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The National Organization of Black Elected Legislative (NOBEL) Women recently hosted a leadership summit in Tampa, Florida, in commemoration of Women’s History Month and to promote the presence of black women in government.

The March 10-12 event and panel discussion  — themed “The Women Will Lead the Charge” — featured over 80 prominent black women and guest speakers, including NOBEL Women National President Laura Hall, former Florida state Sen. Arthenia Joyner and actress and author Erika Alexander.

The Rev. Leah D. Daughtry, CEO of the 2016 Democratic National Convention Committee and one of the panel speakers, emphasized the importance of black female legislators preparing other women for leadership.

“It is important for African-American women to have a seat at the table,” Daughtry said. “As African-American women, we are involved in so much in our lives. We are family leaders, entrepreneurs, business women, pastors, strategist, organizers and activists.

“We are multifaceted and we bring a multifaceted voice to the table,” she said. “We have a perspective that no one else has and it is important that our perspective be heard and be included as policies and priorities are set for our communities.

“And remember: If you are not at the table, then you’re probably on the menu,” Daughtry said.

The panel discussions, led by current and former elected officials, focused largely on leadership assessment, public relations, issue advocacy, coalition building, international relations and collective fundraising.

Founded in 1985, NOBEL aims to provide a network for black women in leadership. The organization serves as a medium for dialogue between elected officials and stakeholders and as a training ground for black women seeking elected office.

Lauren M. Poteat

Lauren Poteat is a versatile writer with a strong background in communications and media experience with an additional background in education and development.

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