rejuvenate their minds and bodies.  The sessions were: 
  • The Phenomenal Physical Self Dancing as a Star: TJ Estell and staff, One Step Above, Atlanta, GA
  • The Phenomenal Spiritual Self: Dr. Karen Griffin, Interdenominational Theological Center, Atlanta, GA
  • The Phenomenal Self in Community – Kerrie Pruitt, The Dannon Project, Birmingham, AL.  “Giving Your Best to Community”
  • The Phenomenal Self as Entrepreneur – LaVa Darby, Founder/CEO, Darby Enterprise, Birmingham, AL
  • The Phenomenal Healthly Self - Dr. LaShelle French-Barmore, Brownstone Total Family Healthcare
Stay tuned for reflections from the summit participants!

Starting Day 2!


Day 2 of the Phenomenal Women’s Summit in Birmingham, Alabama, Friday, August 31, 2012, brought with a greeting from Bishop Teresa Snorton and a prayer by Rev. Lavonia McIntyre, pastor of St. John’s CME Church in Monticello, GA.  Participants were also greeted by Rep. Barbara Boyd, from the 32nd District in Calhoun, Talladega Counties in Alabama.


Bishop Snorton then introduced Mrs. Bobbie Knight, Vice President of Alabama Power, who reflected on the subject of "Women Rock: We Just Do" (see article "Women Rock: We Just Do") Immediately following the talk, Bishop Snorton invited open dialogue between the women and Mrs. Knight.  Bishop Snorton asked then for the audience to call out one word that would describe the experience of her talk today.  Words like “extrodinary”, “dynamic” and of course “She rocks!” (although it was two words).

Changing the workshop: each person will give a 15 to 20 minute sampler for this morning and participants can chose from the full workshops this afternoon.

“Into my Heart, Into my Heart, Into My Heart, Lord Jesus…”


On Friday, August 31, 2012, engagers in the Phenomenal Women’s Summit attended Morning Meditation, lead by Rev. Dolly Pankey.    This session of musical and spiritual engagement encouraged a collaborative worship experience and including Harry D. Clark's hymn, "Into My Heart".  A prayer was offered by Sister Allen and the scripture Psalm 139: 1-18; 23 - was offered. For Silent Meditation, Rev. Pankey read a devotion from Sarah Parsons’ meditation in the Episcopal Lay Women’s Devotional “Searched and Known”.   “Sometimes we have things we want to keep from God,” Pankey muses, “but the psalmist says there is no place we can go that is outside of God.”


She then offered space for Quiet Time, inviting persons to reflect, pray, walk around, write and just be with God “not trying to hide anything, not trying to hold back from God.”   After another prayer to close out, Rev. Pankey continued playing a range of hymns, contemporary worship songs and spirituals. 


Phenomenal Woman Morning Refresh


On Friday, August 31, 2012, the Phenomenal Women’s Summit participants rose early to do a little physical exercise and stretch.  Lead by Ms. Cynthia Ward from South Side CME Church in Birmingham, Alabama, this low intensity, energy building workout encompassed warm up, cardio, core building, strength training, chair exercises and a cool down to a contemporary gospel playlist.  See below the group of women increasing their phenomenal level through movement.






Thursday, August 30, 2012

White Lights and Southern Nights

After the keynote address on Thursday, August 30, 2012, the participants of the Phenomenal Women's Summit relaxed at white reception.  Hosted by President Dr. George French and Miles College, participants were invited to wind down and partake in the “White Lights and Southern Nights”.   Miles College Sorority Members greeted conference attendees, offering those not wearing the color of the event a white flower wrist corsage.   All were lead to tables simply decorated with pure love roses in vases, mounted with blue and green iridescent stones.  Blues notes from the Preservation Jazz Band Combo permeated the air, of the offering renditions of  “All of Me” and “Route 66” while women commenced the sharing process.  There is much work to be done, and a moment to bask in the fullness of the Summit was much needed to fully center themselves as the brilliant beings God made them to be.   Surely it was great night to be phenomenal!

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Are There any Phenomenal Women in the House?

After months of anticipation, at 7:30pm on Thursday, August 30, 2012, women and men from around the country gathered in the South Ballrooms of the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel to officially open the Phenomenal Women's Summit 2012.  Following a music medley by Rev. Dolly Pankey including  "Hold to God’s Unchanging Hand", "Thank you, Jesus" and "What a Fellowship", Bishop Teresa Snorton, Presiding Prelate of the 5th Episcopal District of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church and Summit Program Chair asked, “Are there any Phenomenal Women in the house?” 

 Snorton then recounted the story of the group of women meeting at the Rosa Parks Museum in Montgomery, Alabama to plan the Summit.  "Meeting at that location was not a coincidence nor an accident, it was intentional," she expounded, "we chose that site because of the significance of the woman, Rosa Parks, the phenomenal woman she was."   Snorton goes on to mention that Summit's goal is to answer two questions and achieve one milestone:  1) Where are we?  2)Where do we go from here? and 3) Sharing each other's stories.  Each presenter has been asked to share their story; likewise participants are asked the to also share their story; all parties are asked to fully integrate themselves into the experience.    In addition, Snorton is asking for participant to complete 10 quilts for the Children’s Hospital before the end of the Summit; no prior quilting experience needed.

The Greeting was then given by Dr. Wanda Levine, the District 6 House of Representative, of the city of Birmingham and Pratt city.  Prayer for the evening was offered by Belinda McCain, Mayor Elect of Sipsey, Alabama and the Scripture, Jeremiah 18:1-4, was read by Rev. Sharon Mitchell. A recitation of Maya Angelou's poem, "Phenomenal Woman" was done by Ms. Lilly Davis.  Rev. Mildred Watson, who also served jointly as the evening's worship leader introduced the speaker of the hour, Rev. Dr. Teresa Fry Brown, professor of Homiletics and Director of Black Church Studies at Emory University (see article "Diva Rehab"). Rev. Rosalyn Brown offered the Invitation and Commitment before ending the service.  

Pictures to follow! 




An Event for all Phenomenal Women!

Welcome to the Phenomenal Women's Summit 2012 in Birmingham, Alabama.  Presented by the National Institute for Human Development and hosted at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel, women are pouring in from all over the country to have a holistic, enjoyable, relaxing and inspiring experience.  Check back here often for conference updates and reflections!


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