Women’s Empowerment is Radio One Raleigh’s largest and most anticipated event. Year after year, thousands of African American women (and men) come to Women’s Empowerment for an entire day of education, entertainment and empowerment.
Created in 1994, in honor of Women’s History Month, Women’s Empowerment was designed to enhance the lives of African American women by addressing issues that specifically impact their “health, hearts and pocketbooks.” Throughout the day, this expo-styled event offers seminars, workshops, demonstrations, sampling, and shopping.
The program begins with a motivational speech by a nationally recognized speaker. Past speakers have included Dr. Joycelyn Elders, former U.S. Surgeon General; Susan L. Taylor, former editor in chief of Essence; Rolanda Watts, N.C. native and former talk show; Phylicia Rashad, former co-star of The Cosby Show; Iyanla Vanzant, noted women’s author; Debbie Allen; actress and choreographer, Queen Latifah, actress & recording artist; and awarding winner actress, Angela Basset. Susan L. Taylor, of Essence Communications, appeared twice; in 1997 and again in 2002. The keynote speaker for 2004, the 10th Anniversary, was Vivica A. Fox. In celebration of that banner year, Blair Underwood was added to the program to bring forth the male perspective of today’s empowered woman. In 2005 our keynote speaker was television host Star Jones Reynolds with international model Iman as the featured speaker. North Carolina’s own American Idol, Fantasia Barrino was among the many musical artists who have performed at Women’s Empowerment Expo. In 2006 Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts was the keynote speaker and in 2007 Grammy Award-Winner Natalie Cole delivered a moving keynote address! In 2008 actress, singer, and all around diva Patti LaBelle graced the W.E. stage with words of encouragement and an awesome vocal performance that attendees will not soon forget.