Merry Greene has been a trailblazer since her career began almost 30 years ago as she became WOKR-TV’s first African American assistant program director. She founded An Expo for Today’s Black Woman that continues today as The Black Women’s Expo. The weekend celebrates, enlightens and uplifts African American women and their families with informative seminars and panel discussions hosted by national speakers.
Rolling out had a chance to visit with Green as she prepped for the 25th annual Black Women’s Expo slated for the weekend of April 12 in Chicago.
What inspired you to create an expo for Black women years ago?
I was at the radio station and our demo was 60 percent African American women and 40 percent men, and so naturally my job was to create programming for the demographic. It was something that was missing and it made sense for us to do something that capitalized on the fact that we had this strong female listener base and we wanted to engage with them. We never thought we’d be around 25 years. I don’t take it lightly, many events have come and gone. We are the oldest and longest running and we’ve heard more than once that we’ve been the most respected.
Why is it important for experienced Black women to reach back and help younger women of color?
It’s very important for us to do this, although it’s hard to make this happen. It’s important for us to keep them from going through the same trials and tribulations as we had to go through. I am always mindful that I accomplished the things I did because of many women that paved the way for me. It keeps me humble and reminds me it’s my responsibility to do the same. My entire staff is basically millennials. Our generation’s job is to teach and inspire them so that they don’t have to go through what we want through so that they can go even further than we have.
What thoughtful or encouraging piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
If there was one thing I would tell myself it would be to slow down. I have three sons and I would’ve slowed down just a little bit and took time to smell the roses. It’s important to stop and smell the roses. In the effort to be successful and do all the things we need to do, sometimes we move too fast.
What three success habits do you implement into your daily routine to maintain your success, sanity and peace of mind?
I get sleep! I get [the] rest that’s important and it helps you regenerate and have a clear mind. It’s important to get the quality of rest for your body. I stay informed on the latest things. I am a CNN, MSBNC junkie and then I realize that I didn’t get here by myself, so I know I’m never alone.
For more information on the Black Women’s Expo visit: www.theblackwomensexpo.com.