NABFEME's Jennifer Nash, Johnnie Walker (founder) and Zina Brown

The National Association of Black Female Executives in Music and Entertainment, a networking organization founded by 30-year music industry veteran Johnnie Walker in 1999 to create a support and empowerment resource base for professional women of color in music and entertainment, has expanded its reach. “Our circle of power extends beyond women in music and entertainment to include the industries that we’re connected to: literary, fashion, event planning, social media, travel, culinary arts, etc.,” explains Walker during a Smart Women Meet Up event in Atlanta.

NABFEME networks are located in Atlanta, Chicago, D.C./Mid Atlantic, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Raleigh/Durham, San Francisco, Toronto, Memphis and Nashville, Tenn., Raleigh/Durham, N.C., and others.

One of the organization’s most notable events is the NABFEME Shero Hall of Fame, which honors leading women in entertainment whose career paths have opened doors for others. Past honoree includes Ruby Dee, Nona Hendryx, Suzanne de Passe, Sylvia Rhone, Jamie Foster Brown, Patti LaBelle, Paula Madison, Dr. Johnetta B. Cole and others. Other popular programs included the salute to the Celebrity Moms, saluting Ludacris’ mom Roberta Shields, Kanye West’s late mother Donda West and quite a few others and the Mentor Luncheons where women shared their experiences in the music and entertainment industries.

“Our entire mantra has been to create a community of women that network together and support each other,” says Walker.

NABFEME is actively recruiting and renewing memberships locally and via www.nabfeme.org. –yvette caslin