Queen Latifah hosted an exciting and dynamic day that honored women from the past, present and future at American Evolution Women’s Achieve Summit held at the Greater Richmond Convention Center on October 15, 2019.
The Summit offered panel discussions, interviews and keynotes from notable female business leaders, politicians, activists and major public figures, as well as story-slam style commentaries from selected Virginia women.
“All year Virginia’s been telling authentic stories of 400 years of democracy, diversity and opportunity in America. Women have not always been invited to participate in that democracy. Oh but we in it now!” Queen Latifah said to the crowd of 1,400 women and men.
Senator Mark Warner was the co-host of the event. This year, American Evolution partnered with the Virginia Women’s Conference sponsored by Warner, an annual business conference that brings together women from the Commonwealth.
Trailblazer and former NASA astronaut Captain Wendy Lawrence was the first to sit down and chat with Queen Latifah. During their talk, she reflected on the moment she first proclaimed that she was going to be an astronaut. It happened when she was 10 years old watching the first walk on the moon broadcast with her family on their television. Her dream was first ignited at that moment.
“The beauty of being 10 you know, you dare to dream,” Lawrence said. “I was possessed by a dream, so I absolutely understand the power of having a dream.”
Queen Latifah and Lawrence then discussed how women, more than men, often will fill themselves with self-doubt and will cause their own dreams to fall flat. “That’s why I say to kids, you owe it to yourself to try. You never know unless you try,” said Lawrence.
Chasing dreams and going after what you believe in was the theme of many of the female speakers’ stories. The list of speakers ranged from women who paved the way in the science world like Lawrence to women who said no to beauty standards in the pageant world like Nancy Redd, who is the 2003 Miss Virginia, best-selling author, Webby-winning on-air host and speaker on women’s body image.
The other astounding female speakers included Shannon Siriano, Founder of Rebelle Con and the Rebelle Community; Connie Nyholm, Owner and CEO of the Virginia International Raceway; Anne Richardson, Chief of the Rappahannock Tribe; Eboni K. Williams, Attorney, best-selling author and television personality; and many more.
The summit was a great networking opportunity for the attendees. There was even a CrowdCompass event app where guests shared posts, commented on each other’s posts and connected with each other.
The app also gave guests the chance to participate in the live Q&A sessions with speakers during some of the sessions.
The summit ended on a very high note with Mika Brzenzski, Co-Host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Author of All Things at Once, Knowing Your Value and Obsessed, as the keynote speaker.
“It’s such an honor to be here at the Women’s Achieve Summit, and because of the path that so many have paved, women are achieving. Yes we are,” said Brzenzski as she began her speech.
She gave what she called a “crash course” in “Knowing Your Value,” and listed four points from her best-selling book: you gotta know it, you gotta grow it, you gotta share it and you gotta play for the long game.
The Women’s Achieve Summit was a great event filled with empowering advice for both attendees and speakers. The Summit had an abundance of media coverage and social media buzz before, during and even after.
Check out the full sessions on our YouTube Channel here to experience the excitement of the Summit.