but even I realize that there are probably bigger and better and greater things out there that I should try and aspire to and not to become comfortable. You know you will not know what your full potential is unless you try to maximize that and continue to explore. So that’s where I am right now, in an exploratory kind of frame of mind. To see just what am I capable of. Just where is the height of where I can go and what I can do,” she stated.

Pressley-Brown said that groundbreaking for the highly anticipated Center for Civil and Human Rights will take place this June and will officially open in two years. “I hope that I am able to help them stake their claim and take their place in the nation and then in the world as one of the finest centers for civil and human rights ever built.”

Derek T. Dingle, senior vice president and editor in chief for Black Enterprise magazine stated that the summit is valuable because it helps women manage business challenges that are unique to women. “Many times they are in corporate settings where they are not as valued as they should be, where they need to navigate through office politics, where they need to find mentorship, that’s important,” said Dingle.

Networking and gaining professional and personal contacts are other benefits Dingle says are extremely beneficial to attendees. He also touts the summit as one of their most engaged and refreshing for participants.

“I found over the seven years that we’ve done this conference that people have not only developed strong business relationships but seemingly lifelong friendships. Also, it’s rejuvenating,” said “Butch” Graves.  “One thing that our CEO, Earl G. Graves Jr. said, and it’s true. This event more so than any of our other events, is the most passionate event.”

“For me, coming to this event as a male, I am floored by how open, how spirited the conversations are. Because a lot of times when you come to business conferences, people tend to share the successes and the achievements, but not challenges and the failures. This is a forum that’s designed to elevate women and then have them share their experiences, [and] create a network so that they can move forward,” said Dingle.

According to Dingle, companies should send their employees because of the diverse career development sessions the summit provides that can propel their staff to the next stage in management. He also said, the training develops employees who are more focused and that “it’s important for corporations to engage in that level of career development so they can gain the benefits of that.”

The Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit also recognized rising African-American female leaders 40 and under, as well as pioneers who have led the way for other women of color. The pinnacle of the event was a Women of Power Legacy Award dinner honoring Amsale Aberra, co-founder/co-CEO and creative director, Amsale Design Group; Anita Hill, professor of Social Policy, Law, and Women’s Studies, Brandeis University; Rachel Robinson, founder, Jackie Robinson Foundation; Carole Simpson, veteran news reporter; and singer and activist Dionne Warwick.

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