Spelman College celebrated the impact and influence of women of color as global leaders during the 10th anniversary of its annual leadership and women of color conference by honoring exceptional women leaders, including retiring Spelman College professor Dr. Christine King Farris, Johnson Publishing Chairman Linda Johnson Rice and global women’s leadership advocate Hiroko Tatebe with Legacy of Leadership Awards. In addition, for the first time, 18 women were inducted into the Spelman Women of Color Conference inaugural Academy of Game Changers during the “Game Changers: A Decade of Success” Luncheon. The two-day event was held at the Georgia International Convention Center in Atlanta.
Featuring groundbreaking women across a variety of disciplines, the conference was themed “Twenty-First Century Leadership: Leading Forward” and hosted by Emmy Award-winning journalist and Access Hollywood host, Spelman alumna Shaun Robinson.
Jane E. Smith, Ed.D., Spelman College executive director of the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement highlighted her selection of this year’s Legacy of Leadership honorees. “We wanted to recognize Christine King Farris because of her 50-plus years of service to the Civil Rights Movement, to education of young women, and to her retirement from Spelman College,” said Smith. “Hiroko Tatebe’s focus on leadership development from a global perspective is a primary objective of the College, and we wanted to highlight her work in this area. We are recognizing Ebony and Linda Johnson Rice because the magazine has chronicled civil rights and women’s development in the workplace, and has handled thatbeautifully.”
A Game Changer is a 21st century leader who is powerful, forward-thinking and embraces her drive for excellence. Honorees included Rep. Stacey Abrams, U.S. Army Reserve Major General Marcia Anderson, social advocate Analisa Balares, Navajo Times Editor Candace Begody, The CW Network executive Traci Lynn Blackwell, Francisca Brown of American Family Insurance, Essence Editor-in-Chief Vanessa K. Bush, publishing executive Kimberly Casiano, strategic marketing expert Anna C. Catalano, KeyCorp executive Margot Copeland, JPMorgan Chase diversity executive Patricia David, Teneo Holdings’ Kimberly Davis, Coca-Cola’s Dr. Shell Huang, communications expert Sachi Koto, media mogul Paula Madison, public policy public relations leader Elizabeth Oliver-Farrow, Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce CEO Tisha Tallman, and Bank of America diversity executive Geri Thomas. The luncheon was hosted by author and Essence Editor-at-Large Mikki Taylor.
In an exclusive tweet-up session, Mikki Taylor also presented insights on topics such as work, relationships, spirituality, personal branding and style from her book “Commander In Chic: Every Woman’s Guide to Managing Her Style Like a First Lady.”