Columbia Hosts African American Women Advancement Conference
November 01, 2019
Webster University Columbia, South Carolina, metro campus location hosted Embracing the M.A.G.I.C., a conference for the advancement of African American women. Embracing the M.A.G.I.C. (Manifestation of our Amazing Gifts, Intellect and Creativity) provided education, information and resources to advance African American women academically, professionally and personally.
The idea for the conference stemmed from a conversation between President Julian Schuster and Columbia Campus Director Sherriel Byrd at Columbia's 2019 commencement. In addition to Schuster's support, Chief Diversity Officer Vincent Flewellyn and Chancellor Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble also supported making the conference an reality.
Interest in the event was high, with the first set of general tickets being claimed within two weeks of announcing. Attendees were diverse in gender and profession: Nearly 90 students, alumni, educators, entrepreneurs, community leaders, homemakers and others joined in on the conversation.
The conference included a one morning session, “Black Girl Glare,” by Alexanderia Smith and Rebecca George, professional counseling instructors at Webster Columbia. Some of South Carolina’s top African American women leaders led eight break-out sessions, and Roslyn Clark Artis, the first female president of Benedict College in Columbia, gave the keynote address.
Along with partnering with local community leaders, Webster Columbia also had the opportunity to include Webster's Accra campus in Ghana, Africa, into one of the session conversations. The day left the attendees with invaluable information and resources to use personally and professionally and it left the staff inspired and motivated to continue this needed conference for years to come.
"Some came into Webster University for the very first time not knowing completely who we are, but left knowing that Webster University is an institution that promotes, supports and understands the African American woman and the challenges she is faced with in her journey to success," said Byrd.
Submitted by Brittney Oliver, recruitment community relations coordinator, Columbia metro