Based on our ongoing discussions with women of color (primarily with African- American, Asian, Hispanic and Native-American women), across the country whose opinions we valued, we learned that all of us felt it was critical for us as women to share our successes, triumphs and yes, our failures, with our peers and younger women coming along behind us.
Thus, we developed a unique concept and forum to facilitate the collaboration, networking, mentoring, sharing, development and training of women and girls of color. While our personal and professional goals are perhaps the same as other women, our career challenges, family pressures, social obstacles and life stresses, as women of color are very different.
Several major programs and activities have been or, are being developed to address these concerns:
-The Women of Color Foundation is a 501c3, tax-exempt foundation organized in 2005, to foster networking and to provide personal and professional development, education and training to all women of color. Our predecessor organization was under the name of womenofcolorevents.com, that began hosting the executive retreats in 2003.
-“Connections, Community and Career: A Personal and Professional Development Retreat for Women of Color,” (an annual training retreat for professional women and college students of all colors, held in Cleveland, OH, 2003-2019; Columbus, OH, 2006-2015; Cincinnati, OH in 2007 and 2008; and Chicago, Illinois in 2007 and 2009)
-Women of Color Leadership Development & Training Institute (an annual 1-day leadership development and training conference targeting a broader cross-section of women and girls of color, held in November each year in Cleveland, Ohio 2006-2019)
-Stellar Awards Luncheon (an annual event celebrating Women of Color and bestowing: the Woman of the Year; the Young Professional Woman of the Year; and the Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones Courage Award” during the Annual Leadership Development and Training Institute, 2006-2017)
-The WomenSpeak™ Collaborative (a consortium of local, regional and national organizations focusing on the needs and concerns of, and programs benefiting women and girls of color)
-Women’s Prison Outreach Initiative (a ground-breaking, unique collaboration with the Ohio Reformatory for Women (ORW) in Marysville, Ohio. The ORW is the 4th largest women’s prisons in the United States. (2015-2019)
-Women’s Entrepreneurial Program (WEP) (an entrepreneurial program designed to develop local women-owned businesses)
-Annual Speaking of Women! A Quarterly Dialogue Series for Women in Leadership (In partnership with American Greetings Corporation, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland State University, Dominion and the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District 2010-2020)
-Women’s EmployMEnt Project (a women’s employment initiative funded by The Honor Project Trust in 2014)
-C L Magazine (a quarterly, digital, career & lifestyle magazine for women and girls of all colors, launched in the 1st quarter of 2015. We will celebrate our 7th Anniversary of publication in 2021! www.CL-Magazine.com
-“C-Suite” Executive Women’s Summit (an experience for corporate and non-profit executives and entrepreneurs; 2016-2020)
-“Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony” (an event honoring phenomenal women from across the region, held in 2012 and 2017)
-C L Magazine Live!: Discussing Issues that affect our Lives & our Communities! (a 30-minute program on WOVU Radio, 95.9 FM)