From April 8-10 at the McCormick Place, Chicago, The Black Women’s Expo celebrated its 22nd anniversary with the theme “She Matters”. The event included performances, awards, and seminars dedicated to black women to celebrate strength. Over 30,000 people from 14 surrounding states attended the expo.
During this first stop on the Expo’s three city tour, Guordan Banks, Tony Terry, and Kelly Price took to the Expo stage on Saturday, April 9, and Gospel standouts Tiff Joy, Deitrick Haddon, and Hezekiah Walker led the “BWE Praise Break” the following day. Under the theme, the Black Women’s Expo offered African American women an opportunity to get informed, empowered, and enlightened, while discovering the latest trends and amazing new products and services specifically created for them.
The informative seminars and panel discussions were presented by notable local and national speakers and lecturers, educational exhibits and corporate displays, and rousing entertainment. The expo’s seminars and workshops were far ranging and engaging, featuring topics that impact women’s daily lives. A Town Hall Meeting took place examining the issues around police involved shootings and protecting civil rights produced by the Chicago Defender, WVON – The Talk of Chicago, and the Chicago Urban League. There was also a Teen Summit addressing issues pertinent to African American youth.
“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,” said Merry Green, founder of the Expo. “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.”
The event also offered themed pavilions to attendees including the Literary Café, which showcased African American authors and booksellers; the Natural Hair Pavilion, featuring products specifically for natural hair; the Health & Wellness pavilion, where local medical institutions provided much-needed health information and screenings; B-Groomed Men’s Den, a space where male guests can experience pampering and grooming, as well as see the best in men’s fashion; the Kidz Korner, sponsored by Mariano’s. New this year is an Art Pavilion curated by artist Jonathon Romain featuring 10 outstanding artists.