Owning Our Power: Highlights from the Jazz Brunch & Women of Power Gathering

See highlights from our Black Women of Power Jazz Brunch & Gathering event at this year’s Essence Fest in New Orleans!

This year’s Essence Fest in New Orleans was especially inspiring for us at the Mississippi Black Women’s Roundtable. On July 5, with the help of our partners at the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP), Black Women’s Roundtable, and Black Women’s Roundtable Louisiana, we brought together leaders, advocates, and changemakers for an afternoon celebrating the power of the sister vote.

With an impressive panel of moderators and event hosts, guests were able to engage in interactive discussions about voting, explore the economic impacts of their vote, learn ways to lead and mobilize, and also peek into how younger generations are voting and participating in elections. 2024 is a presidential election year, making it all the more vital for Black women in Mississippi and beyond to step into their power and make their voices heard at the polls.

We are so grateful to our hosts, moderators, and sponsors for making this event such a powerful space for connection, learning, and lifting up the sister vote. Thanks also to everyone who participated!

Event Hosts

Melanie L. Campbell is the President & CEO of the National Coalition on Black Participation and the National Convener for the Black Women’s Roundtable.

Cassandra Welchlin is the Executive Director & Co-Covener of the Mississippi Black Women’s Roundtable.

Gwendolyn Hughes is the Convener for the Louisiana Black Women’s Roundtable.

Mistress of Ceremonies

Pamela D.C. Junior, Director Emeritus, Two Mississippi Museums, Historian, and Motivational Speaker


Jotaka Eaddy, Founder, #WinWithBlackWomen, Founder & CEO, Full Circle Strategies

Rev. Shavon Arline-Bradley, President & CEO, National Council of Negro Women (NCNW)

Special Greetings

Marc H. Morial, 59th Mayor of New Orleans, Chairman of the Board, National Coalition of Black Civic Participation, President and Chief Executive Officer of National Urban League

Erica Loewe, Special Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff for the White House Office of Public Engagement

Partner Greetings

Mikhiela Sherrod, Ph.D., Director, US Domestic Program, Oxfam

Joi Owens Norwood, Esq., Program Officer, W. K. Kellogg Foundation

Tanya Lombard, VP, Global & External Affairs, Head of Strategic Alliances, AT&T

Nsombi Lambright-Haynes, Executive Director, One Voice


Angela Rye, Principal/CEO IMPACT Strategies and Host, Native Land Pod.

Tiffany Cross, T.V. host, Journalist, and Author of Say It Louder.


Helen Young Butler, Executive Director, Georgia Coalition for the Peoples Agenda/Convener, GA Black Women’s Roundtable

Kimberle’ W. Crenshaw, PhD., Co-Founder & ED African American Policy Forum, Host of Intersectionality Matters, Professor at Columbia Law School & UCLA Law School

Letetia Jackson, Convener, South Alabama BWR, President & CEO, Tandeka LLC

Monica Simpson, Executive Director, Sister Song

Bishop Leah Daughtry, Founder & Co-Convenor, Power Rising

Commissioner Sheila Tyson, Convener, Alabama Coalition on Black Civic Participation/AL BWR

Tameka Ramsey, Convener, Michigan Black Women’s Roundtable, Michigan Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Founder, T. Ramsey & Associates

Angele Wilson, Senior Director, ERP Resources, Inc.

Christal M. Jackson, Founder, Mosaic Genius

Aleshia Young, BYV Ambassador, MS

Moriah Bateast, Member, Terrebonne Parish NAACP Youth Council

Kiersten Hawkins, BYV Ambassador, MS

Kalyn Washington, State Coordinator, Alabama BYV

Mary-Pat Hector, State Coordinator, Georgia Black Youth Vote, CEO of Rise Free, Founder of Equity for All, Inc.

Keturah Butler-Reed, Co-Convener, Louisiana Black Women’s Roundtable; LA Regional Organizer, Black Voters Matter

Illai Kenney, Managing Director, HBCU Green Fund, Black Youth Vote Alumni

Joi Chaney, Senior Policy Advisor, NCBCP/BWR, Founder, J.O.I. Strategies

Gwendolyn Hughes, Convener, Louisiana Black Women’s Roundtable, Louisiana Unity Coalition


Event Highlight 3

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