NBMBAA Atlanta Chapter presents Women’s Leadership Summit

Chapter president Travis Townsend shares how this event will inspire the next generation of leaders

On May 18, 2023, the National Black MBA Association Atlanta Chapter hosted a Women’s Leadership Summit featuring different women dominating their respective occupational fields such as DeDe Brown, senior vice president, of multicultural marketing and publicity at Paramount Pictures; KC Copeland, executive director, wealth management digital marketing at Morgan Stanley; Dr. DeRetta Rhodes, executive vice president and chief culture officer at Atlanta Braves; and Lydia Smith, chief diversity officer at Victoria’s Secret.

The evening also honored NextGen, Kamelah Muhammad, manager of social responsibility at the National Basketball Association.

Atlanta chapter president Travis Townsend shared how this event will impact future leaders.

What was the inspiration behind the Women’s Leadership Summit?

It’s sort of the basic that we’re supposed to be advancing wealth and growth opportunities, education and career advancement opportunities within the Black community. You would just be remiss if you’re a serious organization, not to have a program that has an emphasis on our women. You have to do that if you’re serious about doing it.

How is the event helping to prepare future leaders? 

Concerning the next generation of women leaders, we brought together some very experienced, accomplished women leaders who have committed to being honest, forthright, and vulnerable about their experiences. They always commit, they’re so awesome, and they’ve done so many things. They’re up here, but they always come in and they’re willing to tell them the truth about their stories, for young women leaders to be able to hear some of the things that they’re experiencing and to know that you can overcome them. Our panelists had the very same experiences, and [can offer] practical tips, tricks, and guidance. They’re going to get all of that. Then just the stories of some of the accomplishments are just inspirational. Sometimes it’s just good to know and see what people have done and what can be done to learn and to continue to get up the next day, and do it with a lot of energy and passion.

What does this event mean to you on a personal level?

I have a sister, and I have a young daughter. For me, I don’t want them to have any cap. I don’t want there to be any sort of ceiling or plateau for them. I think the road should be as equal for them. It should be as flat for them as [it has] been for every male, and I want them to be inspired. I want them to know that the lane is clear. Creating institutions I feel like driving the advancement of women is a viral situation. What I mean by that is we’re going to inspire some women in this room, we’re going to ask them to give back based on what they received today, and then they’re going to be in a room at some point where they’re multiple women, and my daughter might be in that room one day. For me, driving that, knowing that I can improve the world that my daughter’s coming up is extremely important. That’s the personal part.

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