‘Love and Hip Hop’s’ Winter Ramos rocks ‘Woman 2 Woman Empowerment’ symposium

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PANEL MEMBERS—From left: Monica Brown, Charlotte Murray, Renee Aldrich, Brandi Fisher, facilitator, and Nicole Kershaw.

PANEL MEMBERS—From left: Monica Brown, Charlotte Murray, Renee Aldrich, Brandi Fisher, facilitator, and Nicole Kershaw.

Approximately 65 guests were present for the event and heard messages around the theme for the day, which was “Creating and Maintaining Healthy Relationships—Your Self-Esteem is a Factor.”  Four young women engaged the audience in a panel discussion which answered the question of “establishing healthy relationships with their children’s father—how to get it done so children can have the families they deserve.”

The panel was facilitated by Brandi Fisher and participants were Charlotte Murray, Nicole Kershaw, and Monica Brown.  Inspirational dancing by Danita Benjamin and a Spoken Word presentation by Denele Biggs opened the program and set the stage for the day.

“I wanted the atmosphere to be inviting,” said Aldrich. “This is important in keeping the audience engaged.  I have found that music is a great equalizer, so there is lot’s of music in what we do.”

KEY PARTICIPANTS—From left: Debbie Norrell, MC; Winter Ramos, guest speaker; Renee Aldrich, founder; and Marti Williams. (Photos by Rossano P. Stewart)

KEY PARTICIPANTS—From left: Debbie Norrell, MC; Winter Ramos, guest speaker; Renee Aldrich, founder; and Marti Williams. (Photos by Rossano P. Stewart)

Deborah Starling-Pollard, who heads the Central Baptist Church Drama Ministry, brought her inspiring theatrical production to the event, a vignette entitled “Sisters We Are”  allowed the  talented ensemble from Central Baptist Church, in the Hill District, to  bring  this toe tapping, but moving drama to life.  It was an appropriate continuation of the theme of the day.

Aldrich presented a motivational powerpoint presentation—“Recognizing Toxic People and Toxic Environments and Separate Yourself From Them.”  She presented to the audience  the damage that can result from remaining in relationships and situations that are toxic or poisonous to our lives.  Mistress of Ceremonies Debbie Norrell, kept the audience delighted with her skill for moving a program along.

Participants applauded the day’s events and praised every aspect of it.  Attendee Cassie La Mon Johnson  said  that  this “was such a wonderful program! I learned and enjoyed so much. Thank you, Renee, for that incredible symposium! By the way, I gained 2 pounds due to the delicious meal!”

Brown, who participated in the panel, said, “You have blessed me in more ways than you think. I truly thank you for allowing me to voice my opinion and sharing your glory!!! I met some wonderful women and would love to continue to be apart future events.”

Angela Howze-Mendoza said, “This was such a good event this year, Renee I think the Lord is going to enlarge your territory and you’ll have to have a bigger space next year.”

Starling-Pollard expressed her gratitude  of being able to bring the vignette to the event by saying, “Thank you Renee, for giving us such an amazing vehicle with which to express ourselves and be edified. Special shout out to Debbie Norrell for her wonderful hosting of the event, as well. It was such a blessed Saturday morning.”

Judith Mason of Dollar Bank had time on the agenda to discuss the importance of  forming  a positive relationship with our money. She said, “It is one of the most important relationships you can have, and can help you create opportunities, it starts with saving, and budgeting, its not how much you have, but how consistent you are.”

The audience was definitely engaged with Mason’s talk.

With sponsorships from Highmark, Dollar Bank and Urban Innovation21, Softer Side Seminars has moved to the next level said Aldrich.

“This year was made that much more comprehensive with the help of these sponsors, I’m grateful for them, and  very excited about where Softer Side Seminars is going,” she said.

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