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Kelly Price, Tony Terry perform at The Black Women’s Expo in Chicago

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Photo credit: Courtney Bell

The Black Women’s Expo celebrated its 22nd anniversary in Chicago April 8–10 at McCormick Place. The event marked the first stop of a three-city tour that will take BWE to Atlanta and Washington, D.C. During the three-day run, The Black Women’s Expo attracted over 30,000 people from 14 surrounding states.  This year’s theme was “She Matters.”

The expo offered African American women an opportunity to be empowered through information while discovering the latest trends and amazing new products and services created specifically for them. Over 200 small businesses and corporations were represented.

Attendees were offered informative seminars and panel discussions presented by celebrities, notable local and national speakers, and lecturers. The packed workshops addressed issues on relationships, health and wellness, racial equality, hair and beauty, travel, career advancement, entrepreneurship, the welfare of our children and much more.  S. Epatha Merkerson discussed living with and managing diabetes.  Leon, Sheryl Lee Ralph, and Kym Whitley talked about the state of Black Hollywood.  Dennis Kimbro and The Six Brown Chicks explored topics on relationships. Rushion McDonald educated people on financial issues and Porsha Williams talked about being a Boss.

There were also workshops that addressed some of the challenges that have been plaguing Chicago. The Chicago Defender, WVON, and 100 Black Men sponsored a Town Hall Meeting examining the issues around police involved shootings and protecting our civil rights. Teens were also provided with a summit addressing issues pertinent to African American youth.

Entertainment at the event was plentiful.  Local radio and television stations broadcasted live. There was also a main stage that featured national and  local talent. Headliners included Kelly Price, Deitrick Haddon, Bishop Hezikiah Walker, Tony Terry and Tiff Joy.

Founder Merry Green shared, “At the Black Women’s Expo we’ve always championed the fact that Black women matter and we’ve sought to celebrate all the roles they fill in their family, career and community. This year’s theme of ‘She Matters is a recognition of the times in which we find ourselves, and we plan to carry that message of support for Black women across the country in 2016.”

This year the experience will extend to the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Sept.16–18 and Atlanta’s Georgia World Congress Center Oct. 7–9Go to www.blackwomensexpo.com for more information. Check out the pictures from the event.