THE PANEL CREW—Seated, from left: Marti Williams, Bonita Penn, Denele Biggs, Kenya Alford, Tiffany Huff and LaRae Everett. Standing, from left: Renee Aldrich, Tiffany Roberson and Latifa Miller.

THE PANEL CREW—Seated, from left: Marti Williams, Bonita Penn, Denele Biggs, Kenya Alford, Tiffany Huff and LaRae Everett. Standing, from left: Renee Aldrich, Tiffany Roberson and Latifa Miller.

Area women, young and mature, were given valuable tools for overcoming fears so that they can focus on pursuing dreams and bettering their lives during the ninth annual Softer Side Seminars’ Woman to Woman program, last month at the Hill House Kaufman Auditorium.

ORGANIZERS—From left: Marti Williams, Renee Aldrich and emcee Tiffany Roberson. (Photos by Jackie McDonald)

ORGANIZERS—From left: Marti Williams, Renee Aldrich and emcee Tiffany Roberson. (Photos by Jackie McDonald)

More than 80 participants turned out for the day-long event and learned how to live fearlessly. Highlights of the day were a presentation by Softer Side Seminars Founder Renee P. Aldrich around the theme “Getting Past Our Fears to get to our Destiny” and a panel discussion on “Facing Our Fears Head On,” which was  facilitated by Latifa Miller.  The panel members were Kenya Alford, Denele Biggs, LaRae Everett, Tiffany Huff and Bonita Penn.

Keynote speaker, international plus size model/actress Liris Crosse spoke of overcoming fear and not allowing uncharted territory hold one back from their dreams.   Sharing that while her parents’ desire was that she attend college,  she wanted to get into modeling which meant a move from her home in Baltimore, M.D., to New York City.  She said, “I didn’t want to live life with the woulda, shoulda, coulda feeling, so I went to New York nervous, but determined.”

She didn’t let her size stop her even though she received a lot of negative sentiments, including that she “would never be a model.” Crosse proudly states her dress size as 14 and fabulous. She has subsequently gone on to be one of the faces of the new national Ashley Stewart spring campaign. She also has been featured in the films “Baby Boy” and “The Best Man.”  She urged listeners to take negative vibes from others and use them to create greatness.

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