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ALG initiative profile: Women Empowerment

The African Leadership Group’s Women Empowerment initiative is  preparing for its big annual event, which coincides with International Women’s Day in March.

This year’s theme is “Women in Entrepreneurship. and Economic Empowerment.” The fourth annual event will showcase how “our parents are committed to actively supporting our children through parent engagement; and how our youth are inspired by education through our Youth Empowerment program.” 

The event will take place online on Saturday, March 5, with a virtual happy hour from 4p.m. to 5 p.m. and a program from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. You can register for the event here.

“The purpose of the event is to have a time and place where we can celebrate women, we encourage women, and do our best to support women,” said Tonya Cooper, who co-chairs the initiative for ALG.

The Women Empowerment group will honor three women whose entrepreneurial spirit and success can inspire others to follow in their footsteps, Cooper said. “These are women who are doing their work within our communities to build our communities,” she said.

Beyond its annual event, the Women Empowerment Initiative works together with other ALG initiatives to provide services to the African diaspora as well as other communities in need.

“We like to support other committees with their events,” Cooper said. “A couple of years ago when ALG gave away soccer shoes we helped with that. We also supported the Covid vaccine clinics, and when the Health and Wellness initiative does other events, we like to be present to offer mammograms and other women’s health services.”

Cooper, a native of the Bahamas, said when she first heard about ALG, she wasn’t sure if its programs were intended for non-Africans. But when she attended the International Women’s Day event in 2019, when she had just moved to Colorado from North Carolina,  all her uncertainty disappeared.

“ I felt so at home, I felt loved immediately walking in, I felt a sense of community,” she said. “And so I said to myself, I want to be a part of this.”

Beth Abate, Cooper’s Women Empowerment co-chair, said the welcoming atmosphere is at the heart of ALG in general and the Women Empowerment initiative specifically. “ALG is a big family and we all feel that,” said Abate, who is Ethiopian. “In Women Empowerment, we have a great platform for women from all over the world.” 

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