Hundreds of women convened at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis for the National Coalition of 100 Black Women’s Oakland Bay Area Chapter (NCBW-OBAC) 20th annual Madam CJ Walker luncheon on Friday, April 6, co-chaired by Abiola Ashorobi and Robyn Cameron. A favorite of Bay Area women, the business and community awards recognition luncheon themed “Honor the Past, Treasure the Present, Shape the Future” feature veteran television broadcaster Pam Moore as mistress of ceremonies.
Keynote speaker, rapper, author and actress, MC Lyte inspired guests about the importance of education and preparation for “their dreams,” while sharing highlights of her nonprofit Hip Hop Sisters Foundation. “We’ve provided $900,000 in college scholarships in the past 4 years,” she said.
Entertainment was provided by vocalist Yasmeena with a special performance by Heat Dancers. The national president of the NCBW, Virginia Harris greeted guests along with chapter president Aisha Brown. A’Lelia Bundles, the great great granddaughter of Madam C.J. Walker signed copies of her latest book. She also supplied hair product samples for each of the guest bags from the Madam C.J. Walker Beauty Culture line. Madam C.J. Walker is credited with becoming the nation’s first self-made millionaire after starting a hair care business in 1910.
Event honorees included president of the San Francisco Port Commission, Kimberly Brandon, LaNiece Jones of LA Jones and Associates, District Attorney, Contra Costa, Diana Becton and Beverly Greene of AC Transit. Each honoree received certificates of commendation from the offices of Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Representative Keith Carson and San Francisco Board of Supervisors president and mayoral candidate, London Breed. I’m honored and blessed beyond words,” said Brandon. “I am hallelujah happy and thank God thrilled,” said Diana Becton.
Brenda Wright of Wells Fargo was recognized for her many years of support and the KBLX family honored Miranda Wilson for her Sunday Morning Inspiration radio show. An emotional Wilson thanked her supporters through the years, especially when she was off-the-air for 7 years at a time when she began a baked goods venture and spent half a year providing hospice care for her mother.
Two empowerment sessions prior to the awards ceremony included speakers such as Molly Ford of SalesForce and the Honorable Dezie Woods-Jones, CEO of the Training Institute for Leadership Enrichment (TILE).
The NCBW sponsored the Positive Steps program and essay for young girls. Essay contest winner Camille Batiste, a sophomore at The Athenian School in Danville wrote of her grandmother, Christina “Fun Fun” Morton, who inspired her to travel the world. She also wrote about how cultural immersion experiences in Madagascar, India and Ecuador enriched her life along with her faith and favorite Biblical scripture Luke 12:48 “To much is given, much is expected.”
The NCBW focuses on empowering young women and girls through women’s health, financial education, mentoring and community service programs. For more information visit: onehundredblackwomen.com