Convened by Jane E. Smith, Ed.D., executive director of the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement at Spelman, the conference will showcase a host of influential women and their perspective on the theme, “New School Leaders of the Digital Era.”
“Technology is embedded in everything we do,” said Smith. “This year’s conference will offer bold, new-age strategies on how to successfully navigate and harness the influence of the various digital platforms and concepts that impact our reality. It will also focus on how women of color are a critical part of this digital movement. The digital world transcends demographics and is a driving force in our society, which makes the topic and timing of this conference ideal.”
Game Changers Award Recipients
Spelman will celebrate the impact and influence of exceptional women leaders in the digital era with the conference’s annual Game Changers Awards. A Game Changers honoree is a 21st century leader who is powerful, forward thinking and embraces her drive for excellence. Recognized for their exemplary leadership and commitment to creating positive change, the following women (and others) will be presented with the 2015 Game Changers Award:
Kathryn Finney, founder of digital undivided, is credited as one of the first African-American fashion bloggers and a motivator for encouraging women of color to not only be leading consumers of technology, but to tackle the entrepreneurial side of a very lucrative industry. Finney also developed FOCUS100, an annual event that aims to train 100 Black women founders and co-founders from tech-based start-ups on how to raise funding.
Jacqui Chew, founder/CEO of iFusion Marketing, is also a believer that innovation is the engine to growth and economic development. As the visionary of iFusion Marketing, she puts that belief to work by helping high-growth and Internet-enabled businesses build products that customers want to buy.
Kimberly Bryant, founder of Black Girls Code, established the organization in 2011 in hopes of rectifying the underrepresented female and African-American demographic (25 percent and three percent respectively) within the technology industry. Offering programs such as computer programming, coding, as well as website/robot/mobile application-building courses, she hopes to provide African-American youth with the skills to occupy some of the 1.4 million computing job openings expected to be available in the U.S. in 2020.
Lauren Wesley Wilson, president of ColorComm Inc., is on a mission to see more women of color holding senior positions in the communications field. Wilson credits her ability to build relationships to managing communications for a United States congresswoman and creating a forum that allows women to share experiences and learn from each other in order to enhance their professional careers.
Digital Media Speakers
Groundbreaking female speakers who are driving the charge in the information age will also be showcased at the conference. On day two, a panel of media leaders will examine the make or break reality of communicating in a 24/7 global news cycle and the new rules needed for responsible reporting in the digital era. A few of the confirmed media panelists include:
Shelly Jones Jennings, vice president and director of digital for Earl G. Graves Ltd./Black Enterprise. As a strategic digital communications advisor, Jennings works to create dynamic digital packages and user experiences across the Black Enterprise platform. This includes launching the first African-American magazine iPad app, BE App’d.
Mary Hudetz, editor of Native Peoples magazine. Hudetz oversees the first and largest, paid-circulation, consumer magazine geared toward the arts and culture of indigenous peoples of the Americas. Hudetz is a former editor on The Associated Press’ West Regional Desk in Phoenix.
Doris Truong, home page editor at The Washington Post. Truong previously worked on the newsroom’s multi-platform editing desk. Being a longtime supporter of media diversity, Truong co-chaired the Post’s newsroom Diversity Committee.
Advance registration for the conference will end April 22. For more details and to register, visit www.spelmanwomenofcolorconf.com.
Join the discussion for this year’s event and theme across all social media platforms by using the hashtag #SpelmanWOCC.